Why does my cat knead and then bite me?

by Anonymous
(Seattle, Washington)



Almost every night my cat will get on my stomach while I’m lying in bed. He’ll use all four paws to step on me kind of like he’s kneading. If I try to pet him or move, he meows and bites me.

I’m wondering if he’s frustrated or something? He seems to not like it when I move or try to pet him. He meows like he’s annoyed and the bite feels like he’s telling me to stop.

It’s usually not a hard bite, but if I continue to push him off of me he’ll jump back on top of me and bite my arm, like he’s mad that I did that.

He’s 17 lbs. so it hurts when he uses all four paws to walk on my stomach. Most of the time I just suck it up and let him do it because I’m wondering if it relaxes him?

Is he trying to tell me something? Like he’s hungry, or wants to play? I’ve noticed a change in his behavior lately and I’m starting to get a bit concerned.

I just moved to Washington from Ohio and I drove with him in a cage in the car. He doesn’t like the cage nor the car, but I tried my very best to relax him along the way and take many rest stops for him to stretch and use the bathroom.

He is also alone in the apartment now, whereas in Ohio I had two cats, and now I only have him.

I’m wondering if it’s too hard for him to be alone when I’m at work? He’s a very friendly cat who loves to be around people and loves attention, so I try to take him out on walks as well, which is relatively new as well.

In Ohio I walked him on a leash as well, but he seems like he wants to go outside a lot these days, so I try to walk him as much as possible.

I’ve been in Washington since April. Does my cat still feel anxious about everything? Is that why he kneads my stomach at night? I’m worried I’ve put him through too much. :(

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Cats hate change!
by: Kurt (Admin)

It sounds like you have an enthusiastic kneader on your hands.

As I often say, cats hate change. Change is hard on cats, and he's had a lot of change to cope with.

It can take a cat six months or more to get used to a new place, so maybe he's doing what comforts him during the transition.

In this case, it seems like kneading is what comforts him, and he's letting you know he doesn't want to be messed with while doing it. In my experience, when cats are kneading like that, they're often in a heightened state of excitement, so scratching and biting isn't uncommon.

It's hard to say if being alone when you're at work is a factor, but it's certainly another change for him.

The good news is, cats are good at adapting. It sounds like you're doing everything you can do to pay attention to him, so I would just keep doing what you can.

Make sure he has all the resources he needs and all the attention you can give him. A major change in behavior can indicate a medical problem in cats, but when situations change, behaviors can change as well.

You know your cat best, and if you're concerned, you might want to consult with a vet.

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