Why Does My Cat Lick Me THEN Bite Me? [5 Interesting Reasons Why]

why does my cat lick me then bite me

Your cat can lick and bite you to bond with your or continue to express their love for you. Cats lick themselves for grooming purposes, and when they do this to their owner, it means they are expressing love or sending them an invitation to play. Sometimes, they may be telling you they’ve had enough of your petting, a give you a little nibble on your hand. So why does my cat lick me THEN bite me? The point is licking and biting from your cat can really mean a multitude of things, but the reason depends on the scenarios surrounding it. 

Cat Communication

Even if you are experienced owners, it is not always easy to understand what your cat is trying to tell you, so you must immerse yourselves in the cat’s world and learn more about your cats’ body language. Regularly studying cat ethics and behavior helps you know more about your beloved cats and make appropriate interpretations of certain behaviors.

Felines use their body language to communicate with us and express their feelings, so when your cat licks then bites you, you must pay attention to them and understand what she seeks. Sometimes can make even groom other cats known as allogrooming, but depending on their body positioning, this can be a sign of dominance. Make sure you pay attention to understand why they are expressing this behavior.

Take A Look: Did you scare your cat while she was licking you? Or did your cat bite you while he or she was purring? These little nuances can tell you a lot about the reason for their actions.

cat licking then biting
  • Save

What Does It Mean When My Cat Licks Me?

The cat’s tongue is indeed unique: it is made up of tiny keratin spines, which are especially useful for self-cleaning, removing their hair, removing dirt from their body’s coat, and drinking water. That is why their language is rough because their tongue has a ton of functions it needs to perform.

So, when a cat licks us, they express their feelings as if we were just another cat. It is a very positive social behavior, showing a good relationship with the owner and a desire to make the owner feel more comfortable.

There can really be a number of reasons why your cat licks you. They can be trying to teach you to groom yourself, they can be showing signs of affection toward you, or they may even be marking their territory. Mostly all of these reasons however are positive, and tend to reveal that a strong bond is forming or has formed between you and your feline friend.

It has been said that cats view humans and their owners are really large cats. Thus, it makes sense they are trying to groom their friend, welcome them home and make them feel like they are part of the family.

Even though your cat licking you isn’t very comfortable, they really don’t think or know that its hurting you. When they lick and clean themselves, it feels great to them since they have layers of fur protecting them. Just know they aren’t intentionally trying to hurt you when they swipe their tongue across your skin.

Why Does My Cat Nibble Me?

Similar to licking, your cat biting can have many different meanings. However, anyone who has been bitten by a very angry or terrified cat knows that the bite has nothing to do with their disobedience. They only bite in response to stressful stimuli. A docile and playful cat will never do that. If they bite their owners, it may mean they want some attention when something is wrong or they are hungry and haven’t been fed for many hours. Truly frightened or angry cats show a very expressive body language: they are very rigid, contracted, and bristled, accompanied by waning meows hissing, and an arched back.

cat biting then licking
  • Save

Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me? 5 Main Reasons

So, here are five general reasons why your cat licks and then bites:

Your cat is trying to tell you that she wants to play with you

As complex and mysterious as cats are, cats have fun ways to communicate with their owners. Your cat can invite you and start playtime by licking and then biting you.  But the problem is, how do you know she’s in a playful mood? Look for signs like ears and whiskers to point forward, dilated pupils, and for a vertical or erected tail. Your cat can also walk with a curved back, acting as if it is stalking prey and walking while crouching.

By gently licking and biting you, your cat tells you that you are her best friend and that she is in the mode of playing. These little nips can be seen as love bites, so you should not be worried.

. If you ever felt a real bite from your cat, you know that it can be very painful, and even pierce your skin. However, if it’s just a little play bite, you cat could be just showing you affection.

If you are not a fan of this behavior, there are methods you can take to ensure you cat does not continue this. You can bring out the spray bottle and lightly spray your cat with water every time they bite.

Also, you can make a loud noise so they can begin starting to associate this bite with negative feelings. You can also move your hand away and say “No’. Any one of these three could potentially work for your cat, but its important you stick with it for some time. A cat may still continue to bite for several days and/or weeks until they get this engraved into their heads.

Your cat is telling you to stop giving her physical attention.

Cats love playtime with their humans, and this is an excellent way to bond. However, cats also change their mood and get angry if you become overly aggressive in playing and petting them. Aggressiveness in their behavior occurs when a sensitive part of a cat’s body is accidentally or repeatedly touched. So why does my cat bite me when I pet her? Your cat may lick you excessively and then give you a light bite to indicate that she wants you to stop giving her physical attention/stimulation.

Signs when your cat is aggressive or overstimulated:

  • Panting (Heavily breathing)
  • Ears moving back and forth
  • Ears flat against their head
  • Rippling of the tail

Your cat wants to groom you and make a bond with you.

Your cat may lick your hair or somewhere else and then bite you or vice versa because, like her siblings, they are trying to strengthen their bond and relationship with you. Many times I play with my cat and hold her close to my face. I wonder why does my cat bite my nose? It’s usually not painful and it might just be a little nibble. This is one way cats are able to communicate and share a bond with you.

Your cat is showing you love.

This is a way for felines to show their affection for their pet owners.  This means that your cat is comfortable and cozy in your presence. Along with your cat’s intention to groom you, their behavior signifies that they are happy and feel a deep connection with you. The next time my cat licks my hand, I’m going to assume she is showing me, love.  

Your cat may be stressed.

Some cats are at risk of stress and even aggression. It is manifested by symptoms such as biting and excessive licking.

Your cat may lick or bite you if she is under stress and is very anxious. Some cats, such as the Siamese, can chew things more than others and extend to your hands. If you suspect that your cat’s abnormal behavior is due to stress, seek appropriate treatment. Consult your veterinarian immediately.

cat lick then bite
  • Save

Why does it hurt when my cat licks me?

When your cat licks you, you may feel uncomfortable all the time, especially if it is licking your hands or a particular part of your face excessively. This is due to the spines or back-facing barbs in the cat’s tongue called papillae. It is a scoop-shaped and hollow structure, which allows it to store and hold saliva.

Once your cat rubs its tongue against your skin, you may feel a tingling sensation like sandpaper. Naturally, spines or barbs help to remove dirt from a cat’s coat, so they are sharpened by birth so that cats can keep themselves clean.


Cats communicate with their owners through body language and behavior, and one way to do this is to lick and bite you. Your cat can lick and bite you as an invitation to show you love and seek your attention. It could also mean that she is under a lot of pressure and wants to take a break. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the event, there can really be a number of reasons why.

In most situations, these little bites are love bites. You cat is showing you affection, and you can generally tell this is a love bite since it should not hurt but feels more like a nibble. Since cats have only a few methods to communicate with you, a little bite is a way for them to express their love and affection towards you.

Additionally, your cat licking you can signify some of the same sentiments, as they are trying to groom their friend (since cats see humans as big cats), and is their way to build a bond with others while making them feel more welcome. Cats quite often groom each other, known as allogrooming which is seen in many species.

However, there are other circumstances where that may your cat is under a lot of stress and could be the reason why your cat is biting you. If you feel your cat is under high stress and/or these bites do hurt, you should see a veterinarian to ensure they are not undergoing any other medical conditions, which might be causing them to act this way.

cat lick then bite
  • Save

For more articles on cat care tips, advice on cat health and wellness & product reviews, check out our blog – TheQuintessentialGuide.

why does my cat lick me then bite me
  • Save