There you sit, enjoying a quiet moment while gently petting your beloved feline when he suddenly, inexplicably, turns and sinks his teeth into your hand, or lashes out with his claws. Your quiet moment bursts like a soap bubble and now you’re angry and likely a little hurt. One minute your tabby’s perfectly content, the next, auditioning for Jackson Galaxy’s “My Cat From Hell” show. What happened?

This is a behavior called petting induced aggression, or overstimulation. Cats are not naturally close contact animals and, as odd as it may seem, pleasurable petting can actually become painful if engaged in for too long. While “too long” is different for every cat, careful observation will help you identify when your cat is reaching that point. Sudden or increased tail thumping or lashing is a good indication, as is skin twitching. Also watch for ears becoming tense and laying back, tiny head lunges or nips towards your hand, and a general overall increased restlessness. When you see these things, ease off the petting and just enjoy your cat’s presence without touching him for a while.

You can also work off some of your cat’s restlessness by handing him a stuffed animal to bite, lick and bunny kick, or by engaging him in a play session with a fishing-pole toy. “Da Bird” is one of the most universally liked versions on the market today and is almost guaranteed to get any cat off the couch. Given routine opportunities to engage in active hunting behaviors, your cat will be happier, calmer, and less apt to reach an overstimulated point.

Never smack, yell or otherwise reprimand your cat if you miss his signals and push him into biting or clawing. He does not understand why the stroking slips from pleasant to painful and he will not understand why you hurt him further when he was forced to stop the discomfort the only way left to him. Instead, immediately cease all petting, speak to him quietly and encouragingly and let him calm down at his own pace. Better yet, regularly study his body language, learn to recognize when he’s reaching his tolerance point, and stop long before he gets there. This will ensure your petting sessions remain pleasant for you both.


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Q&A: Why does my cat suddenly bite me for no reason? — 83 Comments

    • my cat has been biting out of now where I play with her, laser balls catnip but she has starting biting and drawing alot of blood. She just bit my head. I pushed of the table and put in the closet. I am not trying to be mean, I usually just say in stern voice no biting but my god what do i do

      • you may want to stop catnip for a while. My cat gets over stimulated on catnip and his playfullness becomes too aggressive.

    • My partners cat is a rspca rescue cat he is white all over and bits of ginger on the top off his head and ginger tail he doesn’t like us stroking him at all but he loves playing all day long but when he plays he kicks you with his back legs holds you with both paws and bites you and licks you at the same time his ears are alway pushed back and you feel that you can not give him any kind of love as all he wants to do is fight and bit you all the time in and out doors

      • Hi, Jagjeet!

        You should never play with your cat using your hands. The only tools they have to wrestle with are their teeth and claws… and that hurts! Use a small stuffed animal, or an interactive toy such as Da Bird to play with your cat. Get your cat used to playing rough with those toys and NOT your hands… and whenever he goes after your hands, gently push toward (yes, toward!) his mouth until he lets go, then walk away. Eventually, he’ll understand hands are only for loving.

        By the way, congratulations on adopting a rescue!

    • My problem is the same as Lynn’s 8 mos neutered and front declawed, inside cat bites for no reason that we can think of, just jumps up from wherever and attacks us! Otherwise very loving ,sweet cat

      • Aw, hon, your kitty is still just a kitten, learning how to play. He just needs time to learn what’s appropriate and what’s not… you have to remember, this is how he played with his siblings, and it’s the only way he knows *how* to play.

        If you’re on Facebook, come join our group and you can learn all the ins and outs of raising a rambunctious and loving kitten!

      • The declawing will be the reason. The nerves have been effected and the cat will endure pain from it, therefore getting really agressive

    • I have this problem too with my kitty. She’s 7 months and will be as content as can be and then all of a sudden she’s play attacking my hands and feet.

      • Perfectly normal kitten behavior. Just walk away every time he does it to let him know it’s unacceptable, and be diligent about setting aside those 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening for interactive play.

  1. I have a foster cat for a cats for seniors program I decided to keep her after she started to come out from a very tender state, changing a little every day and very very sweet. This is now 5 months and about a month ago on two occasions bit me not breaking the skin but last night after calling to me and stroking her a little where she likes it suddenly bit and broke my skin. Her demeaner was obviously drastically changed and she rushed off. I said NO very loudly and have been very aloof since and she is responding by small meow while looking at me intently and going away when I don`t respond as have done in the past.

