Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You? Know The Reasons

There’s no denying that cats have strange habits, but has your cat ever rubbed her fangs on you? It’s odd, but it’s rather common, and there’s a good explanation for it! This is an example of one of the many ways cats communicate. So, why do cats lick your face with their teeth?

Cats lick your face to mark you as their territory. Cats have smell glands on their cheeks and mouths, and when they come across something they want to claim, they rub those glands on it.

Cats are basically announcing to the world that you are theirs. Sure, when your cat rubs her fish-breath-mouth against your nose, it’s hardly the most pleasant sensation. They do it, however, because they believe you are worthy of being theirs. Accept the compliment, no matter how offensive it may be!

There is something about cats that rubs them against our legs or on our feet. Even if you live alone, you have probably had this experience of watching a cat rubbing itself against you, or even your furniture.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On Things?

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You? Know The Reasons

Cats rub their teeth on you and other objects for a number of reasons, ranging from communication with you and other cats to expressing discomfort. This is a list of all conceivable causes for this strange behavior.

Marking You As Family

Unlike humans, who have sweat glands all throughout their bodies, cats only have them in certain locations. They’re mostly found on their paw pads, but they’re also on their chin, ears, temples, and within their mouth. When your cat brushes against anything, all of these sweat glands are triggered, prompting the glands to emit pheromones that are left on the object they’re rubbing on.

Because cats have sweat glands within their mouths, stroking their teeth or gums will leave pheromone deposits. Every cat emits slightly distinct pheromones, which humans cannot detect but which other cats can recognize. They realize this place or thing belongs to another cat when they scent these pheromones.

When a cat rubs its mouth against you, it spreads this fragrance and marks you as theirs. This may appear unusual, but it is their way of expressing their love for one other. In the wild, cats show affection by rubbing their fangs, gums, and entire bodies against other members of their group. This also makes the entire pack smell the same, which encourages family bonding. In other words, your cat considers you a family member!

So that’s what it means when a cat brushes its teeth on you, but why do cats rub their mouths on items like a coffee table corner or a bookcase? They, too, are exchanging pheromones, but this time to establish their territory in your house, suggesting to other cats and people that this is their domain.

Dental Diseases

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You? Know The Reasons

If your cat has suddenly begun rubbing their teeth or gums against you, it might be an indication that they are suffering from dental problems. Cats, especially senior cats, are prone to dental problems. According to surveys, 50-90 percent of cats over the age of four have some form of dental disease.


If you have a young kitten, it’s possible that they’re rubbing their gums on you to relieve dental pain. This time, though, there’s no need to be concerned; they’re most likely only teething!

Kittens are born without teeth, much as human newborns. Between the ages of 2-4 weeks, your kitten’s first set of baby teeth will begin to emerge, and by the age of 2 months, your cat should have its entire set of baby teeth. These teeth will fall out and be replaced by adult teeth at the age of 3-4 months, which means another teething period!

Just as we provide teething toys to kids to help them cope with the agony of new teeth erupting through their gums, cats seek pain relief in the form of rubbing their teeth or gums against you. Human skin is the ideal texture for teething cats since it is soft and simple to bite while yet being solid and helpful in offering short comfort from their emerging teeth.

Overstimulation From Petting

Have you ever been caressing your cat and they suddenly rubbed their fangs on you or gave you a soft bite as you were petting them? It might be your cat’s way of telling you that petting time is done and they’ve had enough stimulation.

Cats’ hair follicles are extremely delicate, and lengthy durations of caressing and petting can cause discomfort. Cats will try to communicate with you to tell you to get off when this happens. Because cats are unable to communicate verbally, they must rely on body language.

You may notice that their tail swishes about or that the skin on their back twitches. They might also simply get up and leave you. Cats, on the other hand, frequently transmit this information with their teeth.

If you don’t get the message, they may rub their teeth on you as a warning indication, which might escalate to a mild nip or “love bite” if you don’t get it. Your cat isn’t trying to injure you, but their bites can be a touch too forceful at times, resulting in blood loss.

As a result, if your cat rubs its teeth on you as you touch them, you should withdraw your hand away and wait for their response. Their teeth rubbing is usually only a gesture of affection if they start nudging you with their head as though they want to be caressed more. Take a break from stroking if they appear tight or show any other indications of overstimulation.


Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You? Know The Reasons

“Curiosity killed the cat,” as the adage goes, and with good reason: cats are incredibly curious creatures that are continuously on a mission to learn everything they can about the world around them!

