Why does my cat bite my feet ? – Cat behavior of biting feet explained

You must have gotten confused that why does my cat bite my feet whenever your cat may have tried nibbling on your feet whenever you are lazing under the covers or just walking around. This behavior of cats biting humans’ feet has much to do with their instinctual urges and can be stopped with proper training and care. Read on to know more.

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Understanding the cat bite

Just like the feeling we get of gobbling something up because it appears too cute is an expression of overflowing feelings, the cat bites on our feet can also be understood in the same way. However, it is very important to understand aspects of a normal cat bite to be able to differentiate it from the real bites that carry a different and troublesome meaning because an intense cat bite can land your feet in the trouble of infections and wounds.

Here are some of the tips on observing the way your cat bites you on the feet and understand the message behind it:

  • The key thing is to observe the body language of the cat closely. The sounds made by the cat during any of their moves helps a lot in understanding the underlying emotions.
  • Your kitty might end up biting your feet as the final expression of its affection after having received prolonged petting from you and in return kneading on your leg, softly purring, and blinking, etc.
  • Whenever you suspect the demand of attention behind your cat biting, and then give them any toy to play with and see if they stop. This way you can be sure of their meaningful actions.
  • If you see a thumping tail and backed off ears as well as hear a growling sound, then the cat may end up giving you a serious bite that can wound you. Thus, you must back off at the right time in such cases.
  • If they immediately pull away after biting your feet, it’s simply for grabbing your attention towards something.
  • Your cat will not leave after giving the bite but simply engage with you via eye contact if it really wants to communicate further.

For being sure of why do cats bite feet, you can test the cat with the above tips 2 or 3 times and analyze the behavior. However, don’t go beyond these many attempts as that may either irritate the cat or you may end up making the wrong message out of the signals. This testing might also become an accidental training of your cat into learning that biting your feet can get them anything they want, be it their favorite toy or a treat.

Possible reasons that lead to cats biting your feet

Here are some of the major possibilities that attract your cat towards your feet.

why does my cat bite my feet

Instincts

Chasing is a part of the set of innate behavioral instincts of cats and that can be related to understanding why they chase moving feet and attack them. The predator instincts of cats might get triggered so badly upon seeing the feet of humans moving into biting them. They don’t see those feet as the feet we understand but just fleshy things moving around.

The resemblance with a prey

This is another reason related to the one above where the cats may see and understand human feet as something resembling a small-sized prey with a unique shape. Cats prefer to hunt smaller size preys when they are alone and the human feet tend to catch their eyes because of the resemblance and shape. Any socks or slippers on them add the additional exciting touch, enough to trigger the cats.

Need for play

In case of lesser playing opportunities, your cat may end up biting your feet as even seeing the moving feet can stimulate them if they have got nothing else to fixate their attention upon. Cats need stimulation and can get easily bored if they don’t get interested in playing toys to play with or a company. Getting stimulated to bite the moving feet thus comes out as a playful instinct and is generally non-hurtful.

Grabbing attention

Your cat may be in dire need of attention and this can be an answer to you thinking ‘why does my cat bite my feet’. Cats love attention and can do really anything to grab some of it, biting your feet can easily be one of those things. It is one of their ways to communicate about their urgent needs because any human won’t ignore a bite on its feet.

They can also be doing so for seeking your attention for demanding an entirely another thing than playing like pointing toward any health issue, physical discomfort, food, water, anything that is scaring, presence of any predator, etc.

Stopping anything

Cats are clever creatures and they observe the responses of humans to their actions to make them potential tools. On that note, your cat may bite your feet sometimes to deter you from doing anything that they don’t like during grooming sessions or trimming of their nails.

Assert dominance

This is the sign of aggression when your cat bites your feet and doesn’t back off after that. This usually means that they are trying to show their dominance or possession over you. They might also be feeling threatened or intimidated and end up biting as a result of the panic.

Lack of manners/Teething

This is the major reason when young kittens bite the feet of humans. It mostly happens when they are teething or just in the case of lack of socialization manners due to the kittens being in the learning stage still. Mothers teach some manners to their kittens and if the kittens are taken away sooner, then they might not know how to behave.

Signs of over-zealousness

If you think that ‘why does my cat attack my feet so aggressively’, then the possible reason could be over-expression of emotions or that they are getting over-stimulated. Your cat may end up biting your feet as a result of overflowing affectionate feelings which is like giving a love bite. In cases of over-stimulation, the cat may bite to give a warning sign asking you to stop.

Tips on making your cat stop biting

After analyzing the way your cat bites you in different situations, you must have some tips ready in hand to stop your cat from biting you in any situation or before they get habitual of doing so at their convenience.

  • Whenever your cat bites your feet, the easiest thing you can do is to call it out with a NO and then ignore it for some time. This will help the cat understand that it’s wrong behavior after some repeated occurrences.
  • Play more with your cat to get it the desired stimulation and company. For meeting their very intensive stimulation needs, get them super interactive toys, scratching posts, puzzle feeders, etc. that keep them consumed all the time.
  • Whenever the cats take the cue and don’t bite, give them rewards enough to encourage them.
  • If you have a cat that is undergoing teething issues, get them chew toys that will also be good for their oral health.
  • For some very aggressive cats, the solution could be a mix of intensive playtime sessions and constructive punishments. The main idea is to make them able at releasing the pent-up energy that causes them to behave raucously.
  • Get them a fellow pet to play with if they show signs of craving company.
  • When training your cat to behave, make sure to ask all the family members to give the same responses.
  • In the case of your cat biting you severely, there is a particular way you need to follow for getting your skin out of the bite. Instead of trying to pull away, push in the area on which the cat is biting towards their mouth along with gritting your teeth. This will make the cat let go of your feet.
  • Give them replacement behavior training if they like to chase your feet. Clicker-train your cats to sit when you enter the room and then reward them for making them do it every time.
  • Never punish them hard physically as that will make them even more aggressive.

Conclusion

I hope that you no longer wonder why does my cat bite my feet and are ready to decide on ways to train your cat into deterring from this behavior. You may have to take your cat to a vet or a pet behaviorist if nothing works and get them properly examined for starting with the right treatment.

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Luna Tran
 

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.