As a vet, I’m often asked questions about cats. And, as a veterinarian, I have lots of answers. One question that arises over and over again is about why cats attack people’s faces.
In the wild, cats are able to hunt successfully by stalking and ambushing their prey.
However, this behavior is inappropriate when interacting with humans so domestic cats often instinctively revert to this behavior when around their owners.
In this article, I’ll explain the science behind this common cat behavior and what you can do to stop your cat from attacking your face.
Let’s start now!
- 1 Why Does My Kitten Attack My Face?
- 2 How to Stop A Kitten From Attacking Your Face
- 3 Is It Normal for My Kitten to Attack My Face?
- 4 Why Does My Kitten Attack My Face At Night?
- 5 Why Is My Kitten Trying to Bite My Face?
- 6 Conclusion
Why Does My Kitten Attack My Face?
Kittens use their claws and teeth when playing and investigating their surroundings.
They may use these to control their play toys like stuffed animals or bite their owners’ hands to scratch their ears.
Kitten bites that are directed at the face are hardly ever serious and are rarely painful.
Kittens that bite the face often do it out of playfulness and curiosity, not aggression or fear.
Kitten bites on the hands are a little different because they could be caused by stress or anxiety.
If the kitten bites aggressively or repeatedly, it may be sick or injured and should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.
How to Stop A Kitten From Attacking Your Face
Kittens love play-fighting and wrestling with their siblings, but this behavior can sometimes result in biting and scratching.
Kittens also tend to nip at people when they play-fight with them. Kittens often bite when they play-fight or when they are excited.
Thus, it’s important to use treats to stop a kitten from attacking your face. Kittens are more receptive to treats than toys or scratching posts.
Thus, if you offer treats instead of toys, you’re more likely to successfully contain the kitten’s exuberance and stop him from attacking your face. Treats are also safer than scratching posts or toys.
If your cat scratches you while playing with her claws, she may be injured or scratched herself.
However, if you use a treat instead of a toy, you won’t get scratched.
Kittens love to play and explore their surroundings.
Unfortunately, their curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble. For example, a kitten may stray too far from its mother and get lost.
When outside on its own for the first time, the kitten will be scared and confused. If it’s lost in a dark alley, it may run into a stranger.
If the stranger is cruel, the kitten may attack in fear. For this reason, it’s important to increase playtime for kittens so they don’t wander off.
Use Replacement Toys
Kittens can be cute and cuddly, but they can be dangerous too.
For example, when a cat feels threatened, it can lash out to protect itself and start biting people’s faces. Unfortunately, this can happen to people who are wearing glasses or contacts.
To avoid being bitten, you could wear band-aids or eye patches over your face. However, this looks weird and uncomfortable.
A better option is to use a toy replacement.
Many toy replacements are available and work just as well, if not better, than glasses or contacts.
For example, the Poogle contact lens protector works just like contact lenses and is completely invisible.
There are also toys that you can wear around your neck for when you aren’t wearing glasses or contacts.
This makes getting scratched a lot less painful and embarrassing.
Is It Normal for My Kitten to Attack My Face?
Cats are predators, therefore kittens expressing predatory behavior towards humans is normal and natural behavior for them to have.
Most owners do not mind being bit by their kittens because they understand that it is normal cat behavior and that it will stop when the kittens mature into adult cats.
Although it can be annoying when a cat attacks your hands or face, it isn’t a serious medical problem and the wounds should heal in a few days without treatment.
In some cases, a cat may “mouth” or bite a person’s face out of playfulness or curiosity rather than as an attack.
Kittens will begin visually tracking things that they see at a very young age (about 3-4 weeks old).
Why Does My Kitten Attack My Face At Night?
Kittens are adorable and cuddly animals, but they can also become very aggressive at night.
At night, cats usually go into their “sleep mode” and become quiet. However, some cats can’t sleep and attack their owners at night.
Cats attack their owners at night for several reasons. For example, some cats have night terrors and wake up scared and confused.
Others may experience separation anxiety and develop a habit of attacking their owners at night to feel close to them and feel safe.
Finally, some cats only attack their owners at night because they’re bored or lonely.
Why Is My Kitten Trying to Bite My Face?
Kittens can be cute and cuddly, but it’s also natural for kittens to bite and scratch.
Kittens often do this when they’re playing or when they’re feeling anxious or excited. However, if your cat continues to bite or scratch your face, this may indicate a problem.
For example, if your cat is scratching her face, she may have a skin condition. If your cat is biting your face, she may be stressed or in pain.
If your cat continues to bite or scratch your face, you should take her to the vet immediately.
As a kind of play, sometimes a kitten will “play-bite” a human or other animal on the face for fun!
This may seem a little strange at first but the kitty is just acting out its natural instincts of hunting in the wild.
The kitty will lick the prey to death by first nibbling on the mouth and then by sinking its teeth into the throat of the prey.
Some kitties may even exhibit the same behaviors with human.
It’s simply them learning how to hunt. Though it may seem a little rough on the human victim, it’s a normal part of growing up!
It’s best just to let the kitty do its thing as it will eventually get bored of this behavior and move on to another form of fun.
In the wild, this is called play fighting and is perfectly normal for kittens and young cats to do.