Cats sometimes have very curious behaviors that seem very mysterious to us, they purr, they lick, they bite. But these behaviors are perfectly normal and explainable. If you are wondering “why does my cat lick and bite me”, stay with me, I explain everything in this article.
Why does my cat lick and bite me?
Cats usually lick and chew you to show their affection, this is a very common behavior in young cats.
A cat’s tongue is unique, made up of small keratin spines , it is essential for them to wash themselves, it is also what allows them to always be clean, even when they have gone outside.
Your cat licks you to clean you up and bond with you. Cats are very hygienic and have a habit of washing each other and can reproduce this behavior with you if they feel enough affection from you.
If you have a wound, he tries to heal you by licking you, it is also a natural behavior in cats, which tries to disinfect the wound in its own way. Which is however totally useless for us, our skin being different from ours.
As for biting, it is often linked to play, especially in young cats who take advantage of play to sharpen their natural predatory instincts. If the nip is light, it’s not usually an attack, it just wants to have fun.
If the bite is stronger, it may have gone a little too much into « predator » mode, its game serving to sharpen its hunting instincts.
The reasons can be differentiated
Although cat licking and biting are generally very positive, several different causes are nevertheless known.
- He wants to make connections
Gently chewing and licking helps your cat bond with you. If you adopted him recently, it’s a sign that he too is starting to adopt you. This is a very good sign. Cats that are still very young often have this behavior.
- He shows you his affection
He feels a deep connection with you and shows his affection in your presence. He is happy with you and shows it to you.
- He wants to play with you
Cats, especially when young, love to play, and have lots of energy to burn. Your cat may simply want to play and initiate play that way. He will generally put himself in a playing position, with his legs in the air or on the lookout for any movement.
- He is over stimulated
Your cat can sometimes get excited while playing and this can lead to over-stimulation of your feline, which then begins to chew and lick. If you notice that he is very agitated while doing it, then calm him down because he is no longer paying attention to what he is doing being too excited.
- He is stressed
If he chews you and licks you excessively, it may be a way for him to release his stress. If he is very restless in general, try to find the source of his stress, such as a change, and make him feel at home and completely at ease.
- He is annoyed
If your cat has its ears back then your cat may have been annoyed by you, it will chew on you to let you know you need to stop.
What to do when the bite hurts?
Sometimes your cat can have trouble controlling himself, especially when playing, and he must learn to control his fangs. So if he does, stop petting him and reward his calmness. You need to pair good behavior with a reward so that it eventually chews softly over time.
Conversely, ignore him if he bites you too hard for him to understand that his biting will result in an immediate stoppage of play, and remember that he should never be punished or he will not. Trust you more, and it wouldn’t do any good.
If his energy is really too strong and he can’t manage to channel it, then give him a bite toy to spend his energy on and avoid hurting you by biting you.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
A cat that licks and bites gives rise to many questions. Here are the answers to the most common of them.
Why is my cat biting me softly?
The bites of the cat are different according to its intention. When he is hunting, he will throw himself on his prey and bite it until the murder. But light nibbles are a sign of affection and love and that he wants to play with you.
Why does my cat lick and bite me but not my partner?
Your cat has formed a strong bond with you but not yet with your partner. So he’s not going to play with him.
My cat licks and bites me: The final word
It is in the vast majority of cases a sign of affection and play, the only case that requires calming him down and if he is very agitated and on the verge of aggressiveness.