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

  1. The reason why the scratch us suddenly is because they have unwanted parts in their body that doesn’t want to be touched. Just like humans, we have unwanted parts of our body that doesn’t want to be touched

  2. my boy Vegeta used to do that all the time, it was always when he tired of the attention, would playfully nip at him and jaunt away. which is why I called him Vegeta.

  3. No vet told you your first theory. Cats are social creatures that live together in colonies when feral, and so were their ancestors.

    Meanwhile Syrian hamsters are strictly solitary creatures in the wild, but plenty of people have them as pets that are used to handling and never bite.

  4. We have ten cats and sometimes they like to gently chew. BIG difference between biting and nibbling. We had rescued about 25 cats over the last 15 years and three times, a pregnant momma cat brought us 5 kittenes. Not a real problem child in the batch and they play with our three dogs as well including a street rescue Rottweiler.

  5. Normally if a cat goes to bite you when you're petting it, if it is your cat and has taken close attachment to you, it's a warning bite like "Don't pet me there" or "Okay, I'm done being pet."

    If it's stray that's a different story lol

    But I'm still waiting for this video's explination.

  6. Cats can be trained not to bite. My kitten, who is almost 1 year old, has learned that if I raise my index finger in front of her face and say, "Don't bite," in a firm voice, she will stop immediately. I try to respect her boundaries and insist that she respect mine. Often it's the back and tail area that elicit the negative response, but she likes her head and chin petted. I try to read her cues, but I don't put up with biting. I'm alfa pride mama!

  7. Grey cat in my neighborhood, start with body side rubbing, then licking, then good bite and ended with real bite.
    Cheers from Indonesia

  8. Cats are fickle.. damn cute with it.. they know they're stroke magnets but just get sick of it, constantly..

  9. Mine will not really aggressively bite, but sort of tentatively touch with her teeth, like making a light mark. Someone told me it was sort of an act of declaring me hers, like when we put our initials on a prized possession with a Sharpie.

  10. TLDR, your cat is just saying "i-its not like I want you to pet me or anything, b-baka" like the filthy weebs we all know cats to be.

  11. My cat only bites if I ignore him and dont pet him. Its more of 4 canines making contact with my foot, lightly. 🙂

  12. Whenever I'm sleeping when my cat is in bed with me it just randomly bites me and hisses then she runs away lol

  13. Cats do it with each other, too. They snuggle up, lick and hug each other, and suddenly they‘re biting, just to be friendly the second after. That‘s just the way they work, it‘s no use finding a humanized explanation to animal behavior, just like dogs that like to roll in carcasses. Every cat lover knows the difference between the pleasure induced bite, the friendly-fight (which also includes using the hind legs) and real aggression. The cat will show you.

  14. Most of my cats almost never bite me, one does however, and he usually lasts 10-30 seconds before he bites I usually leave him alone or depending on if he actually does want to play, I take out a toy to play with him

  15. Also, cats may get overwhelmed when you love on them, and then they nibble. I feel like what this video is thinking is full on chomping, and that's not really true. It's usually a small, painless nibble, not an angry, bloody bite!

  16. Really? I thought they were playing when that happens but I guess I will pay closer attention to the rest of their body language from now on.

  17. The cat that I got was already grown and whenever you would start to pet it it would just bite your hand and wouldn’t let go

  18. Some people had to take out my carpet because of a flood in my house, they put up huge fans and they were really loud, my cat reacted in a scared way, you could not pet his back, only his head. If you did pet his back he would freak out, leading to biting or scratching. If you have something new, loud, or really big, ( Also new ) it's just a result of fear, or surprise.

  19. I dont think this is accurate once the petting starts they are the onces that usually go after my hand for a rub or a scratch then sometimes the do soft bites on my fingers makes no sense but don't seem like they dont want more or discomfort

  20. My cat likes to wake me up in the middle of the night and then he starts licking my nose don't forget about eating plastic bags I don't know what's up with cats and that one

  21. Reminds me of my cat I used to have she lived until 20 and almost to her dying day she loved to play bite the hand. The game mainly involved me petting her or "taking advantage of her" by petting her paws, belly, ect.; while she would try to bat at my hand rarely using claws or biting me gently or latching onto my hand and using her hind legs to kick my arm. I really miss her no other cat I have had would play like that and if I tried I'd end up bloody or they wouldn't care.

  22. My vat doesn't do this. When I go to bed she lays beaide me against my Rm andikes to hold mh hand. She then licks my fingers and she very gently nibbles on my fingers. Not at all in an aggressive manner.

  23. My kitten does not like pets on his head and he will bite me lightly if I do that. But he LOVES pets around the top of his neck and under his jaw and he will purr like crazy

  24. It is a mixture of all of those from my experience… but my cat is nice and doesn't draw blood. Maybe only pin pricks if playing but he also kills all kinds of things outside and could for sure bite me way harder.

  25. Cats nibble at their fur when grooming themselves. My cat nibbles at my arm while purring loudly and licking my arm while rubbing up against me.

  26. It's not really rocket science. It's a love bite. It doesn't need any explanation. Dogs do it and even small humans do it. My cats never show aggression when I pick them up or when I'm trying to capture them out of a room, and you're telling me that they knaw on me because of too much affection? BS.

  27. My cat bit me like 6 times this morning when I was petting him and then he was so excited so it’s probably because I was petting him too much/aggressively

  28. I have a large cat along with several cats that are more domestic. We cuddle and pet the cats but if you ignore the big cat he will scratch you and bite for attention. Go figure.

  29. Where can I find videos on YouTube with people experiencing severe petting induced agression with their cats? I'm talking about video showing the pet owners getting attacked.

  30. Fact, if you were smaller than your cat, it would more than likely torture you for a half hour and eventually kill you as if you were a mouse. Lol

  31. My cat just bites me for nothing. Like i m sitting besides her and she comes, cuddles, rubs herself against me and then bites my toe, hands, fingers!

  32. I try to make sure I don’t hold my cats too tight as, I think they may interpret that as capture, with an appropriate response to it…

  33. I've found that watching my cat's tails when I'm petting them is a surefire way not to get bitten. My 4 mnth old kitten,Dakota, is my best case scenario…he wants petted when he wants it,and not a minute more. Any time I see his relaxed tail start to twitch,i stop. It's saved me a lot of grief.

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