Cats can be the most confusing creatures. But I hope that this can help shed some light on your cat’s curious antics.
Play Time Biting-
They want to play but end up attacking your hand. I believer there are 2 reasons for this: 1) they are over stimulated by your method of playing and see it as an attack, 2) they are responding to your hand with their natural instinct to play ‘kill the prey’ it’s the kind of playing you would see between two young siblings and is not intended to cause any damage to the playmate.
I think more often then not people think they are playing gently with their cat, in a way that would get the soft bite response when in reality their methods are most often in the first category. I see my husband doing this a lot with our fur children, one of whom tolerates his rough play and the other attacks or runs off faster than a bullet.
Look for cues from your cat to determine where they are emotionally. Pinned back ears, dilated eyes, hunched body are indicators that your cat is being overstimulated. Instead approach them calmly, point your finger at their nose and allow them to rub your finger first. Some cats are also easily over stimulated when they are rubbed from head to tail so only go about half way down their back while petting.
Have you ever heard your cat make repeated quick small meows? That’s actually a cat’s natural response when they are hunting birds! My cats so this quite often from their cat condos in front of our living room window and even in response to a feathered toy! They do this to mimic bird sounds, which is believed to trick real birds into coming close enough for them to pounce on. It’s quite adorable and one of my favorite cat behaviors.
With a dog you can rub their nose in the carpet with they poop in the house but if you do this to a cat you will have a lifetime of poop on your bed ahead of you. Cats process memories differently from dogs. A dog remembers that pooping the the house makes their owner upset but a cat remembers the same action as their owner is mean to them. Sometimes they will develop a grudge just because someone smells different!
There is a new wave of animal training that fully believes in positive reinforcement, specifically in regard to dogs but I feel this kind of technique is even more important with cats to avoid ruining animal-human relationships. So when that friend your cat hates comes over, have them feed your cat treats, little by little they will begin to like this person.
Cat do all kinds of odd behavior that seem nearly impossible to understand (like running in circles- sideways) some are just hilarious and others are bothersome, regardless cats are hard to ignore.