    I just read your comments about this and some of the other sites, and looks like it doesn`t help to say anything, but to keep distance. I would appreciate any other feedback. She doesn`t show much signs. She has a tail shiver all the time when getting food, licking you, being petted as she likes which is after licking my hand wants to rub her neck on my hand where licked. Is there anything more I could understand about her, Sweet Pea, who apparently had a difficult life in two families that didn`t want her and she is 13 as far as we know. She is very affectionate, very sweet and this came as tremendous shock. I have talked to her about it as I know they understand on vibrational level and perhaps even on spiritual level.

  2. This article was written for my female tabby for sure. I couldn’t tell why our petting sessions went from purring and her rubbing her face on my hand to her flipping on her back, grabbing my hand with her claws (hooray for soft paw covers) to intense biting sessions. After reading this article, I can see what her “tells” are. Increased thumping of the tail, soft nipping worth her teeth (no pain so I thought they were love nips)’ and quivering of her body that I never noticed. I was always thrown off because during these biting a clawing incidents, she would often purr. Now I removed my hand at the first sign of the tells and she stated by my side purring as I kept telling her nice kitty, nice kitty. Thank you!

  3. i understand this and i know when my cat leo is getting fed up, but i was watching tv with my boyfriend. when he really bit me, i shrieked i never saw him coming. i have 4 large holes in my arm they are swollen and bleeding. so it was not a get off me kind of bite.

    i never even touched him. at first i did not realize it was him till i jumped off the sofa to see him all puffed up ears half flexed and head low. a position ive never seen him do? there is nothing new in the house and no new smells.he has been sat in the corner of the room all morning.not looking at me. he is so intelligent and sweet normally?

    im confused by this kind of behavior.

    Things to know:

    he is a Bengal
    he is indoors
    has plenty play time
    never bit anyone
    only 2 years old
    gos for regular walks
    has been trained by me to do tricks
    he has had the snip

  4. My cat is a year old now and she is gray and white and had blue eyes now they are golden color. Her coat is very soft like rabbit fur and short, no shedding either. I have no clue what type of cat she is. From day one of getting her since kitten she has been a bitter. You go to reach down to pet her and she will unleash a hard bite or smack you with her paw to scratch you. It is like she don’t want any attention or love at all. What should I do?

  5. Hi, My cat is 4 years old and most of the time he is sweet and well behaved. EXCEPT when I go away overnight. When I come home on Sunday night he is angry and will jump up and bite me, ears down and intentional. Even if he didn’t when I first got home, when I go to bed he’ll jump up on the bed to bite me. I’ve had cats for 20 years and never had this problem before so I don’t know what to do. Any ideas?

    • Hmmm. I can definitely say your cat isn’t biting you because he’s angry… cats just don’t think like that.

      Cats like routine very much. In fact, they rather depend upon it and when something happens to disrupt that routine, they get anxious and upset. My guess would be that your return is probably highly emotional, with lots of “how are you doing, baby?” and fur-ruffling and so on. After a routine disruption, that kind of greeting could certainly be putting your cat’s anxiety / adrenalin level through the roof, resulting in an overload and then the bite.

      Try being very quiet when you get home, even to the point of ignoring your kitty altogether unless he comes to you, and even then, just giving him a stroke or two only. Let him ease back into the routine with as little hype as possible.

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hi, i have a cat he is 12 years old,, i was sleeping and i felt my cat get on my arm and lay there i went back to sleep and all the sudden he bit me on my palm of my hand and bit me on my wrist with some scratches i end up in the hospital,,, had a infection going up my arm could u please explane that kind of behaviore,,,he has never done this oh he has bite me when i pet him but never like this,,,,thank u

    • I’m sorry, Yvonne, there’s really not enough information here for me to even guess what was going through your kitty’s mind. Perhaps your boy was deeply asleep and you moved and it startled him? Or perhaps even pained him in some way?

      Have you brought him in for a check-up to ensure he’s in good shape, eyes and ears still clear and no arthritis or other pain present? If not, I’d say ruling out a medical condition should be your first step.

