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Why Does My Cat Attack My Face? (Provoked Anger?)

If your cat has just attacked your face, or it’s starting to happen regularly, you may be wondering why this happening and what you can do about it…

Why does my cat attack my face?

There are several reasons why your cat may attack your face. The most common ones are it is playing too rough, unhappy with what you have just done to it, or feeling that overstimulated from your excessive petting. Most of these are direct responses to your actions and usually be corrected.

So, now you know. But, what should you do about this? is there any way to prevent it from happening? Does your cat mean to hurt you? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

3 Main reasons for cats attacking your face:

Why does my cat attack my face?

An angry-looking cat with mouth open and teeth displayed.

As discussed briefly earlier, there are a few main reasons why your cat may attack your face. In this section I will explain, in more detail about each one of them:

01. Playing too rough

Sometimes when you are playfighting with a cat, or just generally playing, it may go too far and play too rough. When this happens it could end up biting your face in this way. It may not intend for this to happen but it can easily happen.

02. A sign to back off

If you are doing something to annoy your cat it may react in this way. For example, you are grabbing its tail in some weird way causing it discomfort. This is its way of telling you to stop whatever you are doing and back off a bit.

03. Had enough of your strokes!

Sometimes, while you are stroking or petting your cat, you may go too far, in your cat’s opinion. When this happens it may feel overstimulated or angry with you resulting in it trying to nip your face if it’s near to it at that time.

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Top 10 Cat Breeds

What to do when your cat attacks your face?

If your cat has lashed out in this way you will obviously be annoyed, maybe even scared of it. But, more importantly, you will probably wonder what the best response is. Well, with that being said, here are some suggestions:

01. Avoid negative responses

Firstly, as much as it may seem tempting to lash out in response, please avoid this. The reason is it rarely gets you any positive results and may end up with your cat no longer trusting you, or hiding from you.

02. Give the cat space

It is a good idea to give your cat some space when it bites your face. Instead of a quick response, instinctively, it’s better to back off and give the cat some space. Once it had some time to calm down you can evaluate your next step.

03. If necessary move the cat to isolation

If your cat has bitten you badly and still acting aggressively you may need to isolate it. The best way is to let it have the roo you are in for a while to avoid confrontation. However, some cat owners have been known to move it to another more convenient room.

But, be warned, the latter can be a risky move depending on your cat’s personality and aggression level.

How can you prevent your cat from attacking your face?

So far you have learned why your cat may have attacked your face and what you can do in the heat of the moment. In this section I will explain how you try to prevent this situation from happening again:

01. Read your cat signals closely

One of the reasons a cat lashes out in this way is because it feels there is no other way to get you to stop what you are doing. So, to avoid it escalating to this level read the body language more, and back off early if you feel it’s getting annoyed.

02. Use positive reinforcement

Use positive reinforcement to motivate your cat to behave as you desire. So, when it is well behaved and calm reward it, this can be something simple like some cat treats (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), or another tasty snack it appreciates.

03. Use distraction

Another technique to use is a distraction. This can be done by offering your cat a simple toy (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). This can break it out of its aggressive focus and allow you to wait for fo it to calm down or lead it into an isolated area.

04. Give the cat time out

To prevent any further attacks from your cat it must calm down. And, the best way to do that is to let it have a time out.

Do cats mean to hurt your face?

Some cats do not mean to hurt your face. This may be because they went over the top without planning to hurt you. Others will react and once it’s done will offer no remorse. This is because cats do not have the same regretful emotion that we humans have.

So, if you don’t get a cuddle from your cat in response to it biting you do not be surprised they are different in this way. For example, when they hunt and kill a mouse they won’t show any regret or remorse after.

Should you punish your cat for attacking your face?

You should not act negatively or punish your cat for attacking your face. It may be tempting and even feel compelled to do so instinctively, but it’s important to resist the temptation. This is because your cat is unlikely to respond favorably.

Instead, use the techniques discussed earlier in this article, such as positive reinforcement, time-outs, etc. These may not seem as impactful as old-fashioned discipline, in the heat of the moment, but long term they will be better off for you.

What does it mean when a cat bites your face?

If your cat bites your face highly or even nibbles it could be quite an innocent way to bond with you. This could be what is known as allogrooming. This entails it licking or lightly biting you. And it comes from life as a kitten when they would groom each other.

It may seem weird or make you feel uncomfortable, initially. But, in your cat’s mind, it feels that it is being kind and accepting you as a trusted person in its circle.

Why is my cat attacking my face at night?

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A crazy-looking cat in the dark.

If your cat is attacking your face at night it can be for several reasons. Some of the most common ones are it may be a response to something you have done in your sleep, such as accidentally kicking it. Or, it could be just acting playful because it is feeling restless in the early hours of the night.

If it’s the latter, some cats will be active at night because they have not exerted their energy in daylight hours, This is common for indoor cats that have little or no activities indoors. This can be rectified with more activities, like a cat tree (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad).

Can I bite my cat back?

You should not bite your cat back if it bites you. It may be tempting but not recommended for several reasons. The main reason against this is you could injure yourself from the vicious response from your cat and your cat will find it hard to re-gain trust after such a thing.

This may seem like the obvious thing to do, to some people, but trust me, it’s not the best way forward in this situation.

What signs indicate a cat is about to attack?

To gauge if your cat is about to attack you need to read their body language. Look out for their stance, ear movement, tail movement, and facial expressions. It is really a combination of these things and with experience, it will be obvious.

Because these need to be evaluated quite fast it can be hard to get it wrong initially. For example, it could be just playing with you.

Lindsey Browlingdon