Why Does My Cat Bite My Nose ? Discover 7 wonderful ideas behind your kitty cats nose biting antics!

Portrait of a young beautiful woman in a yellow shirt hugging kissing with a gray fluffy cat sitting on the sofa

Why does my cat bite my nose? The short of it is that they do this to communicate with you.

However, what exactly are they trying to tell you by nibbling your snout I hear you ask! At times cats behaviors are not so easy to distinguish, so here to help we have put together several major possibilities of why your feline pal is biting your nose.

As a life long kitty mama and vet nurse, I’ve been caught off guard many a time with a chomp on my conk, just as I thought things were going so well !!

So like many of you, I asked myself ‘why does my cat bite my nose ?’. I’ve gladly taken time to research and gather some answers.

This was definitely a fun one to explore and I cant wait to share my findings with you all.

As cat owners I think we have all probably established by now that our little furry friends can develop all kinds of strange and outfight weird behaviors to communicate with us. 

Some beg for attention then viciously claw at  you when you give it, some love to knead, some run riot at 3am and some bite your nose!:

Here is what we will be covering in this article :

  • 7 reasons behind ‘why does my cat bite my nose’
  • Why does my cat bite my nose when I’m sleeping
  • Why does my cat bite my nose and then lick it
  • How to stop your cat biting your nose

1. DISPLAY OF AFFECTION

Why does my cat bite my nose to communicate affection? Nose biting can be a way of your cat showing their love, sometimes also known as love bites.

As cats are unable to use verbal language to declare their love to us they need to find alternative ways to do so.

If your cats bite is accompanied by purring noises, they are deffo appreciating your company and just want you to know!

It would be worth noting though that if your cat has done this out of affection it would probably be a gentle nibble and shouldn’t be forceble enough to draw any blood.

From my experience it would be best not to encourage biting even if out of affection, especially in a household which includes children.

Let your loveable fur baby know that the session is over when they sink their teeth in.

2. MARKING TERRITORY

Why does my cat bite my nose to mark their territory? Have you recently introduced a new four legged friend in to the home? Or perhaps visited friends or family who also share their humble abode with a feline king or queen.

If this is the case then your kitty’s territorial instincts have most likely been triggered. Cats have a super sense of smell and a strange smell has been detected on you! a nose bite is a simple of way of your cat marking their scent back on to you, ensuring that they don’t lose you.

This way you become their property once more and warns other cats off you! happy days!!

If the bite is followed up by rubbing their face on to yours, this is almost certainly territorial behavior.

3. ANGER

Why does my cat bite my nose in anger ? – Patience can often run thin when it comes to our feline buddies, if your cat is angry and near your face, they may simply lash out.

A way to differentiate between an anger bite and any other is that an anger bite would be significantly harder and more forcible.

Your cat may display some angry warning signs before they take the plunge. These can often be things such as a growl, a hiss, ears pinned back and/or eyes dilating.

Believe it or not –  your ‘innocent’ feline could secretly be harboring some pent up anger towards you. Has there been a change in your routine? Is there any unusual activity happening in the household ? Or perhaps you haven’t had as much time for them recently.

These are all factors that could contribute towards your cats anger and what better time to vent that anger then cuddle time! Resulting in a bite to the nose for you! Ouch!

If you do encounter such behavior we would suggest promptly putting your cat down and allowing them some time to find their calm. Distracting them with a cat toy is a superb deterrent and also allows them to express some of that anger.

4. ATTENTION SEEKING

Why does my cat bite my nose for attention? – Biting your nose can be a way for your cat to signal that they need some love or play time.

This is a behavior that runs deep and is often installed in them from a kitten, when they love to play fight and wreak some havoc.

Most cats would actually usually grow out of this behavior by adulthood, however some figure it is a speedy and guaranteed way to gain your attention so will continue so long as its working.

A way to avoid this and correct the behavior is not to answer or reward it by giving into the attention that they are seeking at that exact moment.

It is recommended that we give our cats at least 10 minutes undivided attention each day, so don’t leave them hanging too long though!

5. OVERSTIMULATION

Why does my cat bite my nose when they are overstimulated? – Cats are very sensitive beings and prolonged cuddle time can actually easily overstimulate.

They can become overwhelmed quicker than we might think and the overall effect being erratic behavior, such as biting your nose! This type of behavior can also be referred to as ‘petting induced aggression’.

