As a cat parent, you sign up for certain things – cleaning up after your pet, torn up furniture, and on occasion biting and scratching.
They might look cute from a distance, but believe us, this feline behavior can get uncomfortable and painful. So you need to be fully prepared before you take on the responsibility of becoming a cat parent.
Imagine lounging on your couch or laying in bed after a long day and experiencing cat scratches and bites on your feet instead of relaxing. Sounds inconvenient, right?
If you’re tired of this behavior, the first thing you need to do is get to the bottom of the problem. You might want to ask yourself, why does my cat bite my feet?
Why Does My Cat Bite My Feet?
While there’s no telling how often your kitten will attack or how aggressively, often the most common target is your feet.
There can be several reasons why your cat is acting like this, and some of them are easily avoidable. In short, if you know what to look for, you can pre-empt and stop your cat’s attacks.
In case you didn’t know, cats are dramatic attention seekers. They’ll do anything they can to have you praise and pet them.
If you notice your cat displaying this behavior mostly when you’re busy doing chores, using your phone, etc., it might be hungry for attention. Biting or nibbling on your feet is the quickest way for it to get noticed.
Your cat may also want to leave the room, feel trapped because of a closed door, want food, or its favorite toy. There are no minor cat emergencies. Any slight inconvenience is reason enough for it to have a go at your toes and feet.
However, surprisingly it can also be just the opposite. If you’re aggressively petting your cat, keeping it in place when it wants to leave, or touching its sensitive areas, it might turn on you because of overstimulation. A cat may bite you if you touch its paws or stomach or interrupt its grooming session.
Your feline might end up giving you a good bite and then fleeing!
How to Stop It?
While it is important to play with your cat regularly, you also need to recognize its limits.
If your pet has certain “safe zones” like under tables or behind cabinets, stay away from those. If it is cleaning itself or eating, do not interrupt. Respect your cat’s space and pre-empt its needs. That will stop the worst of the biting.
Your cat may just be playing around. A common issue with cats is that they tend to treat their human caretakers the same way they would other cat playmates. That can include digging their claws in, biting, or nibbling your feet and toes.
It’s just playing around and having some fun. However, keep in mind, that doesn’t mean your pet won’t draw blood.
Cats are natural predators. Although they may not look like one, your furry pets are always alert and ready to pounce. Since they love tracking and playing with moving objects, your toes may become an easy target.
You’ll often notice a display of stalking behavior by your cat. Before it pounces at your feet, it might be following you around slyly.
How to Stop It?
The best way to stop your cat’s biting is to curtail your responses. The bigger a reaction they get out of you, the more entertaining it is for them. So try to limit your jumps, jerks, or screams.
Instead, give it a stern look or a pat on the head, followed by a harsh “No” to discourage the behavior.
Cats cannot understand words and have no concept of punishment. However, they do detect changes in tone. Use that to your advantage and train your pet out of its impulsive biting.
Sometimes a cat is just frustrated, energized, or bored. If your pet has been cooped up in a room all day or hasn’t been getting enough human attention, it may bite your feet or pull at your toes out of sheer boredom.
This is especially common in single-cat households.
How to Stop It?
If you haven’t been playing with your cat enough, you shall better get it a toy that will help take out all its excess energy. Otherwise, the more bored it gets, the more frustrated it will feel.
So get a string or ball of yarn to work out some of that excess energy.
Sometimes a gentle nibble is just a show of appreciation and affection from your cat to you. For example, if you’ve just filled up your cat’s bowl, it might lick you and give you a gentle nibble to show you that it loves you.
This kind of love biting is a learned behavior. Young kittens pick it up early on. Have you ever noticed how sometimes cats gently nibble their kittens while grooming? Or how kittens might nibble their siblings to bond? Your cat might be taking on this behavior to adulthood and trying to bond with you.
If this is your case, there’s no need to worry about it. There’s little to no chance your cat will hurt you.
- Medical Reasons
And finally, some cats are just experiencing some medical issues that cause them to display aggressive behavior. Even something minor but uncomfortable could make them lash out. Has your cat been examined? A typical medical condition causing aggression is hyperthyroidism. It could also mean a mating phase.
But, whatever the case is, your best bet is taking your furry pal to a vet and getting them examined. The sooner you do this, the better help your cat can get.
Cats are among the most popular pets all around the world. They’ve lived with humans for centuries, and we’ve even gone as far as to worship them. But sometimes, their biting and scratching can become problematic.
If your cat occasionally nibbles at your feet, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. But if it becomes routine behavior, and especially if it begins to draw blood, you will have to take corrective measures to fix the problem.