If you’re a cat owner, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced your cat chewing on your fingers. You may be wondering why your cat does this, and what you can do to stop it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind why cats chew on fingers, and offer some tips for how to prevent it. Keep reading to learn more!
The most common reasons why my cat chews on my fingers
1. Your cat is teething:
Just like human babies, when cats are going through the teething process they may chew on things to help relieve their discomfort. When kittens are around 4-6 months old, they start to lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth. This can be a painful process, and some cats will chew on things to help relieve the discomfort. Cats may also chew on fingers as a way to explore their surroundings and get attention from their owners. If your cat is chewing on your fingers, it’s likely because they’re in a phase of teething and are looking for something to gnaw on.
2. Your cat is stressed or bored:
Chewing can be a way for cats to relieve stress. If your cat is feeling anxious or overwhelmed, they may start chewing on their fur or your fingers as a way to cope. Additionally, if your cat isn’t getting enough mental stimulation, they may start chewing on things out of boredom. Cats need to be engaged and challenged mentally, so make sure you’re providing your cat with plenty of toys and enrichment activities.
3. Your cat likes the taste of your skin:
Some cats enjoy the taste of human skin. Cats have different taste buds than we do, and they can pick up on certain chemicals in our skin that we can’t even taste. If your cat is constantly licking and chewing on your fingers, it could be because they’ve discovered that they like the taste of your skin.
4. Your cat is seeking attention:
Cats can be very needy creatures, and some may start chewing on you as a way to get your attention. She may have learned that chewing on your fingers gets you to interact with her, which is what she wants. If you think this is the case, try to engage with your cat more often and provide them with plenty of love and affection.
5. Your cat is trying to tell you something:
Cats are known for their relatively high intelligence, and they often use body language to communicate. In some cases, cats may start chewing on their owner’s fingers as a way to communicate. She may be hungry or thirsty, or she may need you to pay attention to her. If your cat only chews on your fingers when they want something, it could be because they’ve learned that this gets your attention and gets them what they want.
6. Your cat is in pain:
If your cat is chewing on their fur or your fingers excessively, it could be a sign that they’re in pain. Cats typically only chew on things when they are trying to relieve pain or discomfort. They can suffer from a variety of health problems that can cause them pain, and some of these conditions may cause them to chew on their owners as a way of coping with the discomfort. If you think this is the case, take them to the vet to rule out any medical issues.
7. Your cat ‘re experiencing separation anxiety:
Cats typically form strong bonds with their owners and can become anxious when they’re separated from them. This anxiety can manifest itself in various ways, including chewing on objects (including fingers). Some cats may start chewing on their owner’s fingers as a way to cope with separation anxiety. If you think this may be the case, try to increase the amount of time you spend with your cat and make sure they have plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied when you’re gone.
8. You’re rewarding the behavior:
It’s important to be aware that you may be inadvertently rewarding your cat for chewing on your fingers. If you give them attention when they do it, they may start doing it more often in order to get your attention. Try to ignore the behavior and only give your cat attention when they’re not chewing on you.
Is it all “love bites”?
No, not all “love bites” are created equal. While some cats may give gentle nibbles as a sign of affection, others may give much harder bites that can actually hurt. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two and take appropriate action accordingly. If your cat is giving gentle nibbles that don’t hurt, you can try to ignore the behavior or redirect it to a toy. However, if your cat is giving hard bites that do hurt, you need to take action to stop the behavior.
Maybe does my cat hate me?
No, your cat doesn’t hate you. Love bites from cats can be cute, but sometimes they can hurt. Cats typically don’t chew on their owners out of spite or anger. However, they may start chewing on you as a way to get your attention or as a way to cope with anxiety or stress. If you think this is the case, try to engage with your cat more often and provide them with plenty of love and affection. You may also want to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that could be causing the behavior.
How to prevent my cat from chewing my fingers?
1. Keep your fingers away from the cat:
One of the best ways to prevent your cat from chewing on your fingers is to keep them out of reach. If they can’t get to your fingers, they can’t chew on them. This may mean keeping them in your pockets or wearing gloves when you’re around your cat.
2. Redirect their attention:
If your cat does try to chew on your fingers, redirect their attention to something else. Give them a toy to play with or pet them in a different area. It’s important to do this consistently so that they learn that chewing on your fingers is not an acceptable behavior.
3. Train them not to bite:
You can train your cat not to bite by teaching them the “leave it” command. Whenever they try to bite your fingers, say “leave it” in a firm voice and offer them a toy or treat instead. With enough patience and practice, they should learn that biting is not an acceptable behavior.
4. Give them plenty of attention:
Cats may start chewing on their owners as a way to get attention. Make sure you’re spending enough time with your cat and giving them plenty of love and affection. You may also want to give them toys or play with them more often to keep them occupied and distracted from your fingers.
5. Consult with a veterinarian:
If you’ve tried all of the above and your cat is still chewing on your fingers, you may want to consult with a veterinarian. They can rule out any medical issues that could be causing the behavior and provide you with additional advice on how to stop it.
Cats typically don’t chew on their owners out of spite or anger. However, they may start chewing on you as a way to get your attention or as a way to cope with anxiety or stress. If you think this is the case, try to engage with your cat more often and provide them with plenty of love and affection. You may also want to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that could be causing the behavior.
Dr Alex Benjamin, DVM, is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience in Emergency Medicine. He has worked in both large and small emergency and specialty veterinary practices treating a variety of species. Dr Alex Benjamin is part of the review board. As Editor-in-Chief of vegasweims.com, Christian is delighted to be a part of the pro-cat movement.