      Good luck, hon!

  7. I took in Tim, 8 year old mix breed indoor cat, from a co-worker about 8 months ago. We love him to death. We do not have any issues with him while petting or playing but while we are asleep, he will want us to pet him also. He will but his head under our hands to wake us up. We usually pet him for a few minutes and fall back to sleep. Now rather than waking us up, he comes up and bits our upper arm or shoulder area. Not hard enough to bleed just sting for a few seconds. He will do it at all hours of the night or day (husband works 3rd shift). Any thoughts on why or how to stop him?

    • By petting him whenever he wakes you, you’ve taught him to wake you whenever he wants to be petted.

      You’re only solution is to be strong and stop responding to him after you’ve gone to bed, no matter what he does. Just gently keep pushing him away.

      You might also engage him in some fairly strong interactive 15 minute play sessions every morning and evening (dawn and dusk) to tire him out and help balance his need for activity and attention.

  8. Tracy,
    Thank you so much for sharing your tips on pet-induced aggression or “overstimulation” by our feline friends. I came across your post last night after Figaro turned from sweet to nasty during a cuddle fest. I really didn’t understand what had gotten into him and I completely get it now. After I read your article, I gave Figaro some treats on my lap (this little food-motivated furball purred endlessly) and afterwards he stayed cuddled next to me. I pet him a few times but mostly just enjoyed his company. He slept next to me longer than I’ve ever experienced. I feel like we understand each other better and since then our quality time has been completely loving and bite/scratch-free. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • Yay!! I love seeing comments like this! You clearly not only understand what happened, you care enough to do what your cat needs to feel secure and loved, even though it might not fit into what *you* want.

      Great job, Jessica!

  9. We purchased 2 rescue cats (sisters – 8 years old) 4 weeks ago. One of them sometimes settles at the top of my pillow and nuzzle her head in my hair and then proceeds to press her teeth against my head and pull my hair. Any ideas why she does this?

  10. My Burmese has recently gone to biting me since I have moved out from a family I lived with for 23yrs and now I am living on my own. She licks and wants to bit my nose, and also bites now, I think she is feeling my insecurity.
    She just loves the feel of flesh and like to sink her teeth into my hand, not necessarily drawing blood. Is this normal behavior?

    • Sometimes, cats like to give what we could call “love nips”, in which they’ll lick and lick and then very gently bite. Sometimes they’ll even hold the bite for a few seconds.

      It’s hard to tell from your description if that’s the case here. If the bite doesn’t hurt, I’d say it’s probably a love nip. It it’s strong enough to even sting, it might be your girl is, as you say, reflecting your insecurity. A couple of ways to help her feel more secure is to ensure she has elevated perches she can reach easily and to engage in daily interactive play sessions with her to burn off that nervous energy.

  11. This was very helpful to me. My cat’s a siamese, so he often wants pets and snuggles (but only from me, mind you, anyone else freaks him out.), but sometimes he just gets fed up with the petting, even if he’s the one who instigated it!
    Now that I’ve read this article, I understand a little better! I just hope I didn’t make him anxious today because he bit my face and surprised me, so I yelled out, but not really at him just in general, because it kind of hurt.

    • Ah! Another cat owner who is willing to let his cat be a normal kitty! Wonderful!

      Tristan, I’m sure your boy recovered quickly from the yell. As long as yelling isn’t a habit (and I’m sure it isn’t), he’ll treat it the same way you treated his bite, with a quick, “What the heck was that… oh, okay!” attitude. :-}

  12. My cat is super affectionate, sleeps with me every night, follows me around the house, and is overall very cuddly. Except when he decides to attack. I get what you are saying about over stimulation, but my problem seems to be he that he gets jealous. Most of his attacks occur when my attention is with someone else- primarily when I am on the phone. He can go from being asleep, lounging, or purring – and then suddenly he is jumping and attacking my feet! I have never seen him hiss, his fur is never on end, and his ears are never back. Is it possible my cat gets jealous?

    • Cats can’t get jealous that way we think of jealousy, but if he’s not getting enough attention, he can certainly find destructive ways to ask for it. However, it sounds more like he just needs to work off some energy. Cats are built to spend many hours a day hunting, and that energy can really build up in a cat that isn’t doing much.

