Why does my dog nibble on my cat

Why Does My Dog Nibble On My Cat? 8 Exact Reasons

The obvious question Does My dog nibble on my cat? Well, People who have a cat and a dog know how difficult it is to find out that the cat and dog playing or fighting. Whether you’re a pet owner or not, you’ve probably seen two pets fighting. It’s a very common sight. Some animals of the same species get along really well. 

But there’s always the odd one out who just doesn’t get along with others. There are also many accidents that you might see with cats and dogs. Dogs enjoy chewing on toes, and cats enjoy knocking things over that are on top of the counter.

If you have a question that says “Why does my dog nibble on my cat?” then you are at the right place. You will get your answer and some solutions if you feel this question is a problem. 

There are many possible reasons for your dog to nibble at your cat, most common reasons are stated below – 

1) Your dog loves to groom your cat

Nibbling has many different names such as corn cobbing, shivering chatter, and knitting. Most people don’t know why their dog is biting on everything in sight.

Nibbling occurs when a dog chews on objects or bites their own body parts when they are stressed, excited, or bored. Dogs that are highly sensitive show visible signs of stress in the form of this behavior. 

Nibbling is a way for a dog to channel their energy and release their pent-up frustrations. It is a natural behavior for dogs to use their teeth to chew and nibble.

They are born with teeth and a mouth specifically for biting. The act of nibbling is simply a dogs’ way of responding to its environment. Nibbling is a common behavior found in all breeds of dogs.

If you see your dog nibbling on your cat, it can be considered as an act of affection of your dog towards your cat by grooming the cat. According to ResearchGate, for dogs, nibbling is a way of establishing a social connection. 

While grooming, a dog gently nibbles a cat on the ears, head, neck, back, etc. The dog lice and nibbles the cat’s fur and clean the dirt. You can find out your cat loves this act of grooming or not by its purring sound.

2) Nibbling helps in reducing emotional tension

Your dog might not seem interested in what you have to say, but a new study suggests that they’re actually paying attention.

Researchers from the University of York have suggested that domestic dogs could be interested in the vocalization of cats with which they’re unfamiliar. 

As noted in a ScienceDirect article, the study found that dogs were most responsive to the particular vocalization of cats, with the goal of understanding more about how the domesticated animals interact with those with which they live in the same household and might even be related to. 

ResearchGate suggests that nibble is a way of reducing aggression between animals. Dogs nibble at cats and try to communicate with them to reduce emotional tension.

Dogs are often curious about cats and will try to get closer in hopes of communicating. However, cats tend to be more alert and if they feel threatened, they are likely to respond by hissing and nipping at the dog.

3) Your dog loves your cat (Affectionate)

Due to affection, your dog can nibble at your cat. And your dog has learned this act of affection when it was a puppy.

Usually, we see this the time the puppies are born. They explore the surrounding environment using their mouth. They also use mouthing while playing. 

And some dogs have this behavior in adulthood as well. They nibble the back and ear of the cat or any other dog to show affection. 

4) Your dog is taking the fleas out from your cat

One of the most common reasons for your pet dog nibbling your pet cat can be allogrooming. Allogrooming is the act of one animal cleaning another animal’s coat or skin.

The primary purpose is to remove debris from the coat and skin. This can occur when one animal licks or nibbles at the other, or when two animals lick or nibble at each other. This is seen in dogs when a dog grooms another to show affection. 

5) Your dog is excited to see your cat

Sometimes, dogs nibbles because they are excited to see you. The same is the case with other animals like cats. Various studies suggest that nibbling usually occurs after your dog is separated from you or your other pets for a period of time. 

Hence, we can say that nibbling is just another way of greeting your cat.

6) Your dog is dominating your cat

One of the reasons for your dog nibbling on your cat is that it is showing the dominating trait. Dogs are dominant animals. Their ability to survive in the wild is partially due to the instinct of being dominant. 

When a dog shows dominance by nibbling on your cat, it is a way of letting them know who is the Alpha. Dogs also bark, howl, and whine, as well as run, fetch and jump to get their way. These are all common features of the typical dog and are generally considered to be “dog” traits. 

Therefore, you can separate your dog and cat when your dog is trying to dominate your cat. 

7) Herding Instinct of Dog make them Nibble smaller pets

From very History Dogs have been used for herding jobs as they have strong instincts to engage animals like sheep, goats, cows, and even cats.

Some herding dog breeds worldwide are:

  • Australian shepherd
  • Pembroke Welsh corgi
  • Shetland sheepdog
  • German shepherd
  • Border collie
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Rough collie
  • Cardigan Welsh corgi
  • Australian cattle dog

8) Your dog is jealous

Many pet dogs are jealous of the pet cats. Dogs are like babies and this is why many people end up having two pets: one for them and another for the kids. However, there are people who have a certain love for dogs but have a cat as a pet as well. 

Based on the many ways that cats and dogs can interact, the most common is not always the worst. When a dog sees the cat doing something, the dog might try to do it too. For example, if the cat sees the dog jumping on its owner’s lap, the cat will try to do the same thing. 

This is called comparative behavior, and it’s an interesting trait that a dog will try to do what another animal is doing.


The world is a crazy place. Cats and dogs are mortal enemies as far as humans are concerned. But in the wild, they don’t bother each other very much. That’s why this scenario of a dog nibbling on a cat is so funny!

As animal lovers, we know that dogs and cats can be the best of friends. Even if they don’t always get along, it’s fun to see how they interact and how their different personalities can make for such an entertaining friendship.

We hope you enjoyed our article about Nibbling. We want you to know that your dog is not trying to annoy your cat by nibbling. They are just trying to relieve their anxiety with something that’s harmless to them.

Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our articles can provide useful information on a topic like this!


Can I trust my dog with my cat?

It depends on your dog and your cat. See, when you first introduce your cat with your new dog or your dog with your new cat, the way they respond to each other, you can take a call for the bonding they can make. Usually, both the animals can bond easily but in some cases it is difficult.

Why dog drags a cat by the neck?

This is due to the maternal instinct present in your dog. It is a common behavior in dogs to pick their puppies in their mouths. Therefore, it is okay if your adult dog drags your younger cat by the neck