Why does my cat bite my nose?
It’s a question worth answering, especially if your cat is biting your nose hard.
Cats are best known for swishing their tails and meowing to get across different messages to their owner. However, a cat can also bite your nose to communicate with you.
If you find these cat bites strange and need to know why they do it, then that’s what we’re covering today. And trust me, it could be for a wide range of reasons, just scan the contents table!
Cats Licking And Biting Nose
You might also be wondering ‘why does my cat lick my nose?’.
Unfortunately what starts as a lick can lead to a bite. We do have a post on ‘why does my cat lick me?‘, but this post is focused on nose biting and licking!
If you have a kitten that bites your nose, usually this is simply because they’re learning about and exploring their new environment – it’s likely they’ll grow out of it.
Here are the reasons why cats display this behavior.
1. Your Cats Are Grooming You
Do you always ask yourself how your cats keep clean without you having to clean them?
Well, cats have a way of self-grooming by licking and grooming one another or themselves. Cats are naturally clean animals that don’t need to be washed or bathed by their owners because they have their specially adapted tongues for this job.
Cats have a powerful sense of smell, and if they perceive you to be dirty – perhaps by the scent left on your mouth after eating – they will try to clean you.
They may do so by licking and biting you to make you clean around your face.
2. They Bite to Get Your Attention
Young cats love to roughhouse and fight to play a lot with either you or another cat.
By biting your nose, the cat tries signalizing to you that it’s time your attention is needed, a behavior they develop when they are young. Attention can be to make you cuddle or play.
Usually, a cat needs not less than ten minutes of undivided attention per day. They often do this when they have no one to play with but need the company to keep busy.
You could use some of the same methods for stopping cats from scratching at the door to stop them from biting your nose.
3. To Express Anger
Cats have different ways to express their anger.
One way that some cats might display and express their anger is through nose biting. It’s something they may have picked up from their mother cat.
A bite given in anger is always harder compared to other bites meant to display affection or get attention.
Before you get a wave of anger to bite, the cat will give you warning signs like dilating eyes, growling, and pinning ears back or down.
You can always calm the cat down by giving them a treat or giving them a toy to distract the cat.
4. For You To Help Them Scratch Their Face
Often, you will spot a cat rubbing itself against walls or chairs.
They enjoy scraping the face against hard areas in order to itch themselves and leave a scent. Many cats love a deep face massage that simulates the feeling of rubbing up against something.
When they need the rub from you, they may bite your nose (or whatever else is available), to encourage you to stroke the sensitive areas around their mouth.
Cats can also bite your nose for you to scratch their face, helping them mark your scent, and they view this as a friendly gesture.
5. Show Affection
Bites that cat owners commonly refer to as ‘love bites’ are only familiar with some cat breeds.
Although the owners view it as affectionate, cat experts see it as a sign of over-stimulation.
They term it ‘petting-induced aggression.’
The real cause of petting-induced attacks is varies from cat to cat, but generally speaking it can be seen as an attempt to get back control in a situation.
Some people also think that cats bite to let you know they need their own space, though these behavioral changes can be a surprise to cat owners.
Understand how your cat behaves when overstimulated and pay attention to the warning signs they give to avoid their over-affectionate bites.
6. To Display Dominance
In displaying dominance, a cat can bite your nose to get your attention and remind them they are in charge.
To get this, you have to look at their body language before and after they bite you. If the cat continues cuddling or tries playing with you, it is just a sign of dominance and a way to get in charge.
The fight for dominance might be because of expressing fear or excitement, resulting in unexpected attacks like nose bites.
Cats have different feelings that come at them at ago within a day which can make them overstimulated.
When they have overstimulation, they can end up erring or even get overwhelmed, prompting them into biting your nose.
To know when your cat is overstimulated, look for these signs:
- Cat swishing the tail
- Tensing up their body
- Rippling motion on the sides of the cat
- Rotating ears back and forth
These signs will help you in avoiding nose bites by avoiding close contact with the cat.
8. Territorial Behavior
Cats have a way of protecting their territory, especially if you bring a new cat or pet into the house.
The arrival of new cats will make them insecure and trigger their territorial instincts. They may give warnings to new pets that you are theirs.
And, believe it or not, they can also mark their scent by biting your nose.
In many ways, cats are more territorial than dogs and mark their territories by:
- Attacking other cats
- Spraying urine (similar to rabbit peeing behavior)
Consider installing cat climbing walls to give your puss her own space to get away from new pets.
9. Petting Induced Aggression
Most cat owners don’t understand these signs of petting-induced aggression well.
They may even confuse it with over-stimulation or a sign of affection.
Understanding this aggression’s real cause is not easy, but experts see it as the cat’s way of feeling overwhelmed and trying to get the feelings under control.
The aggression or stress in cats can even be from constant petting, making them react by biting your nose. Some cats like to be petted, others do not.
Why Does My Cat Bite My Nose?
So, why does my cat bite my nose?
For your cat to bite you seriously, it must do so for a valid reason.
A cat can grind you to mark territories, show you affection, and show you they are angry with you or to just get attention.
It would be best if you learned the signs that might trigger the cat bites and avoided them by either going away or warning them against repeating the same act.
Or, at the end of the day, maybe she’s just hungry and trying to share that fact with you?