Cats make wonderful companions at home, but they can also engage in some rather different and strange behavior. An example of such is blocking or biting your phone, especially if you have been on it for a long time.
If you notice your furry friend suddenly showing up whenever the phone rings or when you are scrolling on the screen, this could be due to a number of reasons. The most common reason is jealousy; others might be fear or curiosity. Whatever the reason, if you find your cat becoming a pest as soon as you grab your phone, then something must be done to discourage this unwanted behavior.
Reasons why cats bite phones
Cats might have a negative relationship with phones for many reasons. If you find your furry companion meowing, demanding attention, or biting the phone while you are using it, it could be due to any of the following:
1. Your cat is jealous
Despite their independent nature, cats do crave lots of love and attention from their owners. Your cat might follow you everywhere in the house, or reach out to you when he wants to be cuddled by pawing or head-butting you. Anything that prevents you from giving him this attention will be treated as your cat’s enemy – even an inanimate object like a phone can be perceived as a threat.
One way for your cat to eliminate this competitor is to inflict damage through biting. He will do everything in his power to win the prize, which is your warm cuddles and attention.
2. Your cat is trying to say something
Our feline friends have unique ways of communicating with their humans. While some breeds are very vocal when they need something, others may use body language to convey their message. They might rub their bodies against you, look you in the eye, or position their tails, among other gestures. If all of these fail, your furry companion will likely resort to other ways to get your attention, and that might include blocking or even biting your phone.
3. Your cat wants to play
Maybe you are spending so much time on social media or messaging your friends that you have forgotten to spend time with your pet. Cats thrive on routine, and perhaps you have forgotten your usual cuddle time or game session. To get your attention, your cat might start meowing and rubbing himself against you. If none of these works, the envious cat will start to attack the thing that is distracting you.
4. Your cat sees the phone as a toy
Your cat probably perceives the flashes of light and sounds from your phone as something attractive. They might spark his curiosity and predatory instinct, causing him to bite the phone in the same way he bites his toys.
5. Your phone ignites your cat’s predatory instinct
Cats love to stalk and chase anything small and moving. Your phone could mimic such movements or sounds through on-screen images or videos that attract your cat’s attention. And, just like he would kill his prey, your furry companion will paw and bite the phone as well.
6. Your phone smells like you
The sense of smell might not be very important for humans, but cats rely on smells for survival. They also form a deep emotional bond with their favorite humans through scent. And, for these talented sniffers, nothing is more comforting and appealing than their human’s scent.
Since there are traces of your sweat and sebum left on your phone, your cat might be attracted to it. He might start playing with your phone and biting it, just as he would play with your used towels.
Why does my cat bite the corner of my phone?
The primary reason your cat bites your phone is to engage with you. As mentioned above, our furry companions can easily become jealous of anything that takes your attention away from them. And that includes your phone.
There is no definite reason that cats choose to bite the corner of the phone; this is likely due to the smartphone’s size. A cat’s bite cannot cover the large screen area of a typical smartphone, so it is only logical to target the corners instead. By doing this, your cat understands that he is able to steal your attention away from that shiny, noisy object.
How to stop your cat from biting your phone
Watching our furry friends react to the sounds and flashes emitted by our phones can be fun and cute. However, at some point, it can become a nuisance, especially if the reaction involves biting, hissing, and swatting. If your jealous cat shows aggression or other destructive behavior every time he craves your attention, something must be done right away to correct this behavior.
You can discourage your cat from biting the phone by:
- Using positive reinforcement. This means that you only reward your cat when he shows the right behavior and ignore him when he behaves inappropriately. Rewards can include some of his favorite treats, cuddles, or play sessions.
- Using interactive toys. Sometimes, your phone could be mistaken as a toy due to the sounds and moving images it produces, and your cat might simply be bored of his normal toys and looking for something new and interesting. To keep him busy and away from your smartphone, you can invest in interactive toys such as an electric flopping fish or rotating butterfly toy. These toys are not only good for stimulating your cat’s hunting instinct; they will also keep him healthy and active.
- Using a cat repellent spray. These chemicals work wonders at keeping your cat at bay. Sprays such as the 3-in-1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid teach your cat about boundaries by emitting a smell that is unpleasant to their sensitive noses. Although cats will not be able to tolerate the smell, these scents are quite pleasant for humans. The natural formula is also safe for you and your cats, making its use cruelty-free. Simply spray a small amount on your phone and your cat will never disturb your phone time again.
- Not giving in to your cat’s demands. Do not pet, chase, stroke, or yell at your cat. Responding to your cat in any way will only increase the likelihood of him pestering you again the moment you pick up your phone. Cats are intelligent creatures and they will not hesitate to repeat their behavior if it helps them achieve what they want. In this case, your attention is the prize.
Wrapping it up
With the advance of technology, our smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. We use them to communicate, stay updated, manage certain tasks, and many other things. Thus, it is only normal these days to spend some time staring at our phones. However, giving so much attention to our devices might also trigger unwanted behavior from our furry friends. They might start to paw, hiss, or even bite in their attempt to win your attention.
If you are bothered by this unwanted behavior, the best thing you can do is avoid giving in to your cat’s demands. Other methods, such as positive reinforcement, providing interactive toys, and using cat repellent sprays are also effective solutions. It might sound cruel to ignore your cat when he wants your attention, but at the end of the day we want our four-legged companions to learn proper behavior for the sake of both of you.
Image: istockphoto.com / beavera