When your cat bites you, the initial reaction is often shock, followed by: What just happened? Cat bites hurt, and the element of surprise and hurt is unpleasant.
There is not always a clear-cut answer as to the reason for the bite, plus the cat may be purring contentedly away as though nothing has happened.
why did my cat suddenly bite? He has never bitten me before?
It could be because he was feeling scared or threatened, or he may have reacted to a sudden pain or stressor. He may also have been startled by something and felt the need to protect himself. Cats can also become aggressive if they feel territorial towards their environment or another pet in the house.
Cat owner is Admitted To Hospital because Of a Cat Bite
Here is an example of what happened to a friend of mine, who is still recovering from the deep wounds her cat inflicted.
The cat is now a senior, and it is likely that her actions were caused by dementia. The bites were unprovoked.
The cat owner was softly stroking the cat on its back in a slow and unhurried way. There was nothing unusual about that.
For reasons truly known only to the cat, it turned around and bit my friend hard on the hand, leaving two deep puncture marks.
She immediately washed the wound and applied some antiseptic cream and a dressing. She took some mild painkillers and went to bed. It is interesting to note that there was pain in the hand and wrist immediately. The next day was Christmas Day, and with the pain worsening, she ended up in emergency care, was admitted immediately, and was put on an intravenous drip of antibiotics.
Now at home recovering with more antibiotics, she is nursing a swollen, infected hand with strict instructions to return to the hospital if the pain worsens.
When she was admitted to the hospital, there was even discussion about operating to clean the wound. My friend was in disbelief that operating was an option.
This illustrates how a cat bite can turn into something very nasty if it is not treated in time. Never be complacent about a cat bite.
The cat is a senior, as mentioned earlier, and has never bitten before. She has scratched, so there may be some anxiety issues.
The problem is that now this adorable old fluffy lady is viewed with a great deal of suspicion and trepidation by those who would normally give her a cuddle, for fear of being bitten.
The holiday season is typically not a good time for these things to happen as businesses have reduced operating hours however this will necessitate a trip to the vet. The victim already has an appointment to see the doctor.
As a senior cat, the behavior may be dementia. Possibly the cat can have medication to help with dementia.
What can you do if your senior cat is also scratching? Firstly ensure that nails are trimmed. Get the vet or groomer to do this if you are not able or if it has now become a scary exercise.
Wear long sleeves and long pants where practical. Even in a hot summer, loose long sleeved clothing can be worn in hot weather. Admittedly where I live everywhere has air con so this very much depends on your situation.
Another thing to consider is using cat nail caps. I have written extensively about using the caps, how they work, how to use them and which ones to choose.
Even if your instincts are to shy away from this idea, you can discover that they are not that bad and if it means living a happier life with your older cat, then that a bonus.
It would be sad not to cuddle a senior kitty for fear of being scratched or bitten.
We tried to tell the cat, that all of this could have been avoided but she just looked at us innocently whilst purring.
Why Did The Cat Bite?
This is impossible to answer in this case as the the normal cat stressors did not appear to be present. Did the cat have some pain along the upper back? Possibly!
Did Something Make my cat feel scared?
It could be that something in the environment made her feel scared.
Cats are very sensitive creatures, and they can be easily startled by even small changes, such as a new person entering the room or strange noises outside.
She may also have heard a sound she wasn’t expecting or felt a sudden movement. Was there a loud sound that was not noted by the owner as a threat but did freak the cat out enough to bite.?
It’s important to take note of your cat’s reactions so you can identify any potential stressors in their environment and work to make them feel more secure.
why did the cat bite so hard?
The intensity of a cat’s bite can vary depending on the situation. If the cat felt scared or threatened, she may have reacted with a more intense bite in an attempt to protect herself.
She may also have been startled and reacted reflexively, leading to a harder bite.
In some cases, cats may bite harder when they are feeling ill or in pain.
I flung my hand when She bit me. Is this normal?
It is normal for you to react instinctively when your cat bites you.
If your cat bites too hard or in an aggressive manner, it’s a sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. In this case, it may help to slowly move away from your cat, as sudden movements can startle them and lead to more aggressive behavior.
If this happens often, you should talk to a professional pet behaviorist who can help you better understand the cause of your cat’s biting and develop strategies for addressing the problem.
What is the best thing to do for me when my cat bites me?
Discussing the problem with your vet or a pet behaviorist is important, but what can you do at home?
Providing your cat with plenty of playtime and activities can help redirect their energy away from aggressive behavior. Using a wand toy for play is something that all cats enjoy, from kittens to senior cats.
should i wash the Cat bite?
Yes, it is important to clean any bite wounds with soap and warm water.
If the wound is deep or there is any sign of tissue damage and the bite is causing you a lot of pain, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
what can happen with an infection from a cat bite
Cat bite infections can be serious and require intensive treatment. Intravenous antibiotics are often necessary to treat a cat bite infection, and in some cases, hospitalization may be needed to properly manage the infection.
Those who have been bitten by a cat should seek medical attention right away in order to reduce the risk of further complications. Treatment with intravenous antibiotics is usually recommended when an infection is severe or has spread beyond the wound site.
how long will i be on antibiotics after a cat bite?
The duration of antibiotic treatment after a cat bite will depend on the severity of the infection.
In general, antibiotics are usually prescribed for at least seven days, however, it could be longer depending on the extent and location of the infection.
It’s important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions in order to make sure that all of the bacteria causing the infection are eliminated.
How do I know when an infection from a cat bite is getting better
You should monitor your infection closely, as signs of improvement can vary depending on the severity of the infection.
You may notice a decrease in pain or swelling around the bite wound, and if antibiotics are being taken, you may notice that your symptoms seem to be improving within a few days.
It is important to pay attention to any other changes such as fever, redness around the bite wound, or an increase in pain.
If any of these symptoms do not improve or worsen after a few days of antibiotic treatment, then it is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
what can i do to stop the cat from scratching me?
If you are being scratched by a cat, provide your cat with appropriate scratching surfaces such as scratching posts, carpets and mats. Corrugated cardboard scratchers are inexpensive, work well and can easily be replaced.