There’s a particular behaviour that not all my cats do, but that my first single cat Avery has done just a little bit over the years.
He’ll bite my nose. Ever so gently. And he’s done it to my husband over the years, too.
He really does do this quite rarely. It’s not usually his jam. What’s normally his jam, however, is to scent my nose, so to like rub his face alongside it.
I call it “cat kisses” when he tries to cuddle my face with his own or tries to scent my face or nose with his face.
That behaviour he’d do daily. If I snuggle him with my face or let him beg me for kibble when he’s hungry, (he loves getting tummy rumble comfort cuddles!) he’ll absolutely begin by butting his head against my face or chin, then scent my nose.
Especially, especially if I am not wearing my glasses, as he adores scenting those, too.
Either way, the nose biting thing, for him, is absolutely related, and I’d love to know if your cat does the nose biting behaviour if your cat also scents your nose, too. Especially if he or she does one behaviour more or less than the other.
But let’s get into a number of different reasons why I think cats bite noses, and then you can let me know in the comments what you think, especially if I missed any!
Reasons That May Explain Why Cats Bite Human’s Noses
1. Your cat was scenting your nose, or licking it, then decided to bite as well.
Licking then biting, or biting than licking, is an extremely common combination of behaviour for cats to do.
Having watched a kitten grow to adulthood under my care, I think this is a behaviour cats are born with, that helps them learn to groom.
So they’ll be born knowing how to scratch the ground and eventually that becomes covering their bathroom breaks (so they don’t get discovered by larger predators, I’m guessing).
And they’ll similarly be born knowing how to bite then lick and this becomes a part of the building block first steps to them learning how to groom themselves.
I think when cats scent or lick a human nose, biting every so often accompanies that in a similar, “grooming” inspired way.
2. Your cat likes your nose because it’s the perfect shape and size.
Okay so cats are grooming or scenting you then they decide to take a bite, but why the nose in the first place?
Well look at the darned thing! It’s on your face, sticks out just a little bit, is soft and big enough to stand (literally!) out. It makes perfect sense as a “target” in my “point” of view!
3. Noses are more often oilier than other parts of the face as well, which your cat might be attracted to.
Loads of cats lick human faces, I’m guessing for the most part because they are quite literally grooming you as though you were one of them!
But if your cat prefers the nose in particular, it might not just be about the size and shape. It might be about the oiliness as well!
I had one cat under my care who adored licking my hair, like ever so much. I think cats that lick hair are quite common, and to be honest this falls in line with my idea that they like to lick and groom oilier parts of their humans.
Though the hair makes a bit more sense with a cat because, well that’s what I’d expect they believe is “human fur” like cat hair.
And maybe on cats, oilier bits are likely the parts that need the most grooming? So they naturally focus on these areas?
But I mean I have one cat who was obsessed with licking soap, so I think that oily texture is what they’re attracted to anyways, regardless of grooming or not grooming.
4. Cats may bite human noses because they’re getting overstimulated.
So my cat Avery who scents my nose and my face in general, and my glasses the most out of everything is rarely ever a biter.
But!! There are a number of instances where he will gently bite. These for the most part are when he’s getting just a little too overstimulated.
This could be a matter of being too playful and wired for himself. He’ll start to nip and bite at toys at this point, or my feet or ankles, honestly.
Could be a matter of being too overstimulated from grooming. As this would happen when I brushed him, especially initially before he got used to it, or if I brush him for a long time.
When he gets overstimulated, he gets a little bite-y, and if my nose is around, that’s getting a little nip.
Your Thoughts on Why Cats Bite Noses?
Now, those are the best guesses I had off the top of my head, but I’m sure you guys can think of more!
I would love to know why you think cats bite noses in the comments down below.
Does your cat do this? Does your cat do any similar behaviours?
Really love to hear your thoughts!