Why Does Our Cat Give Little Bites to Our Heads?

When my girls or I are on the couch watching TV our cat Angel will get on the couch behind us and start giving little bites to our head. I have often wondered what she is trying to say to us when she does this.


We rescued her from an abusive home, it took a while for her to trust us but I do believe she is much happier. She does not like to be held which I believe stems from her former home. I told my girls when they want to give her love to just pick her up give her a kiss and hug and then immediately let her go so she knows we will never hurt her.

The previous owners would hold her very tight and pull her fur out of her. The owners were mentally challenged adults living in an apartment. When they were stressed or agitated they would take it out on her. My sister called me one day begging me to take her. She had been trying for 2 months to find a new home for her unsuccessfully. She would have taken Angel herself but she already has two cats of her own.

My girls and I have always wanted a cat and were thrilled when my husband said yes. He is not a cat person and of course she adores him. I don't think he minds. =)

Thank you for your help with this.


Reply from Liz (Editor):
This is a good cat behavior question. I think I know the answer to it, and I think you'll like the answer!

Cats groom each other as a sign of love, care and affection. As part of that grooming process, they'll give little bites to the skin, to get any debris etc. out. These bites don't hurt - they're not designed to - they're done as part of the grooming / cleaning process.

The fact your cat is doing this to you tells me she's accepted you all as fellow felines. She loves you all enough to groom you! This is phenominal considering her life before you got her, and it shows she's really settled in.

To get her to this stage, after the life she had previously, is a fantastic achievement by you and your family. Thank you very much for your question and for sharing your great cat rescue story.

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love bites
by: Jeanie

My cat, Murray, does this too. He is a Maine Coon and very goofy and affectionate. He will get on the arm of the couch next to me and head butt/ nuzzle me. I will do it back to him lovingly. During this time, he will also very gently nibble my forehead or back of my head. I call them love bites, but I figured he was "grooming me." I love it when he nuzzles and nibbles at me. It is such a deliberate act of love in my mind.

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