Why do cats bite owners

You’re sitting on the couch, watching your favorite Netflix show, and your cat jumps up to join you. You pet her, and then she jumps on your lap. She’s so cute and snuggly, you think to yourself, then you get back to your show. Just when you’re entranced in the plot, your cat starts licking your arm. Weird, but she does this sometimes. Then, out of nowhere, she takes a bite out of your arm. Ouch! What in the world?

Cats are notorious for licking and biting their owners, sometimes gently, sometimes not. But why? These bites may seem to come out of nowhere, for no reason, but if we explore this topic a bit, we will see that there’s always a reason, and your cat knows what it is. We just have to figure them out. Some common reasons why your cat may bite you are their age, genetics, environmental changes, fear, insecurity, and your emotions and behavior.

Why Do Cats Bite Their Owners?

Cats may bite their owners for many reasons, but here are some common ones:

Age and Genetics

Young kittens often bite and scratch more when they are learning how to play, and this is totally normal. When a kitten reaches four months or so, their play biting and scratching usually subsides. In addition, some personality traits in cats, like aggression, are hereditary.

Owner Behavior

Cats are sensitive to their owner’s emotions and often mimic them, hence the phrase “copy-cat.” A study published by NPR shows that cats will appear sad when their owners are sad and appear happy when their owners are happy. If owners show aggressive behavior, their cats may mimic this behavior through biting and scratching.

Environment Changes

A move, a new baby, a new pet, visitors in the home: all of these examples are changes to your cat’s routine that can add stress. Cats are creatures of habit. They tend to sleep in the same places, play in the same areas, and eat at certain times. If there is a disruption to their schedule, cats may feel overstimulated and confused, and they may resort to biting.

Fear and Insecurity

Cats may bite out of fear. If there is a human or animal in the home that they are afraid of, they will likely bite, which is why cats may bite small children who want to “play” with them. Instead of play, the cat sees a toddler’s advances as a threat. Likewise, if you bring a new pet home, your cat may start to feel insecure and jealous. Cats are super sensitive, and they need to know they are loved.

Basic Needs Not Being Met

Cats need food, water, shelter, and attention to survive. They thrive off a schedule, so if your cat expects to eat at 6 PM, and there is no food, she may bite to let you know she needs her dinner. Cats will also bite their owners to get attention. This is one of the most “out of the blue” bites and may leave you confused, but just pet your cat and give her some attention.

Cats are typically playful; however, when playing with your cat, use toys instead of your hands. Cats love to pounce on and bite toys, so use laser pointers, stuffed mice, or other cat toys. If you use your hands, your cat may bite your hands, thinking they are toys.


You may be thinking that you don’t think any of these reasons fit why your cat bites you because he bites you gently and doesn’t pierce your skin. In this case, your cat may be showing you affection. This would be a playful, “love bite,” and it is a sign of your cat’s admiration for you.

Why do cats bite owners

How Common Are Cat Bites?

Cat bites are common; there are an estimated 400,000 cat bites each year, but the number is much higher since these are the ones that are reported. While it may be funny when your cat bites you, it can pose a serious risk. In fact, according to Medical Daily, one in three cat bites will become infected. If an infected cat bite is left untreated, it can develop into cat scratch fever, a bacterial infection that causes flu-like symptoms and can cause long term problems like encephalopathy or vision loss.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting?

To get your cat to stop biting, first, you need to determine why he is biting. The reason may or may not be obvious, but it is something you can probably figure out. For example, if you recently had company over, and there was a human sitting in your cat’s spot on the couch, your cat may have resorted to biting. Cats are territorial, after all.

Make sure you do not yell at your cat. If she climbs up on the kitchen table or hides your favorite pair of socks, there is no point in yelling at your cat. In addition, try to watch your own emotions around your cat, whether it is stress, sadness, or anger. If possible, be happy and friendly, and your cat will follow suit.

Make sure you give your cat the attention and play time he needs. Lately, I have been shining the flashlight on my phone around my cat when it is dark, and she loves chasing it around. In fact, she could chase the light for hours!

If your cat bites you, don’t punish him, just stop engaging with him. Move your hand away, and this will signal to your cat that biting is not appropriate. You can say a firm, “No,” but don’t yell, or that may make the situation worse.

