Why does my cat bite and kick?

Why does my cat bite and kick?

Anyone who has lived with a cat knows what an extremely affectionate and good companion they are. But despite this, surely it is not the first time that the situation occurs in which you are calmly caressing your cat and it begins to bite you, grab your hand tightly with its claws and kick you furiously as if it were a fight.

This situation generates a lot of confusion in many owners and gives arguments in favor of those people who believe that cats are unfriendly and unaffectionate animals. Even so, as you will see in this BestPetsLover article, there is an explanation for why your cat bites and kicks you, and understanding this behavior will be of vital importance for harmonious coexistence with your furry friend.

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Why does my cat bite and kick me?

The bite, as well as the kicks, are part of the natural behavior of the cat since it is a puppy. And it is that this behavior that the puppies exercise while playing, serves as training for when they are adults and have to hunt and defend themselves. Therefore, during this stage, it is nothing more and nothing less than a game and, therefore, it is not aggressive behavior, 

Now, what happens when this behavior goes on for too long? The truth is that it is not uncommon for adult domestic cats to play or show this behavior despite not being puppies, since the game provides them with a necessary stimulation similar to what they would have hunted in the wild. In a certain way, domestic cats that have been raised by humans since they were small, retain many puppy behaviors, such as the aforementioned game, or asking us to feed them similar to how they would ask their mother.

However, when the cat bites and kicks painfully and without warning, it is undoubtedly worrying, as many owners wonder if their cats do not love them or if they are aggressive. Now, the truth is that most of the time, we are faced with a learning problem.

That is, when this behavior has become problematic, it usually happens because the way you act with your cat when he was a puppy has not been the most appropriate, he has not been taught to inhibit the bite, and he has even been encouraged to play this way because being a puppy, it’s funny.

But now that the cat is an adult, what used to be graceful and harmless bites and kicks have become a problem. In addition, the fact that the cat has been prematurely separated from its mother and siblings is also usually an aggravating factor, because thanks to the interaction with these, the puppy learns not to bite disproportionately, since little by little it realizes that he hurts.


Surprisingly, the reason is not always associated with aggressiveness. There are different reasons why your cat may bite you. We explain the main ones:

Because he wants to play

If since your cat was a puppy you have allowed him to nibble your hands with his sharp little teeth, he will interpret that he can continue doing so when he grows up. Keeping away from this way of behaving from the beginning is crucial for right it. Ideally, you should incorporate toys into your game routines, because in this way you will stimulate his hunting instinct without putting yourself in danger.

Because he doesn’t want any more pampering

Observing your cat can help you determine what kind of petting she prefers, at what times, and how often. If you are petting him and you notice that he is restless or irritable, you should stop touching him and ignore him. Surely, out of nowhere, he will return to search for you to get more strokes.

Because he loves you very much

Although it seems incredible, your feline can nibble your hand or one more piece of the body as an indication of warmth and overabundance of adoration. In this case, he sets the teeth gently on your skin, avoiding damaging you. Now, if due to circumstances, when he was a baby, he has not been able to develop this behavior with his siblings, it is possible that he does not have command over the nibble and winds up harming you.

My cat bites and kicks me when I pet him

Occasionally, you may find yourself caressing your cat relaxed, and without warning he gets upset and starts attacking you furiously, biting you and scratching you with his hind legs. In this unexpected situation, your feline has surely been upset, since you have crossed the line about what he tolerates and what he does not. In other words, he may have been confident and suddenly you have touched some part of his body that he does not like, such as his belly, for example, because it is a very vulnerable area for them.

It should be noted that if your cat has never performed this behavior before when touching an area of ​​his body, but now you have noticed that he is especially angry when you touch him, it may mean that he is in pain. (in addition to if you observe other strange behaviors or changes in habits), so it would be advisable to take him to the vet.

It is not strange either that if your cat is calm and wants to be alone, he gets angry if you touch him. It is therefore important to understand the cat’s body language since it will surely have warned you that it wants you to leave it alone. Otherwise, if you do not respect his limits, it can start a conflict.

Is my cat aggressive?

Normally not. When we find ourselves before a cat that bites and kicks causing damage, it hardly means that it is aggressive. As we have seen, many times this happens because he has not been properly educated or has a lack of understanding about it.

However, aggressive behavior could be due to fear, especially if your cat has not been properly socialized with people since childhood and is not familiar with petting. Fear also has a strong genetic predisposition, which can be fostered by the environment in which it has grown up and the experiences it has had, such as if it has ever experienced pain due to human contact (by holding it or caressing it in some way). sensitive area).

Lastly, it would not be strange for a cat to have aggressive behavior specifically with a single individual in the household, because the furry one has had negative experiences with this person, or because he is clinging only to his caretaker and is fearful of the rest.

What to do if my cat bites and kicks me?

Regardless of the situation raised in this article, you must understand that the cat does not perform the aggression maliciously. That is to say, in case he has made bad learning, he does it because he does not know that it hurts you. And if the aggressiveness is done because he is angry with you or he is afraid, he performs this behavior with the intention that you get away from him, and it is most likely that he will leave if he is not cornered. Therefore, we must insist that we NEVER quarrel or physically mistreat a cat, because apart from the fact that he is cruel, we will only make him afraid of us, seriously aggravating the problem.


