If you have one or several cats, you will surely have gone through this situation: your cat is licking you calmly. And suddenly it bites you! What has happened? Could it be that you do not like the massage you were offering? Why do you carry out this behavior?
In this article we will delve into the feline world, explaining why your cat licks you and then bites you based on the behaviors of the species and their meaning. In addition, we will also show you the guidelines to follow to prevent your cat from biting you. Keep reading!
Communication of cats
Although we are experienced owners, it is not always easy to understand what our cat tries to tell us, therefore, it is essential to enter the feline universe and learn more about the body language of cats. Regularly review related articles based on the ethology (the science that studies animal behavior) can help us learn more about our beloved cats and interpret certain behaviors appropriately.
As you know, cats use their body to communicate with us and to express their emotions, so when your best friend licks you and after nibbling you should be very attentive to your body, in this way you will understand better why you are manifesting this behavior.
Pay attention: Maybe you scared him while he preened you and that’s why he bit you? Did your cat lick you while purring and still doing it while making soft bites? The way in which your cat carries out certain practices expresses much more than you imagine!
Licks and bites, what do they really mean?
There is no single way to interpret the licking of the cats, as well as not about the bites, much less if we talk about licks and bites together, therefore, we will try to explain in detail the purpose of these behaviors, both characteristic of this species:
Why do cats lick?
The tongue of the cats is certainly unique: it is formed by small spines of keratin, which are especially useful when cleaning themselves, untangle their hair, remove dirt from their mantle and drink water.
Therefore, when a cat licks us, even more so if our cat licks our hair, it is carrying out a grooming behavior, as if we were just another cat. It is a very positive social behavior, which shows a good bond with the owner and the desire to make us feel more comfortable.
Still, cats also lick like show of affection, since he has learned through associations that is something that we like and that also generates endless caresses and affection. On the other hand, an excessive and incessant licking (even compulsive) can mean that something is not going well and that the welfare of our best friend is compromised, is therefore an indication of stress and anxiety, in which case we recommend reviewing the 5 symptoms of stress in the most frequent cat.
Why do cats bite?
As with licking, a bite can also have several meanings, however, who has been bitten by a cat very angry or very scared He knows that it has nothing to do with the bites that a playful cat can perform, even if they are painful. Cats truly angry or scared show body language very expressivecontracted, rigid and bristling, accompanied also by snorts, alert meows and curved backs.
This type of bite (accompanied by painful scratches) has absolutely nothing to do with the bites per game, which usually take place when they get out of control, the bites of advertisements, so that we stop bothering or caressing them, from bites like show of affection, which tend to be more controlled and repetitive.
So, why do cats lick and bite?
Some cats may bite after licking us like warning sign so that we stop caressing them, others can realize it as a show of affection more and a third group could perform it as a further sequence that entails the grooming, that is, the grooming.
The cats when cleaning each other lick and chew each other, to perform a thorough hygiene and brushing, so it would be completely normal for a partner to bite us during a “beauty” session. It is something totally normal and proper to its species, it is not a negative behavior.
When the bite hurts.
It may happen that our cat, by biting us, hurts us. What should we do then? The first thing will be to highlight that under no circumstances should we scold him, since our feline is carrying out a social behavior, although this one is not entirely pleasant to us.
How should we act when a cat bites us? Ideally, after the bite let’s stop petting him or paying attention. If we are constant and always follow the same pattern, with the passage of time, our cat will associate the bite with the end of the game or the session of caresses.
At the same time, it will be essential to use positive reinforcement and reinforce behaviors that please us, such as being calm, licking without getting to bite or purr placidly. For this we can use a simple “very good” or bet for tasty prizes, such as a piece of cooked chicken.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat lick me and then bite me?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.