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
topics are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and hit
the bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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100 thoughts on “This Is Why Cats Bite You Sometimes When You Pet Them

  1. My cat does this. When my cat bites me after petting her, I bite her paw back. Fair is fair.

    You are not going to bite the hand that feeds you. 🙀🖐️🥫🐱

  2. Well cats are sometimes biting each others ears.. if your cat bites you, he wants to play the biting game.. bite his/her ears to show dominance.. lol

  3. my cat barges onto my lap and wont let me continue with whatever im doing until i pet him – then bites me while purring the whole time

  4. Just let the cat bite you, if you can't handle normal, natural, HARMLESS cat behavior get a dog and don't pet it either because they bite too.

  5. Over stimulation. There are signs if you watch for them. Other times they want to play. It is a very light bite to get your attention.

  6. My cat usually uses her claws if I have really upset her by drawing blood and will hiss/growl at me but when she bites and doesn't draw blood, she's just having fun

  7. I just scoop the little asshole up and make him love me whether he likes it or not….. I'm bigger than he is 👍

  8. My cat grabs my hand and nibbles when I stop petting. Biting stops when I resume petting. Pretty clear to me he's saying don't stop petting me.

  9. Because cats come and go as they please…they bite cause they just want to….ever see the cat that just knocks the glass off the table……just because?…same thing

  10. My cat bites my fingers and bunny thumps my arms at the same time. If i show my other cat the FERMINATOR brush, he runs outside in our balcony box to get brushed. He drools and purrs non stop during the brushing. He also bites my wife's nose when she goes to sleep. Little love nip is what he gives her.

  11. It's cuz some people think that a cat wants to be vigorously petted for 30 mins straight. It's biting you to politely tell you to Fuck off.

  12. Gotta pay attention when petting some cats. Some can go from enjoying your petting to hating it within seconds. My boy cat is like that. I know when he’s had enough; so, I don’t get bit much anymore.

  13. I love it when a cat shows you their belly and be like “pet me hooman” so I do then he snaps shut like a bear trap and bites me “no not there!” 🙃

  14. This is so bullshit – I have had cats biting my finger while I pet them and it is simply play biting, they bite the finger then lick it and then bite it a bit again but never so hard as to be even close to draw blood even.

    All your theories and hypothesis are non-sense.

    Sure, a cat may be irritated and start to bite at you in order to tell you to stop bothering it but that's a completely different thing and you'll know when that is the case.

  15. It's really not that complicated. Animals, just like humans, have a "personality" born within them, and training, such as domestication or constant exposure and contact to humans, can sometimes have either a positive or negative result though it also depends if the animal is "trainable" or just plain stubborn. Basically, these are the two most predominant personalities or characteristics of animals. It's like training wild horses to get used to being mounted on by riders so that they don't throw or kick them. Cats, like dogs, can display attitudes. Some are willing to submit to a cat-human relationship while some can just ignore people around them. Attitudes vary a lot depending on the cat's inherent personality or character. In my experience, there are some that can easily be carried up and petted while some can be hostile and either run away or scratch you if they feel threatened or "annoyed" by you moving into their space because like dogs, cats are also territorial just like all or most animals.
    I've had a cat that didn't want to be petted or cuddled though it wasn't necessarily hostile, but she would voluntarily come to me and wake me up to remind me of her feeding time. In a way, she's not much of a socializer. She wasn't much of a warrior either trying to defend her territory while male cats or other female cats in the neighborhood approach her.

    I wouldn't say she was a thoroughbred but her behavior showed me she was a very smart cat. Too bad she died from pregnancy all her babies were stillborn and while I was away, she died. I regret that day up to now.
    Anyway, don't try to persist in petting a cat once it shows a little hostility or you'll get badly scratched. Sometimes you just have to wait for them to make the first move, and oftentimes that happens when they want to be fed hehehe

  16. Maverick, my black American shorthair, gives these tender gentle nibbles when I pet him. Bast, a tiger stripe tabby, just pushes my hand away when she's done with pets. But she is way more likely to lay on her back and set a "kitty fly trap". I pet her behind the ears when she does that and she immediately revs her purr motor. I don't go for the tummy.
    Maverick doesn't set kitty fly trap. He just flops over on his side and calls for pets. Belly, back, neck, tail, it don't matter to him. He soaks it all in.

