This Is Why Cats Bite You Sometimes When You Pet Them

This Is Why Cats Bite You Sometimes When You Pet Them


Cats can be sweet, loving, lazy, hyper, cold,
affectionate, and everything in between, but make no mistake: Cats are weird. But unless you’re deathly allergic, they’re
also largely harmless, unless you freak them out and they get their claws into you. But, as all cat lovers know, sometimes our
otherwise friendly felines will bite us when we’re trying to pet them, which makes no sense
at all. Why get all bitey with the human who loves
them, feeds them, and passive-aggressively scoops their litter box? Some cat owners call these weird forays into
ferocity “love bites,” but vets know better and call the behavior: “petting-induced aggression.” Petting-induced aggression differs from flat-out
unfriendly behavior; some cats just don’t like to be petted at all, period, and will
take a swipe at you if you try. But that’s not the behavior we’re exploring
here. A cat who exhibits petting-induced aggression
will seek affection, submit to it, and then inexplicably start nibbling on you like you’re
made out of Meow Mix. What gives? Why the sudden revolt? According to the experts over at VetStreet,
there are a few theories about why cats might do this. First of all, the ancestor of the modern house
cat was probably a solitary animal, so the whole social hierarchy thing is still pretty
new to her. Your cat may reach a point during that moment
of shared affection where she thinks, “I can’t let this person think I’m actually
domesticated or anything, I’d better just bite them.” That might not explain all petting-induced
aggression, though. Another theory is that some cats might actually
experience prolonged petting negatively, and the biting is a reaction to that. It could be that petting actually starts to
feel physically irritating to the cat when it’s overdone. So maybe it literally just rubs the cat the
wrong way. Biting could also happen when a cat gets excited
and decides the petting session should turn into playtime. Cats are predators, after all, and they hone
their hunting skills by batting Legos around on the floor, ambushing your ankles when you’re
on your way to the bathroom late at night, and possibly by biting you when you’re trying
to show affection. So if your particular brand of petting leans
a little on the aggressive side, your cat could just be responding to that in a totally
natural way. One final theory is that the sudden switch
between enjoying the moment and thirsting for blood might actually be communicated,
but in a subtle way. “A cat’s eye reveals everything.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” There could be small cues that the cat is
no longer enjoying the interaction, but they may be so slight that some owners just don’t
notice them until it’s too late. So what should a cat owner do with a furry
friend who suffers from petting-induced aggression? Well, no one is saying these cats are a lost
cause, it’s really just a matter of learning how to tune in to the animal’s mood so you
can predict when a petting session might turn into a bloodbath. That could mean just taking note of how long
your cat will usually tolerate petting before sinking their teeth into you, and then making
sure you always stop well in advance of that. Or look for subtle cues, like a flicking tail
or flat ears. Bottom line: If you’re at the end of your
rope over your cat’s constant chomping, consult a veterinarian. A professional can help you figure out how
to better read your kitty’s cues and keep the human-nibbling to a minimum. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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31 thoughts on “This Is Why Cats Bite You Sometimes When You Pet Them

  1. So, it's the equivalent of walking up to a friend who is on their way to do something and you hug them. But, instead of letting go, you keep holding the hug and then finally after a while, they punch you in the mouth and leave.

  2. I think they bite just because that's how they play, my cats do it to each other all of the time, my cat will clearly love being petted than suddenly try to bite, I usually just wrestle him with my hand a little and then resume petting, it's just playfulness.

  3. My cat is evil he rips my husband and my hand apart drawing blood and 'going for the throat' as if he wants us dead when he's done getting his allotment of pets but still wants pets as soon as he's done trying to kill us.

  4. My cat sweet and like dog when I am gardening it is given me good company and when I talk to it gives answer 15 year's lived never had bad days always happy cat..

  5. well, with my youngest one, he starts with love, then thinks i'm a litter mate, and wants to wrestle with me.
    i like playing with him and don't discourage it. he's careful with his claws, and touches his teeth against me.
    it's not aggresive, just exuberant play. he's the most loving affectionate cat at other times.

  6. Cats are dicks and you don’t need an overpriced veterinarian to vetsplain you into ridiculously high vet bills to tell you the same. Just roll with your cat’s personality and all is well. Some are cuddly and some aren’t. And you won’t change them. Kinda of like your man. Stop trying to change him and makin’ him sell all of his cool shit! Sorry! I digressed a bit here.

  7. My one year old likes when I pet her, but sometimes she does bite, but not after a session of petting. Just when she's acting rambunctious. It's a very soft bite though, so I just think she thinks we're playing.

  8. My kitty gives me “warning bites” if he isn’t in the mood to be petted. The warning bites either miss my hand/arm, or are so gentle that they don’t hurt. I just assume he doesn’t want to be petted and I just give him space.

    He is a REALLY good communicator. I can tell he wants to be pet simply by saying “Hi sweetie!”, and his reaction is usually to start purring. That’s an invitation to pet him. If he isn’t purring (or stops purring) while I’m petting him, I usually stop after a few final pets.

  9. The tricks I’ve learned are (1) pet them anywhere around the head and face (2) don’t pet them, if their tail starts to flick/wag — they’re not dogs! (3) gently tap their nose and say “No” if they bite, or nibble, then pick them up and take them off your lap (4) never pet their stomach, even if they’re on their back (5) let them invite you to pet them (6) never let them see you as a victim.

    That will be $250.00 plus tax. 😹

  10. My cat gives me the tiniest little bite when I'm petting her. It almost tickles. Before that she just purrs incessantly and sticks her face out. It's like "Awww, yes…..this is nice. Hey! Wanna play?? I won't hurt you – you're my friend."

  11. Pet induced aggression we are labeling them now! My cat bites me to rub her aka slobber on herself! 🤣 cat bites are mostly loving or playful! But I’m going to call dr phill just in case!

  12. My cat obviously doesn't have petting-induced agression. He comes to me wants to be petted, then, the human that I am, I give in. Then a few minutes he'd come to my face slowly and bite my cheek or my lip or my nose. Then he'd lick them. I wouldn't have mind if it wasn't painful! Still love the little shit.

  13. I mean, the playful explanation is not so different to dogs imo.

    Ever clapped your hands at your border collie and begin running? Yea, they're going to "nip"(no idea if this is a dutch word only but basically they'll try to "drive" you like they do sheep and such) at you as well.

    I've bled after play sessions with them.

  14. They love to play. Hunt and bite is play. Judge them by aggression. I let my cat bite me for play. He’s gentle to extreme and he knows my limits. Then he takes it out on his toys. He’s my little vampire. He can’t help wanting to bite you, just a little bit

  15. At some point the cat will go from a fur ball to a pin cushion time to end petting. Expect it don’t take it personal. How I dealt. I have yet to understand what cat is thinking.

  16. I love cats, but every once in awhile cats act like jerks. You just have to accept the good with the bad if you love cats.

  17. Just give them a small whack on the head when they do this, not to hard but hard enough to show your displease they'll get the message mine sure did. Afterall cats whack at things when they're annoyed so fight fire with fire.

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