Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me?

Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me?

Cats are known for having both funny and strange behaviors. One of these common behaviors is licking then biting their owners. If you are wondering why does my cat lick me then bite me, this article will dive into the most common reasons for this feline behavior.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me?

There are several reasons that your cat may lick you then bite you. The most common reasons are that your cat’s trying to groom you, your cat’s playing, your cat’s being affectionate, your cat’s telling you they dislike a behavior, or your cat’s stressed.

Common Reasons Why Cats Lick Then Bite

Cat’s can’t talk, nor do they share the same body language as humans so it can be difficult to communicate with them effectively. However, by learning the body language of your pet, you might be able to get to know them a little more.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for a cat to lick you and then bite you.

Your Cat’s Grooming You

Many animals, cats included will show affection to one another through the act of grooming. It is something of an honor to be groomed by a cat because as cat owners know they don’t take to just anyone.

When cats groom themselves, they will perform a series of bites and licks. The licks are to clean and finish their fur off whereas the bites are done to remove any tangles in the fur.

So, when your cat’s trying to groom you, this is the way they will do it.

Cats will groom one another not only for affection but as a way of making their bond stronger. If your cat loves you, he or she may extend this behavior to you.

You’ll find that your kitty will lick various areas on your body including your hair, some cats will even attack their owner’s hair!

Its Play Time

All cats have different personalities but there are some that really have a penchant for playtime. Since your cat can’t tell you vocally that they want to play, they let you know another way and quite often this will be through licks and bites.

When cats do this, it is because they feel close enough to a human to initiate this playtime.

You’ll easily be able to tell if this is the reason that your cat licks then bites you because it will be coupled with other playful behaviors.

For example, your kitty may arch its back and strut around as though they are stalking prey. Furthermore, cats that want to play may hold their tail up with the head and whiskers pointing to the front.

If you look very closely, you may also see that the cat’s pupils are dilated; all of these things signal playtime!

Your Cat Wants Affection

One of the pros of owning a cat is that they are more independent than some other pets. However, cats still need and want affection from their humans.

Similar to playing, each cat will differ in terms of what they find acceptable in the affection department.

While some will happily curl up in your lap and be fussed for hours, others might only like a light petting session every so often.

When your cat licks you then gently bites you, this is her way of showing you that she feels comfortable and secure in your presence.

This should be taken as a huge compliment and you should always oblige your cat by giving the affection they are seeking as this will further strengthen your bond.

Enough Is Enough

While most of the time, this type of behavior will be linked to nice things like love and playing, sometimes, this is the cat’s way of telling its owner that they have had enough.

You might like the idea of petting your cat all the time but your kitty may have other ideas.

It is well-known that cats have very sensitive emotions and can be susceptible to swift mood shifts. If you are playing and become a little too aggressive or do something that the cat doesn’t like, they will quickly let you know.

Cat hissing at owner

In some cases, just letting you know might be enough but at other times your cat will wander off and have some quiet time until they are ready to interact again.

It is important to respect your cat’s wishes and if they want you to stop doing something, you should listen.

In some instances, the licks with bites may be displayed with some other key cues.

For example, the cat may move their ears in a certain way. Most commonly, this will be by either flattening them onto the head or flicking them.

Furthermore, cats may flick or ripple their tails when they are feeling on edge.

Your Cat’s Stressed

While many household cats lead a relatively luxurious life, this doesn’t mean that they can’t get stressed which may be displayed in aggressive behaviors.

If your kitty licks and then bites you, this might be because they are feeling anxious. For cats, particularly certain breeds like Siamese, chewing is a major sign of anxiety.

Of course, stress can result in some physical health effects and so it is important to try and manage your cat’s stress.

If you think stress or anxiety is a problem for your cat, your vet will be able to provide you with advice and treatment.

Should You Be Concerned About Your Cat’s Biting?

If your feline is biting you to show affection, to groom you, or to initiate playtime, then there isn’t anything that you should be worried about.

However, if it feels as though this is more of an act of aggression then it is important to try and put an end to it, along with any other unwanted behaviors.

One of the best methods to reducing cat aggression is to figure out what makes your cat nervous or stressed. If you know this then you can avoid allowing your cat into a situation where they may feel distressed and the aggressive behavior will likely stop.

When they are kittens, cats will naturally bite things to practice their hunting skills.

However, you don’t want to encourage them to actively bite humans so providing your cat with lots of chew toys and things they can bite will show him the proper way to behave.

You can also use reward training when your feline uses the toys.


Cats are extremely rewarding pets but some of their behaviors can be difficult to decipher. If a cat licks you and then gives you a little nip, it is likely that they are trying to show some affection or want to play with you.

However, this could also be their way of telling you to back off because they have finished with the interaction.

In more serious situations, biting could be related to stress in which case you will need to figure out what causes anxiety for your cat. Of course, if there are very serious problems with biting, you should seek professional help.