To cats, using all five senses to learn as much as possible about an object or person is the greatest approach to learn as much as possible. They’ll examine it, listen to it, smell it, touch it, and even taste it. As a result, your cat rubbing its teeth on items may be an attempt to taste the object and learn more about it.

If your cat is rubbing its fangs against you, it is most likely not out of curiosity. They probably already know everything there is to know about you as their owner! This is a very reasonable explanation whether you’ve recently gotten a new kitten, adopted a cat, or are meeting a friend’s cat for the first time.


It may seem strange, but one of the most typical reasons a cat would engage in such activity is to express care for you. Some cats, believe it or not, like giving you a “love bite.” These bites seldom cause bleeding and are just intended as a loving gesture. I know, it’s a funny method to demonstrate it, but cats are known for being quirky creatures! If your cat appears anxious, you know it’s not a love bite. Ears back and dilated pupils are warning signs to look out for. Your cat may also snarl or hiss, indicating that it isn’t a love bite in this situation.

Bad Habits

When your cat was a kitten, did you regularly play with them with your hands or feet? I know it’s very seductive to wiggle your fingers and watch your adorable kitten pounce, but doing so on a regular basis can lead to similar behavior in an adult cat, which isn’t so attractive since it hurts! To avoid this, play with your cat with toys or things like string throughout their development.

Here’s a clip of a regular cat raised to play with body parts:

The person is attempting to touch the cat, while the cat is attempting to bite or scratch in a playful manner. When you realize your cat is in a playful mood, it’s crucial to connect with him using a toy of some sort. The cat’s owner should have taken up the string in the backdrop and played with it.

Redirected Aggression

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth On You? Know The Reasons

Cats will occasionally bite their owners as a result of “redirected aggressiveness,” which is a behavior that humans exhibit as well. It simply indicates they are irritated by something and are venting their frustrations through a bite. Have you ever been so furious that pounding a punching bag would make you feel better? This is essentially the same thing.

Is Your Cat in Pain?

Some cats are quite expressive, but it is also in their nature for them to hide their misery. This is a behavior that is ingrained in their DNA. Simply said, if a cat in the wild showed indications of suffering, it would appear susceptible to predators. When a cat bites because it is in pain, it signifies the suffering has become pretty acute. If you feel this is the case, make an appointment with a veterinarian right away to ensure your cat receives the treatment it requires.

Over Stimulation

Is your cat biting you when you’re caressing them? Your cat may enjoy a scratch behind the ear one minute, but the next you get a warning bite on the back of your hand, and the cat flees. For cat owners, this is an all-too-familiar occurrence. Some cats are prone to becoming overstimulated. You might be scratching too hard, or there could be a static discomfort while you’re caressing. Keep track of when these bites happen and what you’re doing at the time. Any petting that results in biting should be avoided.

How to Stop Your Cat Biting You

After you’ve ruled out any medical reasons for being bitten, make sure your cat gets his daily dose of predatory play. A daily commitment of at least 10 minutes should suffice. If your cat isn’t interested in playing, it’s possible that you’re using the wrong toy. Experiment with several types of toys. Yoshi, my cat, adores a feathered string. Give him a toy mouse doused with catnip, and he’ll be rolling around ripping it to tears in no time!

Toys should be used responsibly when playing with kittens. As an adult cat, this is the greatest way to prevent undesirable biting behavior. When kittens attempt to bite you, as they almost always do, don’t try to scold them or anything like that. Simply walk away from the game and stop playing. This is exactly what a mother cat would do if her kittens became too violent during playing. It’s instilling in the cat the idea that aggression isn’t socially acceptable.

Parents utilize this form of behavioral reinforcement with their children because it works well. Adult cats can also be used in this way. If they bite you, it’s advised that you stop what you’re doing and leave the room for a few seconds before returning.

If your cat is biting you violently on a regular basis and your veterinarian can’t figure out why, you should see a feline behavior specialist. Your cat may require a change in nutrition, a particular daily routine, or a mix of the aforementioned. A feline behavior expert will be able to provide you the finest advice on how to handle the situation.


Cats are territorial by nature, and rubbing their fangs, face, and body against you indicates that you are their territory and that you are their own. Cat specialists point out that felines may not be rubbing their teeth on you, but rather their muzzle, which has smell glands. Cats may rub against you to express their love and affection, as well as to socialize and attract your attention.

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