Why Does My Cat Bite Me but Not My Husband? (How to Change This Behavior)

Why Does My Cat Bite Me but Not My Husband

So you are trying to find out, why does my cat bite me but not my husband or partner?

Do you feel like your cat is singling you out for a nibble whether it’s playful or aggressive? Is it offending or confusing you?

I’ve seen, dealt with, and corrected this behavior before so I can help!

Some cats bite more than others. In fact, some cats just don’t bite at all. But it’s not the strangest of their behaviors, and you can often find out the reason why and do something to change it.

The first thing you need to do is find out why your cat is biting. Then we can figure out why your cat is biting you and not your husband.

I always start by looking at the following:

When Does Your Cat Bite You?

Does your cat always bite you at the same or similar times of the day? When you’re doing certain things, or is there anything else you can tie together to understand when it’s going to happen?

It sounds simple, but this is something you may have thought about in detail and not pieced together.

Are They Hungry?

I’m not suggesting your cat bites you because they are trying to eat you!

If it’s around feeding time then I think there is an obvious reason why your cat is biting you – they want to be fed.

As for why they bite you and not your husband will likely be because they associate you with being the one that feeds them or will react to this behavior.

They Want to Play?

Probably the most common reason for cats biting their owners is to get their attention so they can play.

If your cat is 3 years old or younger they are going to have a lot of energy to burn off and some cats are pushy enough to nip you to get your attention.

Just be careful when playing however. If they bite you when you’re playing with them make sure they know it’s not acceptable.

Is It Aggressive Biting?

There is a difference between aggressive biting and play biting. Do you have a male cat that has not been neutered showing aggression? Might be time for the snip, this can make a difference overnight.

Another reason is often that the cat is in pain for some reason. Cats are not good at vocalizing when they are in pain and hide it well, often lashing out. A trip to the vet for a checkup might be the answer.

Ways to Stop Your Cat Biting You

Finding out why your cat is biting you is half the solution, stopping them from biting is the part you’re probably more interested in, right?

There are some basic steps to take when stopping a cat from biting, these are:

Fix the Problem You Identified – If you’ve identified the issue from the advice I gave above, can you make the changes needed based on that information to stop them biting?

Make It Clear It’s Not Acceptable – Cats are aware when we use a sharp tone and give off negative vibes. A firm ‘NO’ will actually have some impact, although it will take some time for some cats to get the message.

Reward/Punish Behavior – Another thing almost all cats respond well to is being rewarded. When they do something right, give them a treat right away. Conversely, don’t treat, show affection, or play with them if they bite you.

Ignore Them – If your cat is biting your hands hide them and ignore your cat. As there is almost certainly an attention seeking aspect to their behavior ignoring them will force them to find attention somewhere else.

In Summary

There is a lot you can discover about your cat and their behavior by taking some time to study their body language and spend more time interacting with them.

If your cat is biting you but not your husband there will be a reason for this deliberate behavior that you can get to the bottom of. Some cats are the other way around, of course – they’ll favor your husband but not you!

Hopefully the above advice will help you with this issue. I’ve never met a cat that was biting and wasn’t able to be reformed, so that’s a positive to keep in mind!

19 thoughts on “Why Does My Cat Bite Me but Not My Husband? (How to Change This Behavior)”

  1. My cat will attack me but not my husband. If we are hugging she will walk between us an meow. Is it possible she is jealous of me? Even when I firmly say no & tap her nose she will attack me more. Help!

    1. Hi Donna

      That is very possible, yes. Have you tried to redirect this aggression by giving she some attention and playing? (While still being where you want)

    1. I’m at my wits end my 5 year old kitty and I have always had a strong bond, but the last 4 weeks she’s become very vocal through the night and shese started attacking me for no reason I don’t know what to do , any help would be great thank w

  2. I have tried this and he still goes after my husband….badly. He husband wants to take him back to the shelter. Im at a lost…He no little gut at 15lbs..it hurts.

    Kerri

  3. So we’ve just recently got a cat first few days he was really scared, now he’s really loving towards me when my partner comes in he runs and, they touch him sumtimes he’ll be really loving then next time they go to stroke him, he bites them on the hand but he’ll sit with me hours and let me do anything with him, how do I stop him going for them

    1. My 7 year female cat is very aggressive toward my husband but not me. He got her from a shelter and she was fine as a kitten but has never warmed up to him. Do you have any suggestions for us to do?

  4. Hello!

    Our kitten bites me but not my boyfriend. He’s 4.5 months old and we got him one month ago. I spend the whole day with him (I work from home) and he definitely prefers me (he sleeps on my side of the bed, cuddles me way more, is sad when I leave but not him, etc).

    He usually bites when I’m petting him/giving him attention. He’s been neutured and he shows this behaviour even after being fed. It’s definitely a play bite though (not agressive) but he can still do a lot of damage. My hand is very marked up.

    Do you think he’ll grow out of this? Is there another technique other than ignoring? I find that works to get him to stop temporarily but then it’ll happen again later. Saying “no” firmly/loudly doesn’t work at all. Obviously distracting him with toys works, but I can’t be constantly playing with him the entire day.

