Why is My Cat Biting Me and How Can I Stop It?

You are just playing with your cat without any worries – and suddenly it bites you. Especially hands and feet seem to find a lot of kitties to nibble on. But why is it like that? And how can you stop your cat from biting?

First and foremost, it’s important to know that cats and kittens can bite for very different reasons. In order to prevent the undesired behavior, you should therefore be able to differentiate between the causes of the biting.

Young cats are often unaware that their teeth or claws can hurt others. They only learn that when dealing with their mother or other cats. If your kitten lacks this early socialization, you should gently teach her not to just bite you. In such a way that your cat understands that too.

Also, kittens can bite for the following reasons:

  • to communicate a need;
  • to explore their surroundings;
  • because they are teething.

It looks a little different when your adult cat bites you. Usually, she should have gotten used to biting for no reason by now. Therefore, there are often other causes behind it.

Possible reasons your adult cat is biting:

  • to show dominance or to respond to danger;
  • to show you that it is interfering with your behavior;
  • to get attention;
  • because she wants to play with you;
  • because your fingers smell like food.

You Can Do This If Your Cat Bites

A cat that never bites – unfortunately, that is quite unlikely. Completely weaning your cat from biting would therefore be utopian. But there are a few things you can do to ensure that she snaps at you or chews your fingers and toes less often:

  • Never play with your cat with your bare fingers or toes – this is how she learns that these are not a toy.
  • Provide your cat with a toy that it can bite.
  • Praise your cat for using its paws and teeth gently. Make a noise and pull your hand back when the kitty hurts you.
  • Remain consistent in your reactions and make sure that other family members or visitors also react in a similar way – uniform messages make it easier for your kitty to learn.
  • Don’t let your cat bite into your clothes either, otherwise, it won’t learn the difference between fabric and skin.
  • Teach them alternative behavior rather than punishing them.

With these tips, you may not keep your cat from gnawing your fingers and toes forever – but at least it reduces the likelihood that they will see your body parts as chewing bones …

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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