Most cat enthusiasts have experienced this at one time or another. You are petting your cat with a soft touch then suddenly you feel their sharp teeth nipping you. But have you ever wondered why your cat suddenly bites you? While cats are known for their funny behaviors that we love, some of them can leave us confused. Have you ever wondered why “why does my cat nip me” well, there is more to this behavior than you think?
Why do cats nip?
Biting usually serves many functions. It’s often a behavior that a cat uses to respond to threats and assert dominance. At home, your cat may bite to show who is in charge. If your cat bites but neither tries to cuddle or play with you, you’ll know that this is the case. Remember, your cat may resort to biting to honor their inner feral nature.
They also bite as a form of communication.
Instead of meowing, your cat may nip on your forearm or calf to show that they want something. They may want you to open for them the door, feed them or even clean their litter box. You will know that this is a signal if it nips then tries to lead you to the direction of some action they want to be done.
Just like humans cats have sensory nerves only that theirs are covered with fur. But since the base of their tail has a lot of them, they can easily bite you if you pet this area. When you overstimulate them, they may respond aggressively to make you know that they don’t like the behavior.
They may do this to show affection.
Your cat may also nip at you to show affection. According to studies, cats use these gentle nips as a reminiscent gesture of their younger days. It’s one of the best compliments that your cat can give you to indicate that they are happy and safe near you.
How to fix the bad behavior
While biting to show affection is not bad, aggressive biting can be dangerous. You may, therefore, need to train your cat not to bite. Teaching your cat not to bite is just like any form of training. Here are some basic principles that you can use
- Always ensure that you punish bad behavior but reward the good ones.
- The reward of punishment should immediately follow the action of the cat’s action. This will make them know why they are being rewarded or punished.
- Let them know that you are the boss. Although they are not as receptive as the dogs, the tone and volume of your tone will make them respond.
- Make sure you neuter the male cats that tend to bite.
- Ignore them. If you do not respond to their biting, they may leave the habit altogether.
- Use a different form of communication. Do what they are trying to ask you to do after they rub against your leg or meow.
So why does my cat nip me? No matter the reason, our cats typically do not mean to harm us. They do this to you because they love you. If your cat nips you, they may be doing it to show that they are the boss. However, if you have a cat that bites aggressively, then you need to seek the intervention of a professional. Whether they are giving you little love bites or aggressive ones, they want you to know how they feel.