Why Does My Cat Nibble My Ear?

By Phil / September 13, 2018
Why Does My Cat Nibble My Ear

Most cats lick and nibble on their owners from time to time, and a lot of cats like ears in particular.

Although it’s obviously endearing, let’s be honest – it’s not the most enjoyable experience.

Their tongues feel like sandpaper, their breath smells like cat food (no surprises there), and sometimes they get a little forceful and paw at us with their claws.

If all of this sounds familiar and you’re looking for answers to – why does my cat nibble my ear? Or, why does my cat lick me and my ear?

I can help you out with some thoughtful insight.

Not only have I been a victim to ear nibbling and licking for a number of years. I’ve discussed it and length and researched the topic (I’m interested in the weirdest of things).

Here are some answers to some of these burning questions!

Why Do Cats like Ears?

Why Do Cats like Ears

There are a few reasons why cats like ears in particular. One of the reasons, and this even applies to you if you have immaculately clean ears – they are attracted to the smell of your ears (earwax in particular).

The earwax in our ears has a smell that’s unique to us. Even though we can’t smell it, it’s quite strong for cats with their sensitive nose and their heightened sense of smell.

When cats rub against us they are transferring their smell to us, and ours to them as a way of letting other cats know who you belong to.

The ears are the perfect body part for this. When they lick your ear they can transfer both scents back and forth, and this is why you’ll probably see them grooming themselves after too.

Another reason is that cats find the shape of our earlobes appealing and hard to resist. Does your cat knead you too while licking your ears?

It’s comforting to them to nibble on our lobes and reminds them of that secure feeling they’d get when they were kittens nursing on their mothers.

Does this mean you should let your cat lick and nibble on your ear? That’s entirely up to you.

Personally, I find it too tickly and yucky and try to hide my ears as my one cat tries as hard as she can to find them!

Related content – why do cats lick humans?

What Does It Mean When a Cat Licks Your Ear?

What Does It Mean When a Cat Licks Your Ear

So what does this mean?

It means that your cat loves you for one. They recognize that you’re the one who feeds, protects, and looks after them, and they’re trying to share that love with you.

Don’t be offended if your cat has never nibbled or licked your ear. It doesn’t mean that your cat doesn’t love you. Some cats just don’t use this as a way to show their owners they love them.

I currently have two cats. One of my cats is obsessed with my ears, while the other has never shown any interest at all.

I know they both love me equally. The cat that isn’t attracted to earwax is the lap cat, so we actually spend more quality time together.

So it goes to show that cats have their own individual personalities and ways of showing you how much they appreciate you.

Why Does My Cat Bite Me Gently?

Why Does My Cat Bite Me Gently

Gentle biting might be a better way to describe the nibbling on your ear. Again, it’s a sign of affection, so if you’re ok with it you can take it as a compliment.

If you want to discourage your cat from gentling biting you then try making a disapproving noise and moving away when they have a bite.

Don’t overreact or it might freak your kitty out and put them into fight or flight mode. Or, just simply offend them that they love and affection is being rebuffed.

Final Thoughts

If your cat is nibbling, licking, and gently biting your ear they are just showing you in their own way how much they love and appreciate you.

It’s the smell of earwax that attracts them to your ears, and the ears of other cats they are comfortable with.

If it’s something you’re uncomfortable with you need to set some boundaries in place and gently stop them from doing it without offending them.

It’s one of the highest compliments given from a cat to a human however. So, while it’s one of those slightly yucky things we could do without, it’s pretty cool when it happens.

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