Cat behavior can often be strange and confusing. It’s not unknown for a cat to lick you, which is generally seen as a sign of affection, and then bite you, which is more commonly regarded as aggression. It’s certainly a strange phenomenon.
However, there could be a very simple explanation as to why they sometimes do this. In this article, we’re going to go through some of the more common explanations, and how best to respond to each of them. Here goes.
You’ve Given Your Cat Too Much Attention
Cats are naturally curious creatures, so if you give them lots of extra attention, they might start licking you out of boredom.
They’ll also want to show their affection towards you, but will usually find other ways to express it. For example, they’ll rub against you or jump on your lap.
If this happens regularly, try giving your cat less attention by spending less time with them, reducing your visits and making sure that they get plenty of playtime outside. If this doesn’t work, you might consider getting a new pet!
Your Cat Has An Allergy
This is one of the most common causes of cats lashing out at people, particularly when they feel unwell. There are several different types of allergies, including food and environmental.
The symptoms vary depending on what type of allergy your cat has, but in general, they’ll scratch themselves excessively, have runny eyes and nose, sneeze or cough frequently, and even develop a rash.
The first thing to do is to make sure that your cat isn’t allergic to any particular foods. Talk to your vet about how to spot signs of an allergy, and whether you should take your cat off certain foods or change their diet completely.
Once you know what triggers your cat’s allergies, you can avoid those things in the future.
Your Cat Has Worms
Worms aren’t actually harmful to your cat, but they can cause irritation and itching, which makes her lash out by licking and biting you.
To treat this, you need to get rid of the worm eggs in your cat’s stool. You can use worming tablets or pour boiling water over your cat’s feces to kill the worms.
Your Cat Is Bored
If your cat seems to be licking you because she wants something from you, she might just be bored.
Try feeding her more treats or spend longer playing with her during the day. She’ll probably stop doing it once she gets used to having more attention.
Your Cat Thinks You’re Trying To Harm Him/Her
Some cats seem to think that if they bite someone, they can protect themselves from being hurt again. If your cat bites you, it might mean he’s protecting himself from feeling pain.
He might also be warning you away. Either way, don’t worry – it’s not dangerous.
Just back away, and let the cat return to you when they are ready.
Your Cat Is Stressed
If your cat is scared or anxious, he might lash out by licking and biting you.
If this happens, you can try to reassure him by stroking his fur gently and talking soothingly to him. You can also distract him using toys or food.
Your Cat Is Sick
Sick cats often become irritable and act out by licking and biting.
It’s important to keep your cat hydrated and fed, especially if he’s ill. Also, make sure that he’s comfortable, warm, and clean. If he feels uncomfortable, he might lash out.
Your Cat Is Lonely
Sometimes, cats who live alone get lonely and miss company. If your cat spends all of his time locked up inside without anyone to play with, he might decide to lash out by licking and nipping at you.
All you have to do in this instance is spend more time with the cat.
Your Cat Is Jealous
Jealousy between pets can lead to aggression. If your cat sees another animal and starts acting aggressively, it could be due to jealousy.
In this case, you need to talk to your vet about ways to help calm your cat down.
Your Cat Was Abused Before You Had It
Cats who’ve been mistreated may lash out by licking and attacking to show that they’re still afraid.
However, this behavior doesn’t always indicate abuse. If you suspect that your cat was abused, contact a local rescue group for advice.
Your Cat Is Confused
Confusion is a natural part of life for kittens, but older cats can sometimes behave strangely too. For example, if a cat becomes frightened after seeing a loud noise, he might start lashing out by biting.
This usually means that he’s startled, and will soon settle down on his own.
Your Cat Is Bored Or Hungry, And Their Hunting Instincts Kick In
Bored cats are known to lash out by biting, while hungry cats tend to attack when they feel like they haven’t eaten enough. If you feed your cat regularly, he won’t have to go looking for food.
Your Cat Is Injured
An injury can leave your cat in pain, so he might lash out by biting.
To make things easier for yourself, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if he shows any signs of an injury.
Your Cat Has Fleas
Flea infestations can cause itching, which leads to scratching. Scratching causes wounds, which can trigger aggressive behaviors such as biting.
You can use flea prevention products to prevent your cat from getting fleas, and you can treat them if they already exist.
Your Cat Is Upset
Upset cats can lash out by biting. They might be nervous, tired or even angry.
Try offering your cat some cuddles to cheer him up. Talk to him calmly and reassuringly, and give him plenty of love and attention.
So, there you have it, several different reasons why your cat may be licking you one moment and biting you the next. The trick is to find out why, so you can react accordingly.