If your cat bites you, holding you tightly with its claws and kicking you with its hind legs, you must be patient and remain completely still. On the contrary, any movement you make will only excite him more and, for this reason, will invite him to continue playing or take him as a threat in case he is afraid.

Do not talk to him or caress him

In addition, it will be contradictory that you talk to him because he can take it as something positive, much less that you caress him. In this case, it is best to react by saying oh!” furthermore, stop the game, in this way, he will discover that each time he nibbles hard the tomfoolery finishes, and he will figure out how to play in a more 

the proportionate way in the same way as he would learn with his mother and puppy brothers because when they play with each other and they bite too hard, they quickly react by showing pain and moving away.

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It should be noted that it is not recommended to play with our cat with your hands, since it has to be measuring itself all the time. For this reason, you should offer your cat toys with which he can perform this behavior at ease and get tired, such as stuffed animals or reeds, so that he will no longer feel tempted to do it with you. Here we leave you an article about Toys for adult cats, which one to choose?

Pathologies and pain

It may be the case that your cat bites a lot because it suffers from some pathology that causes pain and bites as a reaction to that pain. If he is already very old, he may be suffering from, for example, osteoarthritis. By having contact with him, either by stroking or grabbing him, you involuntarily cause him pain and he reacts by biting or scratching.

Other diseases, such as feline immunodeficiency virus or hyperthyroidism, can cause your cat to bite a lot. The most advisable thing is to go to your trusted veterinarian to rule out that some pathology is causing this behavior. 

He doesn’t want any more pampering at that moment

It is important to respect him and pamper him in a way that is pleasing to him. If he doesn’t want any more pampering right now, leave him alone. It is about getting used to and accepting your pampering with good pleasure: if you force him to let himself be caressed it will be much worse. 

For boredom

Your cat must have elements at home that stimulate and enrich its development, such as scratching posts, areas of different heights, and various toys. In this way, they will lower their stress levels and their aggressiveness. Because it may be that he bites you as a sign that he is bored and is letting you know that he wants to play with you.

With this article, we wanted to bring you closer to feline psychology to understand why cats bite and help you stop this behavior. Your cat talks to you continuously with his attitude and from here we try to help you so that you can decipher this communication and be in good harmony.

That he decides the moment of the caresses

Ideally, you should let your cat approach you whenever you consent, and not the other way around, as this could be one of the reasons why he becomes aggressive when you do so. You can try prizes such as toys or food, to motivate him to go where you are. 

Understand your cat

If your cat bites you and kicks you when you pet him because he does not tolerate petting, either because at that moment he prefers to be alone or he is afraid of us, you must know how to interpret his body language to know when he is more or less receptive. If you start by knowing their limits and avoiding excesses, you will have already taken a very important step, because many cats in the long term can become surly and reluctant to human contact if we do not know how to understand them and we treat them, literally, like stuffed animals.

For more information, you can consult this other BestPetsLover article on The behavior of cats.

Let him get close to you, and not the other way around

Next, you must change your usual way of interacting with him. For this reason, to start building a bond of trust, let your cat be the one to start the interaction with you because, in this way, you will know that when he approaches you of his own free will, it is because he is interested in what you do to him. case. You can even try to motivate him with a prize, that is, work on positive reinforcement in cats, since in this way he will associate you with something positive and put aside the negative experiences he may have had in the past.

Pet him on the head and back

Finally, when you caress him, you should always do it gently and slowly, avoiding the areas which he does not like to be touched, such as the belly or the legs. Preferably, stroke the top of the head and gradually (as you see that your cat doesn’t mind human contact), go down the back, as this is where most cats love to be scratched.

What to do in these cases?

Cats are generally not aggressive when they behave in this way: a cat that bites and kicks is not necessarily aggressive, but we have seen that there is a different problem.

But the aggressive behavior of our furry dog ​​could be related to fear: perhaps he was not well socialized as a puppy, and he does not feel comfortable being petted.

There is also a genetic factor when it comes to fear: the experiences and environment you grew up in are very important.

Maybe he had a bad experience as a child, like being held against his will, so he links the pain to human contact.

It is important to emphasize that a cat never attacks out of malice. For this, punishing or scolding the cat does not make any sense, and can only aggravate the cat’s problems.

How should we behave then? Some helpful tips are:

  • Stay still: If the cat bites, blocks our hand with its claws, and kicks with its hind legs, you’d better stay still and wait patiently. Each of our movements can only make the cat more nervous because he is seen as a threat, or it can simply make the cat think that we invite him to continue with his “game”.
  • Do not talk or pet the cat: it is better not to give any type of positive message in these cases. A word or a caress can make the cat think that his behavior is appreciated. Better to stop the game with a moan, making the cat understand that he must stop because it hurts. Eventually, he will learn to play the right way.
  • Let’s learn to understand our cat: if the cat does not like being petted, or does not like our company (because perhaps it is afraid of us), better learn how to understand its body language and avoid petting it when it does not want to. We learn to understand when the cat is at the limit of it.
  • Let the cat come closer to us: to create a relationship of trust with our four-legged friend, let him be the cat to start interacting with us so that when he comes closer he wants to be with us. We can also motivate him with rewards because positive reinforcement will do a good thing for the cat by removing negative experiences from his past.
  • Pet the right places: When you pet the cat, do it slowly and gently. We avoid the parts of your body that you don’t like to be touched (legs and belly), it’s best to start at the top of your head and gradually work your way down to your back. These are the areas where most cats prefer to be petted.