.Cats do weird things, they knead, the lick, they even drool! And sometimes their behavior is not the easiest to understand. Let’s dive in today on the question, “Why does my cat bite my nose?” This one should be a fun one guys!
Reasons Your Cat Could Bite Your Nose.
When you catch yourself asking, ‘why does my cat bite my nose?’ start to notice. Context and time will help you narrow down the real reasons so you can your cat can start training and correcting the behavior.
Cats can be notoriously territorial, and this extends to their humans as well as their home. If you’ve added another cat to the family recently or if you’ve been around other cats outside of the home, your cat will be able to smell these other cats, and it can trigger their territorial instincts.
Since cats have scent glands all over their bodies , sometimes they will bite your nose to help get their scent over you. They also do this from licking, as you have read in the Why Do Cats Lick post.
This helps reassure them that they won’t lose you, and it can give a subtle warning to other cats that you are taken and off-limits for other cats to attach themselves to.
They are overstimulated
Your cat has dozens of sensations coming at them from all directions 24 hours a day, and this can make it easy for them to get overstimulated. When this happens, they may act erratically or act overwhelmed and do things that they normally wouldn’t do like bite your nose.
Your cat will give you plenty of warning signs that they’re getting overstimulated when they’re around you, and by stopping the contact, you can potentially stop the biting behavior. You may notice that your cat flicks or swishes their tail, rippling on your cat’s sides, rotating their ears back or to the sides, or tensing up. You can use the Understanding Your Cats Tail Language post to see if they are annoyed or overstimulated.
Cats bite as a way to groom you
By nature, cats are very clean animals that can spend hours licking, grooming, and cleaning themselves and each other. This is part of the reason why most cat owners don’t bathe their cats on a regular basis, and your cat also has an excellent sense of smell that they use on you.
Everything that you eat leaves a scent, and this scent can linger for hours even after you’ve wiped or washed your face. You cat may smell this because they have such an excellent sense of smell and interpret it as dirty. In response, they’ll try to clean your face, and this can result in licks along with smaller bites.
My kittens love to try and clean my face. I have caught them on more than one occasion trying to bite my nose when I move “before they are finished”. This is cute, but needs to be corrected properly so they still feed the connection to you without potentially hurting you.
When cats are young, they tend to play fight, roughhouse, and bite both with you and with their littermates. When our kittens were really young, we use to joke that it was WWE wrestling.
Smaller bites are an excellent way to let you know that they would like attention from you right now, and it’s a behavior they learned as a kitten. Kittens can use this when they want to play with you if they don’t have a feline playmate to engage with as well.
Most cats will grow out of this behavior, but some cats find that it’s a quick way to get your attention, and so they’ll keep doing it until they have your full attention. You want to correct this behavior by not giving them the attention they seek so they continue to bite you whenever they are wanting quick attention.
Cats express their anger in a variety of ways, and if your cat is very angry and by your face, they may bite you on your nose to display this anger. This bite will be significantly harder than it would be if your cat is trying to give you a love bit or nip at your nose. You cat will usually give you several warnings before they bite you, and these include things like growling , their eyes will dilate, and they’ll pin their ears down or back.
If this happens, you want to put your cat down and distract them with a toy or treat until they calm down. On the other hand, a soft nip or bite to your nose could be your cat’s way of showing affection since they can’t verbalize it or give you a hug as a human would. When this happens, they shouldn’t bite you hard enough for it to hurt or leave a mark. Your cat will also be relaxed when they give your this affectionate display , and they should be purring to show that they’re happy and content where they are.
Cats and their “Love Bites”
This varies from cat to cat, and some breeds are more prone to giving these affectionate displays than other cat breeds. Some cat owners call their cat biting them “love bites,” but cat behavior specialists say that this is a sign of overstimulation, which is also known as petting-induced aggression. Though it does not only have to occur when you are petting your feline friend.
While no one is exactly sure what causes petting-induced aggression, experts believe that it’s your cat’s way of feeling overwhelmed and trying to take back control of the situation. Others think that these bites are your cat’s way of letting you know that they’re ready to be left alone. Some kittens don’t understand this jump in behavior can be surprising to their humans.
