© 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. The influence of the parasitic feedthrough current on the nonlinear electrical response of capacitively sensed cantilever resonators is analyzed theoretically and experimentally. We show that the parasitic current strongly affects the shape of the nonlinear electrical frequency response of such devices. Specifically, we demonstrate that in the electrical measurement, the directions of the jumps from the different transitions between branches of stable solutions depend on the parasitic current and are independent of the jumps directions in the mechanical domain. As a consequence, the nonlinear electrical frequency response of cantilevers with capacitive readout presents three different hysteretic cycle topologies: counterclockwise, bow tie, and clockwise. This is in contrast with the only one topology (counterclockwise) that appears in the nonlinear mechanical frequency response.