Why do cats bite owners

Bottom Line?

If your cat is like most cats, their biting is both cute and annoying. Sometimes it may be painful and break your skin. Wash your wound with soap and water and apply a band-aid. If your bite becomes infected with redness and swelling, call your doctor to get it checked out.

Care, Health and Training of Dogs and Cats

Care, Health and Training of Dogs and Cats

If you’re like me, not only are you aggravated, but possibly a little hurt as well when you wonder, why do cats bite their owners? Here are a few common reasons why cats bite their owners and what you can do to stop it.

Why Do Cats Bite Their Owners?

Six of the most common why cats bite their owners are:

1. Some cats bite their owners in order to assert dominance. Your cat may be biting because he’s trying to show who’s in charge. If your cat bites you, then doesn’t back down or try to play or cuddle, then this is likely your cat biting to show dominance.

2. Cats also bite their owners as a way of communicating. If they want something, instead of meowing they may nip your toe, arm or finger as a signal to you. They may be asking for food, to be let outside, or even for you to clean the litter box. A good way to know if your cat is biting you in order to communicate is to watch to see if he bites you, then tries to lead you somewhere, like to his food dish, the back door, etc.

3. Kittens bite to practice attacking. In the wild, animals have to fight. This tendency comes through in domestic cats as well. My kitten, Miss Abigail, attacked her big sister for months when she was a kitten. The vet assured me that within a few months, the attacking behaviors would stop. Luckily for Miss Abigail, the older cat didn’t fight back! LOL

Why do cats bite owners4. Un-neutured males tend to be more aggressive. Consider neutering your male cat if he’s biting. Not only will he calm down if he’s neutered, but neutering provides other safety benefits for your cat and, of course, stops unwanted litters of kittens around the neighborhood!

5. Cats who are declawed may start biting. Once their claws are gone, they may feel vulnerable and start biting out of fear.

6. To defend themselves if they’re being attacked, picked on or provoked.

Why do cats bite ownersHow to Train Your Cat to Stop Biting

If your cat is biting you, first try to ignore them. They’re biting to get a response from you. If you don’t respond, they may try a different signal (such as meowing)

Try a different form of communication. Only do what your cat is asking if he’s asking nicely – like by rubbing on your leg or meowing. Over time, he’ll get used to doing those things instead of biting you.

Consistency is important. Sometimes your cat’s biting can seem cute – especially then they’re a kitten. But mostly it’s just bothersome and painful. Even if it seems cute that they’re nibbling on your fingers, you can’t let them do it. Your cat must experience the same reaction from you each and every time when it comes to biting. You can’t let them bite sometimes, then disapprove of it at other times. If you do that, your cat won’t know what’s allowed and what’s not.

Why do cats bite ownersNeed More Help with Cat Training?

I strongly suggest you try an audio program found at UltimateCatSecrets.com. This program covers not only teaching your cat not to bite, but every possible cat behavior problem you can think of! Once you complete the program, you’ll be enjoying a healthy, happy, perfectly behaved cat! The program is only $37 and comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

Why do cats bite ownersCat Training to Stop Cat Biting

I also recommend a very good resource for cat training called, Complete Cat Training Guide from KingdomofPets.com. This is a downloadable Ebook containing step-by-step instructions on how to solve 25 real-life cat behavior problems. This program is $37 and comes with a full money-back guarantee.

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Thank you for visiting my website. I donate 10% of all commissions I earn on this website to animal charities. You can see a list of the charities I donate to here. If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals! Debra 🙂

Why do cats bite their owner? Cats are among the pets that are very popular with all lovers and lovers of breeding cats, and they are keen to own them all over the world. They are loved by adults and children. It is not uncommon for cats to bite their owners for no reason or suddenly, and we must know that biting cats is not motivated by aggression, but like These actions such as biting, jumping, and scribbling are part of cats’ life in play, and your cat should be encouraged to practice this behavior. From this article, we will learn about the most prominent reasons why cats bite their owners.

