Why Does My Cat Bite Me When I Pet Her? – 9 Main Reasons

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why does my cat bite me when i pet her

Why does my cat bite me when I pet her? Your cat biting you is a typical occurrence in cats. Many individuals are unconcerned about this, but there are deeper reasons behind it.

Perhaps your cat will frequently ask for attention and likes being petted but will bite you after only a few strokes. If that’s the case, you need to figure out the reason and come up with a solution.

Continue reading for more info!

My Cat Bites Me When I Pet Her: Here Are the Reasons


1. You touched a sensitive area

Cats, like people, have specific areas of their bodies that they prefer not to be touched. Cats prefer not to be petted in places they consider vulnerable, such as the stomach, back, or tail. Even though these areas aren’t always delicate, cats dislike being petted there.

In addition, scratches, growths, and other injuries can cause soreness in elderly or wounded cats.

The best approach to prevent a cat from biting you, for this reason, is to avoid the sensitive areas altogether. Concentrate on stroking cats in places where they enjoy it. Petting cats around the base of their ears, around their cheekbones, and under their chin is recommendable.

2. They’re expressing their wish

You probably think of “love bite” as an affectionate response when you hear the phrase. This isn’t the case at all.

A love bite is your cat’s method of expressing dissatisfaction with being petted. A love bite might be viewed as a warning sign before he becomes enraged. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t offer you this indication!

Love bites aren’t usually violent. Love bites are sometimes unintended since they are a natural part of your cat’s grooming routine. As a result, they seldom cause skin damage. If you don’t stop caressing the cat after they’ve given you a love bite, they’ll likely bite you forcefully to get you to stop.

Unfortunately, as love bites are a natural response, there isn’t much you can do to prevent cats from biting when you pet them. You can tell whether your cat is becoming agitated by looking for certain indications. Stop stroking the cat if you observe it twitching its tail or ears, for example.

3. Your cat is in an aggressive mood

Play aggressiveness is a typical behavior among cats. This involves not just biting but also clawing, snarling, and hitting. When your cat associates contact with a bad experience, it develops pet-induced aggressiveness.

Learning your cat’s limitations regarding physical contact might be the most challenging element of comprehending and dealing with pet-induced aggressiveness for a cat owner. Even if it means you don’t get to pet your cat as frequently as you’d want, respect your cat.

4. Your cat is marking you

Cats, regardless of breed, are unique creatures with sensitive temperaments. A cat’s bite might stem from a desire to be highly territorial. In other words, your cat may be leaving its scent on you through bites.

5. Your cat treats you as if you were a feline family member

Cats aren’t going to fight with any random cat on the street. When two cats that aren’t pals meet and have a physical conflict, actual nails and bites are utilized if the situation is serious enough. Something entirely different happens among friends, and soft bites are used instead of the violent edges in a cat fight.

If your cat bites you while being loving, it’s the same kind of thing they would do to a feline buddy or family member, so in my view, it’s akin to saying, “you’re family,” even if we humans may not like it.

6. The cat isn’t feeling well

You might be able to pet your cat regularly without it biting you. If the cat suddenly starts acting this way, it’s possible that you’re stroking an injured area or that she’s not feeling well. If you detect her biting, especially when you touch a specific location, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

7. Your cat is stressed

Cat bites when petting is likely to happen when the cat is scared of humans or isn’t used to being petted. Given how much smaller cats are than humans, it’s understandable that they’d be afraid of us.

If you believe your cat is biting you because he is worried or nervous, the first step is to make him feel more comfortable around you. Always be friendly to your cat and provide him snacks and toys to help your cat trust you.

You can start acclimating your cat to being petted if he has greater trust in you. Petting cats for brief amounts of time is suggested. Keep your strokes under four and concentrate your patting on the region around the ears and beneath the chin. Shaking or scratching should never be used to pet your cat.

8. They’re done being petted

Cats can change their minds at any time. They may like your caressing one minute and then become irritated and demand that you stop the next. Cats bite after being petted signals to you that they’ve had enough of your petting. Pay attention to your cat’s signals and stop stroking him for the time being.

If your cat is scared or furious, she will, for example, arch her back. She may stoop down and seem as though she’s going to flee if she’s worried or afraid. The fur on your cat’s back may also stand up. You should probably avoid stroking your cat for the time being if you observe any of this body language.

9. Grab your attention

The cat randomly bites while petting because they enjoy being tended to, but some appear to be obsessed with it – to the point that their need for it is too much for humans to manage. Perhaps you were fondly caressing your cat when a little bite occurred for no apparent reason, but were you paying attention at the time?

If not, perhaps the bite is a charming way to get you to focus on your cat and not just snuggle while staring at the TV or computer.

How to Appropriately Respond to Cat Love Bites


1. Stop Petting Your Feline

Cats bite when you pet them is usually an indication that they no longer enjoy it. As a result, the first thing you should do if your cat bites you is to stop touching it. This reaction also teaches your cat that love bites are not acceptable. You don’t want your cat to believe that biting attracts greater attention.

But don’t rip your hand away. Because cats are visual predators, they may bite your hand more frequently. Instead, keep your hand still until the biting stops, then slowly remove it.

You may continue caressing your cat if it asks for it afterwards. But often, if a cat didn’t want to be stroked before you stopped, it won’t beg for touch after you stop.

2. Contact the Veterinarian

If your cat suddenly refuses to be caressed in specific spots, you should take them to the veterinarian. This might indicate that your cat is hurt.

When cats are wounded, they are infamous for not displaying any signs. Even severely injured cats may be unable to do much more than lying around. This is especially true in the case of bodily damage.

This conduct is primarily a means of surviving. Because cats do not want to be preyed on by other cats or predators, they usually act like everything’s ok. In actuality, they require veterinary attention.

The most prevalent medical reason for mild bites while caressing your cat is physical injuries. However, some internal issues, like liver disease, might cause your cat to become irritable. Anything that causes organ pain might make the cat sore.

3. Give a Toy

After a period of love biting, some cats respond positively to toys. Grab a toy and play with your cat if you have one handy. Feather wands are an excellent choice for cats who prefer to bite hands because they provide a lot of space between the toy and your hand.

However, not all cats will immediately enter into a play session after giving love bites. So, if your cat appears indifferent, don’t push it.

4. Leave the cat alone

It’s great to give your cat some space if they’re overstimulated. Our kitties can become overwhelmed by our continuous presence at times. Some cats, like people, require alone time. They might get overstimulated by constant petting and attention. It’s great to give your cat some much-needed space in these situations.

This isn’t an indication that your cat dislikes you. Instead, your cat might be a little more reserved than other cats.

5. Pay close attention

Some cats bite at particular times of the day. One cat, for example, may consistently bite after seven strokes because they are overstimulated at that point. Some cats may object to being petted in specific locations or at particular times. When they’re relaxed in their preferred area, some cats like being petted. Others, on the other hand, might not.

You should pay close attention to your cat’s behavior. You can alter your behavior to figure out when and where your kitty doesn’t want to be petted. Love bites are efforts at communicating. Owners of cats should pay attention to them.

Final thought

Overall, keep in mind that your cat is an animal, and its instincts are natural. Learning more about your cat’s likes and dislikes is crucial since it will help you be a better owner and friend. The more you know about your cat, such as “why does my cat bite me when I pet her,” the more you’ll learn about it and the happier it’ll be.

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