Why Does My Cat Bite Me When I Stop Petting Him?

We all love our cats, and one way to show our affection for them is by petting them. We do this while we're watching TV, working on our laptop, or enjoying a cup of coffee.

Have you noticed your cat biting you when you stop petting it? One minute they are purring and being content with you stroking them, and as soon as you stop you get a quick bite on your hand.

This quite common behavior in cats, and many owners are wondering what's the reason. The good news is that this inappropriate behavior can be disciplined.

Why Do Cats Bite?

Kittens usually get lots of love bites from their mothers, as they were licked and groomed while growing up. They have fond memories of getting love bites during kittenhood.

Also, kitten usually play with one another by rolling on the floor, wrestling and giving each other gentle nips and nibbles.

Love biting, giving you a gentle nip or nibble, is a way for your cat to show you it's appreciation and affection for you. They don't mean any harm and don't want to hurt you. 

As your kitty becomes one year old and older, their habits won't change if you haven't corrected them while they were young. 

why does my cat bite me

Love biting is one way for them to show you affection. When the petting stops you may wake them up from comfort and biting is their signal of petting you back. Their bites are not sharp and don't hurt, they might be as soft as touch between people skin and cat teeth without any harm being meant. 

You shouldn't get angry with your cat, since it's not done to hurt you. It's just their animal instinct. As you spend more time with your cat you'll need to learn how they communicate with you and try to read their body language.

You'll also notice that your cat is doing some other weird things in the house, for example staring at the wall. You'll get to know your cat as the years pass by, and you'll be able to understand them better. 


If you've been petting your cat for a long time, it may become overstimulated, and respond with aggressive behavior. They might bite you in order to show you that they want you to stop.

Experts have studied that cats may experience neurologically negative stimulus, that's associated with being petted for a very long time.

We should all try to understand and recognize subtle warning signs which signal that your cat is experiencing displeasure and may soon bite us. If this occurs often, then avoid petting your cat for a very long time, but instead do it in short intervals each time.

Your Cat is in Heat

If you have a female cat at home, which has not been spayed, it may be going through it's heat cycle. During this period your cat's behavior will change.

It will become unusually affectionate, it will display attention-seeking behavior, and will become demanding or pushy. If you notice that your cat has started biting you during this time, then this might be the reason.

On the bright side, the heat cycle comes around once very two or three months, and lasts only a week. You may also have your cat spayed so it doesn't have any heat cycles any more. 

Cat Has Misbehaved When It Was a Kitten

Kittens should be thought how to behave and abide by certain rules while growing up. Kittens like to "play fight" usually with other kittens in the house, by tackling each other, and gently biting each other.

If you've kitten has misbehaved while they were young, and their behavior wasn't corrected, then this might show up as a problem when they are older.

One method to stop bad behavior with small kittens is to spray a bottle filled with water handy, each time you see them misbehaving. This will make them understand right now that something is wrong and they'll know not to do it again the future.

How Cats Communicate Differently From Other Pets? 

How does cat communicate with other cat

While dogs are known to be obedient and attached to their owners, cats are tougher to win over.

If you discipline a dog, firm attitude and loud speaking will work effectively.

Meanwhile, you have to convince your queen cats by petting along to gradually change their habits. For example, if a dog love bites you, a shout will stop them from doing so, repeating will prevent them doing the same thing again.

You have to use a different method with cats, quiet refusal and being silent will be effective to let them know your disapproval.

Cats waving their tail normally express feeling uncomfortable and disagreeable of what's happening around them.

You may be used to seeing your dog constantly waving its tail back and forth showing their happiness and welcoming. But the same is not true for cats.

Waving their tail back and forth means they are not feeling comfortable and you are doing something wrong. On the other hand, being silent and having their eyes half-closed means that they are satisfied and happy.

How  To Stop Your Cat Biting  You?

This may come as good news to pet owners, but it is possible to correct unwanted behavior in cats, whether it's jumping on the counters, scratching furniture, biting or attacking your feet as you walk by.

The end goal is to make your cat comprehend and understand the difference between “biting" and "timeout" (source). If your cat enjoys petting so much that is always bites you when you stop, you need to employ tough discipline.

If your cat is on your lap, when you finish petting it, slowly get up and stand up straight. This will send her to the floor. You can then give her a treat, but don't touch her, as she may be overstimulated and snap. Now you should ignore her, and don't pay any attention to her. 

Be Patient With Your Cat

Most likely your cat will come back to you shortly, showing signs that they want the petting to resume. Let her sit on your lap again, and start petting her again.

Just like before, stop the petting and slowly stand up. Your cat will fall from your lap to the floor. Walk away from your cat and ignore her.

After doing this several times, your cat will soon begin to associate"biting" and the "timeout" sessions. You need to continue to correct the petting aggression, until you're satisfied with how your cat is behaving.

When Cat Aggression Becomes a Problem

If you see that your cat's aggression is crossing the border, and they are not love biting you, but actually trying to bite your hands this can become dangerous to you and to any other pet in the house.

Real skin cat bites can cause serious infection and should be treated right away. A lot of times, a harmful bacteria will be induced into your body from the cat bite, because of your cat's sharp teeth. You need to treat the injury right away.

You may consider taking your cat to the vet for a check up, if you see they are too aggressive and violent. There are different types and categories of aggression in cats, besides petting induced aggression there is also: play, fear, pain-induced, territorial aggression and others.

Each type should be addressed differently. And the reasons behind each type of cat aggression is different as well.

Final Words

Love biting or petting-induced aggression is common cat behavior, as they love playing with and showing their desire of being taken care of. That would be nice if owners know how to control that manner in acceptable level and correct it in the right way.

If you just adopted a cat and you've noticed that it's being aggressive, you may also ask your fellow pet and cat owner friends “why does my cat bite me when I stop petting him?”. You are sure to receive recommendations and advice about love biting and solutions to it.

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