    1. Hi Jazmin

      I’ve been there, experienced that. They do grow out of it, and following all the right steps (saying no, distancing yourself, etc) do all work. It may not seem like it if he’s still tearing you up, but it would be a whole lot worse.

      At that age, they are full of energy and a real handful. Have you tried setting up some toys that swing or an interactive cat tree or something like that for when you’re too busy?

  5. Hello !
    I have a male cat that only very aggressively bites me but not other family members. Its completely unprovoked and as soon as he sees my arms he’ll start with this wrrr sound and do anything to bite my arms. Its really marked me up and I’m really concerned. He used to be very loving and would sleep next to me a lot and when I pet him but most of the time now he harshly bites my arm.
    I’ve tried the sharp tones and rewarding his good behaviour for around two weeks but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m concerned I did something unknowingly because he used to be the most affectionate towards me and now he’s this aggressive towards only me. Please help

    1. Do you spend time with any other animals during your day?

      *A friend of mine’s cat kept hissing/growling at his girlfriend every time she came over. No one understood why until one day he spent the night at her house and cuddled with her husky. When he came back his own cat started hissing/growling at him too. The cat was only acting aggressively toward the scent of the unknown dog in his territory. His girlfriend just started changing her clothes when she came over and the cat stopped being mean to her all together.

  6. Hiya, I have an 18 month old neutered male cat. He sometimes comes to sit on my lap and will follow me about. I am the one that feeds him etc. He attacks me when I sit on the sofa, Even after I have fed him. He comes up to our bed at night and will lay on me or pushed up next to me but will bite if I try to stroke him but my husband will then stroke him and he will allow it and even lick my husband. He never licks me. He also sometimes does really vicious bunny kicks and bites at the same time. He was such a affectionate little kitten. Im not sure what’s gone wrong. Please help! Thanks Becki

  7. My 8mo old female will walk up behind while I’m walking and jump up and bite my arm drawing blood. I say NO…She then proceeds a second time more forcefull. Help

  8. I have a female cat about 3 years old, she is in love with my husband, snuggles up to him, lays on his chest, gives him kisses, etc. She will sit next to me from time to time, but the rule is I can’t touch her because if I do she goes into complete attack mode. She pulls her ears back and bites and scratches me. Sometimes I have to run away from her because she has bitten me so hard it leaves a bruise. Most recently I have started to play with her more and it seems the attacks are less frequent, but they still happen. I have tried telling her “no” and standing my ground but that only leads to pain on my part.

    I’m sure you are thinking, “oh this lady is dramatic.” Not a chance, I am honestly scared of her when this happens because a cat bit and scratch is painful! She wraps her claws around my arm or legs and then digs in.

    HELP!

  9. Emilie Hawthorne

    I recently moved in with my spouse and my male cat that moved with me has been randomly attacking my boyfriend. He will start growling unprovoked and than lunge at him. Could this be jealousy? or any tips to correct this behaviour?

  10. I’ve got a roughly two year old former stray that my wife and I adopted.
    Possibly because he spent ¾ of his life on the street and then went through the trauma of losing his front left leg after being hit by a car (this happened maybe a month before we adopted him), he’s been pretty quick to bite from the outset.
    He’s actually formed a really nice bond with me but is quite aggressive towards my wife when she has always been more likely to pay him attention.

    He’ll sleep on the couch next to my wife all day and licks her hand raw but as soon as she tries to pet him he goes berserk biting her and lunging at her. He rarely does anything like this to me, and when he does it’s never as aggressive.

    There are several things I’ve tried to factor into this.
    1st, he’s an enforced housecat due to being FIV positive, and he does sometimes meow at the door, wanting to be let out. I’ve also wondered if it’s anything related to FIV as we looked at another possible adoptee with FIV and I still have a scar on my hand 4 years later from him biting me unprovoked.
    2nd, there’s the afore mentioned double trauma of being run over and losing a limb
    3rd, I’ve wondered if it’s a dominance thing. He recognises my wife is female so grooms her but doesn’t want her to pet him because he then loses dominance (yet he loves it when she scratches both cheeks from behind him?)

    I’m not even sure whether it’s any of that or if I’ve overlooked something. Can anyone help?

    I know it’s a long post but it’s a pretty complex issue involving a pretty complex boy…

  11. My cat tends to go after my arms and hands biting me unprovoked. She doesn’t do that much to my husband. I would be lying in bed or at the kitchen table and she comes right up to me to bite. And she can sure sink those teeth in. She already has food and is in play mode. She also goes after our dog unprovoked. How can we get her to stop being so aggressive?

  12. My female cat is 8 months old and only bites and attack my hand or arm. She will come up to me to be petted and than after 5mins of rubbing her head and she enjoying it.. suddenly let’s out a cry.. so I stop and say OK
    Try to take my arm away.. jumps on my arm and aggressively bits me 3 times.. I have tried to freeze..but she get worse so I tell her no.. but she goes into a weird place.. distance look on her face.. can seems to get her to listen. Help.!!

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