What does “love bites” from a cat mean?

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Cat Love BitesLove Bites

Someone requested me to answer this on Quora: does your cat give love bites on your nose? I had to answer and share my experience with him. So read on to know my answer and if you have experienced the same thing with your cat please let us know by commenting on this post.

Cat love bites, I just call them cat kisses, because I think my cat is giving me a little face kiss back for the good home, love and attention she gets. She’s a very happy cat.

My cat will come up to me for attention, and if I ignore her, she will bite me softly to get my attention; she wants to be petted. When she wants loving she bites my ears, nose and mouth. It freaked me out at first but later I learned if I was holding her close to my face and I made an eye contact with her, even with the tip of my eye, she’ll give love bites to my nose and will be all over my face. I don’t know what you can do about it. You can keep her away from your nose I guess. That’s what I do.

A Catnip Mouse

I was told that if the cat purrs while biting and keeps sort of looking around your face for your nose, chin and ear lobes, she is probably looking for a place to suckle from. This often happens with cats that are separated from their mom at a young age. She really wants to suck of your nose but it’s not really shaped in the best way and she ends up biting it! I sympathise with the people whose noses and other body parts are getting crunched.

This show of love from your cat can prove to be a bit painful, especially if she nips at your nose or elsewhere on your face, as many cats do. Cats nip each other affectionately, and their skin is tougher than ours, so your cat really doesn’t understand her love bite isn’t always pleasant for you.

We read each other’s behavioural cues all the time, so now we need to be able to read the behavioural cues that cats are telling us, but we’re just not seeing. – Dr. Elizabeth Colleran

Cats will greet each other by touching noses, and they obviously groom each other. Your cat is treating you like a family member. Our faces sometimes are salty and I do believe they enjoy the taste. I also think sometimes it’s an invitation for us to pet them. It’s very endearing and shows that your cat really does like you!

Nipping seems to be an instinctive drive in some cats and so it’s difficult to stop the behaviour. But since it’s pretty easy to predict when you’re about to get a “love bite,” the best plan is to get your face, finger or other body parts out of the way ahead of time.

You can certainly discourage her if it bothers you. Just pick her up gently when she starts biting you on the nose, and then pet her. Cats have many different ways of communicating with us, and often what we perceive as “quirks” are truly some of their most endearing qualities.

Once we understand those subtle signs that indicate that they’re starting to get a little more aroused than we want them to be, then we can adjust our behaviour accordingly. – Dr. Elizabeth Colleran

Gentle bites are playful; it’s the cat’s way of showing you she likes you. So are licks and kneading. However, cats won’t usually bite you out of anger unless you’re doing something to really annoy them. Just keep in mind that your cats just want to be with you, whether it’s for some cuddling and petting, or just to have fun. I hope this will help you understand your cat’s language, at least a little bit! Love bites. Meow!

Fishing Pole Toy

Do you have a cat that gives you love bites? Tell us about your cat’s love bites in a comment!

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3 thoughts on “What does “love bites” from a cat mean?

  1. Wilt

    I have always been a dog owner but love cats as well. I deliver mail so meet a lot of both. A cat ran up to me the other day, and I sat on the curb to pet it. I saw that her name was Tigerlily, so I said its name. It immediately leapt on my lap and began licking my face in a very doglike manner. Sadly I had no treats with me that day. Very peculiar behaviour for a cat, I thought!

    1. Oxford Junior Post author

      Thank you so much for finding my blog and sharing your experience with that cat, indeed it was very peculiar behaviour especially with you as a stranger!


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