You are here: Home » Cat's Behavior » Why does my cat lick me then bite me?

Why does my cat lick me then bite me?

Cats are fascinating animals, every time we think that we finally understand their behavior, they do something that makes no sense no matter how much we turn it around. Have you ever wondered, “why does my cat lick me then bite me?

And it’s because of these peculiar attitudes kittens are so misunderstood. Most people tend to think that they are cold and antisocial animals, but it is quite the opposite.

Perhaps the same thing happens to you, you have a cat, and from time to time, you wonder if your buddy is bipolar or if it is simply a bit crazy. For example, to whom it hasn’t happened, their cat approaches to give you some harsh licks, and suddenly, ouch, you get a bite too. What just happened? That mix of love and hate doesn’t go by in our minds.

The thing is, cats have different ways of communicating with us. Of course, they can’t speak, but they can use body language to make sure we get what they want to say. As cat owners, it is our job to learn and understand that super-secret cat language.

Keep reading if you want to start by learning why your cat licks you and then bites you.

Crazy love

Oh yes, your cat loves you and is not shy about it.

Your kitty licks you to tell you that it loves you and trusts you, just like mama cat used to them. Between cats from the same litter, licking and biting is an essential socialization resource, and if you think about it, a lick, like a kiss, is a somewhat intimate and unique gesture only for those you care of.

why does my cat lick me then bite me - love

Your cat might think this action is like kissing you and then an extra special kiss in the form of a love bite. Look closely, and you will discover that not all household members are given that token of love, only the favorite one, in this case, you!

For cats, it’s normal to show their affection in this way because their skin is thicker than ours, so for them, a slight nip does not hurt. We will have to wait until the cat translator is invented to let them know that it is not like that for us.

It’s grooming time

Have you heard that cats don’t like to take baths? And why would they if they took care of their hygiene? Yes, their rough tongues are designed to clean their fur, ripping out even small bits of debris or old hair. It is not surprising that having this unique ability, they want to share it with their closest friends.

why does my cat lick me then bite me - grooming time

If your cat licks and bites you, for example, in your hair, it is trying to establish a bond with you while declaring you part of its select group. So enjoy it and feel special! And if you still wonder, why those nips? It’s simple. Your clever friend uses small bites to undo a knot in your hair or remove something they don’t think should be there.

Cat is stressed

Sadly, no matter how calm their life may seem, cats are not exempt from feeling stress either, and as you may already know, stress manifests itself in a thousand ways.

If your cat licks and bites you excessively, the cause can be stress. Generally, they resort to biting or chewing things to release tension or anxiety, and although it is rare, they may decide to use a part of your body, for example, your hand, as a chew toy.

For these occasions, instead of scolding your cat, try to look for what is bothering them, kitty will indeed thank you infinitely.

Your cat is overstimulated

Have you ever had a good time petting your cat? Everything seems calm, and suddenly it bites you? Indeed you think, have I pulled its hair? Is it tired of me? The answer is none of the above. Your kitty loves cuddles. However, it also enjoys its personal space, and as you may have already noticed, everything has to be on its terms.

Maybe your cats love to be scratched on the head, but after a few minutes, they will be bored or feel that specific part of their skin a little sensitive. This sensation is known as overstimulation. When a cat has this sensation, it resorts to giving you a lick and a bite as a form of a gentle warning. The cat is asking you to stop, and you should because a nip and a scratch could be the following warning. When this happens, it’s best to stop petting your cat, giving it the freedom to go if it prefers.

If you think about it, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Rub your hand for several minutes, and you will see how it will no longer feel so comfortable after a while.

Your cat is playing

Your cat is just having fun with you! You can think of the bite as a way to tease you or get your attention. Playtime means it is time to pick up a toy and let the action begin. If your cat is grasping and biting at your hand, don’t worry, your buddy is playfully trying to hunt you. In this game, you are the prey. You can also switch roles and start chasing your cat.

why does my cat lick me then bite me - playing

At this point, you may think it is hard to differentiate between a love bite and a warning bite. Let me tell you how to be sure. It’s all about reading your cat’s posture and the following immediate reaction of your cat after the nip. If your cat leaves, give it some space. If your cat stays trying to involve you again in the game, it is safe to continue.

There is no need to scold your cat after a love bite because the cat is engaging in normal social behavior and will not be able to associate the scolding with that action, causing confusion and stress for your kitten. If you want your cat to stop doing this, stop petting and paying attention to it at the nip moment. Your cat will associate the bites with the end of the game, and little by little, this action will decrease.

Why does my cat lick me and then bite me? Conclusions

Last but not least, remember that if your cat bites you, it in no way means that it is upset with you. On the contrary, it’s gently letting you know that something is wrong and warning you before it has to resort to a more painful measure.

So, the next time your cat licks you and gives you a bite, try to think about what might be causing it and act accordingly. And if you’re ever in doubt, ask your veterinarian. They will be more than happy to help you out!

Have you ever experienced these love bites? Please share your story with us!

Leave a Comment