Have you ever wondered “why does my cat chew my fingers?”, or is only me? Well, I bet it isn’t, because this is common behavior from domestic cats. Your fingers may just taste good to them, or they could be trying to groom you.
But what causes this behavior in cats? Do they nibble other things apart from your fingers? Does your cat hate you?
Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and lips which produce pheromones that they use for communication. When you stroke your cat, she may be trying to tell you something by nibbling on your fingers – it could be a sign of affection, or that she trusts you.
What were you doing when she bites your finger? If you were petting her and she suddenly bit you, it’s possible that she didn’t like how you were petting her – perhaps you were petting her too hard. Try to be more gentle when you pet your cat and see if that stops the nibbling.
Cats may also nibble on other things apart from fingers. They may chew on plants, clothes, or furniture – anything that has a scent they like. If your cat is chewing on something you don’t want her to chew, try spraying it with a citrus-scented spray or putting a bitter apple deterrent on it.
Keep in mind, plastic bags, electrical cords, and other small items can be dangerous for cats if they swallow them, so keep your cat away from these things. Look for toys that are sturdy and that will hold up to the chewing.
Also, try moving your cat’s feeding dish away from where she likes to chew. If she’s chewing on her food dish, it’s probably because she’s bored – try playing with her more to keep her entertained.
Is There More Than One Type of Biting?
There are three types of bites that cats use to communicate with other cats and with people.
- The first type is the exploration bite, usually accompanied by a playful head butt. Your cat is using this type of bite when she first meets someone or when she’s playing.
- The second type of bite is the warning bite. This is when your cat bites down on you lightly, usually when she’s playing or trying to get your attention.
- The third type of bite is the feeding bite. If your cat bites down on your fingers gently when she’s eating, it probably means that this is her way of showing affection.
Reasons Why Your Cat Nibble Your Fingers
So, let’s go back to the original question: why do cats nibble on fingers? Well, there are a number of reasons that could be behind this behavior:
She is trying to groom you. Cats groom each other by licking and chewing on their friends’ fur – it’s a way of showing affection. When your cat bites your fingers, she may be trying to groom you in the same way. The risk of this behavior is that your cat may accidentally scratch your fingers with her teeth.
She likes the way your fingers taste. Your cat’s sense of taste is much more sensitive than ours, and she may enjoy the taste of your fingers. The result of this could be your cat nibbling on your fingers every time you pet her.
Keep in mind that cats’ hunting skills are finely tuned and they have a great sense of smell. Domestication has not changed these skills – in fact, some say that it has made them more acute. This means your cat may also be using her sense of smell to look for prey or to identify you. She smells your fingers and thinks it might be food, so she nibbles on them.
She trusts you. When a cat nibbles on someone’s fingers, it is often seen as a sign of trust. If your cat is constantly nibbling on your fingers, it means she trusts you and feels comfortable around you.
She wants you to pet her. When your cat bites down on your fingers, it could be a sign that she’s trying to tell you something – she may want you to continue petting her or play with her.
She thinks your fingers are toys. A lot of cats think that anything can be a toy if they play with it enough. So, when your cat bites down on your fingers, she could be trying to play with you. Try using a toy mouse in order to prevent this behavior. This way your cat is receiving your messages correctly and she will stop biting your fingers. Like with any type of training, consistency and repetition are important.
She’s trying to tell you something. As we mentioned earlier, when a cat nibbles on someone’s fingers, it can be a way of communicating with them. Her idea may be to tell you that she’s hungry, or that she wants you to stop petting her. If your cat is constantly nibbling on your fingers, watch her closely to see what she’s trying to say. After all, she may be looking forward to her next play session with you!
Cat’s want our attention and they’ll do anything to get it. If you continue to pet your cat when she’s biting your fingers, she’ll see that as a sign of encouragement and she’ll probably do it more. Try having a toy near your hand so when your cat bites down, so you can play with her using the toy.
Some breeds are more likely to bite than others. The Japanese Bobtail, Siberian, and Siamese are among the breeds that tend to be more aggressive than others. Your furniture is likely to get the brunt of your cat’s aggression. I
If you’re having problems with your pet biting, it could be because of her anxiety. Make sure she has plenty of toys to keep her occupied and see a veterinarian if the problem persists. Stress can manifest itself in many different ways, and biting is just one of them. Her environment could be the cause. If you’re taking your cat to a new home, she may become stressed and take it out on your fingers. A pheromone diffuser could help with this, as it releases a soothing aroma into the air.
There are several reasons why cats may bite their owners, but the aggression is usually stemmed from one of four things: hunger, stress, fear, or dominance. If you can identify the root cause of your cat’s aggression, you can take steps to correct the behavior.
Now that you know some of the reasons why cats may bite their owners, you can start to take steps to correct the behavior. Keep in mind that it may take some time, but with patience and persistence, you can train your cat to stop biting.
What Can You Do To Stop This Behavior? When Should You Be Worried?
The earlier you start working on this behavior, the easier it will be to stop. A kitten’s biting is often normal and playful, but they grow out of it as they develop. An adult cat that is still biting may have a more serious problem and should be seen by a veterinarian.
While petting or playing with your cat, keep a close eye on their behavior. If your cat’s showing signs of overstimulation, such as biting or scratching, stop interacting with them and give them some time to calm down. This sends a strong message.
Consistency is key when training your cat. Their threshold for biting may be different from day to day, so observe them closely. Chewing can be a warning sign of a forthcoming attack. If your cat is biting you during playtime, it’s important to stop playing with them and walk away.
Most cats nibble as a way to show affection. If your cat is biting you regularly, it could be a sign that they want more attention from you. Try to spend more time playing with them and less time petting them. A chew stick or a rubber toy will keep your cat occupied and deter them from nibbling on you.
If your cat is biting you because she’s scared, try to make her environment more comfortable. Get her a pheromone diffuser to help her relax, and give her a place to hide where she feels safe. A blanket or a pet bed can work for this. Read their body language in order to better understand their behavior. If they’re trying to avoid you, give them space. Don’t hesitate to contact a cat behaviorist in case you need advice.
Your cat may have an underlying medical problem. It’s important to check with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior, especially if the biting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as scratching or licking.
While most cases of such behavior can be resolved with a bit of training and patience. A kitten will try her teeth on anything she can find, including your fingers. They love the texture and taste of human skin. But be prepared as your little one can try its teeth on various items around the room including cables, remote controls, furniture, and more. It’s important to nip this behavior in the bud as it can lead to a full-blown bite later on.