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deni's avatar

Any insight on my cats weird habit?

Asked by deni (22853points) July 2nd, 2012

Ello. This is just something I’ve been wondering about for a while. My cat is a real licker. I have heard that kittens seperated from their mothers too soon will develop this habit. Is that true?

Furthermore, not only does he aggressively try to clean me (he also really likes to lick hair) but he will often be licking me and then bite me in the same spot! (This is funny because he has no teeth so it feels so weird) And he’ll “bite” a few times, like he’s nibbling on me. He does this mostly to my nose but has also done it to my arm and leg and just now my hand. I just wonder what the hell he’s doing. Does anyone elses cat do this and why?

Oh and I just looked over at him and he’s eating dust and hair off my rug. Weirdo.

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10 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My female cat does this with me, and I don’t know if the “taken from their mother too early” thing has any bearing on it, but it would certainly fit my cat. When she was born, her original human couldn’t handle having 9 cats in the house, so she begged me to take this kitten when she was only 3 or 4 weeks old. I had to bottle feed her replacement cat milk, and she tried to nurse on me for several weeks. She has aggressively groomed me ever since.

syz's avatar

Many hand raised kittens do tend to develop oral fixations, but it sounds more like your cat is exhibiting normal grooming behavior on you. The biting is sometimes called “flea biting” or “scissoring”. If you watch when he grooms himself, you’ll see the same actions – he’s merely extending the courtesy of mutual grooming to you, his companion.

bkcunningham's avatar

It is called psychogenic alopecia if it is obsessive.

http://cats.about.com/od/behaviortraining/a/catover-grooming.htm

deni's avatar

@bkcunningham That is interesting, but it only mentions the cat doing it to itself, not others. Right? Is it the same if they do it to people? Cause he definitely doesn’t have psychogenic alopecia with himself….he bathes himself less than most cats I’ve met and owned. But he’s alllll over people! And he is an easily stressed cat. I have been quite aware of that for a while, so that does make sense that he would do it to me to calm himself I suppose?!

bkcunningham's avatar

I had a cat who thought I was another cat. He wanted to groom me all the time when he was younger (under 5 I suppose). He outgrew it eventually. Most kittens I’ve seen groom each other. I think they copy their mother. Maybe he is treating you like you are a cat. Trying to groom you and biting you to get you to play.

deni's avatar

@bkcunningham Well he’s not a very playful guy, BUT I have thought that he thinks I’m a cat before. I always jokingly say that he thinks in his mind, when he’s staring at me while sitting in a seductive position “You are a cat and you are my wife.” and yeah then he tries to keep me clean and he gets jealous if I’m gone too long and he’ll poop on something of mine to punish me. But it is always specifically something of mine, never anything of my roommates, so I know it’s intentional.

augustlan's avatar

I have a licker, too, but she licks not only me, but any kind of thick plastic bag, too. She nibbles me, too. She wasn’t separated too early, though. My other cat, who was separated early, doesn’t do it. She’s weird in her own way, but not that way. ;)

tacres's avatar

Your question made me laugh so hard tears ran down my leg! I had a cat named Friggin’ Freddy who did much the same things. He was not orphaned or weaned early. He just had a very warped sense of cat humour. He would dig he claws into my poor husband’s balding head and lick his wet hair after a shower…...or if he was eating ice cream. Another cat I have , Lydia, licks & bites. My vet had her at her shelter & deemed her unadoptable, she has somewhat mellowed over the last 4 years she has been here. Its common behaviour for some cat personalites.I have five kittens which I bottle raised, so I am MOMMY! However only one ( Joe Dirt ) is a licker & he dosen’t so much lick as gives kisses.
As your cat’s human you’ll just have to go with the flow, and get used to being in a love/ bite relationship! I have a farm & have cats dumped here constantly ( current count is about 30 ) so I have seen a lot of cat behaviours over the years. Like I said just go with the flow…... oh & don’t forget to obey their every command!

deni's avatar

@tacres Joe Dirt!!!! HAhahaha! Thats hilarious!

tacres's avatar

I know right! His sisters are InkyStinky & Spyder Cat

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