Why Do Our Cats Bite Us Whenever We Try To Touch Them?

Your cat’s reason for biting your finger or your foot may be motivated by their natural hunting instincts, although it may also be a sign of affection when they only nibble.
Why Do Our Cats Bite Us Whenever We Try To Touch Them?

Last update: 09 November, 2018

There are many words we could use to describe cats. “Unpredictable” usually fits! We at My Animals will try to explain to you why our cats bite sometimes when we want to pet them.

Cats are born hunters

There are several reasons why our meowing furry friends may bite us when we touch them. To understand one of their main motivations, we must first understand their nature.

Let’s start from the basis that cats are hunters — experts at pursuing, stalking and capturing their prey. As kittens, cats learn hunting techniques by playing with each other.

Once separated from their mother and siblings, and if there’s no toy between our hands and them, they are most likely to “hunt” our hands or feet.

You should know that cats often bite to demonstrate affection. It is very likely that they’ll will put your hand in their mouth as a way to repay you for the love you are giving them. However, in these cases, they’ll usually not use their teeth.

There are all kinds of reasons that cats bite. In this article, we’ll share with you some facts to help keep you from getting hurt as you play and love on your kitty.

Why cats bite: a kitten biting a human's finger.

Learn how to read your cat

If you watch your cat closely, you’ll be able to recognize when they say, “Enough petting!” The thing is that, even if your cat was the one who asked for affection, when they get tired of it, they’ll bite to tell you that they don’t want to be touched anymore.

They may also push your hand away with their paw or swipe at you with their claws. In general, these things won’t harm you, since they’re usually relatively gentle.

So, if you want to make sure your cat won’t bite you, watch to see what they’re telling you via body language. Do you see any of these signs?

  • Pinning their ears back.
  • Thrashing their tail around.
  • Trying to get away from your touch.

Petting and why cats bite

In addition to being unpredictable, we must also point out that no two cats are the same. Each animal is unique. That’s why not every cat enjoys being petted the same way, in the same areas. What some like, others detest.

In addition, there are cats that would be happy being petted all day, every day, while others prefer it in small doses. So, if you want to get along with your cat, learn their likes and dislikes. And do not force petting onto them.

A cat bite.

It’s rare for a cat to pull away from a good pet on their cheeks or under their chin. Their back may also be a good place to pet them. However, while some love to have their bellies rubbed, others loathe it.

It will be a matter of trial and error. And maybe you will have to endure the odd bite until you learn to detect your particular cat’s permitted and prohibited petting areas.

Other reasons why cats bite

But since not everything is perfect in our relationships with our wonderful cats, there will be times when they react violently and try to bite or scratch us hard. This usually happens when they feel scared or in danger. If they’re hurt or sick, they may also react badly to a friendly pet.

In these cases, it’s important to stay away from your cat if you don’t want them to hurt you. A good rule of thumb is to let your cat calm down before touching them again.

However, if your cat bites constantly and outside of situations that might be considered normal, you may need to consult an animal behavior specialist. Your cat may have had poor socialization or trauma in their past.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.