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Published: Oct 19, 2011

Cats can sometimes be mysterious creatures that aren't always as open about their emotions as other animals. Because of this, many of their actions may be difficult to interpret. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, one strange behavior some cats exhibit occurs during petting. The feline may seem to initially enjoy the petting, but will suddenly bite or paw aggressively at the person doing the rubbing.

VCA reports that this is commonly known as the "go away" bite, or what happens after the cat no longer wants to be petted. For some cats, being interactive with their owners doesn't merit being petted. Certain cats simply want to sit on their owners lap without being touched. If a cat is enjoying being petted for some time, owners tend to miss the subtle signs that their cat has had enough.

According to VCA, signs like a slight posture change, tail twitching, body tensing, dilated pupils or ear movements are cues that it's time to stop petting. More obvious signs include hissing or growling.

However, if a cat had previously loved being petted, but now shies away from it or lashes out suddenly, this may signal that the cat is experiencing medical problems. Whether it be a skin condition, anxiety or something more serious, if a cat is acting differently, it should be brought to a veterinarian health clinic.