Why does my cat nibble on me

Why does my cat nibble on me

Why do cats take a nibble out of you when they have their own favorite toys? this is a question many cat owners have asked. Here are some reasons why your cat may think it appropriate to bite or lick you:

Why does your cat nibble on you

1. Your cat is hungry

Cats are known to eat throughout the day, so it might be you have nothing for them to snack on. Try giving your cats some food before bedtime. Make sure the food is not too big and keep an eye out for any choking hazard.

2. They love us

We might not always like it, but one thing we cat owners know is that our feline friends only do things for a reason. This often includes licking and nibbling. When your cat nips at you with their teeth, they are exhibiting caring behavior in the same way they would towards another cat or kitten. It means they feel attached to you and that they love you.

3. They are asserting their dominance over you

Our cats might see us as friends, but from their perspective, we are still a member of the family pack. In this situation, it is often best to remember your cat is the dominant one in the relationship and to be submissive if you want to avoid getting into a scrap. When they nip or bite you, they are asserting that dominance and protecting their space from being invaded by another cat.

4. They need your attention

Much like a young child who tends to throw a tantrum in order to get the attention of their parents, cats will often nibble or even bite in order to get us to interact with them. They have needs just like we do, so if they are huddled away somewhere and you haven't got time for them, they will eventually become frustrated. The best solution is to ensure your cat has plenty of playtimes every day.

5. They are trying to communicate with you

Cats, much like their canine counterparts, use a whole range of non-verbal cues in order to communicate with us. When they nip or bite us, it is often meant as another form of communication and might be their way of telling you something. Perhaps they are feeling insecure because another animal has been in the house; perhaps they are hungry or they need to go outside. Sit down with them and work out how they are trying to communicate with you before giving in to their demands immediately.

Why does my cat nibble on me

6. They are merely playing around with us

Some cats will nip at us as a way of playing. Because most human beings do not have claws or sharp teeth, their nibbles are unlikely to hurt. Rather than trying to stop them with brute force, it is often best to maintain a playful mood yourself and teach your cat that their behavior is acceptable only when they are in this mode.

7. They want you to acknowledge what they have done

Most cats will relish success of any kind and if they have just jumped up on the kitchen counter and snagged a snack of some kind, they will feel compelled to let you know that this is what they did. A nibble or bite might be their way of getting your attention and making sure you know what has happened.

8. They want some cuddles

Just like if you were with your friends or family, most cats find cuddling to be an enjoyable pastime. If they nip at your hand when you are stroking them before settling down for some serious petting, it probably means they like what is happening and want you to continue.

9.  Teething issues

If your kitty is still a kitten or just had its teeth removed then this might be a cause for concern. Make sure the kitten has enough food to chew on so it can stop nibbling on your skin. If you notice that the area around your cat's teeth are red, swollen, or even bleeding then there is most likely an infection there. Your kitty might need antibiotics to get rid of this issue.

10. They are over stimulated and need to calm down

Cats, much like humans, can become a little overstimulated when they have been playing or petting for too long. If your cat starts licking at their body it might be a sign that they want to calm down and relax somewhere quiet.

Why does my cat nibble on me

11. They are encouraging you to play with them

Some cats might not be content playing the game of chase or fetch with a toy, and instead will actually bite at your hand as a way of showing you they want to play. Be careful if you try this one out though; just like toddlers, some cats lose their inhibitions and this could end up hurting you.


If your cat does bite or nip at you, then try to remember that they probably have a reason for doing it and there is no harm done as long as you don't overreact. It might be distressing but in most cases, cats are merely trying to communicate with their owners rather than cause harm. Just find out what is causing your cat to put its paws and teeth around you!

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