Why does my cat bite (gently) and hold onto my arm sometimes when I am stroking it?

This Wednesday Why? will answer a question about stroking and playing with your cats.

The answer depends on whether you have a kitten or an adult cat.

Biting is normal play behaviour for kittens. The kitten needs to learn that they cannot bite people, but that they can bite their toys. However, this also means that owners should not be tempted to allow the kitten to chase, pounce and bite their fingers, arms or feet – even if it seems funny when the kitten does so.






This is perfectly normal behaviour and the kitten is playing with its toy.
But watch those claws! You don’t want them in your arm…


If your adult cat bites you gently when you are stroking it and holds onto your arm, then they might be trying to tell you they don’t want to be stroked, or perhaps not right now or not in that area of their body. We love all the ‘Tummy Rub Tuesday’ pics and sometimes post them too, but do know that most cats don’t actually want you to rub their tummy. If you try, they may well grab and kick or bite your arm/hand.
If your cat trusts you or has learned to enjoy this from an early age then stroking your cat’s tummy is lovely. But if they don’t like it, respect their boundaries.

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