  17. If it is a real bite, real aggression rather than a gentle mouthing, it is invariably an indication that the kitten was separated from his mother too soon. They did not get the needed stroking from mama’s tongue so your petting so overstimulates them that they can’t stand it. Watch the pupils. The instant before they attack, the pupils will flare.

  18. A cat's mating is a violent affair with clawing and biting involved. I've always thought the biting was a result of over stimulation. Same thing you see with some dogs and mounting.

  19. There was this time once when I was with some of the family, my mother and 2 sisters-in-law 3 brothers were there, And my niece ( 8 to 11 yrs., old ) myself and of course the [ female Calico ]" Cat " ! There was a 3 foot high Stem wall that the cat was walking on, and I said to my niece; Here I'll show you how to handle a cat !
    So I petted the cat and she laid down and turned over on her back, and I rubbed her stomach . " Suddenly the cat put her front claws around my Wrist and began
    " Biting " !! And I turned to my niece and said; " Look, Look , The kitty is biting me "!! " Biting the hand that feeds it " !! Oh Look, Now she is Kicking my arm with those Long Rabbit's feet !! You see what your Uncle has to put up with ? ! This is what your Uncle has to suffer from that mean mean kitty !!
    My Niece has since grown up and is raising a family . But I'll bet that she can Never forget how that kitty acted !!
    It was the Cats wish to play, and I exploited the moment .

  20. If you want to frustrate a Cat in a Good way , then just Cup your hand over the end of their Tail and keep it from [ fully ] tipping up ! After a few minutes the cat will get up and " Sling " that Tail in Every Direction ! [ Until it is Satisfied ] .

  21. No. …No, no, no. Lotsa theories, lotsa no-context editing and even a scene with a synthetic killer cat.
    Puh-leeease. The three most popular conditions appropriating a cat’s usage of his teeth on you are as follows : 1) The rarest of all, a hard bite which may draw a little blood and penetrate fairly deep. From 4 prominent teeth, one won’t break the skin, one will leave a small mark, one will penetrate nicely and cause soreness for a day, one will REALLY hurt for days and leave a little scar. Why? You’re an idiot and did something sadistically stupid. Heretofore, scared him shitless. Watch how you handle them. You hurt them easier than you know. 2) The second rarest bite, looks like a warning snap. These usually miss you, and you failed to scare them as badly this time. Don’t tease them. You think they’ll get that your teasing is playing, that they dig sarcasm, or they find your version of a joke palatable. No. You just have brain damage. Humans think animals are dumb (sorta true) yet humans feel like they’re an expert on handling a life form they’ve had no exposure to and expect the animal to interpret humanoid behaviour as cute. What’s cute to me, my cats define as “asshole”. Learn about inductive reasoning. 3) The most common ‘bite’. It’s not PETTING AGGRESSION. It’s not aggression at all. Cats clean their babies and sibs. Even their own parents at times. You’ll notice licking, yes. But nibbling is PART OF THE CLEANING PROCESS. It’s not mentally deliberated as it is instinctual. The premise is, as innate, part of the Intelligence of Creation. When a cat licks another cat’s fur, it licks, licks, licks, then munches into their fur. Even as they bath themselves. This serves to tear open the exoskeleton of insects via the biting motions followed by more licking which drowns the insect. When they lick you they will nibble you as well many times. Because you’re getting a bath. They are nurturing your ass and you’re unthankful. Because “aggression”. 🙄 Duh. They will indeed occasionally be too rough. When they do, apply back pressure slightly. Some kitties get it immediately : ease up. Rarely, they need more frequent admonition, but not with more severity, usually.
    Be patient and learn THEIR lingo. But teach them yours, too. If you pet their tummies delicately, they’ll respond better than barging in with poking. They protect certain parts of their physiology more than other parts and with good reason. Fast motions are a no no, even if it’s only a one inch displacement. Slow the fuck down. They will freak till they are used to you. Then they’re okay. IF you learn them. And sorry, it takes more time than we think! Didn’t know that until I raised nearly 200 cats. The apparent psychology of cats are explained by people who don’t know anything about them. Cat websites and veterinarians don’t even understand them. Found that out the hard way. Cats aren’t evil narcissists, they’re empaths. They fight other cats of the same sex, sure. And a small life form will slap a bigger one if threatened. Just like humans. Bigger volume = scary.

