Why does a cat bite after petting

Animal Welfare Specialist
Cathy has worked in the animal welfare field for more than 25 years. As a Director of Public Relations for local and national animal welfare agencies, Cathy developed and managed public relations programs, wrote press materials, and prepared staff to handle media interviews on animal issues.

cathy2A readers says, “Sometimes when I pet my cat, he starts twitching his tail and then bites my hands. This is very distressing for me. I love him, but it really hurts me when he does this. Am I doing something wrong? How can I make him stop?”

This is actually a very common behavior. Your cat is not intentionally trying to hurt you. He just has a low threshold for stimulation. Some cats can not handle being petted over and over again. In response to the stimulation, they tighten their muscles, twitch their tails, and bite the hand that loves them.

The key is to pay close attention to your cat’s warning signals. As soon as the tail begins twitching — even just a little bit — stop petting him and let him settle down again before resuming contact. Once you learn to read his body language, you will be able to stop petting long before he bites.

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