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Why Does My Cat Grab My Hand and Bite Me?

If your cat has grabbed and bitten your hand, you may be confused, wondering why, and seeking ways to stop it from happening in the future.

Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me?

There are several reasons why your cat may grab your hand and bite it. For example, it may just want to play, you hurt it by accident, you touched its sensitive belly, its harboring an injury, or its a show of frustration. Depending on the situation, it can be obvious, but not always.

So, now you know why your cat does this. But, what part of their body should you always avoid? Whats do you do with this cat bit now? What is the best way to pet your cat? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…

5 Main Reasons Why Your Cat Grabbed Your Hand and Bit You

Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me?

Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me?

As discussed, there are several reasons why your cat may be biting at your hand. Whatever the reason is, you must make an effort to teach them from an early age that it is not okay to bite you. Here are some further detail on these reasons:

01. Wants to play

One of the main reasons that a cat will bite (click here if it’s lunging and doing this randomly) your hand is because they want to play. If you allowed your cat to bite at your hand when they were a kitten then they may view your hand as a toy when they become adults. Try to divert their attention to a toy when this happens.

02. Annoyed

Another reason that your cat is biting your hand could be because they are annoyed. Has your cat ever been enjoying a nice petting only to flip moods and start biting at you midway through?

Since your cat can not verbally tell you they have had enough they will often use their teeth to show you they are annoyed. They may also start biting if you begin petting them in a way they dislike.

03. You hurt your cat by accident

It may seem obvious when you hurt your cat. But, in reality, it is not always. For example, you may accidentally graze your new 4 inch acrylic nails against its skin and make it wince.

Or, you have just managed to squeeze its tail that bit just too hard. Not enough to make it scream out, but enough to react.

Obviously, if this happened and you knew, you may have begged for forgiveness and tried to pet it. But, does your cat really understand this apology? No is the answer.

Therefore, it may lash out with a bite and leave you wondering if you deserve this.

04. Its belly is sensitive

If you have ever seen your cat rolling over and having fun. It may make you feel that it is offering you a chance to rub its belly, I get it, dogs love this, right? Well, cats are another thing, they generally do not.

So, as they grow up, their cat may correct them with a little nip. And, in your cat’s mind this is a viable and reasonable mode of communication with you, regardless if you agree or not.

05. Your cat is harboring an injury

If your cat is injured, for example, a small cut on its paw, it may lash out and bite if you touch it. The problem is, beneath the fur, it may not be visible.

Therefore you may see this as an unprovoked attack. But, in reality, it is instinctively protecting itself.

When is this bitting most likely to happen?

One of the most common occurrences of a cat biting their owner is when that person is petting their cat too roughly. Sometimes the person gets distracted by a television show or a conversation they are having and they don’t realize how strongly they are rubbing their cat.

In exchange, the cat will use their teeth to let the person know that enough is enough. When this happens your cat’s mentality switches.

Your arm goes from friend to prey in their minds and then their hunting instinct kicks in. Their attacks however may not be all that aggressive. Even though they are annoyed they will exhibit more of a playful hunting reaction.

Why you should never punish or hit your cat for this:

You should never punish your cat for playfully biting you because they are only reacting based on their natural instincts. Instead, you should try to curb this habit by watching your own. Are there certain movements or gestures that trigger your cat to bite?

If your cat doesn’t like to be touched or rubbed in a certain spot they will nip at you to let you know. Another great way to get your cat to stop nipping at you is to put a reward system in place. When they exhibit good behavior you can give them one of their favorite treats.

One more thing you should keep in mind is to not pull your hand away too quickly when your cat starts to nip. That will get your cat even more excited and they will be more eager to hunt it.

Where do most cats NOT want to be touched? (Avoid this)

Most cats absolutely loathe having their stomach and flank area touched. Even when you are petting them and they lay back and look inviting, most will bite if their stomachs are touched. This is their way of telling you that this area of their body is off-limits.

Cats often feel overstimulated when their stomachs are rubbed, which is the main reason they will react with a bite.

What physical signs will a cat give you before she bites?

Every cat is different in which signs they will give their owner before they bite down, so you must get to know what your cat’s signs are to avoid injury. The tail is the most common indicator for reading a cat’s attitude.

When they are whipping their tail around it is a sign that they aren’t happy and a bite could be coming your way if you don’t stop what you’re doing to pester them.

Some other signals that your cat may give you to warn you of a bite are:

  • Flattened ears
  • Change in vocals, possibly a slight quiver to their meow
  • Hissing
  • Dilated or narrow pupils

Why is it a bad idea to use your hands as cat toys?

It is important, from the beginning, not to allow your cat to use your hands as a toy. This is because later on in life they will continue to think that it is okay to nip at your hands. Cats are clever animals too. If one person allows your cat to nip at their hands then the cat will remember and continuously treat that person like a toy.

To make sure your cat doesn’t treat your hand like a toy you shouldn’t allow them to bite you in their early days.

What should you do with the painful cat bite on your body?

It is a good idea to pay attention to the warning signs a cat gives off before they bite because this could eliminate an injury. However, if your cat does bite you hard enough to draw blood you should immediately wash the wound to avoid infection.

Afterward, if you notice any pain or swelling, or if the redness around the bite mark starts to spread, you should seek medical attention.

Could this bite be related to their former life as a kitten?

Does your cat ever give you a little love bite? Those are the type of bites where the cat comes at you playful and gives you a little nip. It feels more like they placed their teeth around you than it does an actual bite, right?

This playful habit stems back to their days as a kitten. Even as an adult, when your cat is feeling playful they may give you a love bite or two.

Usually, when this happens the bites aren’t aggressive or continuous. Your cat likely just wants to play and have some fun with you and this is their way of getting your attention. Since cats don’t speak, this is how they would initiate playtime with other kittens when they were young.

Why do some cats get aggressive and others don’t?

Cats are similar to humans in how some are more ticklish than others. Some cats don’t get overly stimulated so you can rub them as often as you please and only receive positive reactions. A lot of other cats are more sensitive and get overstimulated when they receive a rubbing.

These are the cats that often get more aggressive when you pet them.

What is the best way to pet your cat?

Keep an eye out for what triggers your cat to bite when you pet them and any signals they may give you beforehand. Try to end the petting session before the biting occurs. However, if your cat does start to bite, you shouldn’t punish them.

What you should do is end the petting session and slowly get up. The idea is to get your cat to go to the floor without touching them. If your cat picks up on your cue and jumps down to the floor, it is a good idea to reward them (Click here to see my best cat treats, on Amazon #Ad) so they know they did the right thing.

However, this reward should be in the form of a treat and not a petting. (If you pet your cat when they are already aggravated from being touched too much then they may snap which could lead to a bite.)

Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me while purring?

This is likely to be one of two things: either petting aggression. Or, it could be a love bite. Petting aggression is when your cat is telling you it has had enough now, and please stop.

Regarding a love bite. You know what this is, it is your cat’s way of showing love, weirdly. Who knows why they do this. But, it’s not just cats, right? Has your partner ever done this? Be honest!

Why does my cat cuddle then bite me?

Your cat could start off with a loving cuddle then switch to a random bite. Why? Well there could be a few reasons. However, common issues include static electricity off your body, or it just feels overstimulated.

It can be a bit confusing when you see this happen. But, once you identify what caused this you can work on stopping it from happening again.

Lindsey Browlingdon