Agressive behavior in cats

Why does my Cat Knead me and then Bite me?

Why does my Cat Knead me and then Bite me?

According to veterinarians, kneading is a natural behavior in cats that begins shortly after their birth. They usually knead their mother’s milk glands to stimulate the flow of milk. This is a purposeful behavior in baby cats, but sometimes it continues into their adulthood as well. In some cases, adult cats knead to show their contentment, to calm themselves during bouts of anxiety, or to mark an object or person with their sweat glands. Kneading is usually a normal procedure in which a cat will asses if it curls up against an object or person, but what if the cat starts biting too after or while kneading. This can be an uncomfortable process for the owners. If you are concerned about why does my cat knead me and then bite me, this oneHOWTO article will try to find an answer.

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  1. Early weaning
  2. Excessive sensitivity
  3. Over-petting
  4. How to deal with a cat that kneads and bites

Early weaning

Early weaning is one of the most common reasons why a cat may knead and bite. Such cats tend to suckle on the skin of humans, stuffed toys, earlobes of the master, or even the dog in the family. Some cats may even chew or suck on woolen blankets or clothes while kneading. If your cat is simply kneading and playing, you can just sit back and watch her playfulness, but if it is biting too, then you need to talk to a vet.

Excessive sensitivity

Cats have whiskers that are very sensitive. They have them not only on their face, but almost all over their body, including their paws, back and head. Whiskers are finer and smaller in these areas, but if you take a closer look, you will definitely see them. Just as some humans are less or more ticklish, so are cats. Some cats have extra sensitive whiskers that become incredibly ticklish when someone touches them. If you are stoking or petting your cat while it is kneading and you happen to tickle their whiskers, they may become intolerable and try to bite you to stop you. If that’s the case, they will immediately stop kneading and biting if you stop touching their whiskers. So, keep a watch on them.

Why does my Cat Knead me and then Bite me? - Excessive sensitivity


As far as a cat’s kneading and biting behavior is concerned, you need to understand that he/she is not a dog, and your cat is not designed to tolerate petting all day. With excessive petting, your cat may become over-stimulated and may try to tell you that he/she is over-done with your petting.

Pay attention to your pet's tail. Unlike dogs who beat their tail back and forth, cats slowly flick the tip of their tail. When they are over-done with your petting, your cat may swish her/his tail back and forth, and you should take it as a warning. Also look into the eyes of your cat. A normal cat’s pupils are calm and narrow, but when stimulated, they dilate and become fuller. Watch the fur along her back and the cat's head’s back. If the skin ripples or if you find a ridge standing up, your cat is done with petting. If you see any of these signs, stop touching your cat and it's better leave him/her alone. Whenever you pet your cat, concentrate on the head and face’s sides, and stay away from the area around the tail.

How to deal with a cat that kneads and bites

Now that you are aware of some of the reasons why your cat is kneading and then biting, start ending your petting session before your cat is over-done.

Let your cat lie down on the floor until she is able to recover and come back. If he/she tries to swat or bite, lie her on the floor again and let the time pass. Never ignore your cat or push him/her away with your hands. Also don’t scold or spray on your cat, or tap on its nose. Such aggressive techniques will not be able to retrain the cat's aggression and are doomed to fail. Even if a cat kneads and bites, he/she will not know what wrong it did to you. By letting him/her lie on the floor, your cat will be able to associate biting with this action, and learn to resist it when it feels over-done.

Why does my Cat Knead me and then Bite me? - How to deal with a cat that kneads and bites

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1 comment
Absolutely loved reading about cats.
Particularly the article regarding how to stop a cat from jumping on furniture etc.

I recently brought an 8 month old Scottish fold kitten.

He’s very clever, alert and intelligence.

Just one problem.

He’s been wearing me out by trying to stop him from jumping all over the place- on furniture, the bed - as well as kitchen work tops etc- ( which is a big No No)
to the extent that I began to wonder whether I did the right thing by buying him.

That was until I came across and read your article .

I followed the instructions given- and although it did take a while- my beautiful kitten
no longer jumps on the furniture- bed or kitchen workTops.

Great stuff!!
Thank you very much.

I’m so glad I came across your Article.

Matthew Nesbitt (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi Lily,

We love hearing stories like this, thank you so much for your comment. We are so glad to help!
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Why does my Cat Knead me and then Bite me?