Cats are creatures of some pretty weird behaviors that leave us perplexed most of the time. So, I’m sure you’ve probably caught yourself wondering about many of them, one being, “Why does my cat bite my ear?”
My cat always does this! And I mean always! We would be snuggled up on the couch, rewatching The Office for God knows how many times, and all of a sudden, she would start nibbling on my ear.
“Little Miss Purr-fect, why are you doing that?”, would be my question if only she could answer me (without the answer being a good ol’ meow).
This strange behavior really does a number on you, doesn’t it? First of all, you start wondering about your fluffball’s safety and health. You know, she might be hungry and lacking some nutrients, or she might be under some stress.
And second of all, you cannot help but become a bit self-conscious about it and wonder if your ears are too big, but no one ever told you.
If you can relate to this thought process, don’t worry! Your cat is fine, and your ears are normal. Your little feline companion is just weird enough to choose something like your ears to be amazed by.
Cats are great and we love them for their quirky behavior. But, it’s important to learn as much as we possibly can about it in order to react to it properly. Understanding their behavior deepens our relationship with them and ensures we stay besties forever.
So, to finally find answers to the question, “Why does my cat bite my ear?” keep on reading.
Should I worry if my cat bites my ear from time to time?
Right off the bat, the answer to this question is a resounding no!
There is no need to worry if your cat bites your ear from time to time. Especially if it is a light nibble. The only time you should worry is if your cat starts to be more aggressive and bites you so hard that you notice blood. In that case, you should do something to prevent her from biting.
Cats are weird and they bite us because they wanna tell us something. Now that we know that there’s nothing to worry about, we can continue with the reasons why your cat nibbles your ears.
So, why does my cat bite my ear?
Your cat might be biting you for various reasons. Many of which I am sure you can already predict just by guessing based on the experience you already have.
Your little furry biter might be causing you some trouble and making you wreck your brain trying to figure out the meaning behind her peculiar behavior. But in the end, there is no question that you can’t google and find an answer to it in just a few seconds.
Unfortunately for your cat, she does not get to keep the vail of her mystery. Her astounding personality traits will, in time, all be revealed. And that would be the downfall of cats’ dominance over humanity!
Wow, someone got carried away. Pardon my exaggeration. Too many fantasy novels recently have awoken the nerd in me.
All jokes aside, let’s see what are the seven possible reasons behind your cat’s biting habit so you can no longer wonder about it.
1. Your cat was separated from her mother way too early
Some cats, mostly kittens, will showcase this type of behavior due to them being deprived of early nursing.
Kittens are very attached to their mothers because, through their example, kittens get to become familiar with the world that surrounds them. If they have been separated from their mother way too early, they are deprived of many useful lessons and have to seek comfort and understanding elsewhere.
Therefore, it is very common for kittens to think about their owners as their new mothers since now they’re the ones who take care of them.
So, your kitten might be biting your ear because of this reason.
That area between your neck and shoulder is a purrfect place for a kitten to curl up. And from that perspective, your ear lobe may remind your little kitty of a nipple.
If you’re not particularly fond of this ear-biting habit, then fear not. Most kittens outgrow this habit as they mature. So, maybe you just have to endure the kitten stage and you’ll be good to go.
2. Your cat is attracted to the smell of your earwax
First of all, ew!
You might think this to be strange, but cats find earwax very appealing. Most humans pay no attention to their earwax. For them, it is just something they clean from their ears as a part of their hygiene. And that’s about it.
You are probably not even aware of the smell your earwax has, but your cat is and she can smell it from a few feet away. And the crazy thing is, she actually enjoys it!
The reason why your cat loves it so much is because the aroma of the earwax stimulates her senses. So it’s no wonder your cat bites your ears here and there. And don’t be surprised if she shows interest in another cat’s ears as well as in the ears of other animals, too.
3. Your cat likes your ears
Apart from being attracted to your earwax, your kitty might like your ears in general.
Your cat probably finds the shape and texture of your ear fascinating since it is nothing like your fingers and toes (which is something she enjoys nibbling on all the time!).
The cartilage of your ear makes a perfect nibbling toy for your cat. Especially if she has sensitive teeth or other dental issues since the structure of your ear is a perfect mixture of both firm and wobbly skin. Therefore, it’s not too hard for her teeth but still gives her relief.
But, if you do notice that your cat is biting onto other stuff as well as your ears and you do suspect there might be some dental issues, the best thing would be to consult the vet.
4. Your cat wants your attention
Another answer to the question, “Why does my cat bite my ear?” hides in the fact that our cats are timeless attention seekers.
Although they enjoy their personal time and space during which they do not wish to be bothered, there will come a time when they will gladly have you devoting all of your time to them.
The first thing your cat will do is probably approach you with her irresistible meow. Then, she might rub herself against you or climb up your leg with her paws, trying to reach you (while still meowing, of course).
But, if you happen to be so invested in the work you do, your book, television, or basically anything, be sure she will find her way to invade your personal space.
So, if your cat’s habit of biting your ear might be her way of saying, “Hey hooman, I’m here! It’s attention o’clock!”
5. Your cat wants some playtime
That need for attention mentioned above could be because your cat demands some playtime.
Everyone knows how amazing cats can be, especially when they are playing. There’s no such thing that doesn’t have the potential to become their toy. And no matter how many toys we buy for them, they will still find some random object more suitable for them to play with.