      Try giving him 15 minutes of interactive play sessions with Da Bird (or something similar) at dusk and dawn every day. That’ll likely go a long way toward working off his tension and smoothing out his behavior.

  13. My cat is 14 months old and bites me with no provocation. If I catch it in time and squeal he will withdraw. This morning I was shocked and jerked my had back causing his 4 long fangs to rip a long tear in my arm. I see that petting may be the cause, never thought that would hurt a cat. He seems to like it. He seems aggressive at times running back and forth and scaling his kitty condo like a mad cat. I have left him with my daughter who volunteers with Friends of Felines. She has two older cats & two kittens. The last time she watched him for 3 weeks. When we got home he was a lot more cuddly and at loves to sleep on my lap when I watch TV. My daughter suggest I take him to the vet to see if it could be pain causing the behavior. Pat

    • Your cat is still very young and prone to kittenish behavior. He probably came back more relaxed because he had a chance to play with your daughter’s kittens. Have you thought about getting him a playmate?

  14. I’ve had my cat for two years. He’s an indoor/outdoor cat. Well one night I was laying on my stomache on my bed while my husband was asleep right beside me on the edge of the bed and the whole time I was browsing through my phone while my cat was calmly kneading on my lower back… from 1 second to the next he growls at my sleeping husband for lk a few seconds and then jumps on my head and bites it

    The bite wasn’t painful but enough to feel his teeth. I dint know what or why he acted out in this way
    He’s always following me around and loves being with me and has never
    Acted violently towards me… help

  15. My cat is a Ragdoll and has always been a big mush. We just came up to go to bed. I picked her up to move her to the other side of the bed and she freaked out and bit and scratched me. She is about 6 years old and has never done this before. I would welcome all suggestions. Thanks.

    • Hi, Betsey!

      I wouldn’t worry about it if this was an isolated case. Could be she just got pinched or startled when you moved her.

      If you’re on FB, however, you can pop over to the CatCentric group ( and discuss your kitty in detail with the CatCentric team and other group members!

  16. My cat also likes to bite me when i pet him however he will even do so, if i stop petting him.. he starts by resting his mouth beside my hand or arm and then will slowly open his mouth to bite me.. if i say no, he will back off a little then start the process all over again. until i have to kick him off the couch.
    me is a big black tom cat.

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  18. Hi Tracy,

    We have a bengal mix male cat that is 7mos old. At about 3 months old he bit my face rather hard when I was sleeping leaving a puncture wound in my chin. Of course I woke up startled and upset. Ever since then he continues to attack my legs with his teeth, pouncing out of no where leaving wounds that have turned into scars. We are a family of 5 with all males in the house except for myself and for whatever reason he only attacks me this way. When he attacks me its usually when Im just minding my own business although he will occasionally have pet-induced aggression when any of our family members pets him for too long. Our 3yr old played pretty rough with our cat for the first few months after we brought him home and i am wondering if this plays a part in his aggressive behavior? He is not fixed but was wondering if this would help? We have tried the squirt bottle but that only works for a short time, I dont walk around with one at all times and am not prepared for his out of the blue attacks. I have naturally reacted by yelling or falling to all fours in tears at how painful his bites have become. Im to the point of giving up as Im pregnant, I cannot tolerate this behavior and am concerned for our baby who will be here in a just a few months. Is there any hope in fixing this right away or is this a personality trait for this particular cat that is not fixable?

  19. My cat and I have a great relationship he loves to cuddle and for me to love on him he always just lays on me and he randomly bites my hand and now I understand why this was a lot of help but he also like gets all up in my faces and runs all in my face and randomly bites me it’s not like hard but it hurts and I just kind of shove him away I don’t punish him or anything but is this normal? He doesn’t do it to anyone else just me haha idk if I do something wrong? Thanks: )

  20. I have a Siamese cat and she’s very loving and sweet though she gets over excited and runs like crazy on me and then I go her but if I stop for a second to adjust something or whatever it may be she gets upset and bites me. How can I correct her or what can I do?

