Would my cat bite children?

by Anne

Some time ago I read your page about cats that bite when you stroke them. This was the problem I was having with my black and white female, Kerry. At that time Kerry was around four and now around seven years old.

I took your advice and started to watch out for signals that she is about to bite. With Kerry, apart from her lifting her head, her ears going back is a sure sign. Now when she does that I stop stroking her right away and she jumps from my lap. Only occasionally will she catch me out if I'm not paying full attention.

So I'm very happy that I can now stroke my cat, at least for a few minutes without her biting me. But I do have a dilemma that I hope you can help me with.

I have two young nieces that I love very much. They are five and eight and both are very fond of animals. They don't come visit often and when they do I shut Kerry out of the way. You can guess why I do that. The girls would want to pet and stroke her and I worry what might happen. I've explained this to the girls as best I can but they must think I'm rather strange.

I'd love for my cat and my nieces to meet but would that be risky? Do you have any advice you can give? Thanks very much.

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A Visit.
by: Anne

I thought I would update you and thank you very much for your advice. My nieces have visited and I introduced them to Kerry. I did as you suggested and held her all the time, she was only out for a short while.

No attempts were made to touch or stroke her, the girls were sat quietly on the other side of the room. I had explained the plan beforehand but I think I over explained it, the little one thought there was a possibility that Kerry was going to leap from my arms and bite her :-)

It all went very well really and I look forward to being able to let the girls touch her.

Thanks again,

Not with kids.
by: Anonymous

Well, I have to say that I would not let a cat that bites anywhere near children. A cat that will bite almost certainly scratches. You can't take chances with kids.

It's good to know . . .
by: Larry (Editor)

Hi Anne,

Thank you very much for your post and I am really pleased that you found so value in the article Why Does My Cat Bite My Hand When I Stroke Her?

It's good to know that you can now enjoy stroking Kerry even if just for a short time.

I'll give my thoughts on your question, I think you are right to be concerned but it is very possible that your cat and nieces can meet.

How does Kerry react to any visitors to your home? Is she nervous? Does she hide away? This may give a clue as to how difficult this might be.

Next time that your nieces visit can you bring Kelly out for a few minutes, holding her gently but firmly?

If you can, just sit talking to your nieces, they should not try to touch her at this stage, and if possible they should try not to stare at her too much.

Do this for a number of visits, see how Kelly reacts. If things go well your nieces may be able to gently stroke your cat - with you holding her and watching for the signs that Kelly has had enough. It will take time and patience.

This article may be some help Introducing a Cat to Your Children.

Well, that's about all of my ideas, maybe other visitors to this page can offer some tips.

Good luck Anne.

Larry (Editor)

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