My cat is exactly like that. I’ve got her so many cat toys, but the things she most enjoys are paper bags, toilet paper rolls, and aluminum foil balls I simply have to make her when I’m cooking something in the kitchen.
And, as I previously mentioned, she loves my ears! Especially if I’m wearing some dangling earrings, which I do most of the time. She is so mesmerized by them and would definitely take every opportunity she has to catch them with her little paws and teeth.
And when I’m not wearing them, it’s almost like she is trying to find them behind my ear. Which results in her nibbling on my earlobe.
But, besides being on a quest to find my missing earrings, she sometimes bites my ears to initiate playtime. As said before, that’s their way of grabbing our attention.
So, if your cat is anything like mine (or pretty much any other cat), then you know what to do. Take her biting your ear as a reminder to get up and bring out the toys.
6. Your cat is showing her love
Another reason behind the “Why does my cat bite my ear?” question is this: she loves you.
I know, I know. It’s strange to find out your cat’s love language is ear-biting, but that’s just something you have to come to terms with.
And besides, it’s adorable! What is a soft nibble compared to the purring sensation in your ear? Nothing, really! It’s amazing to hear. It calms you and heals you.
So, all in all, there’s a small price to pay to receive some cuddle time with your cat. When she bites your ear, you can perceive it as her way of telling you, “I love you and appreciate everything you do for me!”
7. Your cat is hungry
And last but not least, your cat might be biting you because she is hungry. Cats are famous for biting various weird things when hungry. But they are also famous for not being very patient.
So, if your cat is biting your ear, consider checking her food bowl. Maybe it’s time you fill it.
What can I do to stop my cat from biting my ear?
It is understandable that many people don’t enjoy it when their cat bites their ears. Because every biting action of your cat will inevitably result in her tongue touching your skin. And we all know what our cat’s tongue is like, right?
Owners usually don’t enjoy the abrasive sensation of their cat’s tongue. It’s because their tongue has hundreds of little white keratin protein spines, causing their tongue to have a sandpaper-like texture.
And also, their breath kinda stinks. You can feel their tuna breath perfectly since your ear is not that far from your nose.
So, if you don’t enjoy it when your cat bites and licks your ears, here’s what you can do.
The thing you can do with your kitten is to try and focus its attention on something else. That could be an appropriate toy whose texture will, in a way, resemble your ear and be an ideal option for your new baby to nibble on.
Because the kitten stage is a period when your kitty is getting to know the world and sees you as her new mom, it is a perfect time for you to raise her to know what things she should and shouldn’t do.
Cats are creatures of routines, and if you try enough and teach her that she should not bite your ear, she will most definitely grow up not biting it.
But, the essential thing is that you have to provide her with a substitution for your ear. So, enough toys, plenty of playtime, and cuddling should do the trick!
With adult cats
However, if you haven’t trained your cat from a young age, or if she developed an ear fascination later, here’s what you can do!
Getting your adult cat to stop nibbling on your ear will require more time, effort, and energy. In this case, the toys you bought her won’t do much.
You can try and cover your ears with some wide headbands. This will put your ears out of your cat’s sight (although she might know they’re still there.). Another thing is to use a neck pillow which will make it harder for your cat to reach your ears.
But, if you have no desire whatsoever to wear either headbands or neck pillows around the house, I get it. In that case, you can try to use some cat repellents and spray on your neck area to prevent your cat from coming anywhere near you.
It’s said that cats dislike the smell of vinegar, citrus, rosemary, thyme, or even lavender and menthol. So you can even DIY your own spray and have a personalized purr-fume.
Keep in mind, though, that cats might outsmart you and try extra hard to overcome the smell and reach your ears. If that happens, they might not just try harder but also bite harder.
Never punish your cat for biting your ear!
The one thing you should stay away from is physical punishment.
It’s really never a good idea to punish your cats since you won’t be getting anything out of it. You won’t teach her any lesson. And your cat won’t magically stop biting your ear, that’s for sure.
But, she will most likely get angry and look for revenge. That you can be sure of! Cats are the type of animals that will definitely hold a grudge.
I remember one time our cat climbed on my dad’s car, leaving paw prints behind. My dad, being an old-fashioned guy, tried to teach her not to climb on top of his car. He decided to punish her by lightly tapping his index finger on her nose.
One might not even call this a punishment. But one thing is certain: our cat didn’t like it. She waited for the first opportunity to take revenge. And it resulted in my dad walking around with bandaged hand for an entire week.
Yelling at your cat is also not advisable. And, when you think about it, it’s actually kinda unnecessary. Your cat won’t understand a word you’re saying, but she will be aware of the loud tone in your voice. And that might leave her feeling scared, threatened, and stressed.
All in all, a calm approach is your best friend. And lots of patience!
After everything we’ve gone through, we can conclude that your fluffball’s ear-biting habit is very much normal, and also nothing you should worry about.
Yes, it’s weird, and yes, it can be a bit painful, but if you’re able to endure a little discomfort, then you’ll be just fine.
However, I understand if you don’t like it. That’s perfectly fine and you shouldn’t put up with something you’re not enjoying. As we have seen, there is a solution for that as well.
The most important thing is to build a strong relationship with your feline friend. The one where you both will be happy and satisfied.
We have to build lasting relationships with our pets, just as we do with our human relationships. Even though they have some weird ways of expressing love, affection, anger, or sadness, our pets are still able to respect us.
We just have to earn that respect.