If there is one thing that I am very certain about my cat, is that he is a biter. He has bitten me on my arm, hands, shoulder, legs, ear and even my head. Thankfully, the bites weren’t aggressive except for one or two which he really got an earful for.
The thing is, if you are a cat owner like me, the probability of you getting bitten by your cat is 99.99%. It isn’t always due to your fault (your cat would think otherwise) but it’s more a cat thing.
Have there been times when your little kitty just grabbed you by the arm and gave you a bite? Why is your cat doing this?
Let’s find out.
Your Cat Is Learning How To Hunt
All cats are natural-born hunters. Even the really chonky and adorable ones that you see on social media. They can go from ‘puss-in-boots’ to ‘freaky tiger’ in a New York minute
Cats have one of the highest success rates in the animal kingdom, hitting close to 70% when hunting in the open.
However, your cat didn’t just have these skills from the get-go the minute it came out of the mother’s womb.
This is something that has to be trained and developed over the first few months with the litter mates.
If your cat is still a kitten, chances are it was taken from its mother and litter mates before it had a chance to learn how to hunt.
This is why your hand is now its practice target.
The act of grabbing and biting your hand is how it would catch its prey in the wild.
Such behavior also works for self-defense where the cat will use its sharp hind legs to kick at the attacker.
Your Cat Is Overstimulated
Every cat you see is a walking radar system. All its senses are made to detect prey and predator before giving away their location.
A cat’s body also has more nerve endings which makes it more sensitive to touch. Our cats weren’t made for cuddles and pets.
They are solitary creatures that roamed the wildlands on their own.
This is very different compared to dogs who love being stroked as they are more accustomed to being in a social structure.
It was through the process of domestication that cats started to bond with humans and got more comfortable with human interaction.
Interaction with your cat comes with a limit given their short attention span and sensitive nature.
One lesson that I have learned is to not let your cat play with your hair. It is easy for them to get carried away and bite your ear.
There have been many times when my cat was sitting beside me on the sofa and I was gently stroking it while watching Netflix.
After a few minutes, I can sense my cat getting more fidgety and before I know it, a bonding session with my cat has materialized into a grab and bite.
Don’t Fall Into The ‘Belly Trap’
For some reason, Mother Nature has designed the belly of our cats to look really soft, warm and inviting.
Every time a friendly stray rolls over to expose its tummy, I have to remind myself to not reach out and squish the soft belly.
Touching the belly of a cat that you do not know well is asking for trouble. The cat’s belly is a very vulnerable area for a cat as most of its vital organs are located there.
A cat exposing its belly to you is not an invitation to touch it. But the cat is trying to convey its trust and friendliness.
This rule doesn’t just apply to unfamiliar cats. There are many cat owners that I know whose cats dislike their bellies touched despite countless years of persuasion.
Your Cat Is Feeling Frisky
It is natural for most living things to feel the urge to find a mate and reproduce. This is what has been pre-programmed into their DNA to ensure the survival of their species.
Kittens as young as four months have reached sexual maturity and can reproduce.
If you have a cat that age or older who has yet to be sterilized, be prepared for some ‘bump and grind’ action when mating season rolls in from February to October.
During this time, your cute little adorable feline will transform into a sex-crazed fiend.
Male cats will start spraying and marking all over the house to ‘claim’ their territory.
If you have more than one male cat at home, they can even get into fights.
Female cats will yowl and meow loudly to attract the attention of nearby roaming males. During the process of mating, the male cat will mount the female and bite her neck while they copulate.
If your male cat is grabbing and biting your arm while humping it, you know what’s on his agenda.
Your Cat Is Giving Love Bites
This is something that I really love getting from my cat when he is feeling affectionate. I call them ‘kitty love bites’ because that is what it feels like.
It starts off with me scratching my cat around his ears and under his chin.
Those are his favorite areas and I can keep going for as long as I want without causing a sensory overload.
My cat will then use his paws to grab my hand and gently bite me with his teeth.
It is an aggressive bite but more of a scraping kind of action.
There will be times when he will do this gentle biting on my hand until he falls asleep with his teeth still on my hand.
I pretty much have to stay in this position for the next 30 minutes or my cat wouldn’t be too happy about it.
Your Cat Is Being Playful
When your cat is grabbing and biting your hand in a non-aggressive manner, it could be that your cat is being playful.
If you look at how cats play with each other or with their litter mates, they will grab, bite and run away.
Rinse and repeat.
It seems a lot less painful for the cats because they have a thick layer of fur as protection.
If your cat gets too carried with its playfulness, it can end up hurting you with its sharp claws or teeth.
Your Cat Doesn’t Want To Be Bothered
We all have days when we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, got no coffee at home and the cat left a big hairball on your favorite carpet.
In times like this, the last thing that you want to be is affectionate.
The same goes for our cats too.
There will be days when your cat is just feeling like a grumpy old fart and doesn’t want to be bothered and touched at all.
Every time you try to touch your cat, it will attempt to grab your hand and bite it.
If I were you, I would just leave little kitty alone until he is in a better mood.
Cats Don’t Like Intense Emotions
This might differ from cat to cat but I got a feeling my cat doesn’t like it when I express intense emotions.
Not too long ago, I was on the line with the customer service helpline of a delivery company that lost my parcel.
The conversation got rather heated on my end when the person I spoke to didn’t want to take any responsibility for losing my parcel.
I remembered that I was sitting down at my desk and out of the corner of my eye, I saw my cat jump on the table, grabbed my arm with both paws and bit me.
It wasn’t a hard bite but it definitely didn’t feel like he was playing.
There were a few other similar occasions when I was venting my sadness or frustration and got no sympathy from my cat at all.
I might be wrong, but it seems that my intense emotions had a ripple effect on my cat.
My cat didn’t know how to diffuse the negative energy and unleashed it back on me.
How To Stop My Cat From Grabbing And Biting Me?
The rule of thumb is very straightforward here. If your cat’s biting is painful and causing you distress, you need to put a stop to it.
Here’s what you can do.
Stop Using Your Hand As A Toy
The biggest reason why your cat treats your hand as a toy is because you allowed it in the first place.
This bad habit probably started when your cart was a kitten and allowing it to grab and bite your arm was just too cute to resist.
I’m sure the feeling isn’t the same when your cat is fully grown and sinking its extremely sharp teeth and claws into your flesh.
Stop using your arm as a plaything.
Redirect Your Cat’s Attention To A Toy
Most cats will give you some signals before they start to bite. It can be loud vocalization, thumping of its fluffed-up tail or even hissing.
Once this happens, give your cat a toy to play with or make something like this if your cat likes to grab and bite things.
I call it a ‘sock punching bag’ for my cat.
Take one side of your sports socks and stuff a small plastic bottle in there. You can also use cloth or towels as stuffing.
The whole point is to replicate your arm using the sock and bottle. Add some cat nip inside the sock to make it even more enticing for your cat.
Get Your Cat Neutered
If your cat has yet to be sterilized and it has been grabbing and humping your arm. You need to set an appointment with the vet to get your cat fixed asap.
I would personally find it rather gross for my cat to be humping my arm but it also helps to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.
Fixing your cat will also give it a chance at a much longer and healthier life.