Monday 6 October 2008

Cat bites

Cat bites hurt and feel strong but how strong are they and how much hurt can be inflicted? And whose fault is it normally?

Cat Bites the damage

This is going to be short but if we get bitten by a cat it is nearly always going to be our fault, usually by playing a little recklessly. Cats bite in play. For them it is nothing. For us it hurts. Ease back on the play, that's what I do. I mean I play but more gently. As to damage. The only thing I can think off that may happen is that we might (rarely) become infected by a bacteria that causes cat scratch disease (fever). I have never considered this possibility but it is possible it seems. That is about it really.

A comparison of the strength of bites of various animals

When my cat bites me (in play I hasten to add) the strength of the bite feels strong. I feed a stray boy cat and when he plays and nibbles me his bite feels as though it could be very strong if he applied full force. Information on the strength of the bites of a range of animals including extinct animals comes from a fairly well known document that I have only now just bumped into (see base of post).

I guess that it is obvious that if we are to compare the strength of bites of different sized animals we need to take into account the size of the animal as a larger animal will nearly always have a bigger bite than a smaller animal simply because the animal is bigger.

How do cat bites stack up? In a survey that made a compensation for the size of the animal in calculating bite strength, this is how it looks:

Note: Bite force is the absolute value of bite strength (i.e. unqualified). This is labelled by the symbol Bs in the report. When modified to take into account the size of the animal the bite is called bite force quotient (BFQ). The scientists call this as "the residual of Bs as regressed (going back to a state that takes into account body size) on body mass".

The figures are ranked with the strongest at the top. See a Tasmanian Devil at desexing feral cats.

Tasmanian devil
African hunting dog
clouded leopard
grey wolf
bobcat - see hybrids
brown bear

So the strong bite of the domestic cat is not that strong compared to the tiger. And a dog's bite is a little stronger on average than a cats.

Cat bites to cat health problems

Cat bites - Source of bite strength:

Cat bites - Picture heading post: by cmerlo441 and published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License


  1. Open top of it my cat likes to play fight but she controls to get my attention she will nibble my arm. She always just lays her mouth on my hand when she is play fighting. But I bet she can sink it in deep if she wanted to

    1. I like the option of going in onymous. That way I don't have to type in a bunch of crap in order to post on this site my name is Vince.


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