It can be prevented by keeping an eye out for the early warning signs that your kitty is becoming overwhelmed.

Knowing when to stop is key – if you spot your fur baby tensing up, swishing their tail, rippling at the sides or rotating ears back on forth its time to let go of the ticking time bomb! By stopping contact at this time you can stop the biting.

6. DISPLAYING DOMINANCE

Why does my cat bite my nose to display dominance?

Your cat may wish to remind you who is in charge (its them by the way) and they communicate this with you by snuzzling your snout!

You will know if it’s a dominance bite by assessing your cats behavior before and after. If your cat tries to play, cuddle or doesn’t back down after actually biting you, it is most likely a display of power.

How you react to this will determine if they would do it again – they could even push boundaries a little further each time!

Usually just putting your cat down and not continuing with any interaction will be enough and they will soon get to the understanding that you will not stand for it.

7. GROOMING

Why does my cat bite my nose to groom me? Your furry bundle of joy is attempting to ensure that you are smelling fresh and clean. Cats actually love to groom each other as well as themselves.

If your cat is trying to groom you, you have made it to ‘team kittykat’ in the eyes of your cat master ! Cats clean themselves by biting and licking with their perfectly adapted tongue.

Normally they pick up on the scent left in your mouth after eating. If they perceive you to be dirty they will try to clean you by licking and biting.

WHY DOES MY CAT BITE MY NOSE WHILE IM SLEEPING

Man with his gray cat sleeping in bed together at night.

I love snuggles in bed with my fur baby before I sleep, like I’m sure most cat parents do.

Snuggling in bed with your feline pal is cozy and fun until you are sound asleep and your kitty pounces and attacks you with a great big gnaw to your nose! In the dead of night this can be extremely terrifying and shocking!

in total honesty your little feline bestie is probably just hungry and wants feeding. You can try to prevent this by giving them some food right before bed time.

If this is happening often, I would recommend setting up a camera so that you can assess your cats behavior prior to them nipping your beak. This would help you to come to a better conclusion as to why your cat might be doing this.

WHY DOES MY CAT BITE MY NOSE AND THEN LICK IT

As a first time cat parent, or one of many years, you will notice that your cat likes to touch noses with yours. I, like many others feel warm and fuzzy in believing that this is our cats way of giving us kisses.

A more scientific view is that if the bite is soft and gentle followed by a lick, they can either still smell some food particles on your face and want a taste or they are simply grooming you and expressing their love.

How To Stop Your Cat Biting Your Nose

Training your cat to stop biting your nose depends on the reasons behind the bite. Consistency is definitely key, you cant think its cute one time (no matter the reason) and then reprimand your cat for it another time. Heres a few tips on what you can do to discourage the biting.

  • Verbally tell your cat No, and then walk away
  • Remember to be very observant of your cats behavior – the clue is in their body language leading up to it and by doing this you should be able to prevent it
  • When you notice your cat displaying any signs of aggression or attempting to bite, you can try to distract your furious fighter with a cat toy or even a scratching post or mat.
  • Reward good behavior! Have some cat treats available to hand out if your fur baby stops biting. Eventually your cat will associate treats with abstaining from biting.
  • You could always even consider getting another cat so that they will have a companion to play with.
  • If possible train your cat young! This kind of behavior is often installed as a kitten. Experts recommend immediately correcting this before it becomes a problem.
  • Blow in their face straight after they bite you.
  • Allow your cat to have plenty of exercise

Cats are actually very trainable creatures, it may take some time but it will be worth it in the long run, trust me!

Top tips to train your cat young !

Final Thoughts ………………..

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out ‘why does my cat bite my nose’ as much as we’ve enjoyed researching it. Now we know that our little buddies are just trying to communicate with us it makes each bite even more special.

Whether its anger, overstimulation, dominance, territory marking, grooming, attention seeking or just showing you that they love you, one things for sure – we love them even more with each bit of new information, discovering something we didn’t know about our wonderful feline friends.

If you still have some more bitey questions why not check out our other articles: why do cats bite their owners for no reason and what to do if a cat bites you.

Lucie Wilkins

Lucie is a qualified RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse) with over 10 years experience working with cats. She has had a cat companion or two in the house for as long as she can remember. Read more about Lucie here.

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