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​​Why Does My Kitten Bite My Face While I’m Sleeping?

If your cat is biting your face when you sleep you may be wondering why this is happening and what can be done about it..

Why Does My Kitten Bite My Face While I’m Sleeping?

Your kitten bites your face while you are sleeping for a variety of reasons, including that they are feeling playful, bored, want to be fed, or might be upset about something. This habit might not be enjoyable and may even be painful for you, but it is probably not a cause for concern.

So, now you know. But, how can you prevent this? Do kittens understand when they are hurting you? How can you tell if your kitten is just playing or means fun? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

5 top reasons why your kitten may bite your face while you sleep

Kitten biting a Crocs.

Kitten biting a Crocs.

The following are reasons why your kitten might bite your face while you sleep:

  • Boredom
  • Playfulness
  • To call your attention to something
  • They want to be fed
  • They are upset about something

Cats are mostly nocturnal, and so your kitten probably feels most active in the nighttime. If he or she is biting your face, they most likely want your attention in some way. 

How Do I Prevent My Kitten From Biting My Face?

The best thing to prevent your kitten from biting your face is to tend to their needs and make sure that they have plenty of toys to play with. Your kitten has a lot of energy, and providing them with toys to play with will keep them occupied while you get some rest.

You may also want to consider feeding it right before you go to bed. This will reduce the risk that he or she will get hungry in the night and begin biting you.

It may also be a good idea to play with your kitten right before bed. This will tire them out and increase the chance that they will leave you alone through the night.

Do Kittens Know When They Are Hurting You?

Your kitten probably does not know when they are hurting you. The only way that your kitten might know you are upset is if you have a negative reaction to their biting, such as yelling or reprimanding them.

Kittens are used to playing, and in almost all cases they are not aware of the damage that their sharp claws and teeth can do.

How Do You Discipline a Kitten?

To discipline your kitten, you will need to set the standard that biting and scratching are unacceptable behaviors. Dedicate time during the day to play with your kitten, and avoid play fighting, as this can encourage undesirable biting and scratching.

If your kitten does bite you during play, stop playing with them immediately. They will learn that this behavior causes you to leave. Another helpful strategy is to reward good behavior.

When your kitten is being affectionate and playing safely, reward them with treats and by petting them. Make sure you play with your kitten every day.

Keeping them occupied and entertained will minimize the chance that they will disturb you in the nighttime.

Should You Let a Kitten Sleep With You?

Cat standing on a metal gate.

Cat standing on a metal gate.

You should not let your kitten sleep with you at night; young kittens can carry some transmissible diseases and also there is the possibility that you could roll on them and injure them in the night.

The best thing to do is to provide your kitten with a designated space for sleeping. Ideally, this should be a contained room, such as a laundry room. Provide them with a cat bed, a litterbox, and toys that they can play with if they get bored.

Although it is very tempting to allow your kitten to sleep in your bed during the night, making sure your kitten has a safe and comfortable place to sleep (Click here if your cat has hit you) that is separate from you will be better for you both. Your cat will become well-adjusted and less likely to disturb you at night.

Should I Let My Kitten Bite Me?

You should not let your kitten bite you, because this can lead to the development of further aggressive behaviors. Kittens biting is completely normal, but it should be directed toward a safe target, such as toys.

If your kitten bites you, redirect it toward an appropriate target. When they are raised in a litter, kittens quickly learn not to bite their mother or littermates, and you should teach them the same thing.

Provide them with daily play and stimulation, and reprimand them when they bite you. If you do not stop your kitten from biting you, they will learn it is acceptable behavior and will continue to do so throughout their lives.

Is My Kitten Playing or Being Aggressive?

When your kitten bites you in the night, they are most likely playing; however, you should not yell at them or hit them as this can lead to fearful and aggressive behavior.

Kittens play rough at times, and this is very normal. Making sure your kitten sleeps separately from you and always redirecting their rough play to the appropriate target will keep them in line and make sure that they can play to their heart’s content.

If possible, you might also consider adopting another cat. Cats are social creatures, and kittens enjoy having a playmate. If they have someone to play with, they will leave you alone while you sleep.

Why Does My Kitten Purr and Bite My Face?

If your kitten purrs and bites your face (click here if it licks it too), they may have either become overstimulated if you are petting them, or they are “love biting” out of affection. Either way, you should not encourage them to bite your face.

Exposing your cat to plenty of cuddle time and petting will get them used to human contact and reduce the risk that they will become overstimulated.

They may also be responding to static shocks in their fur, so make sure that the air is not too dry when you pet them. 

Are Kitten Bites Dangerous?

Kitten bites can be dangerous, especially if they have not yet received their shots. Cat scratches and bites can transmit bacterial infections, as well as more harmful diseases such as rabies and tetanus.

If your kitten bite is a surface-level scratch, you probably do not need to be worried. However, if the bite or scratch has broken your skin, take the necessary precautions to make sure that you do not end up with an infection.

It is also very important to make sure that your kitten stays up-to-date on all shots. As soon as it is possible to vaccinate them, do so. This will minimize the risk of harm to you and also prevent illnesses that they may face.

What To Do If Your Kitten Bites You?

If your kitten bites you, you should consult medical advice. But, meantime,  immediately wash the wound for five minutes, and then continue to watch the area for signs of any developing infections. 

When you wash the wound, do not scrub it. It may also be helpful to apply an antibacterial cream or lotion to kill any bacteria that may have been transmitted.

If it is a deep wound or is bleeding, wash the affected area carefully and then see a doctor.

Its important to seek advise because it could lead to the following symptoms::

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands
  • Malaise
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unusual rashes

Kitten bites are not uncommon, and if you care for your wound properly you can keep yourself healthy.

Lindsey Browlingdon