  21. I don’t know if you’re still replying to this thread but I also have a cat that bites me with no stimulation at all. I would like to think I have a pretty good idea of when a cat doesn’t anything to do with me, but my cat just does it out of the blue. I really want to get to the bottom of this because I just got new bites before the last ones even scabbed over.

  22. My cat Lucky will bite me when I take my hand away, like he wants me to continue petting him. It’s very confusing, it used to be more of a love bite, now it’s a bit more aggressive. Any ideas??

  23. This was all very informative, but what if my cat has been biting me in the middle of us both sleeping and cuddling and I have no idea why. It is never when we nap or lay on the couch, only after I fall asleep for the night and only sometimes, sometimes I’m not even petting her and I’m only just drifting off to sleep. I understand maybe a nip if she is uncomfortable in someway, but these are deep very painful bites that make me bleed quite a bit. Otherwise she is the sweetest cat, she loves to cuddle and play and just be around people, and at night she always jumps up on the bed next to me I never make her. I am very confused and I don’t know what to do

  24. I love my cat so much and we have a great relationship. She follows me wherever I go, often lays with/beside me, and sleeps in bed with me. I read about the petting induced aggression which is definitely something my cat suffers from. I often let her lay on me and barely pet her. She can lay forever like this! However, even if I am not petting her she sometimes starts to bite. For example, if she is laying on me and I barely move or reach over her for something she will get angry and bite me. If I try to move her she will get mad and bite. Then she will get up angry and then come back five minutes later and lay right back down!

    • Keshia, my cat is the exact same way. Her name is Lalabell. She is an indoor cat and we have had her since she was a kitten. She also follows me around every where, has to always be laying on me, and wants constant attention. The BIG problem we are having though, is that when she is laying on me, my husband, or my 8 yr old daughter and we move she will get angry and start grawling, or bite us. So we will push her off and then she will hiss and walk away, and come back 5 min later to lay back on us again. It is constant, and daily. We feel like it is getting worse, and don’t feel like she can be trusted when I have a baby. We are afraid she will smother it or maw it if she were to ever be laying next to a baby and it move suddenly. We are not sure what to do.

  25. Hi,

    I love my cat (burmese) and he loves the food I buy for him so we get along very well. Sometimes though – and I can tell exactly the split-second before he’s going to do it; he’ll just lunge and take a quick nip at me. Just wanting to try and understand why he might do this?

    He’s the most friendly and affectionate cat though, desexed of course. He only behaves like this with me though and I give him the most attention out of all the people in my household.

    I’d be happy to provide more info if necessary.

  26. My wife and I share our home with 2 rescues..Moby, a 4 year old tabby (I adopted him 2 years ago) and Emily, 1 15 year old female tabby (have her for 13 years). They tolerate each other, Emily is very skittish. Moby is the perfect cat (to me). He is a big mush, playful, very affectionate, talkative, I pick him up and hold him for long stretches. However, sometimes when he sits on my wife’s lap, he will bite her arm for not reason. even if she isn’t petting him, He will jump off, come back in a few minutes as if nothing happened. He wil sometimes bite her legs during the night when we are sleeping. Appreciate any help

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  30. I adopted a 3 year old adult flame point Siamese he was front declawed when I got him
    he is really sweet most of the time but he will just run up and bite you for no reason and it break the skin .

  31. When I am siiting n the bed my cat will walk into the room stare at me and then attack me other then that she is a loving kitty

  32. I just moved to a new house and there was a cat that might be living around the area because she always comes to my front yard every morning until midday then go elsewhere in the afternoon. So I always give her food every morning and clean her bowl by midday. Is it normal that she respond aggressively when I came close to her bowl to refill/clean it?

  33. My 8 yr old maile Blue Point Siamese has started biting me for no apparent reason…mostly when we are in the bed. The biting wakes me up and I push him off the bed. Sometimes I get upset and hit him. He will go away for awhile and come back and do the same thing. My wonder is if he is trying to tell me that something is bothering him?

  34. I have a cat who is usually friendly and affectionate. However, on several occasions, whilst the cat was lying on or by my feet, seemimg perfectly content, with no warning, sunk her teeth DEEP into my foot, accompanied by a disturbing sort of stressed meow. There was no petting going on. I literally had to pry its mouth open with my fingers and sometimes this cat offers significant resistance and tries to bite more.