Why do cats bite their owner:

  • Sudden Biting While Pampering
  • Biting while playing
  • Aggressive bites
  • The biting stage for kittens
  • Biting to express love

1- Sudden biting while pampering

Cat owners and breeders often complain that while pampering their cat and playing with her and she is enjoying, suddenly some of her owners, in this case, must scoop and understand the body language of cats, as she can send a message in this case and tell you that she has had enough of playing and pampering and you can reduce the possibility that she will bite you again by stopping this petting and letting the cat rest.

2- Biting while playing

Cats often bite their owners while playing because they express their natural hunting instinct, and in this case, you must be calm and not move so as not to increase the biting and scratching behavior. Her teeth or nails, and you can bring some cat toys that satisfy her instinct and can be scratched or bitten, and this is the best way to make cats not attack you, and stay away from biting or scratching you.

3- Aggressive bites

Cat biting can be the result of aggressive behavior, and you can notice this by taking the cat into a defensive position, and we will notice that the cat’s back is arched and its ear goes back and its tail moves and focuses the look on the thing you want to attack, so stay away from the cat, then you put the defense because if you approach it You will behave aggressively and you should always reinforce and modify the behavior of your cat and try to physically discipline him as your pet will only understand the message in this way.

4- Biting stage for kittens

Small cats always love to play and discover things around them, so do not worry when you notice your cat biting your orbiting toys, as they discover things and highlight their natural instincts, the cat’s teeth at this time are small and will not cause you any harm. At a young age that biting is not acceptable is the best way to stop this behavior.

5- Biting to express love

Most of the time, cats are bitten as an expression of love for their owner by playing with him, feeding and pampering them, and cats are always associated with the place in which they live and the person who cares for them.

What do you do if your cat bites you?

  • Rinse the wound well with water so that it does not become contaminated.
  • Apply pressure to the area where the cat bit you with a piece of cloth to stop the bleeding.
  • Sterilize the wound by placing a sterile piece of wound hygiene.
  • Keep the wound in an elevated position to prevent swelling or infection.
  • Apply ice quickly when the skin is swollen until the swelling subsides and disappears.

Why do cats bite owners

Cats are some of the most mysterious and interesting animals you’ll ever meet. Especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened your home to a cat, you may notice some odd behaviors your cat may exhibit. Among these weird habits may be, much to your annoyance, them biting for seemingly no reason.

While it may seem totally random and nonsensical sometimes, cats don’t bite for no reason at all. As a matter of fact, there are many different reasons why cats bite. Thankfully, they don’t always mean your cat hates you.

The cat can bite you agressively or non-agressively. Here’s how you tell the difference.

Table of Contents

Non-aggressive bites

You’ll know when cats are being aggressive because of the multiple signs they tend to give before they attack: the swishy tail, the low growling, the flattened ears and the hissing. The lack of these very obvious signs is exactly the reason why you are so confused as to why Mr. Fluffles is biting you.

Non-aggressive bites actually happen when your cat wants to communicate something with you. As you are well aware, cats can’t talk like humans can. Even so, this doesn’t mean that our little furry companions don’t have anything to say. When they need to tell you something, they will most likely use body language.

What is the bite trying to say?

The reasons behind the bites can range from them simply needing a bit of playtime, to them being annoyed at something so they’re sending you a slightly less gentle warning.

Younger cats are often guilty of play aggression.В They usually like staging hunting sessions where the main target of their teeth and claws are your poor, defenseless ankles.

Probably the most hurtful form of cat bites happen at those times when you’re chilling on the couch, petting your cat. You’re thinking that everything is fine, and when you least expect it, they give you a short, painful bite. On top of the physical pain, the sense of betrayal stings too, doesn’t it? Still, it’s within reason, you just may not have known. For this particular example, the cat was overstimulated, that’s why they went for the bite.

Some cats won’t meow when they need something from you. Instead, they like to let their teeth tell you that they’d like to have breakfast now. This sort of behavior should not be encouraged or tolerated. As a matter of fact, it is best that your cat’s biting behavior is curbed as soon as possible.

How can I stop my cat from biting me?

Cat bites — even the playful ones, can be quite painful on our sensitive human skin. The best way to stop your playful kitty from biting is to trick distract them with a toy.

As soon as you notice that they’re about to attack your hand or your ankle, bring out your toy and play with them. Younger cats need a lot of playtime — so make sure that you set aside time, around 20-30 minutes twice a day, to tire them out.

