Why Does My Cat Headbutt Me Then Bite Me?

If you’re like most cat owners, you’ve probably been headbutted and bitten by your feline friend at some point. It’s strange behavior, but one that cats seem to enjoy. But what is the reason behind this odd habit, and what does it mean?

While it may not always be a pleasant experience. A headbutt and a quick bite to follow is most often how cats show affection and love to their owners. These actions can also be a way to grab your attention or to “claim you,” so other cats know you are off-limits.

Cat’s do the darnedest things, and these actions often seem a bit confusing. However, most of the time, these odd behaviors do have good reason backing them up. And in this article, we will explain at least a few of them.

Why Does My Cat Headbutt Me?

Before we get into why a cat headbutts, let’s discuss what a head butt means to your cat. Although we may see it as a forceful push or rub ensuring they get their way, which often ends in getting petted. This is actually done to mark you as their territory. 

Headbutting, also known as “facial marking,” is a sign your cat loves you and doesn’t want other cats to come close; they are marking you as their territory. 

Many pet owners are unaware that cats have scent glands around their bodies, with some of those glands right on their faces. So when your cat headbutts you, they are leaving their scent behind.

Why Does My Cat Headbutt and Then Bite Me?

When a cat headbutts you and follows it up with a bite. They are probably trying to get your attention or tell you something. While we already know a headbutt or bump is a sign of affection. It can also be a way to get your attention, let you know they are in pain, or they could be anxious about something.

If you are not responding in the right way, you might end up getting a little nip as well.

There are a few different things you should consider when trying to figure out why your cat is behaving the way they are.

Your Cat Wants Your Attention

If you are sitting on the couch watching t.v and your cat jumps on your lap and starts to nuzzle up to you, rubbing themselves across your face, and then bites at your nose. It might be a way for them to let you know they want to be cuddled. 

If you have been gone all day at work or busy with household chores. Your cat might be seeking your attention and some snuggle time. If you are not giving them what they want, they will bug you until you do. 

Your Cat is Showing You He Loves You

From birth, cats learn that licks, headbutts, and nips from their mom and siblings are a sign of affection. So if your cat is in a good mood and wants to let you know they truly care about you. They are going to do what they know. 

Your Cat Needs Something

Unlike children, a cat cannot verbally ask you repeatedly when they want something. So, if they are hungry, thirsty, or the litter box needs to be cleaned, cats have to let you know in another way.

A headbutt and a bite can be your feline friend’s way of letting you know their needs are not being met and they need your help with something.

If this is the case, cats will often lead you to what they want if you get up after this behavior starts.

Your Cat is in Pain or Sick

Another reason your cat could be headbutting and biting at you is that they are not feeling well. If your cat is sick or has an injury, they may be coming to you for help.

However, this behavior might also be a sign of aggression due to pain and discomfort. Some cats will act out in anger if they are not feeling well. So, if this is a new characteristic of your kitty, you may want to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

They Want to Play

Another thing your cat learns from birth and comes naturally in the wild is roughhousing. When your kitty comes to you headbutting and biting. They may have some pent-up energy they really want to get out.

If this is the case, you might want to pick up some extra cat treats, toys, catnip, or laser pointers, to give your cat a good play session keeping them stimulated and eventually too tired to push you around.

How to Get My Cat To Stop Headbutting and Biting Me

If this behavior is bothering you or the biting is a little excessive and painful, it is good to stop it before it gets too far. One of the best ways to stop a cat from doing something you don’t like is simply by ignoring them. 

Most of the time, these actions are used to get your attention for one reason or another, and if they see it isn’t going to work, it should eventually make them look for a different solution that will. 

What you don’t want to do is yell at or punish your cat, especially when you are not sure why they are doing it in the first place.

As mentioned multiple times, this is usually never meant to be aggressive or mean. It is a sign of love and affection. And you never want to make your furry friend feel you don’t want that.

How to tell if My Cats Headbutting and Biting is Out of Anger

If your cat is headbutting out of anger or aggression. You absolutely need to intervene asap, which may require a trip to the vet. 

Here are other signs of aggression you should look for when your cat is headbutting and biting you.

  • Ears and whiskers held back against their face and head
  • Hissing, snarling, or growling
  • Swatting at you with their claws
  • Tail whipping

Final Word

Cats are known for interesting and crazy behaviors. Most of which are cute and funny. If your furry friend is headbutting you and then biting or nipping at your nose, ears, or checks, it is simply a sign they love you and what to express that in the only way they know how.

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