Q. 3 yr old shelter cat, very affectionate, loves to cuddle, but constantly bites. He licks and purrs, then suddenly bites.

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A. Suddenly biting can be a cat's way of saying "enough!" Petting can sometimes get cats very overstimulated, especially if petted a lot on the belly or back. It may be that your cat is just getting too overexcited by the pet and then lashes out with a nip. If this is the case, then gently petting safer areas such as a head or chin may help, as well as stopping the session if your cat appears to get excited such as eyes opening wide, ears going back or his body shifting around. If he does nip at you, getting up, walking away and ending the session can help. If he wants pets, he will quickly learn that nipping ends the session, while sitting there calmly and quietly means more love!

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