  22. A love bite vs. being annoyed vs. playing is clearly distinguishable for me with my zeekie. He just doesn’t like being touched, I think he had a hard time before he came to me at 8 weeks old. One swipe from head to tail is fine, if you go for a second or hold on too long he’s biting. I’m the only one who can pet him no problem but I can tell he doesn’t like it so I stop. He much rather I play with him, I remember thinking “I can’t wait until he gets a little older and maybe he’ll calm down some”. Wishful thinking… it never happened. He does go through different times where he’s being real sweet, then others where he’s bouncing off the walls.

  23. My cat bites gently. Only sometimes, I think she's telling me she's had enough affection. I understand her a lot I like to think I have a feline personality too ( I'm a leo). So we understand each other. I'm her favorite person in the house.

  24. this i know that if a cat is getting ready to rest such as climbing up to sleep for the night-the cat does not want to be petted and prefers to be left alone

  25. I think some of the script writers of the discovery inc. channels don't know very much about what they write about. I think the love bite is a sign of affection. My cat just bit my cheek very gently while purring intensely. She has a level of affection that varies and the bite usually comes when she is at the peak 'most-affectionate'. And I've had several love-bites in a row when I let her get close to my face. It's always while purring loudly. (I call that a 'kitten purr' :-). The love-bites she gives me don't hurt. It's just affectionate body language I think….similar to the upside-down-rotated-head.

  26. This video is kind of bad. It's generalizing too much. I have one cat that is absolutely like this. If you pet her wrong or too long she will bite. Hard.

    But my other cat will crawl on me and snuggle me and bite my fingers very gently to get my attention. She doesn't bite because I pet her. She bites because she wants to be petted.

    Cats vary by breed just like dogs. You need to understand the temperament of the particular breed rather than strictly go by these generalizations.

  27. Called over and do stimulation it when I can’t get too excited over and do stimulation causes a cat to bite overstimulation better-known is love bites you’re over petting your cat too much👍💯👍🐈💦💕👉🐈💩👈👍🐈💦🤗💯🥇💯🏆👍

  28. If a cat bites you without making you bleeding is s love bite. That's one way cats say I love you and if their laying on their back flashing their stomach they are saying I love you!!

  29. Cats don't like being petted from head to tail. It is too much contact. My Siamese has trained me that gentle skritchies behind her ears or under her chin is welcome. But along the back a def NO. Maybe it's a response to feeling dominated, IDK. And neither does this channel!

  30. So cat owners like it when cats do that? Cuz I don't. It hurts, so should I just not own a cat. He begs me to pet him, and when I do, he tries to bite me, and I tell him no. Doesn't listen well. First cat BTW.

  31. If ever there’s a horror movie featuring cats digging their paws onto ur face…. that would considered sweet torture… and y would people make a movie like that… I mean its stupid but… 😐

  32. My Cat may not be aware of this… He only bites during a game we have where we battle each other; of course I do not allow anyone else to interact with him, in ways will make him attack them.
    He needs no petting whatsoever for this game, we sort of understand each other.. meh, it makes me feel like the dog in the house lol.

  33. I keep an eye on their ears and tails. Cats sometimes just get overestimated and bite. I always make a high pitched short scream followed by a hiss. But I also don't hold them down, and I walk away if I'm bitten. They get the hint, but so should we. They talk with their bodies, and they know when they're done.

  34. A few days ago my cat bit my hand because she got scared of the vacuum, and it sent me to the hospital for 2 days. I almost got surgery on my tendon. But I still love her, even though I can’t even move 3 fingers and have 2 weeks of antibiotics lol.

  35. I'm not a specialist, but I think when searching for explanation, we should think about the instincts and behavior cats have naturally as non-domesticated. In last years, I've met and touched many cats, and I haven't experienced any true aggression from a cat. But I've experieneced several cases, when a cat grabbed my hand during petting, or nibbled me. The first occured especially (or even only) when stroking male cats. They were rubbing on me, purring, but when they decided to lie down, they suddenly grabbed my hand and were doing something like a play-fighting. I got some small scratches, only once my hand was grabbed hardly, but luckily that cat didn't use claws, so it was almost harmless. Why is this typical for males? Why they finally still were careful about hurting my hand severely. After I saw many videos here (even of wild and big cats), I think it has something to do with behavior of cubs, when they are frequently play fighting. Male cats do fight, they have some energy that needs to be spent. This only happened to me when the male was maybe to comfortable with me, too confident towards me and my hand, and simply couldn't resist to play fight. Finally, males have and instinct to train their fighting skills and many probably know, that as adult, they can't fight any other cat without feeling pain. But they can fight a human hand without pain for them (mostly, unless someone slaps them – that's not my case)

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