Why does my sweet Jaz try to bite me sometimes?

Jazmyn is about 9 or 10 months old, we adopted her from the SPCA about 2 weeks ago. She is a very sweet kitty, she lays with us and loves to be petted a lot....but occasionally she will suddenly try to bite me while I'm petting her, usually if I move towards her chest or belly...and not playful biting, a couple times she really got me hard! I'm just wondering why??

Best Answers

  • Lisa DaversLisa Davers SacramentoMember Posts: 3,642
    Accepted Answer
    It's common for cats to hate having their bellies touched as its a natural urge to protect themselves. Just avoid stroking or tickling her belly and you should be OK. Once she has been with you longer and trusts you more she may let you touch her belly but she may never like it. I've got 3 cats that love having their bellies tickles and rubbed but the others hate it and will bite. If she nips while you are petting her back etc she may just get overstimulated after a while which is pretty common. You can give her a toy mouse to bite (instead of your hand) and just stop petting her for a couple of minutes til she's calmed down. Watch to see how she acts before she play bites (wild eyes, swishy tail etc) so you can recognised before she bites and stop petting her while she calms down.
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Thanks for adopting from a shelter! Since you don't know Jaz's history, it's possible that she may have been outside where she had to protect herself. Predators typically go for the throat or belly and cats instinctlvely will protect that area more than any others. Lily loves to have her belly rubbed but only when she feels like it. Izzie will almost immediately bite and scratch, but not with much convinction since he knows he doesn't need to protect himself aainst me. Almost all cats will scratch with their back legs and nip if they are flipped on their backs. If Jaz is truly "hand-shy", always do as Petra advises and play with her with a toy and not your hand.
  • Sandra PerrySandra Perry MemphisMember Posts: 1,425
    Accepted Answer
    Cats definitely have a "belly" thing. When Oscar first came home, he hated having anyone touch his belly but now he stretches out when I come into the room asking for a rub. Give her some time to feel comfortable with you.
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