    It’s like its schizophrenic or something. I’ve had several cats and never saw anything like this.

    I think some cats are just not suitable pets.

  35. My cat is 18 months old. He was a motherless 5 weeks old kitten when I met him. My husband I bottle fed him until he was 8 weeks old. He’s been wonderful with us but not so good with visitors. He likes some people but terrible with my adult daughters who have cats home. He hisses at them. He had tackled my leg before pkayfully but recently he stared to sit by me when I’m Laying on bed, he touches my head, then attacks my arm. He grabs it and bites hard and mean. I’m afraid he may get me in the face one of these nights while I’m sleeping. How can we stop his aggressive behavior? He is sweet and lays on my lap on the couch and purrs often. He is an indoor cat, plays with his toys, and likes to scratch his scratch post.

  36. I have had Tuxedo 15 years. He was about 3-4 years old when I rescued him. He has been the most wonderful cat. He has never gotten on the table or potted anywhere except his box. He walks on a leash and I travel with him to my mom’s and daughters and he has never been a problem. He is a real lover and even tell me when his litter box is dirty. He has recently started biting. I have taken him to the vet but she is stumped too. You never know when he will attack. Today he was laying on me and I had been petting him. I stopped and he first took his paw and pulled my hand over to pet him more and then in just a couple of minutes he attacked me. This time was the worst he has very bit me. This is not a “love” bit for more attention or a bit because he wants you to stop. These are I want to kill you bites. They would be worst but he had six teeth pulled about 12 years ago but the still draws blood and when he bits he won’t turn lose. This behavior is a 90% change in him. He is part Maine Coon and has always been calm and loving. He loves to go the the pet store where he is the center of attention and dogs, kids or strangers never rattle him. He has always been so mellow and loving. He has been my buddy and my life for 15 years and now he just wants to attack me. I’m afraid for him to sleep with me or even to pet him. I don’t want to put him down but I don’t know what to do. About a month be fore he started this he eat some catnip and a few months before that the vet said his kidneys were failing but he had several years left with proper care which I started right away and at his last check up about 4 months ago he was going great. Now this. Can you please help so I don’t have to put him down.

  37. Hi. We adopted a 1-2year rescue cat 4 weeks ago and were told she would be suitable to be housed with a young family. She is bold & adventurous and quickly seemed to be at home. The kids are very good with her and do not touch / pet her, but mainly because she bites. She seems desperate for attention & wants to sit near us but we do not pet her much because of her aggression. She is now starting to bite and scratch the kids without provocation (attacking feet under the table, swiping at them as they walk past). I can tolerate her doing it to me but not my kids. I don’t know what to do as the kids are now really scared of her & I’m regretting adopting her. Please help!!

  38. My Cat is 3 years old and her biting behavior is recent. If she wants to go out with me (on her leash) or starts to get into something and I say NO she will bite me. One time I shook a bag of coins at her, not touching her, she grabbed onto my arm scratching and biting me. When I don’t take her out or let her get into something she may bit my arm or leg. I just say NO Bite or I may push her away. The other day she pooped outside her liter box. I made sure it was good and clean and so far she hasn’t done it again. Her box is cleaned daily. I can tell when she is ready to attack. Not only do her ears go back but her eyes slit a bit and look dark. I do use the feather bird toy. She doen’t care much for stuffed animals except a small mouse. She has so many toys but only plays with a ball, a foil like shiny toy, her feather bird and on occasion, a ball. I am going out of town in a couple of months and hoping she doesn’t give my grandson a hard time, as he will care for her. He is 19 so I know he is a responsible young man.

  39. This was really helpful and explains a lot! I have a ragdoll male who loves to sleep with me. I’ll be petting him, rubbing his ears, and he’s purring like he enjoys it, but all of a sudden he just bites HARD. At first I thought he was just playing around, but I read this article and he shows all the other signs! It really clicked while reading this that maybe I should ease off petting him a bit. He twitches, whips his tail back and forth, and sometimes he’ll get up and turn in a circle and sit back down. Hopefully I’ll learn not to bother his Highness.

