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What does it mean when a cat starts to nibble and bat at your arm while trying to stand on it with its back paw?

He plays with his tail before any of this.

Moderated by Kaleidoscope Acres 32 months ago
Asked on Mar 28, 2010Improve / edit this question

4 Answers

Dustin LaBarge   L5: Authority   119 answers   +100 votes
This answer has +2 votes  by

My fiancee has a cat that does something similar. It actually chews your fingers in a manner that is remarkably similar to a suckling infant (except for the sharp teeth!). With this particular cat, it seems as if he is nursing when he chews (he makes swallowing noises and licks incessantly while biting).

I am not a pet psychologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have some theories. My fiancee's cat was taken from its mother at a very young age. This may have stunted the cat's development and left the rooting instinct. The cat is fixed, but as the cat has begun to grow into sexual maturity, his chewing sequence has become more sexual in nature. He chews on the hand and stands on my arm with his back legs, then gains an erection and makes thrusting movements on the arm. Attempts to remove the arm produce violent meowing and strong gripping by the cat's arms and mouth.

The fact that the behavior changed with the cat's age suggests to me that the cat's issues are psychologically-linked. Is this similar to what your cat does?

Posted on Mar 28, 2010
Katie   L2: Contributor   281 answers   +197 votes
This answer has -2 votes  by

I think it's all a matter of interpretation.  The fact that he was previously playing with his tail is a dead giveaway that he prefers the tuna catfood to the liver, and would like to see you open the can with your left hand.  Then again, he could just be messing with you--because all cats are insane, and they don't have to explain.  It's what makes them cats.

Posted on Mar 28, 2010
Natalie Begil   L2: Contributor   183 answers   +67 votes
This answer has +1 votes  by

I always thought that the cat was just playing. Cats tend to have a mind of their own and do what ever they want.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010
Velvet Blade   L2: Contributor   26 answers   +8 votes
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When a cat bats at you and nibbles while on its hind legs, likely he/she is trying to play with you or wanting your attention. Try petting the head in the middle, just above the eyes. If the cat leans into it, it wants attention. If not, and the cat bats some more and tries to nibble more, then it is likely he/she wants to play. It's a sign of trust and affection - especially when the cat only does it to one person primarily. You are the chosen one.

Posted on Mar 2, 2011

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