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Biting my face!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just got a new cat from a shelter. He is 2 yrs old and the friendliest cat I have ever met. He is so sweet, purrs all the time, plays, follows me around, etc. He loves to sit on my lap, face me and nuzzle my neck and jaw.

About a week ago he was nuzzling me and then bit the underside of my jaw pretty hard. Immediately after that he jumped off my lap and ran out of the room. The bite left four lines that looked like scratches.

Then just now he was nuzzling me and bit my chin but did not run off. I wonder if this is aggression or love bites.

Like I said he is really a lover, I don't think he is a mean cat but I don't understand why he bites me.
post #2 of 9
Chip does this, too. most of the time it's not really painful, but sometimes he nips a bit too hard.
i'd love to break him of this habit, but in the 3 years i've had him i've been unsuccessful...
post #3 of 9
How long have you had him? (Not very long, from the sound of your post?)

I brought a new cat home once (he was just shy of two years old), and he was all over me and my SO. (He hadn't been abused in the past, but he came from a busy multi-cat household, and he may have been a little attention starved.) He had to sit on us all the time, and he also had to give us little love bites regularly. We knew he wasn't being aggressive, but the bites hurt.

Anyway, after a couple of months...I can't say that he stopped nipping us altogether, but he does it with much less frequency. Your guy may settle down in time - he's probably beside himself, he's so happy to be out of the shelter and home with you!
post #4 of 9
P.S. I realize I got carried away with my own story and didn't address the question of "why."

I'm not a cat behaviorist, that's for sure, but to me it seems to be sometimes an expression of affection, and sometimes an attempt to get my attention. It's similar to your cat's behavior in that it definitely doesn't seem to be hostile or aggressive - he's actually a fairly mellow cat.
post #5 of 9
I think it's love bites because your cat seems very much like my guy.

I adopted Grigio 8 months ago from a shelter, and he's a total love sponge--loves everyone and adores being petted and rubbed. He does a LOT of head butting with me, and if I let it go on for a while, he'll go for my chin. I think it's the spot that makes it hurt because my former cat used to give me love bites on the hand but they were very obviously not intended to hurt and didn't. I suspect that it's the angle of the teeth on the chin that makes this type of bite seem more aggressive than the cat intends.

Try saying "Ouch" when he does it. My boy immediately stops when I do that, and he hasn't even done it for a while; I think he may know it hurts me.
post #6 of 9
Talin occassionally nips after rubbing up against my legs - this is always when he isn't really looking for cuddles, and wants to play - I think something similar may be going on here.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am happy to report that Romeo is doing much better. He is no longer biting me I think that he just needed some time to get adjusted to his forever home. I don't know what his life was like before I got him, only that he was in 3 different homes.
post #8 of 9
I can also say too some cats get over stimulated. There's a cat who was dumped off at the barn I keep my horse at, before his neuter you'd pet him and he'd randomly bite you or wack you with his claws, after the neuter he still does that but he's much better about it, he just gets so stimulated that he wants more. A lot of cats do this.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeo4077 View Post
I am happy to report that Romeo is doing much better. He is no longer biting me I think that he just needed some time to get adjusted to his forever home. I don't know what his life was like before I got him, only that he was in 3 different homes.
That is great news to hear is is doing better! My first guess was that he needs time to settle in and could be showing some dominant aggression while getting settled in to his new home. At two years old and on his third new home, don't be surprised if he challenges you a little more, he's simply testing the boundaries and looking for reassurance.
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