Cats are a strange species. They can be your best friend one minute and then turn on you the next. One of my favorite things about cats is how they rub against us, but almost all pet owners don’t when they bite us with or without any reason. You may think that if they are so happy to see us, and won’t hurt after all that cuddling. That’s not the case often!
It turns out there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this awkward behavior, and whether you’re a cat owner or just someone who’s been getting rubbed up against by one, this blog post will answer your burning question: why do cats rub against you then bite?
However, we have sliced the question into two parts, rubbing and biting, to give a better understanding of the subject matter.
Reasons Why Cats Rub Against Your Body?
Before discussing why your little friend rubs against your body and suddenly bites. Do you know what it is trying to convey just by rubbing? When your cat comes close to you rubs against your body, it is a friendly gesture by them.
Remember that they have strong smelling power, and they use it to learn about their environment. Pet cats rub against you to leave their scent on you to claim that they own you.
Here is a detailed explanation and possible reasons why a cat rubs against you.
Cats have strong scent glands on their tails and face that discharge pheromone. When rubbing against you, your cat is trying to cover you in that scent or to mark you as their possession or something familiar to them.
They Are Curious
This rubbing habit can also be a way for your pup to check out what smells you have from grocery stores, restaurants, and other places that might make them happy. Cats are always curious about their master’s day.
Give her attention
Your cat may be indicating that she wants you to pay attention with her rubbing. Maybe your feline friend just missed being petted, belly rubs, is lonely while its favorite person is away at work or school, or needs an early release from their collar so they can explore more freely before nighttime begins.
As you can see, there are logical reasons why your cat gives you those rubs. Now let’s take a look at why she bites while rubbing and how you can prevent it.
Why Do Your Cat Rub And Then Bite You?
Have you been a victim of gentle rubs followed by a sharp bite out of nowhere from your cat? This is natural, but there are reasons for this unusual behavior. You might have experienced the bites while petting your cat. So don’t take it personally.
Your cat can also rub against you and then bite when they seek your attention, and you’re not looking or listening to them. However, there can be some other reasons that we will discuss below:
Is Your Cat Suffering From Pain?
Your cat can rub on you and bite you due to pain. This is because, in the wild, cats are prey. To protect themselves from being eaten by predators, they have developed an instinctual behavior of hiding signs that they are in pain.
If your cat starts biting out of habit, this means things haven’t been going well for your furry friend. You should take them straight to a vet as soon as possible before any irreparable damage has occurred.
Direct or Redirected Aggression
Cats will sometimes bite their humans, not because they want to hurt you but rather due to the fact that cats are frustrated by something and take out this anger in biting. Have you ever been so angry with someone/something, and someone else faced your wrath? It’s pretty much what happens when a cat is feeling frustrated.
Cats rub against you, then bite: How to stop her?
Cats are often difficult to handle, but there is a way you can train your cat not only to stop biting and rubbing against people all day long. Below I’ll share some tips for solving this problem that has frustrated many owners of kitties.
As for the rubbing, cats are just trying to make sure that they feel safe around you. They do this by rubbing against your leg or sleeping next to you, and it is a natural cat behavior.
When moving from place to place often as we do in life, there can be new scents that get left behind on our clothes and accessories, and these scents can make your cat uncomfortable. They rub on you to erase all traces entirely and replace them with their own odor.
However, if you don’t like this behavior or it is getting too awkward, here are some tips to stop this rubbing and biting:
There can be medical reasons.
If your cat has started biting your legs and hands too much and the bites are sharp, you need to take her to the vet. It can be due to pain or infection. Cats often bite when they are in severe pain. The vet will rule out medical complications and other possibilities and then advise a conclusive diagnosis.
Give your lonely cat some toys
Most cats develop this behavior as kittens. The best way to keep your cat from biting you is by providing them with plenty of toys. Cats are naturally curious animals and will often start playing when they’re bored or hungry. So it’s essential to control this behavior before it gets out of hand.
A good idea would be getting several different types of cat toys, especially ones made specifically for kitties who like chewing on things like stuffed animal creations.
If your young cat has just started to bite you, it could be because she is teething. In that case, it needs something to chew all the time. Such kittens feel itchy when teething, and soft will help them.
Train your cat
As stated above, some cats start to bite from an early age. This mostly happens because owners don’t teach her not to bite. This habit is usually developed at an early age, and if you have not inhibited her in childhood, you will have to train her about the same.
Whenever your cat tries to bite you, please don’t give any response and ignore her completely. If possible, change your location and return after some time.
Try to teach your cat that this aggressive behavior and biting will not be tolerated. Gradually, your cat will understand your actions, and she will not bite you anymore.
Things NOT to do when your cat rubs or bites you
Above we have highlighted the causes of this behavior and when you need to do to prevent this. Now, we will outline the things that you should not do while training your cats.
Do not hit your cat
Punishing your cat for biting you can have a negative effect on her. Cats lack the ability to learn about punishment, so do not hit or yell at her when she bites. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement methods like giving treats and praise.
If you want your cat to stop biting, it’s best not to punish them. If your cat bites you and the bite is painful, just gently push the cat from your leg or hand. But never hit or yell at your pet.
Make sure your cat is properly vaccinated and is free of rabies otherwise it will also be dangerous for you and your feline friend
Never ignore her body language.
When your cat is developing this awkward biting habit, it is common to think about feline’s hostility. Here you will have to conclude why she is doing so, try to notice her postures and body language. By doing so, you can find the root cause behind this behavior.
For example, try to observe her ears; in this case, the ears will be compressed on her head. This is an indication of aggression. Besides, monitor her tail’s movement.
Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You?
Sometimes, your cat will rub their teeth on your body just like a toothbrush. If you have already witnessed the same or you want to know about this behavior, here is the answer. By rubbing her tooth on your body, your cat is trying to cover you in pheromones.
A cat’s scent glands are found on its tails, inside its mouth, cheeks, and forehead. So by parting their lips and rubbing their teeth to your body, they are transferring those scent glands.
Cats don’t bite while rubbing their teeth on your body, but you need to be careful!
In the End:
The question of why cats rub against you then bite is one that has been asked by many pet owners. It is not that simple to determine the precise reason or cause of this habit, but there are some theories out there which we’ve written above in this read.
One vital thing to note is that if your cat does it often and without warning, it can be an issue with their health. However, if this behavior happens occasionally or sporadically, then don’t worry too much! It might just be because you’re super attractive.