Does biting then licking me translate to love or aggression?

Loki, a one year old neutered house cat, will grab onto my hands/feet/whatever is available and bite me, but then once I don't move or respond he'll starting licking me instead. If I try to move, he'll bite again, and then resume his licking. Is this an affectionate ritual or a dominant one?

Asked by Loki on Jun 23rd 2008 Tagged biting, aggression, dominance, habits in Aggression
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Sam does the same thing to me! I was worried at first, but it never gets really aggressive. I think sometimes they just get carried away and not realized that it hurts us. If it's a little too much, I take him off of me, and kind of ignore him for a bit until he gets the message. Then normally when I go back to petting, or go near him, he doesn't do it anymore. Like the other's have said, if you pet for too long, they may "nip" as a sign that it has gone on too long. If it's really aggressive, then you should worry, but if not, it may just be a little warning, or affection. Good luck!

Sam answered on Jun 23rd.

Other Answers



it's a CAT. grins. That's my answer!

Seriously, cats do the "bite and hold" thing to both show annoyance and affection. Usually, you will probably be just barly going over his "annoyance" scale, so he bites you and holds you there. But, he loves you, so he licks you. :D

Horus does the EXACT same thing to us, if we pet him a few strokes too long. Not that i ever know when it's "too long".

Horus answered on 6/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


pie does the same thing! though it's sometimes a lick THEN a bite. i've noticed it's at times when i'm not paying enough attn. to her OR when i've pet for too long :) also never knowing when that is.

it's never hard, but i don't enjoy it either way. i've tried sternly telling her "no!" and she also knows that if she does it in the middle of the night, she can't stay in my room. i'll let you know if i figure anything out that works!

Pie answered on 6/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree with the above answers I think our cats spend way too much time trying to confuse us, Kitty will attack if you dont pay attention or if you pay too much. Once while doing homework she sat on my keyboard assuming she wanted attention I started to pet her and BAM she bit my arm and hard then proceeded to lick my face and rub against me. Perhaps its a you werent paying attention and Ill forgive you once I get revenge

Kitty answered on 6/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


phil does the same thing to wake me up in the morning!! He purrs and licks, then bites me! But its never that hard. We just call them love bites.

Philbert answered on 6/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer