Why does my cat nip?

by Seth Monroe
(Fort Dodge, Iowa)

Sometimes when my cat is laying down on one of her 'nests' (blankets) I will pet her across her back. She enjoys this and will purr, sometimes roll on her side or back. Sometimes she likes to stop and sniff my hand, but occasionally she will turn and try to nip or bite my hand/arm. I don't understand if she is telling me to stop or maybe playing, because she seems to enjoy the petting.

RESPONSE:

Sometimes, when cats get over-excited, they nip. She may enjoy the petting and nipping at you is her way of letting you know. The best way to deal with this is to pet her for very short periods and if she nips, walk away without saying anything and don't give her any attention. She will eventually get the idea that nipping leads to no attention and will either stop the nipping or only nip when she wants you to go away. We have delt with this problem quite often and most of them learn to stop nipping when they realize they will not get attention. It can be hard to bite your tongue and not squeal or speak to them but silence after nipping works the best. Good Luck!

Donna - House Full Cats Mom

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