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Why Does My Cat Bite My Legs After I Take a Shower?

If your cat has surprised you with a bite after your shower you may be looking at the bite in shock and wondering why.

Why Does My Cat Bite My Legs After I Take a Shower?

There are a few reasons why your cat is biting you after you get out of the shower. The main one is that you have washed off your cat’s scent. Cats rub up against people and things in their territory to leave their scent and create familiarity.

Now you know why. But, how can you prevent this from happening? Do cats like the shower room? Should you even let your cat in the bathroom? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…

What are cats doing when they bite or rub against you?

When your cat rubs up against something she is secreting a scent that she will recognize. The glands that deposit the scent are in the temple and around the mouth and base of the cat’s tail.

If the scent has faded, which it can do over some time, or if it is covered over with some other kind of liquid, the cat will have to leave its mark again. All that hot water and soap when you shower has washed away the scent that your cat has deposited on your body.

Your cat biting your legs could be her just trying to re-establish that familiarity since some of the scent glands are located around her mouth.

Other reasons cat bite your legs after you shower

Why does my cat bite my legs after I take a shower?

A cat in a shower room looking menacing.

Another reason your cat is biting you after your shower is for your protection. Sounds funny, doesn’t it?

Cats hate water, and your cat may think that you’re in danger when you’re in the shower. When you get out of the shower she may be nipping you to remind you not to go near that big, bad water again. Nipping is a way of lovingly disciplining in the cat world.

Do cats worry if you wash off their scent?

Yes, cats get worried if you wash off their scent. Since cats use their scent to mark their territory and establish a sense of familiarity, they will be quick to re-establish their scent if it is missing.

If you’ve washed away your cat’s scent, she will quickly groom you again to make sure that no other cat claims you.

Why do cats follow you into the bathroom?

It may seem like cats are private, aloof creatures that need their alone time just as much as we do, but that’s not always true. Cats can be like dogs and follow their owners wherever they go, even to the bathroom.

Cats don’t like closed doors. They can feel vulnerable and if you go behind a closed door they might feel unsafe and want to be near you.

On top of that, cats are inquisitive, and if you’re consistently going behind a closed-door they’re probably wondering what the heck you’re doing in there. You might be spending time with another cat, after all!

Do cats enjoy the shower room?

Some cats hate being in the bathroom when you’re showering because they hate water. But that’s not always the case, and some cats love being in the shower room.

The reason is that the steam from the shower is pleasant to your cat. The steam helps your cat’s respiratory system and makes it easier for her to breathe. And some cats even like water!

Why are some cats fascinated with bathroom doors?

You’ll often find that cats can’t stand it when a door in their home is closed, and this includes the bathroom door. You being on the other side of a closed-door can drive your cat crazy. She thinks you’re doing something in there without her, and that you’re blocking off a part of her territory.

Plus, she thinks she needs lots of attention, and when you’re behind a closed door you’re not available to give her that attention!

Why does your cat meow while you shower?

Many cats like their humans, and will follow them around the house wherever they go. If your cat is one of those who likes to follow her human around, this is normal for her. She’s just keeping tabs on you and making sure you’re safe.

If your cat isn’t a water lover, and you’re in a place that is full of water, that’s going to cause her some anxiety. She’ll want to be in there with you, but there’s the nasty water to contend with.

Instead of joining you, she’ll sit outside your bathroom and meow for you to get out of there. She’s just looking out for your safety.

What is Human-Directed Aggression in Cats?

If you’ve ever experienced an unexpected attack from your cat in which she suddenly lunges at you and bites and kicks, it can be incredibly confusing, especially if your cat is normally loving. This human-directed aggression is a common problem and can be annoying and even dangerous.

You want to stop this behavior immediately, as it can prove dangerous. Cat scratches and bites can cause injuries and infections, especially in young or immunocompromised people.

Human-directed aggression is usually playful or status-related. Playful aggression is the most common, as well as the easiest to solve. Cats that haven’t honed their sparring skills when they were kittens can play too aggressively as adults.

Fortunately, this is a problem that can be fixed with proper training.

What happens if this aggression is not treated?

If playful aggression is untreated it can develop into status-related aggression. Cats with status aggression have to control people and situations around them. A cat with this problem will demand that you play with her, and then partway through the playtime will lash out.

This situation is harder to control, but with careful training, you can cure your cat of status-related aggression.

Do cats believe they can get more attention in your bathroom?

If your cat is always trying to follow you into the bathroom it may be because she thinks she can get your undivided attention in there. Cats love to sit and watch their owners groom themselves in the bathroom. She may feel more intimately connected with you during your grooming process.

How can you prevent your cat from biting you?

If your cat is constantly biting you after your shower, there are ways to stop it. The easiest thing to do is to keep your cat out of the area you will be in when you’re showering and dressing.

Positive reinforcement

A longer-term solution is to use some positive reinforcement to teach your cat not to bite. Use playtime to do this, just as cat families do. Play with your cat, gradually increasing the intensity of excitement of the play, and stop right away if she gets too excited.

Signs of her getting too excited include her ears flattening, exposed claws, and bared teeth. Try to calm her down at this point, or play dead, which tells your cat she needs to calm down.

Verbal feedback

If she bites (could she bite or kick her kittens? click here) or claws, yell “Ouch” and immediately ignore her. Cats love to play, so stopping at that point will show her that biting and clawing are unacceptable.

Should you let your cat into your bathroom?

It’s okay to let your cat into the bathroom as long as you are there to supervise her. There are many things she can get into and potentially dangerous situations. It’s never a good idea to lock your cat into a bathroom.

Lindsey Browlingdon