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Love Bite?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a female cat that I rescued off the street. I've had her for about 6-7 months. She does not really like being touched, but lately she has been jumping up on the couch with me, and bumping her head into my arms and legs. She lets me pet her head and rub her cheeks and chin, and she purrs the whole time.

But every once in awhile after petting her, she calmly, lightly, and quickly bites my forearm. It not a hard bite, and it is usually about 10 seconds after I've taken my hands away from her. Then she just proceeds to act normal. Anyone else ever experience this? Any insight as to why or what this means.

I'm hoping its just a cute little love bite.
post #2 of 9
That sounds very cute actually Like she's saying "why did you stop petting me.. keep going"
post #3 of 9
My cat, Midnight, (deceased) used to do this. Midnight was adopted from a no-kill shelter where she had lived from the age of 2 months until the age of 8 months when I adopted her. Since she had spent so much time in a shelter, Midnight wasn't very well socialized to people, and couldn't handle a lot of petting at first. She would bite very quickly and lightly when she was being petted, in later years, she could handle being petted much better, and was less likely to do this. I might be wrong, but I think some cats can get too excited, and biting lightly is the way they react. We used to think of these little bites as love bites too. Our cat, Snowball was well-socialized to people at a very early age and has never shown this behavior.
post #4 of 9
I would guess that it's just a love bite, and possibly saying "I want more lovin'." Since she bites you 10 seconds after you stop petting, it's probably not overstimulation biting. When they bite you from being overstimulated, their tails start swishing, their heads start to follow your hands, and after the bite they usually jump off and run away and are generally agitated. She's calm, so it shouldn't be a problem. Also, when cats groom each other, they give little bites along with the licks. My cat does this to me when she's grooming my hands, and I think it's really cute!
post #5 of 9
In the beginning of these love bites, I used to think they were cute. As the cat grows older, the bites become harder, and I learned that way that petting them was what was causing it. Overstimulating them to the point where they just want it to stop.

Case in point, one of my recent rescues Whisp. Whisp is 4 years old, has lived on the street all her life, and now she has to endure human contact. I can perhaps pet her about 43 seconds before she reaches out to nip me. Picking her up is out of the question, though I do try, because if something ever happens to her, I will need to pick her up and want to be able to.

With some strays and ferals, petting is not something they are used to, nor do they like it. Petting is an emotional response that is clearly human driven. If your cat is nipping you, even lightly, my suggestion is you stop petting her. If you don't you might be sorry one day in the future when you forget yourself and go to long on a petting session.
post #6 of 9
Sometimes my boys will do the same thing. It's kind of like the equivalent to a little kitty cat kiss! When a cat lightly bites you and holds it for a second and lets go, they're giving smooches!!!

You should feel honored!

However, if you notice the bites are becoming more aggressive, then it might be from over stimulation.
post #7 of 9
They start off being gentle nips but they do get hard.

Recently I've just had a breakthrough with a feral tom and I petted him. He purred and was loving it. I felt thrilled and continued forgetting all about overstimulation and he bit me and it was hard. It was like OUCH!! OUCH!! OUCHIE OUCH!! but I couldn't scream as I'd scare him off. I let out an OW! and withdrew my hand.

He was fine after and there was a little petting session after but it was much MUCH shorter than the first one.

The lesson here is, even though you and your furry friend are enjoying the petting session, always be aware of overstimulation.
post #8 of 9
I have a similar problem with my current tabby (he doesn't ever seem to get enough attention ).

But it sounds like affection to me too. My cat will lick or paw me instead of biting if he wants something. I can see how, if I substitute licking for biting, that it's the same behavior.

Another vote for "why did you stop petting me.. keep going"
post #9 of 9
Yup! given the small delay between the end of the petting and the nip, I'm for "Hey, human, I didn't tell you you could stop!" I'd be concerned if it happened during the petting, but this seems harmless enough.
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