When I adopted my first cat, I had no idea why he licks and bites me. I was unfamiliar with cat behavior because this was the first time I had gotten a cat as a pet, so it was difficult to understand the cat’s behavior.
Smooky (My cat) first licks me, so I thought it was a sign of love, suddenly he follows the licking up with a bite. This was the point where I understood this is not a unique problem.
There are many cat owners who are wondering why their cat licks them and then bites them. I understand that answering these questions may be confusing, and you may be wondering if you did something wrong. My cats do not love me?
Don’t worry, I am here with an exciting blog that will give you complete and detailed research on this behavior. Why does your cat do this, and how can you communicate better with your furry friend?
Get to Know: Why My Cat Licks Then Bites Me?
1. Your Cat is Overstimulated
Cats are very adorable, they also come to you and get petted by you right! but sometimes the extended petting session can lead you to the killer combo of lick & bite. Your furry feline might get into a “petting-induced aggression” state.
If you pet them too much it might get uncomfortable for them, because of the nerve endings that are connected to your cat’s fur. If you are petting them & your cat is giving you gentle licks & then suddenly he bites you, then likely this is the reason.
If your cat is getting overstimulated then you may identify these from their behavior such as dilated eyes, turned-back ears, and a flicking tail. If you see these signs during the petting sessions, then you should end the petting session.
Your cat may have certain areas on the body where they can get overstimulated by petting. You should observe the cat’s body language, if you see any difference then you should not pet in that area form a satisfying petting session for both of you.
What is Cat Overstimulation?
Overstimulation can occur when you touch your cat’s body areas that they don’t like or if you extend the petting sessions for a period of time. If you pet them too much they get frustrated & this might result in a bite after licking you.
The overstimulation point of cats differs from one cat to another. See there is no timeframe that the cat might do like this in these timeframes right. You have to pay attention to the behavior that your cat is showing when you are petting.
How to Avoid Overstimulating Your Cat
- You should not pet them in the area that they don’t like much.
- If you see any sudden behavior change then it might be discomforting them so stop petting them.
- You can keep the petting session short.
- If your cat comes again for a petting session then you can wait for some time & then start the petting session.
- If your cat bites you then you should not retaliate, if you yell at your cat it might make them more afraid of your & make them more aggressive towards you.
Initiating Play: Your Cat is Feeling Playful
Have you ever seen your cat encouraging you to play with them? Actually, they do this a lot if your cat wants to play then will come to you & give you a little lick & then give you a bite.
I will give your the ways by which you can find out when your cat is feeling playful. If you see your cats are ears & whiskers are pointed forward, the tail is raising up & the pupils are a little enlarged, then your cat is ready for the playtime.
Let me tell you another sign that you should look for if you find your cat is walking towards you with an arched back or crouching with its rear end up, then your cat wants some fun time with you.
3. Grooming: Your Cat Is Grooming You
You might be familiar with cat hygiene, they lick their body & fur to groom themselves. They remove all the odors and dirt, sometimes you may find that your cat does bite their fur to get rid of tangled hair.
If your cat licks or bites you then, she might be grooming you. You do not worry if this is the matter, it is a natural instinct of a cat. They always do this with only their loved ones, it means your cat might like you so she licks & bites you.
4. Stress: Your Cat Is Stressed or Anxious
Stress might be a reason your cat licks & bites you or things excessively. If your cat is showing some aggression toward you, then your feline is stressed or anxious. There are many reasons that cats get easily anxious such as new people, new places, and new pets around them.
You have to be attentive to your cat’s behaviors to these things, or else you have to bear the sudden bites. If you see any other behavior changes then you should visit the veterinarian for further diagnosis & treatments.
Why does my cat rub on me & then bite me?
Your cat may need attention from you, but there are few body areas where the cat gets irritated which may result in petting-induced aggression.
How do you calm an overstimulated cat?
If your cat has overstimulated & restless then you should just walk away from the cat. If your cat is on your lap then you should not do any sudden actions, slowly slide the cat off the lap & walk away.
Don’t pet for some, you need to settle the cat’s mental state after a few minutes you can pet again.
You need to keep in mind if your cat licks & then bites you then do not push or yell at your cat. This action will make your cat afraid of you & they might show aggression toward you.
Should you let your cat groom you?
Yes, you can let your cat groom, as we mentioned above this is a natural instinct that cats groom their loved ones. You also need to keep in mind that you need to avoid cats reaching your mouth-to-mouth contact nose to or eyes.
Should I be concerned if my cat bites me?
If the cat’s bite is a deep puncture, then you should be concerned. Krista Williams from VCA Hospitals suggests that you should see a physician as soon as possible. Meanwhile, you can take the first aid precautions immediately.
As explained above, I have answered your question about why my cat licks then bites me? with 4 possible reasons. Now you may be clear that your cat does not lick or bite for a reason. So if you see any behavioral changes then you could be able to decipher what your cat is trying to tell you.
Learning a way to communicate with your cat is very easy, you just need to keep an eye on your cat’s body language. I would say licking & biting a cat is a normal way of interacting with you. Whether it is to show initiating play, grooming you, or feeling stressed licking & biting is their way to express their feeling to you.
If you have a cat does it lick & bite you? We would be pleased to listen from you about how this blog helped you. How do you interpret what they are telling you? Do let us know your ways to decode in the comments section below.
- Cats that Lick Too Much. (n.d.). Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from Cornell University
- Williams, K., BSc, DVM, & Ward, E., DVM. (n.d.). Cat Bite Injuries to Humans | VCA Animal Hospital. Vca. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from VCA Hospitals
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, November 17). Animal bites: First aid. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 5, 2022, from Mayo Clinic