If your cat has been biting your fingers a lot, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat bite my fingers? Possible reasons why your cat bites your fingers are that it wants you to stop petting it, you’re petting it wrong, it is playing, or that it is intimidated.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat bites your fingers and it might be doing it due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of 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 my fingers?
Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
Your cat wants you to stop touching it
If your cat does it when you are touching it, with your fingers, the cause could be that it wants you to stop touching it with your fingers. This would be more likely if it also tries to move away from you.
You’re petting it wrong
Another possible cause is that it 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 are petting it and if it also scratches and bites.
It could also be the case that your cat is actually playing. This would be more likely if it also grabs your fingers and if it does not seem to be showing other negative signs such as scratching, hissing or pulling away.
Related: Why does my cat claw my legs?
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.
Related: Why does my cat scratch me when I walk by?
Sometimes, cats will also bite when they are being affectionate. The reason why your cat has been biting your fingers 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.
Your cat likes how your fingers taste
The reason why your cat bites your fingers might also be that it likes the way that your fingers taste. This would be more likely if your cat only bites your hands and fingers and if it tends to do it more at a certain time such as when you have just been cooking and your fingers likely taste better.
Things to consider about your cat biting your fingers
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your cat has always bitten your fingers
If your cat has not always bitten your fingers, 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 your fingers
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, the cause might be that there is an issue with the way you are petting it.
What to do about your cat biting your fingers
Below are a number of things you can do about the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that it has learned that biting your fingers gets rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bite your fingers and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does bite your fingers.
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.
If you have been petting it forcefully, it would also likely help to try petting it more gently.
Why does my cat gently bite my fingers?
Likely reasons why your cat gently bites your fingers are that your cat is playing, your cat likes the taste of your fingers or that your cat is grooming you. It would help to consider the body language your cat shows when biting them. If your cat does things such as grab your hand and mouth your fingers, it would be more likely that your cat is playing. Whereas, if your cat does it when licking you, it would be more likely to be grooming you or doing it because it likes the taste of your fingers.