Why Do Cats Nip Your Hand

If you pet a cat long enough, there might come a moment that they’ll nip your hand. That’s right. They will straight out bite you. Now, there are many different reasons why they will do it. Still, cats are predictable like any other animal. This means that if you know how to read the clues, you can find out the reasons and even beware before they do it. The good thing is that this is more common with kittens than adult cats.

So, why do cats nip your hand? Cats nip your hand either due to overstimulation when you’re petting them or due to stress and aggressiveness. A kitten might also nip your hand because it’s still learning how to play and express emotions. The important thing is that you learn when is just excitement and when it’s aggressiveness. Then, know how to act accordingly to not encourage bad behavior.

Now, the situation that you should worry the most about is when your cat is trying to bite you. Cats may do this to get what they want when they want it. This is terrible behavior, and you need to learn how to correct it early on. This is one of the may reasons owners seek to euthanize.

So, it’s important to know how to teach your cat to not nip your hands. As much as you won’t mind, in the case of a kitten, when they’re old enough, it will hurt you. It’s important to teach them how to socialize so they don’t buy anyone that comes visit.

It Can Be Out Of Overstimulation

There’s such a thing as a cat biting you of excitement. What happens is that when you pet your cat, it might get overstimulated. This causes your cat to nip your hand. It’s not ill-intended or anything. It isn’t even aggressive behavior. You should understand as just an energy release for your cat.

Usually, this is easy to identify because your cat will nip your hand ever so lightly. This means that you’ll immediately notice that it isn’t an attack or something that is making your cat angry. Still, stopping petting them might be a good idea.

Cats are usually not aggressive animals, but they may present their behavior problems. This is the most common one. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to it. If you’re petting your cat, and he/she starts to nip your hand, stop the petting and correct the behavior. Your cat must understand that biting is not okay. A good way to do this is to ignore your cat or even leave the room, so they understand that it’s bad.

Your Cat Might Be Stressed

Nowadays, everyone is stressed including cats. Unfortunately, cats do get stressed as well, and it might be more common than you think. When cats are stressed or feeling any kind of emotion that overwhelms them, they find a way to let that out. Their outlet usually is nipping. This is the way that they found to release the energy and feel less stressed as a consequence.

Now, the best that you can do to help your cat feel less stressed is to control the environment. Make sure that your house is always clean, especially your cat’s litter box. Also, make sure that your cat has things to entertain themselves. This is the best way to create an environment that not only relaxes your cat but also makes them happy.

So, besides making your house clean, the second step is to control the air quality for your cat. Especially if you live in a big city, air quality isn’t the best even inside your house. The best thing is to get a pet air diffuser. It makes the room more calming and pleasant for animals. The Relaxivet Cats Calming Diffuser is a diffuser that controls the air quality and spread pleasant hormones that make cats relaxed. Check it out here.

Watch Out For Aggressive Behavior

There’s a difference in a nip from overstimulation and one that is intended as an attack. Depending on which one happens, your response should be different. That’s why is so important to know what is happening. When your cat is presenting an aggressive behavior, they’ll bite you during different times during the day and not only if you pet them. Then, they’re usually going to do it to get you to do something that they want you to.

If your cat bites you in the morning until you give them food or another thing that they want, it’s time to watch out for this type of behavior. The first thing that you should do is to make clear that it’s not okay for your cat to bite. Also, do not give them what they want to not encourage such behavior.

So, make sure that you do not encourage the behavior and make clear that it’s not okay. If the nipping continues, it may be the case to do something else about it. For now, the main thing is to make sure that you don’t send the wrong message to your cat. That is that it’s okay to bite to get what you want.

When You Should Seek Out Professional Aid

When the biting is becoming a serious problem, and you realize that it’s out of control, it’s time to ask for help from an expert. The first thing that you can do is to take your cat to a vet. Since this is the second most common reason that cat owners euthanize their pets, they’re likely to have seen something similar. This is good because they might also know what to do about it.

Then, if the vet consult doesn’t work – sometimes even the vet will tell you to do this – it may be the case to seek an animal behavior specialist. These people know how to deal with this and what works to fix the problem. They understand cat psychology and body language better than anyone. They may hold the key to solve your problem.

So, if your cat is biting you, chasing you around the house, and you clearly can’t control the situation anymore, it’s time to seek out professional aid. It can be a vet or an animal behavior specialist. It can also be both as long as you do look for professional help.

Train Your Cat To Stop Doing It

Before you look for professional help, you might try to solve the problem on your own. Especially if it’s not out of control just yet. The best that you can do is try and train your dog not to nip your hand or any other body part. Now, this will work better if your cat nips your hand only occasionally. If it’s something you can make it stop, it’s better to ask for help.

So, what you’re going to do is to ignore your cat when the cat does something wrong and reinforce positive behavior when it happens. Pets love attention and that’s what you’re going to take from them if they don’t behave. Ignoring or even leaving the room when they do something wrong is the best way to let them know that they did something bad.

Now, when your cat does what you want, you give them a treat. This is the best way to let them know they did something right and that you want them to continue to do that. To make sure that your cat loves the treat but doesn’t get fat, give them a premium quality one. The Hartz Delectables Stew Lickable Wet Cat Treats is a great cat treat. Click to view pricing on Amazon here.

Cure Boredom With Play Time

Sometimes your cat might nip your hand out of boredom. It’s pretty much because they have nothing better to do, so they decide to play with your hand. In this case, biting you helps get rid of boredom. This is also a sign that your cat wants more your attention and that you play with them.

The solution here is to redirect this behavior to other things. A chewing toy or any toy really, it’s great for the job. Make sure that you teach your cat that nipping your hand is wrong, but that they can play with the toys. This is a great way to cure boredom. Playtime is the perfect medicine.

So, redirect your cat’s behavior to play with toys. It’ll teach them to control their nipping and will distract them from what you want. The important thing is to redirect their behavior, so they stop doing that. The MOODY PET Fling is a perfect cat toy for this. Take a look here.

Final Thoughts

So, this is why cats nip your hands. They’re either doing it out of overstimulation or aggressiveness. It’s important to know the difference so you know what to do about it. Depending on the response your response should be different. Give them toys, treats and anything that you see fit, but do not hesitate to seek out professional help if you think that it applies.


As a kid, J. Cesar has always dreamed of becoming Dr. Dolittle. When he isn't writing, you can find him supporting his favorite football team or eating ice cream with his best dog-friend by his side. Linkedin Profile, My Website

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