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Why Do Cats Bite Fingers? 4 Reasons You Should Know

Why Do Cats Bite Fingers? 4 Reasons You Should Know

While you are playing with your cat, you may notice that among the cute little things they do, they enjoy biting your fingers. It is not always hard or painful, but it can get repetitive.

If you have ever wondered why do cats bite fingers, there are a few reasons for this habit.

It can be controlled, but it is important to know what this behavior means, especially when it happens regularly.


Why Do Cats Bite Fingers?

Since finger-biting is a habit of kittens and adult cats, they can be attempting to play, or in some cases show aggression. Other reasons include anxiety and teething. It is important to understand their habits prior to them biting your fingers to see exactly what your cat is doing and how you should move forward.


Stress and Anxiety

Oddly enough, one of the more common reasons for cats to climb in your lap and latch on to one of your fingers includes the stress that they may be experiencing.

For some cats, the best way to manage a situation is to find their favorite chew toy and embrace an opportunity to soothe their anxiety.

If they enjoy chewing on you, then your fingers make for perfect targets.

Situations that can trigger stress are introducing one or more new pets to your home or even changing homes.

Some families find their cats pick this habit up after a move to a new home.



In some cases, aggression does develop in your cat and this can cause them to turn and take your fingers between their teeth.

While they may have been calm moments before, if you have been rubbing and petting your cat, you may introduce aggression that was stimulated, and they are indicating that they have had enough.

If you start to notice their ears flatten out, and they begin to make a growling noise, they are sending warning signals that they are not happy.

Their only defense is to react so that they can communicate with you.


Playtime and Cuddles

In most cases, your cat or kitten just wants to spend some time with you and play.

It is their natural instinct to play fight, wrestle and even bite other cats when they are small, while they are developing their hunting skills.

They are comfortable with you, so they find your fingers to be a great place to latch and practicing their biting without taking it too far.

When they are playing, they probably started the session off with a few soft pats with their paws, and then latched their paws around your wrist.

Because these bites are more like nibbles, they are not intending to hurt you and are instead being affectionate the best way they can.

Cats can be vocal, but they do use their bodies to communicate, hence the play biting.

They are sending their love and affection especially when the purring begins, and they are vibrating on your chest.


Teething Time

Kittens go through a teething stage that is very similar to babies. As the mature teeth start coming in, they may want to rub their gums on something soft.

In this case, one of the best textures for this is fingers and thumbs. They will latch around your hand and start to move their teeth up and down your fingers.

The motions will be light and there will not be as much of a bite as there is a rub, where they are relieving the pain they are feeling in their mouth.


Frequently Asked Questions About Why Cats Bite Fingers


When do I know the difference between teething and aggression? Should I stop my cat from biting my fingers?

If you think your cat is just teething, then the biting will not get worse in terms of pain on your fingers and causing you pain. If your cat is reacting aggressively, then they will be trying to inflict pain on you. Anything that is not playing should be stopped, and deter your cat from that behavior.


Are there any cat breeds that are more aggressive than the other?

Some cat breeds are more combative than others. They spend time biting and chewing when they are done being rubbed or scratched. Some of these breeds include the Siamese, Bombay, and Bengal, which are most prominent for their aggressive behavior.


How can I safely discourage my cat from biting my fingers?

If you have noticed your cat is picking up an unwanted habit of biting your fingers, it is good practice to keep one of their favorite chew toys nearby. When they start to bite you, pull out the toy and have them latch to it instead of around your wrist. They will start biting the toy and leave your fingers in the wind.


Does Your Cat Like To Bite Fingers?

Now that you know why do cats bite fingers, you have a more thorough understanding of what to expect when they start to tackle your fingers.

If they are small kittens, they are most likely looking to teeth and show affection.

Older cats, however, are either stressed, showing affection, or have some frustration that they are taking out on you.

Make sure to discourage this behavior if you do not like it early on so that they will stop and use another method to communicate with you.