Common questions about cat bites

Should I be concerned about cat bites?

Playful cat bites are usually nothing to worry about. However, if your cat breaks skin, it can get really bad really quickly. Wounds from cat bites and scratches can get infected really fast, not to mention, it’s also really painful.

If you ever get scratched or bitten by a cat, please treat your wounds immediately. Apply pressure on your wound to stop the bleeding. Wash it with gentle soap and water . If you have a particularly large cut – 2 inches or greater, or any sign of infection, seek medical attention immediately.

Can my dog get infected from a cat bite?

A cat’s mouth is filled with all kinds of bacteria. Even the cats that have been immunized have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. If your kitty happens to give your pup a bite, it can definitely lead to an infection. If not treated, it can get fatal.

Other than getting infected from the bacteria from your cat’s mouth, your dog’s wounds could also get infected from the bacteria in his environment especially because dogs love to muck around in dirt all the time.

As soon as you notice a cat bite on your dog, please take them to the vet to have their wounds cleaned.

Can cats have rabies?

Cats can get infected by rabies.В Cats who are exposed to wild animals run a higher risk of contracting rabies.

Rabies may be transmitted through bites from an infected animal or when the saliva of an infected animal enters another animal’s body through an open wound. Cat to cat rabies transmission is very rare though.

If you don’t want your cat to be at any risk of getting rabies, please get them vaccinated and keep them indoors.


Non-aggressive cat bites may spook first-time cat owners.В Most of the time, cats will attack you for seemingly no reason because they want to play.В If your cat exhibits play aggression, please set aside time to play with them at least twice a day.

Why do cats bite their owner?

Biting in cats is a means of expressing their feelings of fear or fatigue, and they can also bite even while playing, as an expression that they have had enough of playing.

What distinguishes cats from other animals, they give signals and warnings, and these signals move the tail to and away from its owner, so you must pay attention to your cat’s body language to know how to deal with it.

There are places where you do not like to be touched, such as the chest and back legs, or where you have an injury.

And if your cat bites you, do not take your hand away quickly. Try to push your hand towards it a little, this makes it feel nervous, and make any sound to make it move away from you.

Some cat breeders complain and say that when we carry our cats they bite and scratch us, so we say to everyone who faces such a problem, try to carry your cat like what its mother carries, meaning at the neck area behind the head, and if it has a heavy weight, put your other hand under it to help carry it, and if you resist, press With your fingernails gently in the neck area behind the head then it will calm down.

Why? Have you noticed how the mother carries her young for a long time and may carry them and take them to a high place, while the young remain calm.

Also, have you noticed that the female cat during the mating process is bitten by the male from the same area and remains calm and does not resist, the reason is that at the moment of biting in this area the female cat secretes a hormone that helps her calm, so when you carry her from this area she will be calm and will not bite you .

Immediately preparing a safe place for the cat is essential. If you are trying to gain your cat’s trust, leave her in a room until she gets used to her desire without feeling forced.

You also have to take care of placing a sandbox in a special corner of the room.

It should be away from the noise and the cat should feel safe when using it

Find out how best to hold a cat so that you feel comfortable doing this, but wait until the cat gets used to you before you try to hold it, Otherwise, you will lose all your good work.

If the cat does bad behavior, just ignore that behavior and walk away. Punishing the cat will make your reprimanding her associate you with your presence and make her feel nervous around you.

Find out why she’s doing this and give her an alternative.

If your cat shelters with you when there are fireworks outside, this is a good time to provide her with comfort and safety.

Opportunity appears when there is a pop in the sky that frightens the cat. Every time you hear the sounds of fireworks, try to provide safety for the cat.

Another point is, never leave the cat outside in a new place, especially in the phase of building her trust in you, as she may not come back to you again.

When the cat is comfortable with you, don’t stand above her. Try to get down to her level and put your hand down as well. Place your hand on her cheek and allow her to move her head down if desired.

Do not put your hand above her head, as she associates this with the presence of objects on her head, such as birds, and may hit your hand. Hold your hand around her head until she is comfortable.

