Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me – All You Need to Know

Confused by your fuball again? Let's decode this strange lick-and-bite behavior and understand the 6 reasons behind it together!

Hey there, fellow cat parents! If you’ve ever wondered – why does my cat lick me and then bite me? You’re not alone. It’s a bit like a mystery, isn’t it?

As a cat parent, just like you, I’ve been through this puzzling situation too. So, let’s figure it out together. 

In this post, I’m going to talk about why our cats do this funny lick-and-bite combo. It’s like decoding a secret message from your furry friend. Get ready to find out why your kitty behaves in such a unique way!

Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me

I’ve uncovered a few reasons why our feline friends go from sweet licks to unexpected nibbles. Here are some possible explanations:

#1. It’s a Love Bite

Licks and bites, commonly seen among cats and kittens, are your furry friends’ ways of showing affection. Cats tend to mimic this lick-and-bite combo when feel bonded with you. 

So if your cat licks and then bites out of nowhere, she seems comfortable and pleasant. Congrats! She just loves you. This normally happens when she curls up with you. 

It also works the other way around: she is asking for your love. 

#2. She is Overstimulated

Things turn upside down quickly with cats. They may enjoy your petting and even purr a little bit, but all of a sudden, here comes the lick-and-bite combo. Just get used to it, it’s your little friend who calls the shot: stop now!

An extended time of petting would cause overstimulation and direct some of the feline’s hunting behaviors onto cat owners, in this case licking and biting. 

The time limit for overstimulation varies from one cat to another. So, you need to pay attention to your cat’s body language. When you notice signs of stress or discomfort, such as flat ears, dilated pupils, arched back, or tense tail, it is time to leave them alone. 

Another way to identify if your cat is overstimulated is to watch what they do next. If they run away immediately and crouch low to the ground, they are overstimulated, if not, it could be other reasons, let’s jump into the next part.

#3. She Wants to Play with You

Signs of overstimulation and playing look quite alike. If your cat stays near you after licking and biting, she just wants your attention and is in the mood for play. 

When your cat is ready for playtime, she appears to be energetic. She might follow you around the house and start playing with her toys indicating that she wants to have fun with you.

#4. She is Stressed

Cats being stressed or anxious also leads to aggressive licking and biting. It does not necessarily mean that they are mad at you, they may be agitated by extended petting time.

Or they prefer to have some alone time yet are unable to run away, they have no choice but to become physically aggressive.

We need to spot the signs of stress and anxiety in cats, an arched back and raised tail, and whiskers pointing forward, and help reduce their stress level by leaving them alone and hiding somewhere safe.

#5. She is Grooming You

Cats lick their coats and nibble their fur as part of their natural grooming process. Our feline friends spend 30% to 50% of their daily grooming to keep themselves clean. 

They also groom their mother and littermates. So if your cat licks and then bites you repetitively, she cleans you as well, indicating that she thinks you are part of her and she owns you.

#6 You Taste Good!

According to the famous Jackson Galaxy, there is one more simple reason when asking why my cat licks me and then bites me. 

It is the sugar and salt that are secreted from our system that smell and taste good for them. They can’t help it. But make sure you are not covered in lotion, perfume, or essential oil.

There are also some other reasons why your cat licks and lightly bites you, according to Reddit users, they might be marking you as part of their territory. It’s like they’re saying, “You belong to me!”

Remember, every cat is unique, and the reasons can vary between feline friends. So, don’t be surprised if your kitty has a few quirks of their own!

How to Stop My Cats from Licking and Biting Me

A cat’s tongue is rough, so this kind of licking and nibbling can be painful. If you want your cat to stop this behavior, keep reading!

1. Redirect attention

When your cat starts to lick and bite, gently redirect their focus to a toy or a scratching post. This way, they can channel their energy into something other than your hand. Trust me, having a few toys nearby can be a real lifesaver.

2. Implement positive reinforcement

Reward your cat when they show gentler behavior. Give them treats or affection when they lick without biting. This helps them associate good behavior with positive outcomes. I’ve seen this work wonders with my own furry friends.

3. Set boundaries

Teach your cat to understand your limits. When they start biting, calmly say “no” and withdraw your hand. Over time, they’ll learn that biting means the end of the fun.

4. Keep petting sessions short

Pay attention to your cat’s body language and learn to recognize the signs of overstimulation. When you notice these signs, give your cat some space to calm down.

A user also shared her way of stopping her cats from biting on Reddit. When her cats bite and won’t let go, she pushes her finger or hand further into their mouth. It works effectively, however, I don’t recommend this kind of behavior unless your cats bite hard.


What To Do If the Bite is Aggressive?

If your cat bites you aggressively, here’s a quick guide:

  • Stay calm: Try not to shout or panic. Stay calm to avoid making the situation worse.
  • Gently remove: Slowly and gently remove your hand from their mouth. Don’t pull away suddenly.
  • Check for injury: See if you’re hurt. If you are, clean the wound and seek medical help if necessary.
  • Reflect on triggers: Think about what might have triggered the aggressive bite. It could be fear, pain, or overstimulation.
  • Follow previous tips: Refer to the earlier parts for ways to prevent biting.

Remember, it’s crucial to maintain a safe and harmonious relationship with your cat.

Why Does My Cat Bite Me Not My Partner?

If your cat tends to bite you and not your partner, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. In fact, it might mean the opposite! Sometimes, cats bite gently because they feel super comfortable with you, like a love nip.

But if your cat bites because they’re scared, it could mean they’re afraid. So, it’s essential to watch their body language and make sure you’re giving them plenty of love and reassurance.

Why Does My Cat Lick and Bite Other Cats?

Cats lick and bite other cats for a few reasons. They do it to bond with each other, kind of like a club handshake. Sometimes, it’s just their way of playing and goofing around. 

But in some cases, a cat might give a gentle bite to show who’s boss and say, “I’m in charge here.” It’s their way of communicating with each other!

Why Does My Cat Lick Me and Then Bite Me While Purring?

If your cat licks you, purrs, and then gives you a gentle bite, it’s likely that they are saying “I love you” and “Let’s play.” They’re just super excited and affectionate! It’s your cat’s unique way of showing they adore you and want to have fun.

The Bottom Line

After exploring all the possible reasons “why does my cat lick me then bite me” and tips to stop this behavior, I hope this post can help you crack the mystery code and have fantastic relationships with your feline buddies.



As an English major graduate, Rainie seamlessly merges her love for writing with her passion for cats. As the proud owner of two cats, Ham and Tata, she delights in everything feline. She skillfully combines her academic background and personal interests, crafting engaging content that resonates with all cat lovers. Follow her on Facebook.
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