Why does my cat bite my feet and fingers, and what can I do about it?

Playful and happy kittens like to play, but many new cat owners will mistake playfulness for aggression. Most people have wondered "Why my cat bites my feet", and it's time to take a look.

Cats often bite people's fingers and toes.
Cats often bite people's fingers and toes.  © Unsplash/Herman Delgado

There are few things more common than the biting habits of cats. They like to chew on things, whether it's grass, carpet, blankets, or their human's various appendages. The problem, though, is that a misplaced and overly enthusiastic bite can draw blood, and cause significant pain - it's not ideal, and it needs to be dealt with.

In this cat guide, TAG24 will take a look at why your cat is attacking your feet and fingers. Why is my cat attacking my feet? Find out here!

Why is my cat biting my feet and fingers?

When house cats attack the hands and feet of their owners, they're usually just trying to play. Cats are very rarely aggressive and when they are, there is usually a good reason for their behavior.

A cat's natural hunting instinct leads it to "mistake" people's individual toes and fingers for prey. This explains why toes that peek out from under the blanket are extremely enticing targets.

Kittens in particular tend to give in to this basic instinct - they are still figuring out what good and bad behavior is.

Why do adult cats bite fingers and toes?

Adult cats that are still attacking hands and feet might be doing so for a different reason - boredom. If a house cat doesn't have enough toys, or isn't sufficiently occupied, it will look for something to do (or bite).

In addition, there may be other more serious reasons as to why the cat is attacking. For example, if a cat is really scared, it might respond aggressively every time it is approached. Cats also like their quiet time, and if this is not respected, they sometimes lash out. That's why children should be taught not to approach a cat when it's taking its nap, because the cat could bite.

Biting might also be an indication that the cat is in pain. This could be the case if you notice that the cat snaps at you when you touch a certain part of its body or if it seems to be suffering from general discomfort.

Important: A visit to the vet will help you figure out what's going on, so don't put the visit off for long if your cat has suddenly become increasingly aggressive.

How to stop my cat from biting my hands and feet

You can train a cat not to bite by giving it something else to play with.
You can train a cat not to bite by giving it something else to play with.  © Unsplash/Sarah Brown

If your cat is constantly biting your hands and feet, the best thing you can do is get it better trained as soon as possible. The speed of this process is incredibly important because older cats are usually more difficult to re-educate.

So, if your kitten keeps attacking your fingers and toes, this behavior should be met with an immediate and clear "No!" However, it's worth saying that it helps to be forgiving and offer an alternative activity after you discipline it. A small ball, a feather string, or a toy should do the trick.

Giving the cat something to play with has an added bonus: It tires out your cat! A tired cat is a peaceful cat. Likewise, contact with other feline friends or regular outdoor play can help keep a cat from using up its energy on human toes.

Another way to teach your cat that aggressive behavior is a no-no is to just simply ignore them and not give them your attention. If the cat is acting out, just turn away and give it some time to calm down.

Consistency is important, especially when stopping cats from attack feet and fingers

It's very important not to put up with unwanted kitten behavior, because although it may seem cute at first, it will be less so when it's fully grown. If you suddenly start rebuking your full-grown cat for behavior that was deemed okay when it was a kitten, it can be really confusing and inconsistent.

The bottom line is that consistency, patience, and composure are the best ways to deal with these pesky attacks. Anger and punishment won't work, inconsistency won't work, and softness won't work.

Cover photo: Unsplash/Herman Delgado

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