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Nibbling Kitty

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
It's really cute and I've read about other people's cats who do this...but why do some cats nibble on your chin or nose (ouch!)?

When I'm brushing Merlynn she head butts me and sometimes nibbles and licks my chin. It is the cutest thing...but is there a reason for it?

Like when they "make biscuits" that's supposed to be an instinctive reaction - something they did when they were nursing.

Is there some cool expanation for the nibbling?

Note: It is really cute when she does it softly, but when I'm sleeping and she is hungry and wants to get my attention, she clamps down a little harder - the worst was when she grabbed the bridge of my nose one time. Ay!
post #2 of 15
sometimes I think it has to do with breed, but honestly.. I don't know from one cat to another why one does this and one does that. I think, though, that nipping or biting used to be a Siamese trait, but that's just what I've heard. I had a cat that nipped to get my attention, and she had strong Siamese in her background (which then led to numerous discussions that Siamese do that to their person often)... so how much of that is truth? No idea.

You might try ignoring her when she does it. I'd probably do it even when she's just nipping lightly just to disuade her from doing it altogether. I know how annoying and startling that is when they get you while you're asleep. Tavi would do it to me when she wanted fed (usually on weekends when I wasn't up yet). I was allowed to sleep in about 15 minutes and then she'd make her displeasure known.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmmm..interesting. Thanks.

Yeah, it is quite startling when she has gotten ahold of my septum. Ouch!

I have been gently pushing her off the bed in the morning if it's too early for them to eat or if I'm too tired to get up. But usually by 630a they eat so if she's there at 630a I'll get up, but today it was 530a. no thanks cutie pie. i'm sleeping for one more hour!

silly nibblers. yeah, the other one doesn't do it at all. But i'm glad since his teeth are probably double the size of Merlynn's.
post #4 of 15
I finally convinced my domestic that she shouldn't do things like lay on the book I was reading or demand attention while cuddling in bed by just ignoring her (sometimes a small push was necessary due to the fact that she was sitting or laying on my book)... but I just refused to give her attention when she did it and now she shares my bed in the proper manner, curled up next to me, getting pet as I deem fit, not as she demands it. Bless her heart, she is a good kitty. Thank goodness they do learn.
post #5 of 15
I've not looked this up anywhere but aren't they grooming us when they do that? I've seen two cats do things like that together. Lucky you! Your cat keeps you clean!
post #6 of 15
I haven't looked it up either, so this is just completely based on my opinion.. mine does it when she wants attention.. Tavi did it when she wanted me to get up (when she was ready to eat), or when she wanted pet... and she'd start out soft, and work her way up to whatever it took to get a response. She never broke the skin, though. Sometimes they nip when they're being affectionate, and sometimes when they're grooming.. just depends, I think, on the situation and the cat.

I think with Tavi it was a combination of annoyance on her part that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to.. but she'd also nip gently when she was cuddling too. They were a lot more insistent when she wanted something.
post #7 of 15
Givi did it today when he was cleaning himself and my face was near, so he cleaned his paw, noticed me and licked my chin couple of times that was so cute i was like "thank you my little big-eared face scrub"
post #8 of 15
Hercules isnt a licker but hes a biter...not a nibbler! I toss and turn in my sleep and since my eyes dont function at that time I cant see him if he moves so he will bite me as if to say hey fatty get off of me..Hes never broken skin but has gotten me hard enough that I woke up with a shriek...Bubba is a licker and nibbler but he only does it to ears and the tip of my nose. I just wish it wasnt just me that the cats did this too but Im the one the sleep with....
post #9 of 15
We call it "being fleaed" , and take it as a sign of affection (and that perhaps our cats-and occasionally, the dog-ouch!- think we need a bath- LOL) .
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hahahaha. All of those posts are pretty funny. Guess we aren't as clean as they'd like us to be.
post #11 of 15
ROFL, my cat Dinah does this randomly throughout the day. She just walks up, nibbles, and walks away. My fiance says she's checking to see if I'm dead yet, so she can eat me (a la Catwoman in that movie)
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty Ann View Post
ROFL, my cat Dinah does this randomly throughout the day. She just walks up, nibbles, and walks away. My fiance says she's checking to see if I'm dead yet, so she can eat me (a la Catwoman in that movie)
Well, that's sort of disturbing.
Survival of the fittest at its best.
post #13 of 15
Well, I know everyone in the "death" industry says (i.e. police, paramedics, morticians, coronors... etc)... say that cats will start eating a dead body long before dogs will. They *say* that dogs will stand there and protect their master as long as possible, and cats get the concept that their dead and we need to survive. I have to say, though, that I'm fairly certain if anyone ever broke into my house and tried to hurt me, Noel would attack them if she perceived a threat to me... and if I died, I think she'd stand guard over me even with the other cats. Joyeux, I think would munch.
post #14 of 15
Norman does the nibbling on our fingers. He really looks like he's going for it, though -- it doesn't look like nibbling -- but he never hurts us. We call them "love chomps." They started out just when he was happy and snuggly, but now, he does it to our fingers and toes if they are sticking out of the covers in the morning. Normie wants his breakfast, and Normie wants it now. We hide our fingers and toes, and he will proceed to yank my ponytail holder or lick my face, and if I cover my head, he just launches into a series of bad behaviors that he knows will get us up -- rattling the mini blinds, scratching the carpet, yowing loudly like he is starving to death. We refer to him as our own little domestic terrorist. He & Sarah have now learned that they can dance around in front of the dog crates to make the dogs cry to get out, and then we'll get up because the dogs are crying. I tell people that if Norman had opposable thumbs, I am certain he could rule the world. They're little monsters, but we love them.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman's Mom View Post
Norman does the nibbling on our fingers. He really looks like he's going for it, though -- it doesn't look like nibbling -- but he never hurts us. We call them "love chomps." They started out just when he was happy and snuggly, but now, he does it to our fingers and toes if they are sticking out of the covers in the morning. Normie wants his breakfast, and Normie wants it now. We hide our fingers and toes, and he will proceed to yank my ponytail holder or lick my face, and if I cover my head, he just launches into a series of bad behaviors that he knows will get us up -- rattling the mini blinds, scratching the carpet, yowing loudly like he is starving to death. We refer to him as our own little domestic terrorist. He & Sarah have now learned that they can dance around in front of the dog crates to make the dogs cry to get out, and then we'll get up because the dogs are crying. I tell people that if Norman had opposable thumbs, I am certain he could rule the world. They're little monsters, but we love them.
That sounds nuts!

It IS hard to resist them though....
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