If you touch the cat in a place where it becomes annoyed and starts to whisper to you. this does not indicate that she is feeling uncomfortable, but it may mean that there is an internal influence or that she feels pain when touching that area.

It’s in their nature. Sometimes cats will bite. It’s often in response to fear or feeling threatened, but some cats will bite for seemingly no reason.

Yet, the cat always knows why it is biting, and there are plenty of reasons a cat may bite. It’s important to understand the reasons behind a cat’s bite to help them stop their damaging behavior.

What Are Some Reasons A Cat Bites?

A cat may bite for any of the following reasons:

  • Overstimulation
  • Communication
  • Fear
  • Irritation
  • A desire to play
  • Stress

It may be easy to identify if a cat wants to play, but it might not necessarily be easy to tell if your cat is stressed. A cat owner needs to remember that a cat will bite to communicate.

Respect Your Overstimulated Cat

Many cats will bite as a response to overstimulation. Your cat may love being pet, but if you notice signs such as dilated pupils, the swishing of the tail, or flattened ears, then it’s time to stop petting and let your cat just be for a little bit.

If you keep petting an overstimulated cat, you have a high chance of being bitten.

Make Sure Your Cat Does Not Bite You When Playing

Using your hands or feet as toys for your cat will naturally make them believe that biting you is an acceptable form of play. It is not. If your cat is consistently biting you out of an urge to play, the best thing to do is to redirect them to an appropriate toy such as a laser pointer or a string. If, during play, your cat suddenly chooses to bite you instead of the toy, cease playing for the time being. If necessary, you may need to put the overstimulated cat in a room by itself for a few minutes until it calms down.

Never Physically Punish Your Cat

If you try to fight your cat’s aggressive behavior with more aggression, your cat will likely fight back. This teaches her that fighting is acceptable behavior. This is especially true if your cat learns that using its teeth and claws is the only way to get you to respect their space.

Instead of physical punishment, you can use several different techniques to show your cat that you will not tolerate biting.

How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Biting?

If you’re expecting your cat never to bite again, you’ll need to manage your expectations. Cats will bite for many different reasons. Biting is often a way that a cat tries to communicate with you for one reason or another. What you want to stop is habitual biting.

Some cats respond to a high-pitched squeal in response to a bite. Your cat may recognize that they’re hurting you, and they’ll want to stop the behavior. Do not return aggression with aggression.

If the cat doesn’t respond to your declaration of pain, then the next best thing you can do after receiving a cat bite is to get up and ignore the cat. Once they figure out that biting doesn’t work for them, they’ll likely try to find another way to let you know what they need.

How Do I Get A Biting Cat To Let Go?

When a cat is biting you and won’t let go, the natural response is to pull away, which only makes the cat’s grip even more dangerous. Instead of trying to tear your arm or your foot away from your cat’s teeth and claws, push your limb towards their mouth. This behavior will likely make the cat release its grip.

Cats can be mysterious creatures, but the truth is, cats do often alert us of their needs and desires. We just have to tune into them on their level and listen.

Why do cats bite owners

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Communication is key in any relationship, including the one with your cat.

Cats communicate mostly through body language, so cat parents need to learn how to “read” their cat by their posture, facial expression, and tail movements.

While we strive to communicate clearly with our felines, sometimes things get lost in translation.

The ASPCA states that “cat body language is more subtle than dog body language and can be harder for people to interpret.”

Why do cats bite ownersPhoto: Pixabay/ivabalk

They encourage cat parents to familiarize themselves with common postures seen in aggressive cats.

Aggressive Cat Postures

Cats will exhibit a couple or many of the following body positions:

  • Crouching
  • Direct stare
  • Stiff tail or tail curved around the body
  • Fur standing up on back (hackles up)
  • Ears back
  • Striking out with paw
  • Growling, hissing, yowling

Now that you can recognize when your cat is agitated, the next step is to figure out why they are feeling this way.

5 Reasons Cats Bite

Too Much Petting

Some cats don’t mind being petted, carried, and loved on, but others will signal when they had enough with a “love bite”.

These types of bites don’t usually break the skin and are more of a warning. However, if the petting doesn’t stop your cat may bite harder.

Remember, sometimes less is more.

Kittens play rough and biting, swatting, and scratching is part of the fun. This is a common reason why owners are bit by their cats.

