Quite often because Bengals are not too much removed from their wild ancestry, people are afraid to bring one into their home. They often misunderstand the Bengal and think that they’re still a wild cat. But, we can assure you that they are domestic and not wild. One common question you’ll hear is this one: “Do Bengal cats bite?” That is what we plan to cover for you in this article along with a few other things.
- Is it a Love Bite?
- Why Do Bengals and Other Cats Bite?
- Train Your Bengal Not to Bite
- Start Training as a Kitten If Possible
Is It a Love Bite?
It seems to just come without warning. You’re sitting there petting your lovable Bengal, they’re purring, looks at you with love, and then suddenly, out of nowhere it seems, they give you a bite on the hand! That can definitely throw you off balance.
So, what’s going on here? Why did your beautiful, sweet, and loving kitty suddenly seem to transform into a Bengal vampire in the blink of an eye? Are they mad at you? Is it just a way of saying I love you? Are they just wanting to play? These are just a few of the questions you undoubtedly have after the bite. Well, there are different factors at work here and let’s take a look at them.
Why Do Bengals and Other Cats Bite?
Bengals can’t be blamed for being the only cat that bites. Many cats bite their pet parents seemingly for no reason at all. So, the main question here is why do they bite? There can be a variety of reasons why they bite. Here are just a few of those reasons:
- Often they will bite when they become frightened, annoyed, stressed out, or angry about something.
- They also might bite when they are feeling overstimulated or they’re just in a playful mood.
- There are times when biting is part of their “feline courtship.”
If your Bengal is being sweet one minute and then the next minute they are biting you, they might be telling you that you have crossed over some line of theirs at some point. It could be they’re tired of you petting them, or you could have found a sensitive area on their body.
There are Some Subtle Warning Signs Your Bengal is Getting Agitated
Here are a few warning signs that your Bengal may be about to bite you, you just need to be alert to them:
- Watch out for them flicking their tail or flattening down their ears.
- Take notice to see if your Bengal starts staring intently at you, or if their head starts to follow your hand closely.
- They might start growling a little bit just before they bite.
All of these are good indications that they’ve just about had enough of whatever it is you are doing.
Just remember, biting and scratching are just part of your Bengals natural predatory instincts. One way you can help them release some of that energy is by playing with them for a few minutes a couple of times each day. It can be something as simple as just dragging a piece of string around for them to chase. Something s simple as that can help reduce any unwanted biting.
Train Your Bengal Not to Bite
If you think that your Bengal has a bad habit of biting then it’s important that you teach them that biting is not an acceptable form of behavior. This will be a lot easier if they’re a kitten, however, it can be managed with older cats.
- This first one is extremely important: Never hit your Bengal! This will only make them angry and even teach them to be afraid of you.
- Instead of hitting them when they do bite you, do this: Shout out “Ouch!” or “No!” and then just walk away and ignore your Bengal. This can be a very powerful way to reprimand your cat especially for kittens and younger cats.
- Educate yourself and learn to recognize all the warning signs. If your Bengal always seems to take a swipe at you after five minutes or more of petting, it’s a good idea that you don’t push them to the limit. Cut down the amount of time you pet them instead.
- Always make sure to praise and reward your Bengal for their good behavior. Always give them a tasty treat after you are done petting them. This is going to give them a good reason to think of petting as a very positive thing.
Start Training as a Kitten if Possible
All cats, including Bengals, can pick up bad habits as kittens. One of those bad habits is often biting. When a cat sees a human hand as a toy to bite and scratch, it’s often the pet parents fault.
Biting your hands often sets in when a pet parent roughhouses with their Bengal when they’re still a little kitten. When they are kittens, their teeth and claws really don’t cause much damage. However, those kitten teeth and claws are going to grow. Once they’ve gotten adult claws and teeth it’s no longer cute. So, if you let them get away with it when they’re a kitten, they’ll think it’s alright as an adult.
So, the point here is don’t train your Bengal kitten to believe that your hand is their personal toy.
Ways to Train Your Kitty Not to Bite
All kittens need playtime, especially Bengals and since they are babies, they really don’t understand when you are not playing. When they are kittens you should take a gentle approach when training them. Here are just a few things you can do:
- When your kitten bites you try blowing in their face. More times than not, your kitten won’t like this.
- Try distracting them with a toy when they start biting your hand. This way you are giving them something they can chew on that is okay to be chewing on and biting.
- Another thing you can try is pressing down on their tongue with your finger. This is something they won’t like and it will encourage them to go away for a little bit.
- If nothing seems to work and your Bengal seems to be simply an uncontrollable bundle of energy and is attacking you all the time, you might want to consider getting them a playmate. Having another kitten to play with might sound like double trouble, but having someone with the same amount of energy to play with could be all that they need.