My feral tries to gently bite me, why?
A feral that I have been caring for now for over a year, she has become very sweet, and trusting of me. She would come near no human before I began working with her a year ago, and now she will even rub against my husbands leg, and my daughter, but is clear she does not want them petting her. But she won't run off when they walk in or out the door, so she has come a LONG way.
So anyway, I can now pet her, scratch her chin, I don't pick her up but I have gently "nudged" her around and she is ok with that. At times, I will be petting her and she is purring away, rubbing against my shoe like she loves to do, and she will either gently swipe at me with her paw, and on a few occasions, today being one, she will try to bite my leg. Never a hard bite, NEVER tries to break the skin, I will usually just end up with saliva on my leg though and I go in and wash it off. Any guess as to why she does this?
I have a couple of ideas, but I'm wondering what someone who is more of an expert with ferals thinks. One, I think maybe she is just too stimulated...LOL, because it's usually after I've been petting her a while and she is all purring loudly and super lovable, and then the gentle bite. Or my second thought was just that, she is a feral, she has come a long way, and she's sort of like a lion who can't fully be tamed and is unpredictable? And I respect that, that she is not like my indoor spoiled babies and that I can't expect her to have the same behavior that they do.
When she does this, I will give her a firm NO.....the first time I did it, I scared the crap out of her and she jumped about six feet away from me in a single leap, and I felt so bad, but since she has learned that if she tries to lift a paw at me, I say "uh-uh" and she stops. When she does this, I usually leave right away and go in, to kind of let her know that if she does this, I won't stay out with her. Not sure if that is the right thing to do either.
Just wondered if someone might have an idea of why she would be doing this. She has NEVER sunk her teeth into me or aggressively made any moves at me, just to be clear. Sometimes I just look at her, and I love her so much, my little Arwen, and I wish so much I could pick her up and hug her like my indoor kitties, but this is a different animal, and I don't see that happening, unfortunately.
Thank you for reading this!