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6 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Hug Your Arm and Bites You

6 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Hug Your Arm and Bites You

All cats show some silly behaviors, at least sometimes.

You might just observe them for some time and you could be surprised by some of their acts, and wonder what’s going on in those little cute heads!

So, your cat might hug your arm and bite you, and this will probably look like pretty odd behavior.

However, like with all other cat’s outbursts, I also have a few explanations for this one. 

Why does my cat hug my arm and bite me? Here are 6 common reasons for this behavior.

1. Love Bites

cat bitting finger

Your kitten hugs your arm and bites you gently out of nowhere? This could be something called love bites.

PetMD explains how these bites don’t draw blood and they usually happen while you’re petting your cat.

So, if your cat is giving you a love bite, you will gently feel her teeth on your skin, but this will not be an intense bite. Your cat will also be relaxed while biting you.

Maybe you have been petting her for a while, and now she has had enough. She’s trying to give you a signal that this petting session should end!

So, love bites are usually a result of overstimulation in felines.

Another explanation for love bites is that they happen unintentionally. All cats love grooming, and some might even groom their humans. While doing so, they can bite them gently, without intending to be aggressive.

2. Your Cat Needs Something

Cats can’t use words to express their feelings, but they can manifest some behaviors that can show us they lack something.

One of these behaviors might be your cat hugging your arm and biting you.

Perhaps her food bowl is empty, or she got pretty bored, and is asking you to engage in some kind of activity with her.

It might be hard to figure this one out, but checking your cat’s surroundings will probably be enough to discover what she wants to get from you.

A charming way of showing us they are in need of something, right?

3. A Teething Kitten

Kitten bitting arm

If you have a young kitten, hugging your arm and biting you is probably a sign of teething.

Many cats might show some typical behaviors while teething. They are likely to lick their toys, as well chew them to relieve discomfort, and some might gently bite their owners.

Other noticeable signs of teething in kittens are sore gums, decreased appetite, excessive chewing, and pawing at their mouth, according to Hill’s Pet.

In this period, it would be good to provide your kitten with a cold wet washcloth to relieve her pain and to decrease her urge to chew and bite on things – and you!

4. Prey Instinct

Our domestic cats are our best friends nowadays, but they still have some of the wildness running in their blood.

One of the most recognizable feline features is their prey instinct. This explains why your cat is always up to hunt mice or rabbits outside – even though she gets plenty of food in your home, and isn’t really hungry.

In this situation, your arm presents a prey for your cat. Of course, if her bites aren’t severe, this isn’t something you should worry about.

This is perfectly natural, but, still, you shouldn’t let your cat hurt you and go too far with this game.

5. Showing Dominance

Cat bitting arm

Your cat hugging your arm and then biting you could be their attempt to show dominance.

Some cats might occasionally show signs of aggression – such as biting – towards their humans when they want to establish social dominance, according to Cornell Feline Health Center.

Your cat is your favorite companion, but she’s still a territorial animal. This is simply part of her nature.

She will bite you and wait to see how you react. If you let her do this often, without warning her to stop, she might understand this as a sign that she’s the boss in the house!

You better don’t do this, since you might end up with a little cat doing whatever crosses her mind.

6. Your Cat Might Be Injured

Cats will not easily show that they are in pain. This is another of their natural instincts. While living in the wild, cats learned not to show weakness and pain, so as not to become vulnerable and exposed to predators.

So, even today, cat owners will not easily realize that something is bothering their pets. But you can recognize this through some changes in their behavior.

Hugging your arm and biting you could be a sign that your cat’s injured and in pain.

Maybe in an attempt to caress her, you just touched a sore spot, and this reaction of hers is a defense mechanism. If you suspect that your cat is injured, gently approach her to examine her, and consult a veterinarian.

Should You Stop This Behavior?

cat bitting hand

You shouldn’t let your cat bite you, since this can become a habit and a part of her normal behavior if you don’t do anything to stop it.

First, you should figure out what caused this behavior in your pet.

Dennis C. Turner [1] points out how an owner that isn’t capable of recognizing their cat’s emotional state, is predicted to suffer more bites and scratches during their interactions.

Before solving some kind of unwanted behavior, you should first know what exactly caused it. You shouldn’t punish your cat for showing this behavior, or yell at her to stop.

Instead, you should gently pull your arm back, and try to redirect your cat’s behavior. 

She should be provided with other sources of entertainment, such as interactive toys, cat trees, and scratching posts.

Also, you should make sure your cat is fed every day at the same time, as to avoid her showing aggression due to hunger.

If your cat is biting you due to overstimulation, you should know that not all cats actually enjoy petting. Maybe your cat just needs to be left alone. 

Or, perhaps, you’re just doing it the wrong way! Learn how to become good at this with our cat petting chart.

Final Thoughts 

From love bites to potential injuries – there are a couple of answers to your question: why does my cat hug my arm and bite me?

This can also be your fault, if you pet your kitty for too long or do it in a way that doesn’t suit her.

If it is a show of dominance or your kitty treats your hand as her prey, you definitely need to discourage this behavior.

A cat that bites from the beginning, without her owner preventing her from doing this, can grow into a cat that has serious problems with aggressive behavior. Just imagine her hostility towards your guests!

So, cats need to be disciplined, but, of course, in a gentle way. Also, whenever you notice a sudden change in your pet’s behavior, check to see if she might be injured or sick. If you have any doubts or notice additional symptoms, contact your veterinarian.


[1] Turner DC. Unanswered Questions and Hypotheses about Domestic Cat Behavior, Ecology, and the Cat-Human Relationship. Animals (Basel). 2021 Sep 27;11(10):2823. DOI, Retrieved June 27, 2023.

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