  40. Some thing happened to my cat he just bit my sleeve and would not let go then when I stood up he would keep pulling me back and when I went inside he would not move for half and hour until i came out and then he was fine

  41. I can tell when my cat’s about to bite, she starts to twitch, she flicks her tail and her eyes narrow into slits. When she does show these signs, I ignore her for a bit, then come back later and see if she’s ‘recovered’.
    This article really helped me out, thanks for all the tips!

  42. My cat Calypso is a cat I adopted from the humane society last week, he’s been there before so I know he’s had a rough life from what employees told me. He’s 6 years old and was shy at first, but very loving and very cuddly once I adopted him. He would always tell me when he was uncomfortable with pets, lightly nipping my hand or putting a paw on my hand. He hates it when I touch his paws but Is okay with me touching his stomach. I’m pretty anxious now though because last night he bit my hand very hard out of no where, then when I went to sleep he bit my arm when I reached over to pet him. In the morning he was sleeping on my chest and when I reached over to pet his head he reached out to scratch my face. I’m worried he’ll attack me more so I’ve been really cautious with him. I dont know if these are true colors showing after a week of living with me, if its over stimulation, if he just doesn’t like me after all? But I’m worried.

  43. So I covered my hand with my sleeve so my cat could rub against it without the saliva getting on my hands. She rubbed her teeth against and opened her mouth and bit down hard. I got lucky that I had the sleeve or else it would have drawn blood. Why did she do this? She rubs against everything without biting, so why is she?

  44. Hi, this info calmed me down, but I still have worries.
    My aunt’s cat is always grumpy someone just pass by him and he will scratch or bite that person. But I always pet him and he’ve never bitten or scratched me until tonight. He’s unusual cause I always come to him first but tonight he did, he followed me everywhere so I pet him, we cuddled for a minute then he suddenly bit me (for no reason) it was a little deep and he swing his head while bitting me. It caused 3 slightly deep puncture wound and 2 scratch like wound ( I pulled my hand cause I was shocked then let him bit and let it go himself when I calmed down).

    Is that normal? Does he have rabies? I’m worried Cause I’ve read before that sudden change on attitude is a sign of rabies and he’s not vaccinated.

    I hope I’m just over reacting :)

    Thank You…

  45. I have a kitty that id almost a year, he’s the sweetest and so playful, too much I think, I love to pet him and to buy him toys, he has plenty and plays all day long, unfprtunetly he spends the day alone until i get home at 5:30 or so (soon i will be bringing home my other cat, i moved to another country) lately ive been at home tho because i was transfered to another job but Im not starting yet so ive been spending like 2 weeks at home. sometimes he will hide and wait until you pass by and jump on you and then he continues qith what he’s doing, Sometimes, i’m just laying in my bed and all of the sudden he bites me, no in a agressive way I think, I mean, it hurts a little but he seems more playful than angry so idk, and also he loooooooves to bite miñy fingers, as if it was a gum scratcher or something, i dont really get this… what could it be?

  46. I am a cat whisperer. I have observed biting behavior in cats. Cats will bite out of the joy of it. Remember, all kinds of cats whether domesticated or wild are related. Every cat has a wild streak. Think about the hunting skills, the attack mode, the providing mode of leaving a dead mouse on your door step. All cats do this. Biting is for protection, eating, but also for mating. The male cat will bite his mate to hold her in place. You, the owner, are an object of affection. Biting your family or strangers is to establish his territory. Biting can be saying, “Hey, come back, spend more time with me, don’t ignore me!” Then again biting can just feel good. Attacking with aggression can be exaggerated attempts for attention, control or illness. Cats want what they want, when they want it. Cats rule! Don’t forget that! You will never totally stop biting behavior, it’s just a part of most cat’s abilities and they like to use all their abilities! Love them or leave them. ~^_^~

  47. I have a male tabby and he is about 4-5 years old, every night we always used to sleep together, but one day ago he was laying next to me and all the sudden he started meowing and attacked me! And this night I decided I will give him a second chance, BIG MISTAKE! He was laying down and started to meow and I yelled STOP IT, then he got scared and stopped, so I put him next to me again and a few minutes later he did it again! Someone please help me I don’t know if he’s trying to play, having panic attack, or having nightmares!

