If your cat keeps biting you when you pet them, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat bite me when I pet them? Possible reasons why your cat bites you when you pet them are that they want you to stop petting them, you’re petting them wrong, they are playing, or that they are intimidated.

Your cat might actually bite you, when you pet it, for a number of different reasons and it might do it due to a combination of causes. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my cat bite me when I pet them?

Below are possible causes and what would make them more likely.

Your cat wants you to stop touching it

The reason why your cat does it could be that it wants you to stop touching it. This would be more likely if it also shows signs of being agitated when it does it such as by flicking its tail, moving away from you, pushing you away, scratching or hissing.

You’re petting it wrong

Another possible reason is that your cat does not like the way that you are petting it and it either wants you to stop petting it or to pet it differently. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you pet it a certain way.

It’s playing

It could also be the case that your cat is actually playing. This would be more likely if it also grabs your hand and if it does not seem to be showing other negative signs such as scratching, hissing or pulling away.

Your cat feels intimidated

The reason why your cat has been doing it might also be that it feels intimidated. This would be more likely if your cat seems to pull away from you and if it also scratches or hisses. In this case, it could be the case that you are not being gentle enough or you are approaching it too boldly.

Affection

Sometimes, cats will also bite when they are being affectionate. The reason why your cat has been biting you, when you pet it, could actually be that it is showing you affection. This would be more likely to be the cause if it does it when it is showing positive body language such as by purring.

Things to consider about your cat biting you when you pet it

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat always bitten you when you used to pet them

If your cat did not always bite you, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. It could be the case that something changed that caused your cat to start doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in the way that you pet it.

What is different when your cat does not bite you

If your cat tends to do it more in certain situations, it would also help to consider if there is anything special about the timing. For example, if it only does it when you are petting it a certain way, the cause might be that there is an issue with the way you are petting it.

How to get my cat to stop biting me when I pet them?

Below are a number of things you can do about the behavior.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It might be the case that your cat has learned that biting you gets rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bite you and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does bite you.

Pet it differently

Another thing to try would be to pet it in a different manner. Often cats prefer to be rubbed below the chin instead of having their bellies or backs rubbed. It could help to try scratching below its chin instead.

Be gentle

If you have been petting it forcefully, it would also likely help to try petting it more gently.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.