Why does my cat lick me, then bite me?

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If you have a cat at home, you must have noticed how it bites you from time to time after licking you or vice versa. This way, they are trying to socialize with you or showing their love for you. You may even term it as a love bite!



Cats are very affectionate animals when it comes to showing love to their owners. They will snuggle with you, purr, as well as lick you and then bite you too. However, you should not be worried about the fact that your cat is biting you. It is a sign of their love for you.


A lot of people make the mistake of relating cat behaviors to dog behaviors, but they are not the same. If you are a novice at cat parenting, then this comparison may worry you, if you are a pro, then it should not.


Reasons why cats lick their owners and then bite them:

Reason Mood Safe/Unsafe
To show affection Happy Safe
To mark the end of playtime Irritated Safe
To grab your attention Playful Safe




  • Your cat is showing you love and affection.

You might have noticed that sometimes while your cat is grooming itself, he or she might be biting his or her fur, after licking it. Being a pet parent, if you have multiple cats, you may see that they are licking and biting each other. They do it while playing or even while grooming each other. It shows that a cat trusts another cat, and hence, allows him or her cat to groom itself. At the end of the day, a cat licking you and biting you is mostly a case of showing affection.


However, if you notice that there is an increase in the aggressiveness of your cat while biting you, there are chances that there are some other underlying issues. It is a good time to check with your vet to examine your cat’s health and fix any underlying issues if any.


  • Your cat may need a break

It may be another cause of your cat licking and biting you. Animals cannot speak, so they need to communicate with us in a certain way to let us know how they are feeling. In the case of cats, they make certain physical gestures to get their message across to their fellow humans.



After being a pet for a long time, your cat might decide that it is time to call it quits. In order to get this message across to you, your cat might lick you and give you a gentle bite, or bite you and then lick you. The follow-up lick after the bite mostly signifies the fact that even though your cat wants you to stop it for some time, he or she still loves you.


The best way to know if your cat is asking you to stop is to see whether he or she is biting you a little harder than the last time. It shows that your cat is becoming more and more irritated, and it is time for you to stop. However, after you stop petting your cat, if he or she tries to grab your attention by rubbing its body against you or snuggling up against you, then you may continue.


  • Your cat is in a playful mood and wants to play with you.



The third reason because of which your cat is licking and biting you is because it wants your attention and wants to play with you. For our pets, since talking is not an option, they need to come up with some way or the other to convey their message to you.


One of the most common ways for cats to show that they want your attention is by biting you and licking you.

Different cats have different ways of communicating with their owners. Some cats call out to them loudly, while some others scratch, some others snuggle, purr or even quiver their tail against you. The combination of licking followed by biting or vice versa is also used by cats to tell you that they want to play with you.


One of the best ways to check whether by licking and biting you, your cat wants to play with you is by immediately starting to play with your cat. If your cat enjoys playing with you, it means that your guess was right, or else it could mean something else – either it’s showing your love and affection, or wants you to stop petting him or her.


  • Keep the biting on a check!

Even though the fact that your cat is biting you may seem cute, it might become an issue if you actually get hurt because of your cat. At this point, you should try to use positive reinforcement to make your cat stop biting you. One of the major reasons to do this is because your cat is ultimately engaging itself in a social activity, which is common in the feline world. If you do not want your cat to bite you, then you can try ways to get your cat to stop biting you.


One of the most common ways to correct this behavior is by immediately stop playing with them and not paying them attention. By constantly following this and making it a pattern, your cat will know that what they did is wrong, and if they do it again, you will once again stop engaging with them.


In order to change this behavior with the help of positive reinforcements, you can buy these treats like FELINE GREENIES Natural Dental Care Cat Treats, or INABA Churu Pops Moist and Chewy Cat Treat to encourage good behaviors like licking sans biting, purring, or simply staying calm.



Your cat licks you and then bites you or vice versa to show that they love you and are affectionate towards you. Unless the biting is aggressive and excessive, there is nothing to be worried about. You can enjoy playing with your cat as long as he or she allows you to do so; after all, he or she is the master!




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