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Why does my cat chew on my fingers?

Cats are adorable animals that, no matter what they do, rarely manage to upset us, although most of the time, let’s be honest, we get over the anger in seconds because who can get mad with such a cute little fur baby? If there is something I don’t like about my cat is when out of nowhere, she bites my fingers because it is something unpredictable, and it hurts. Why does my cat chew on my fingers if I love her so much?

6 reasons why cats chew on your fingers

It turns out that the reasons why cats tend to bite their owners’ fingers or hands can be many, and sometimes we are the ones who provoke it, ouch. If the same thing happens to you with your cat, you have come to the right place to learn more about this feline behavior.

A love bite

why does my cat chew on my fingers - love bite

Although for us, it does not mean that, for a cat, a small bite without much force is a sign of affection that they share with very few individuals. They learn this behavior when they are kittens because their mother used to give them small bites when cleaning them, which the cat automatically translates as a symbol of trust and closeness. It does it with you because you are part of its pack.

You will recognize that it is a love bite if your cat’s attitude is relaxed and does it as if it were a kiss, and that’s it and doesn’t insist on continuing to bite you.


Cats are very sensitive, and almost anything can easily irritate or alter their senses; for example, if you pet your cat’s head for too long, he will probably soon start to feel overstimulation in that area. Since cats have no way of telling you, please, human, stop doing that, the most effective way they have is to give you a little nibble while purring to make sure they get your attention.

When this is the case, it is best to understand that your cat needs some space because this bite acts as an early warning, and it is possible that if you continue to “bother” your cat, the next thing will no longer be a warning, but an “I told you so.

why does my cat nibble my fingers - teething


If you have a kitten and he bites everything around him, including your fingers, chances are he is teething, just as it happens with human babies. As you know, when the first teeth come in, the gums swell, and this causes pain and itching, which can be very uncomfortable for a kitten who doesn’t understand what’s going on. One way to soothe the pain, itching, and anxiety is by biting objects made of soft materials, as these allow them to massage their gums, and guess what? Your fingers are perfect for the mission.

If you want to help your little kitty in distress, you can buy kitty teething toys, usually made of rubber or soft plastic; some even contain catnip to help your cat relax.

Part of the game

Have you seen how a cat plays? In their games, anything goes. They run, jump in the air, kick, use their claw, and yes, they bite too. If your cat is playing with you and suddenly bites a finger or your hand, it is because he is playing and having such a good time that, in his excitement, he can’t control himself, but it is enough to observe his body language to understand that he is only playing and has no intention of hurting you.

My cat often bites a finger to tease me, it’s her way of initiating one last game before going to sleep, and some other times, she bites part of my hand if I’m playing with her. She notices I’m about to leave, and it’s her way of saying, “No, stay a little longer,” but she also often does that to direct my attention to a specific toy.

Tasty fingers

Have you ever licked your fingers after eating something super delicious? Well, something like that happens to your cat if you just opened a can of tuna or were cooking and your hands keep the rich aroma of your dinner. Cats often bite their owners’ fingers because the smell makes them think it tastes better if it smells good! Now that you know this, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid curious nibbling.

why does my cat chew on my fingers - tasty fingers

Chomping champion

Finally, some cats love to chew on things, anything. Generally, most of them enjoy biting plastic objects, but others prefer to bite fabrics and pieces of cardboard, and of course, some enjoy biting a nice and chubby finger, either of your hand or your foot. Who knows, maybe the softness of your skin gives them a pleasurable sensation.

This behavior is prevalent in cats that, from an early age, were allowed to bite their owners as a game since they didn’t learn to relate biting with pain but with play or release of energy. If this is your case, it will be challenging to eliminate the habit, but it is possible.

How to prevent my cat from biting me

In most cases, we can prevent our cat from biting us. For example, if we have just cooked tuna, it is enough to use plenty of soap when washing our hands, or if we are petting the cat for a long time and we see how it starts to wag its tail or flatten its ears, it is better to remove your hand immediately. But when the reason is because of a naughty cat, there are two things you can do:

  • If you have just adopted your cat, you must never use your fingers as a toy. I know it’s easy and sometimes irresistible, but you’ll send the wrong message, and your cat will think it’s okay to bite your fingers, so always use a toy or object when playing with him.
  • If your cat already has this behavior well learned, or if he enjoys biting you, every time he bites you, tell him in a firm and calm voice, NO, and walk away, this way he will associate the bite with your lack of attention and with time he will stop doing it. When you interact with your cat again, bring him a toy, and little by little, he will understand that the right way to play with you will be only that way.

Try them and tell us in the comments what your result was. Remember that when it comes to cats, patience and perseverance are the keys.

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