Why Does My Cat Bite Me When I Get Out of the Shower?

You've taken a shower and are now clean as a whistle. However, as you walk out of said shower and try to change into your clothes, suddenly your cat joins you and begins to lick and then bite you! What is going on? Why is your cat so inclined to bite you after you've gotten out of the shower?

Cute Scottish fold cat biting a human hand while playing.
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As it turns out, there are a few reasons your cat might be nibbling on you post-cleaning.

Your cat is trying to help you groom

When cats groom, they lick and bite their own fur, or when they are grooming someone else, they will lick and bite the other cat. They might be performing the same behavior with you. Although you don't have fur, your cat might notice to a degree that you seem to be doing something like grooming, since more of you is exposed than usual. Especially if you are still wet or have applied moisturizer, your cat might try to clean the water or whatever else is on your skin as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Your cat might think that now is the perfect time for them to step in and help out, even if you didn't ask for the help.

Your cat is marking their territory

When you get out of the shower, you have washed off a lot of scents, like the fact that your cat rubbed against you earlier, or licked your hand. In your cat's mind, they have to start all over again by licking you and marking you with little nips. Would it be nicer if they just rubbed up against you? Sure. However, mother cats lick their babies ever time they return from the outside world to quickly establish her scent on them. Although your cat does not see you as their baby, they do see you as their family. So in your cat's mind, they need to make sure to groom you quickly before you go outside or some other cat might claim you.

Mordisco
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Anxiety

Most cats are not huge fans of water (although some are weirdly obsessed with it). So when you come out of a steamy shower dripping wet, your cat might simply be concerned for you. What did you do in there? Don't you know how uncomfortable water is? The biting and licking could be a fearful response. Your cat might be licking and biting you in a chiding or anxious way as a stress relief that you are in fact ok, and also please be careful with that water!

Overstimulation

Cats are prone to biting when overstimulated. If you have ever been petting your cat and suddenly they bite you as if to say "enough," that is a prime example of them being overstimulated. Now imagine how jarring it must be for your cat to hear the sound of the shower, and to feel the change in the air as steam begins to circulate. Suddenly you come out, looking different than usual, and probably dripping wet. This is a lot to take in for your cat. How do they handle it? The best way they know how: giving you a bite to let you know that that is "enough!"

close-up of ginger cat biting hand
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How to stop your cat from biting you after a shower

If your cat's post-shower bites are annoying, try to keep your cat out of the bathroom/bedroom that you will be drying off and dressing in. The less access they have to you post-shower, the less opportunity to bite you. In addition, help your cat stop biting with some simple positive reinforcement training.