Every cat is different and once you learn how your cat reacts when they are overstimulated. You can start to learn the warning signs and stop them prior to the “love bites”.
Cats can also bite your nose as a way to display their dominance. Each cat is different and can do so in a variety of ways. One of these ways getting your attention whatever way possible, sometimes even biting your nose.
Your cat may do this once or twice, or they may do it every time that they feel that you need a reminder of who is in charge. You’ll get a good idea on whether their biting is dominance behavior or not by watching your cat’s body language before and after they actually bite you. If your cat doesn’t back down, tries to cuddle, or tries to play with you after they bite, it’s most likely a dominance display.
When I was doing research on this topic, I started becoming curious if my cats will sometimes bite as way of dominance. I knew they definitely would do it sometimes for attention. Sometimes when they are playing and get a little too wild. With mine, whenever they start biting, they usually try other methods too. They will do things such as rubbing against me, or licking me as a way to get my attention. Lucky for me, they know I am the alpha of the pack.
Training Dominance for New Cat Parents
For the new cat parents, you may notice that your cat spends a lot of time touching its nose to your nose or licking your nose. Again, there are several reasons for this behavior. Most people aren’t exactly sure what drives cats to have this quirk or behavior.
My oldest cat, Phoebe, has this quirk. I like to think it is her way of giving me little eskimo kisses. The more scientific theory is that touching noses is your cat’s way of showing their owners that they’re content, happy, and that they trust them. Your cat also has an excellent sense of smell. They can be attracted to the small food particles or scents that can stay around your face after you eat.
Since there are not hard known reasons why cats do this, you can be make the decision. I am going to continue to believe that some cats will do that as a way to give you kisses. I’ll go ahead and let you believe this too! It makes life more fun guys!
Training Your Cat to Stop Biting.
Depending on why your cat is biting your nose, there are several things that you can do to help train your cat to stop this unwanted behavior. As I say with all training, consistency is key. You can’t view biting as cute one time, and they reprimand your cat the next time.
When you do that you send mixed signals that’ll confuse your cat. As with any unwanted behavior from your pets, training your cat to stop biting follows several basic principals. These are the same steps that you follow for any pet that has bad habits that you’re trying to break. Two of the easiest steps you can do are:
Rewarding positive or good behavior and punishing bad or unwanted behavior.
When you reward or punish your cat’s behavior, it should be right after your cat displays the behavior in question. This will help your cat make the connection between the behavior and the reward or punishment. Consistency is key to your success or failure during the training process. Keeping these basic principals in mind, you’ll know the specific ways to approach your cat’s biting behavior. The approaches depend on the cause of your cat’s biting. Therefore, you want an idea of why your cat is biting so you can use the correct approach.
Train Your Cat Young.
The best thing you can do when it comes to stopping your cat from biting is training them when they are young. I say this a lot, but it is so true! A lot of the time if your cat bites you as an adult, they learned the behavior as a kitten.
Kitten nips are relatively painless and can be cute because they were too small to do any real damage. However, this changes as they grow and they’re able to bite you harder. If your kitten starts to bite you, you want to take steps to immediately start correcting this behavior before you have a problem.
Correcting Your Cat’s Biting
One easy way to correct biting in kittens is to blow in their face immediately after they bite you. Kittens don’t usually like this and they’ll start to associate it with the behavior. A stern no can also go a long way as kitten learn a number of human words, including their names.
You can also try and wear your kitten out by distracting them with a toy . With kittens especially, biting is a sign that they’re ready to play with you. Introducing a toy is a great distraction. You may also want to consider getting another kitten for your kitten to play with. They can exhaust one another and they hopefully won’t bite you. Kicker toys can also help them feel like a predator without damaging your hand.
The bottom line is that biting can be cute when your cat is a kitten. And even if doesn’t hurt when they are young, you want to train them that is not acceptable behavior. If not it can lead to many more issues when your cat gets older. As they age, they also gain the ability to do damage when they bite. Train your cat young, be consistent, and reward their good behavior. All of this will reduce your chances of having your cat continue to bite you as they age. So from here, do you have the answer to the question, “Why does my cat bite my nose?