I have this male stray cat, who is 2-3 years old. He has been in the neighbourhood since he was a kitten.

He always comes when he hears my keys, for pets and rubbing my feet. I am not the one that feeds him (or the other 3-4 cats that are around), but since he was little he was coming for pets.

I noticed that the last 2-3 months, he started biting. I don't think it is aggressive, but he attacks mostly my shoes. I always try to punish him when he does this. Today I had time to spend with him and he also tried to bite my trousers, while meowing. He also sometimes tries to do the same with my hand while I am petting him, but I am not sure if he will bite for sure as I take my hand quickly off of him.

I was considering taking him home, but I cannot understand if this behaviour is problematic and if he will cause trouble in the house.

He is not neutered. But most the females around are.

Can anyone explain what is this behaviour, why is he doing that and how can I help him stop?

  • Hi and welcome to Pets SE.
    – lila
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 20:14
  • 2
    In the answer of Gwendolyn to the following question, she explains that cats could not connect punishment with their own behavior. They only see the punishment as aggression towards them. Maybe this would help you in "communucation" with the kitten pets.stackexchange.com/questions/28803/… Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 20:39
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    @Allerleirauh I disagree, cats can absolutely recognise the consequences of their actions, and will increase rewarded behaviors and decrease punished behaviors.
    – Kat
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


He may be trying to play with you, like he did with him littermates before they grew up and became less social (or disappeared). If someone is feeding him, he doesn’t need to hunt to survive, but the instinct to hunt is still there. Cats “play” by practicing their hunting skills, often on each other, which can seem aggressive to us thin-skinned humans.

Try using a wand toy to see if playtime solves the “aggression”. If so, he will probably make a good pet, but please get him fixed ASAP and be aware he may not understand the litter box for a while.

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