  48. my male cat has been biting me a lot. He will be purring and laying in me, when suddenly he will start licking my nose or chin and then bite. It’s not angrily, but it hurts. He even does it when I don’t pet. While I’m sleeping, he also wakes me up by biting my nose or chin. What do I do?

  49. My ginger Tom is now 12 yrs old, on the odd occasion he lashes out, I play with him so he gets exercise and attention, but I can be sitting watching tv and he will just go for my leg? recently he drawed blood! He has done it to company to, which I am worried about, they will be sitting minding their own business and he will just go for them?

  50. My cat sleeps me everynight above my head or on my neck and he seems happy because he’s burrito really really loud.. And out of the blue he will bit my nose lol and hang to it.. it’s not a hard bit but enough for me to know.. BUT why does he do this?? Confused because I’m thinking he’s happy..

  51. I got Suzy 4 months ago, two months she started to let me pet her and hold her, she would purr and rub herself on my legs. Now she would try to bite me when I pet her, I picked her up she would watch my other cat and would not purr while I hold and pet her.

  52. My familiars name is Ziva… She’s almost a year and half old now, and we are inseparable. I got her from a woman who couldn’t get her to eat (she was the runt), and she’s been eating ever since (and when I say eating…. Man).
    Ziva has always been the most amazing, intelligent, sweet, and loving tuxedo I’ve ever had. I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on her. And even people who hate cats love her. She’ll give you kisses, and always wants to be touching me in one form or another (sometimes she will simply have a paw on my arm).

    Okay, so the problem. She’s started biting…. And never when you’re putting her. She will endure it all, and I’ve never had her become uncomfortable during our lovings. But instead, its when I try to pull my arm away. I don’t move fast, nor does it make her nervous or anxious. She’s never done this before 2 months ago. She’s biting family members as well. She just bit my arm so hard it’s bleeding.

    When I say we are inseparable I mean I refuse to leave my house because I can’t take her with me. We sleep cheek to cheek, we watch TV together (she actually watches) and, well, she’s my familiar. I’d rather spend time with her than have actual friends like a normal 25 year old woman. But why all of a sudden? It’s not overstimulation, and it’s not surprise or anything of the sort from what I can tell. But it’s hurting me, not just physically. I can’t afford to get an infection from her bites, so I’ll have to stop spending as much time with her! And I can’t handle that either.
    Any feedback would be praised.

  53. one time, I went inside my room, my cat started jumping at me and starting biting which she never does. wonder what caused it….this time I was on the phone and she started biting my upper arm, I wonder why, is there anyway we can communicate with these cats? Is she signalling something to me? I really am wondering why…she is the only one who does this…the other cats don’t do this. wonder what it means….

  54. Hi. My name is Mark. I have a 2 year old male cat that I rescued off the street when he was a kitten. He is unfixed and is primarily an outdoor boy but he does like to come in and be lazy, eat, and get his dose of affection. Normally he is very good and affectionate with my two kids who are 8 and 7. They have always been gentle and loving towards him and have never hurt him in any way. But here lately he has taken to laying in their laps and out of no where biting them (even if they are not actively touching him). Now he has never once done this to me but I figure it’s due to the fact that I have a rather strong and dominate personality. He rarely breaks the skin on the kids but he has gotten them a bit scared of him. Why is he showing this behavior all of a sudden and how can I fix it. Oh and not sure if it matters but we live in a country setting and as far as I know there are no other cats in the area. Thank you for your time.

  55. My kitten is 6 months old and very possessive of me Ie he head buts my husband if he comes to close when “Shemar” wants my attention. Like a dog, if I stop petting him he nudges my hand for more.. the problem is at 2 a.m when I want to sleep, if I am not willing to engage he will swipe at my face/now with just enough claw to cause a little pain. are there any suggestions for this behaviour please.

  56. I have adopted a kitten off late he might be around 2 months old. He is very friendly and playful,would never leave me out of his sight when am at home.would purr and rub himself on my face and nose and everywhere, however suddenly he will start meowing (not the aggression one) as if wanting some thing from me and will start attacking me biting and scratching.I never had a kitten who become so aggressive all of a sudden.Any idea what is the problem he is facing?

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