The Surprising Reasons Why Cats Bite and Lick You

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Before getting a pet, learning and understanding their behavior and needs is imperative. Cats are among the most commonly owned pets in the entire world. Their low maintenance is probably the main reason for making them the ideal pet option. However, wild or domestic animals have specific habits and personality traits. The same goes true for cats.

One such habit that cat pet owners have noticed is that their cats unexpectedly bite and lick them. Cats mostly do this when they want to show affection or love. However, reasons like stress and anxiety, hunger, early weaning, teething, and more also fall on the list.

So, in this article, we will discuss all the potential reasons why cats bite and lick you.

Why Do Cats Bite and Lick You?

Listed below are some surprising reasons that will give you an insight into why your cat is suddenly biting and licking you.

1. They are Hungry

Among all the other reasons, cats also bite and lick when they are feeling hungry. Cats chew and nip to communicate that they need food. However, it is not the primary response. Instead, they might show signs, such as walking around you, meowing continuously, hissing, etc.

When the feeding time is near, and the cat is not provided with food, their stress and frustration levels increase.

Cats show aggressive signs of scratching and biting the owner when their need for food is left unheard for a long time. It is a sign of feeding the cat as soon as possible. You can feed them either homemade or commercial cat foods.

2. They are Weaned Early

Another surprising factor that causes cats to develop biting and licking tendencies is when they are weaned early. Such cats are often noticed to bite even when they are not hungry or stressed.

Several researchers concluded that kittens weaned too soon develop the habit of sucking soft toys, blankets, human arms, fingers, etc.

Thus, it becomes essential to train them. It will help them realize that their biting or licking habit is unacceptable. Adopting a new adult cat is another way of helping tiny kittens learn about their behavior.

3. They are Overstimulated

Cats do not like to be touched everywhere. They also feel uncomfortable when you pet them for an extended period. But they cannot use words to convey their feelings. Thus, they use licking and biting as a medium to let you know about it.

As a pet owner, respecting your pet’s boundaries is essential. Cats are natural cuddlers. They love being stretched on their belly or behind their ears. They love affection shown in moderate amounts, and their approval is visible through purring. But when they are petted too much, they show “petting-induced aggression.” 

4. They Want to Play

Cats are curious and restless animals. They cannot stay fixed and concentrate on one thing or object for long. Therefore, cats always look for newer and better mentally stimulating activities. For example, they might approach you to ask you to play with them. However, if you deny this request, your cat might get agitated and aggressively lick or bite you.

It is essential to keep a check on your cat’s moods. To do so, you must learn and understand their communication methods to cater to their needs. Failure to achieve this will leave the cats agitated and frustrated. Thus, it can significantly contribute to your cat’s aggressive behavior in the long term.

5. They are Teething

Just like human kids, kittens also feel the need to bite things around them when they are teething. Thus, if you have a kitten that bites your hand or fingers every time you pet it, it is most likely that the cat is developing new teeth. They do this to relieve themselves from the irritation or pain associated with their new teeth growth.

You can adopt some cautionary measures to ensure that this habit does not get carried along to their adulthood. One proven method is buying them toys they can chew upon. Petstages Fresh Mint Stick Chew toy is one such toy you can easily purchase online.

Do’s and Don’ts of Preventing Cats from Biting and Licking You

The tabular column below presents what and what not to do if your cat has the habit of licking and biting. These steps will prove helpful in training cats not to lick or bite you:

What Not to DoWhat to Do
Do not use hands or fingers are toys for cats.Buy toys for cats that they can chew upon instead.
Do not neglect or ignore your cat’s biting tendency.Show strict reactions or cat’s licking and biting habits to let them know it is wrong
Do not create a stressful or uncomfortable environment for the cat.Learn and understand the activities or things that agitate or irritate your cat.
Do not keep your cat hungry for long durations.Feed your cat adequate quantities and quality food at regular intervals.


Unlike other pet animals, cats do not demand a lot. Instead, they are animals that prefer their own company, with an occasional need for love and affection. Understanding and dealing with their behaviors will help you bond strongly with your cat.

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