Here’s an intriguing question: Why does your cat chew on your fingers? If you were to ask most people that, they’d probably answer with something along the lines of “I don’t know.”
Cats can be strange creatures at times, and if your cat has ever tried to gnaw on your fingers, you may be wondering what the heck is wrong with them. Some cats prefer to chew on plastic, while others prefer to gnaw on your fingers.
Join us as we examine seven possible reasons why cats may choose to nibble on your fingers. A quick nip from a cat may appear charming, but a full-on bite from a cat can be extremely painful and infective.
The first step in stopping your cat from chewing on your fingers is figuring out why they’re doing it in the first place, or adjusting your behavior so they don’t start biting on you in the first place.
If you want to stop your cat from biting your fingers for any reason, we’ve got you covered.
Cats like playing, which can occasionally lead to biting. The consequence is the same whether it’s another cat or your fingers! When our domestic cats play, they are frequently practicing the hunting skills that they would use if they were in the wild. Even if it’s a toy mouse, no amount of domestication can keep your cat from pounceing on and biting their victim.
Allowing your cat to bite you, even if it’s only for fun, might give your cat confusing signals. They won’t comprehend why biting you is OK at times but not at others. Consistency is essential for your cat to understand what is and is not permitted. If your cat bites your finger while you’re playing, withdraw your hand or, if necessary, step away from the situation for a few minutes. Ignore the cat completely, don’t speak to it, and don’t look at it. This is the only way the cat will realize biting is not acceptable. After a few minutes, you may return to the play session and redirect your cat’s interest away from your hand to a toy.
When cats are anxious, they may gnaw on or devour non-food things. It’s possible that this is a type of self-soothing activity. Certain breeds, such as Siamese cats, are more prone to chewing as a kind of anxiety relief. If you’ve been working longer hours, changed the furniture around, or brought a new pet home, your cat may be stressed.
Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to keep your pet as stress-free as possible. Make sure your cat’s habitat is filled with enrichment. To make your cat feel more confident and settled, introduce new pets cautiously and try using a feline pheromone diffuser.
Many cats can swiftly transition from loving a gentle stroking from their owners to “petting induced hostility.” When your sensitive cat’s nerve endings are overstimulated as a result of too much touching, this happens. They could whirl their heads around and pinch your fingers. This is essentially a message warning you to back off because they’ve had enough.
Begin to keep a close eye on your cat while you pet it. Stop caressing them and move away if they display minor indications of overstimulation, like as the end of their tail flickering or twitching ears. You’ll be able to figure out your cat’s threshold over time, and make sure you pet them for less time than it takes them to reach or surpass it. It’s preferable to leave the cat wanting more stroking than to push them beyond their limitations. Learn to stop stroking your cat while he or she is still enjoying it, and your petting will remain good.
They’re showing affection
Some cats may give you a delicate nip as a sign of affection. If you pay attention to your cat’s body language and behavior, you’ll quickly be able to tell if his gnawing is friendly, a warning sign, or because you’ve just finished cooking fish for supper!
This isn’t an issue as long as you don’t mind your cat giving you a small bite on the fingers. Remove your hand, yourself, and your attention from the cat if the nibble becomes a stronger bite. This is the only way the cat will realize he’s gone too far.
They like chewing things
Some cats just like using their teeth to investigate new textures or things. When your cat wants to chew something, they’ll most likely select your fingers!
Instead of your fingers, give your cat a chew stick or a strong rubber toy to chew on. If you know your cat enjoys chewing on things, make sure you only leave them alone in a cat-proof area with no exposed electrical cords or other items that they may injure themselves by gnawing on.
When a kitten’s baby teeth fall out and its adult teeth begin to grow, their gums might become inflamed and uncomfortable. Chewing on anything, like a teething infant, is one way for them to ease the discomfort.
If you know your kitty is teething, provide them with a variety of safe chew toys to replace your fingers. Some kittens enjoy chewing on cardboard; however, keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t ingest any. Others prefer rubber chew toys, and in many cases, a puppy toy will suffice. The pain will go away after your kitten’s teeth have broken through, and they should stop gnawing.
They can smell food on your hands
Have you just finished shelling prawns for supper and paused to touch your cat on your way to wash your hands? Don’t be shocked if your cat investigates your hand with a sniff and even a bit! They might not be able to resist the tantalizing aroma of delicious meals.
If you’ve been handling food that your cat will find very appealing, make sure you wash your hands completely with scented hand soap before approaching your cat.
They were weaned too early
At about 8 weeks of age, most kittens will begin weaning on their own. If your kitten was weaned sooner or was separated from their mother unexpectedly, they may seek solace by imitating suckling motions. While most cats will do this with a soft blanket, others will grab your hand or fingers instead.
If your cat is suckling on your hand or another unsuitable item on a regular basis, get help from your veterinarian or a cat behaviorist. You may sometimes offer your cat a soft toy or blanket to play with instead. This is a self-soothing activity for cats, therefore you don’t want to discourage them from doing it.
If your cat is suckling on your hand or another inappropriate object on a regular basis, get help from your veterinarian or a cat behaviorist. You can sometimes offer your cat a soft toy or blanket to play with instead. This is a self-soothing activity for cats, therefore you don’t want to discourage them from doing it.