As the saying goes, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt…”

In Pain

A cat in pain or discomfort can act out by biting. “A number of medical conditions can cause or contribute to your cat’s aggression, including toxoplasmosis, hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, abscesses, arthritis, dental disease, rabies, trauma, and sensory decline or cognitive dysfunction in older cats,” said ASPCA.


Cats, just like dogs, are territorial over their home and sometimes their people. A cat displaying territorial aggression may stalk their opponent or simply attack them.

A new cat in the household, a recent move, or a new person in the home can all be triggers.

Redirected Aggression

Oftentimes when a cat bites their owner for no apparent reason it is due to redirected aggression. Cats can become agitated by a stray cat or other animal in their yard and react by biting and attacking. It can occur long after the intruding animal has left the area, so it is essential to read your cat’s body language before approaching.

How To Stop Cats From Biting

Once you have figured out why your cat is biting you can start to work on ways to redirect the undesired behavior.

Don’t punish your cat for biting warns ASPCA because it could only make matters worse.

Why do cats bite ownersPhoto: Pixabay/yvonneschmu

Less is more

If the cause is petting, you must watch for signs of discomfort and immediately stop petting your cat before Fluffy responds with a love bite or worse.

“Biting owners during petting is one of the most common behavioral problems of cats,” Dr. Kelly Ballantyne, veterinary behaviorist at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago, told PetMD.

Why do cats bite ownersPhoto: Unsplash/Paul Hanaoka

She recommends short petting sessions and pausing frequently to observe your cat’s reaction and interest. “I also recommend that people always invite their cat over to interact, rather than approaching and handling a sleeping or resting cat. And focus petting on areas that cats generally enjoy, such as around the ears and under the chin, and avoid petting cats on their bellies or near their tails.”


A playful kitten nibbling at you can be easily remedied by providing interactive toys, a scratching post, or by adopting another kitten as a playmate.

Why do cats bite ownersPhoto: Unsplash/Willian Justen de Vasconcellos

Vet check

If you think your cat may be in pain from a medical condition, make an appointment with your vet and have a thorough examination done.

Give Them Space

For all other reasons, the best approach is to give your cat space and allow them to adjust to the new environment or calm down before approaching.

If the biting continues, it is time to find an animal behaviorist who can help you and your cat communicate better.

Why do cats bite owners Photo: Unsplash/Cyrus Chew

In conclusion

Cat aggression is a common problem but one that can be solved by watching, listening, and properly responding.

Cats are independent, want things on their own terms, and demand food, but these are all reasons why we love them. Just like in other relationships, you must compromise. Respect your cat’s space and allow them to tell you when they have had enough attention.

Additional Resources

  • Why Do Cats Purr?
  • Slow Blinking Builds Rapport With Cats
  • Cat Sleeping Positions And What They Mean
  • Why Do Cats Weave Between Our Legs?
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It is common for cats to sometimes bite some of their owners, and there are many reasons behind such aggressive behaviors that cats do suddenly, but it is worth noting that cat bites are not always motivated by aggression either. Cats are by nature predators by nature, so aggressive behaviors such as biting, jumping, and scratching form a large part of normal cat play, but there is a very fine line between playing and acting aggressively.

Why do cats bite their owner? Cats often bite their owners in an attempt to tell their owner that they enjoy playing a lot and communicating with them in general. For cats, there is a very fine line between pleasant playing with their owner and being annoying, so the owner may think that the bite came out of nowhere while for the cat the action is justified.

Follow today’s article to the end to learn about the most important reasons why cats bite.

Why do cats bite their owner?

Discovering the reasons behind cat bites can be a bit confusing for cat owners, as it is possible for the owner to receive a sudden bite from the cat while they are playing together. So we will help you to identify the reasons that lead cats to behave in this way below.

1. Sudden Biting While Pampering

Many cat owners complain of sudden bites from cats during pampering, where the cat is very happy to be pampered by its owner, and then suddenly and without warning the owner receives a bite from the cat.

It’s hard to tell if a cat has suddenly lost interest in being pampered by the owner, but it’s important to learn the cat’s body language. This will help you predict the cat’s mood and know when the next bite is. When your cat is bored of being pampered, expect a bite to come, so you need to know when to stop petting the cat.

