Did your cat suddenly bite you? Here's why

Did your cat suddenly sink its teeth into your skin in the middle of the petting session? This feline behaviour is not unheard of. Here are five reasons that make the fluff-balls do it.

Did your cat suddenly bite you? Here's why
© Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash
Did your cat suddenly bite you? Here's why

Cats can be unpredictable. One moment they are all sweet and cuddly, another - they snap at you and run away like they want nothing to do with you. Biting out-of-the-blue is another mischief felines are known for. Why do they use their razor-sharp teeth unprovoked? Experts can name at least five reasons.

Discover our latest podcast

1. Your cat is in a play mode

Even cats who are safely kept indoors remain little hunters ready to chase their prey. But without anything to run after they are likely to target the next best thing - you.

According to Newsweek, if a cat isn't receiving ‘adequate stimulation and play opportunities’, it may get out all their built-up energy toward its owner's feet or ankles.

It’s a sign that your felines might need more enrichment that won’t involve teeth sunk in your limbs.

Photo by David Kaloczi on Unsplash

2. Your cat is done with your petting

Some cats launch an unexpected attack on their owners in the middle of the petting session. Though what we might see as the middle of this activity can be a boiling point of your cat’s patience.

Cats generally have a short attention span, and a few strokes are enough for them. But as we get carried away with caressing their silky fur, they first get bored and then annoyed, and have no other choice but to help us snap out of the feline-induced trance.

The out-of-the-blue biting can also be caused by you petting the out-of-touch areas such as the pet's belly. Cat petting is an art, you know.

It’s a good idea to give your cat the choice of walking away if they prefer not to be stroked.

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

3. Your cat is seeking your attention

While most cats bite when they want to be left alone, some will use their teeth to demand more attention.

If your kitten bites you and then runs over to a toy or bowl, it's probably trying to get you to play or give it a snack.

4. You’re in the wrong place at the wrong time

Your cat’s sudden bite might have been addressed to someone else but you happened to be in the way, so, you asked for it.

If your cat bit you, there is a risk you’ve been attacked in an act of redirected aggression. Your kitty might have seen another feline through the window and wanted to attack it but when you came close to them, they turned on you. Cat-logical.

Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash

5. Biting can be caused by an illness

Poorly cats are especially vulnerable, and they know it. Therefore they are in extra ‘alert mode’ for a perceived threat. The threat doesn’t have to be real but for an animal weakened by an illness, it seems serious enough to sometimes mistake its loving owner's hand for a predator. Hence the razor-sharp response.

Persistent biting should be discussed with a vet to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Sources used:

- Newsweek: 'Why Does My Cat Bite Me? Here's Why Your Feline Randomly Attacks You'

- Daily Paws: 'Ouch! Why Does My Cat Suddenly Bite Me?'

Read more:

5 ways to make your cat like you more

Is it okay to walk your cat on a leash? Here's what the experts say

Is your cat vomiting? Here's when to call the vet

Here's why your cat brings you dead animals Here's why your cat brings you dead animals