2. Biting while playing

Cats usually bite while playing to express their hunting instinct. You can make the cat stop by rewarding her when she only uses her paws while playing and does not use her claws or teeth.

You can also help cats train their hunting instinct, by bringing in toys that they can scratch or bite instead of you or you. Reinforcing your cat’s instincts positively by using toys can be one of the most effective ways to get your cat to stop biting you.

3. Aggressive biting

You can differentiate between biting during play and biting caused by aggression by other signs that follow the aggressive behavior of cats such as hissing, spitting, and taking a defensive position where the cat’s back is arched. So try to avoid putting the cat in situations that might cause it to act aggressively.

You have to make your cat stop behaving aggressively in general, because many cats may take this behavior as a way to express fear and harassment, and always remember not to use violence with cats during training, but you must use positive reinforcement until the cat hears your words .

4. The biting stage of kittens

Don’t worry if your kitten starts biting you or other people or animals while playing. For all cats, fighting is a natural form of play. For kittens, biting is a way to show their natural instincts that will help them one day hunt their prey, even if that day never comes, they need to be trained.

At the end of today’s article, we advise not to worry about your cat’s bites, as they are usually motivated by play or by showing natural instincts, but only worry if the bite is associated with some aggressive signs such as hissing and arching.

Related Questions

Do cats bite as a sign of love?

Sometimes biting cats is evidence of the cat’s love for its owner , but if the bite comes in the context that the cat is trying to escape from being pampered or petted, it means that the cat is just bored with a lot of pampering and wants you to stop.

What do you do if your cat bites you?

Gently wash the wound using soap and water.

Apply pressure to the affected area with a clean towel to stop the bleeding.

Apply a sterile dressing to the wound.

Keep the wound elevated above the level of the heart to prevent swelling or infection.

Contents of Article

It happens all too often: one second I’m petting my cat and he’s happily purring, then the next second he’s biting me. It’s not an aggressive bite, but it still hurts a little. Weirdly enough, almost all of my cats do this.

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While my cats aren’t biting me out of aggression, it still seems like a weird habit. What does it mean when a cat bites you?

Quick Answer…

Cats bite their owners for a variety of reasons, but the two main reasons are basically polar opposites of each other. It could either be out of aggression, or it could be what’s called a “love bite”. Cats love bite as another way to show their affection for you, similar to purring or kneading.

Why Do Cats Bite?

As I mentioned above, cats can have multiple different intentions when they bite you. However, since the reasons are so different, it’s usually easy to tell what’s an aggressive bite and what’s a soft bite. That being said, here are the main reasons cats will give you a nibble.

To Show Their Affection

This affectionate bite is called a “love bite” and typically happens when you’re petting your cat. It’s usually a soft nibble, and doesn’t break the skin. It can still hurt a little, because cats have sharp teeth! But the intent behind this love bite isn’t to hurt you — it’s to say they love you back.

For some reason, cats have an instinctual desire to give a little nibble when they get excited or feel an intense bond.

To Tell You They’ve Had Enough of You

If your feline starts nibbling a little too hard, they might be signaling for you to stop petting them, even though they enjoyed it at first. Cats tend to bite when they start to feel over-stimulated.

Pets feel good at first, but if you pet your cat for too long their hair follicles might start to get a bit irritated, and it won’t feel so good anymore. They might give you a little nibble to kindly ask you to stop, since they aren’t sure how else to convey discomfort.

To Ask for Something

Another reasons your cat may bite you is to tell you they want something. I can’t even count how many times my cat has woken me up in the middle of the night with a not so gentle nibble because he wants me to pet him. He’ll pretty much bite anything — my leg, hand, arm and even my face. It’s not the best wake-up call!

If your kitty bites you then seems to want something, like attention, or leads you to their food or water, they’re just trying to get your attention. I know — I’d prefer to be meowed at rather than bitten when my cat wants something, but cats like to communicate with body language.

Because They’re Playing a Little Too Rough

This reason is more common in young cats and kittens simply because they have so much energy and need to play. Your young cat could be play-biting, but it still might be a little aggressive.

Typically, kittens will play rough with each other. Their skin and fur is much more protective than a human’s skin is against cat teeth and claws. If you only have the one young cat, or your other household animals won’t play with him, he’ll probably take out all his energy on you.

I had an issue with my youngest cat when he was around six months old where he’d latch onto my leg, dig his claws in, and bite me. It wasn’t easy to get him off, and he’d attack just about every member of my family, too. Now he’s over a year old and hasn’t done it in awhile. Hopefully your cat will also grow out of this aggressive playful behavior.

To try and curb this behavior while it lasts, make sure to play with your cat for at least 15 minutes per day, and provide plenty of different kinds of toys and boxes for him to explore.

To Assert Dominance

If your cat is feeling scared or intimidated, he might aggressively bite in an attempt to assert his own power. This is the worst type of biting, as it stems from behavior problems and stress your cat is facing.

These bites can easily cause you harm, since the cat probably isn’t holding back like they do with a love bite or play bite.

What Do I Do If My Cat Bites Too Much?

The answer to this question really depends on why your cat is biting. If you want your cat to love bite you less, try to pay attention to their body language so you can tell when they might be getting tired of your pets. Look for a swishing tail or flat ears to see if they’re getting a little tired of your attention before they start biting.

For cats that are biting as a signal for your attention, ignore them. Don’t make eye contact or say anything. If you completely ignore their demands when they bite you, your cat will try using another signal such as meowing or rubbing on your leg. When they try a method besides biting, give them what they’re asking for! Positive reinforcement, even just petting them or giving a small treat, is important when correcting a cat’s behavior.

If your cat is biting aggressively, it will take a bit more effort to correct their behavior. When your cat aggressively bites you, say “No” firmly and loudly. Cats aren’t as receptive as dogs are to voice commands, but they’ll eventually understand and respond to your tone. If you have an an un-neutered male cat, get them fixed — this can greatly reduce aggression in male cats.

The most important thing to remember here is to pay attention to why your cat is biting to better understand their behavior. From there, you can work on adjusting it or just dealing with it and knowing your cat is giving you a little nibble to say they appreciate you.

As with many strange cat behaviors, your feline is simply trying to communicate with you. Listen to what their body language is saying, and let them know you love them back!

Why do cats bite owners

Jacquelyn Pica is cat mom to Bean Man Jones, a 2-year old adopted stray. She’s also a top-notch pet writer based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Why do cats bite owners

There are many possible reasons why cats suddenly attack their owners including misguided play, a show of dominance, fear, or a medical issue. The good news is that, with time and patience, the issue can usually be corrected.

Dealing with an Aggressive Cat

While a cat doesn’t apply the same lethal force as a large dog, their attacks can be scary, painful, and leave their owners bloody. In other words: Cats attacking their owners isn’t something that can be ignored. The first step in correcting the behavior is discovering the cause. Possible reasons include:

Misguided Play

Cats and kittens love to play, and they need to be taught what kind of play is acceptable and what kind is not. Make sure your cats have plenty of toys, and toss new toys into the mix on a regular basis so your cats won’t get bored.

When a cat is afraid or stressed out, they may attack just because they don’t know what else to do. One way to help your cat deal with fear is to make sure they have access to a place that makes them feel safe. This may be a perch atop a kitty condo, an enclosed bed, or even access to a rarely used room. If their fear seems extreme, consult a vet for advice.

You’re the Prey

Cats are hunters. It’s a natural instinct. This is similar to play, but look at it more like practice. They are honing their skills for when they are ready to chase their next insect or rodent. Encourage them to stalk other items, such as the dot from a laser pointer or a toy mouse tied to a string. Redirecting this behavior may help to turn their attention to their toys, rather than your legs, the next time they want to practice hunting.

Medical Issues

If your typically docile cat is suddenly aggressive, there is a good chance that a medical issue is to blame. When cats are in pain, they often show signs of aggression. If you suspect this may be the cause, a visit to the vet should be a priority.

There Is Hope

If you can pinpoint the cause of a cat suddenly attacking their owner, a resolution can often be found either on your own or with the help of a vet or animal behaviorist. This isn’t usually behavior that will go away on its own, so deal with the issue head on as soon as possible for the best results.