Why Does My Cat Lick Me?


Many individuals assume that cats lick them as a sign of love which isn’t really that away. While it’s difficult to identify if felines feel complex emotions like love, licking is a sign of love. Felines usually lick themselves to groom. Mother felines will lick their kittens as a part of the grooming process as well. However, cats will likewise lick each other as a sign of affection. Felines actually lick people for one of these numerous reasons, but the majority of them come down to screens of love.

Cat’s Tongue

It’s covered with small little barbs that serve as both a comb for when she’s grooming herself and as a rasp for getting all those little meaty bits off bones or food bowls.

Main Causes Why Does Your Cat Lick You

Cat licks owner

The first step in answering “Why do cats lick you?” is knowing that kittens groom each other, and older cats who aren’t related but get along well also spend time grooming one another.

1) Signs of Affection

In the same way that you show love to your cat by petting them, your cat may attempt to return the favor by licking you. Kittens specifically will utilize licking as a way to reduce anxiety the way a human might use hugs. If your feline good friend likes to lick you, it most likely suggests they ‘d like some love in return. Which truthfully is one of the best parts of owning a feline!

2) Marking Territory

Felines utilize scents to mark their territory. While the majority of people know that cats mark property by urinating on things, they can mark their area in other methods also. Licking and head rubs are ways for cats to declare you as part of their property … affectionately! When your cat licks or rubs versus you, they are saying that you are important to them and they want all the other cats to know. You might see that often other felines avoid you, it’s possible they smell that you belong to another cat!

3) Part of The Family

Many people joke that felines believe they’re human beings and offered the method some cats behave towards their owners, it’s simple to see why. A fantastic example is a cat who will leave dead mice or birds on their owner’s doorsteps in an attempt to share a yummy reward. Felines have actually also been understood to present their owners with live animals in an attempt to teach its owner to hunt. It’s clear that not just do numerous cats see their owners as part of the family, they also see them as a bit inept at being cats. Female cats mainly will show this sort of parenting or nurturing type of behavior.

When felines lick you, it can mean that they are attempting to teach you to groom yourself. It’s a memory your feline had from being licked by her own mother and is a real sign of affection. Felines will also lick each other as a method to soothe them down. Cats are very mindful to their owner’s state of minds so you may discover your feline is more affectionate when you’re stressed out or ill. Felines are trying to relax your anxiety the same method you would pet your cat if they seemed anxious.

4) Cleaning You

The concept that an arm covered in feline saliva is “clean” doesn’t entirely clear for us, however, for a feline, it’s a crucial behavior that promotes bonding.

Within a group of cats cohabiting, there is generally a designated ‘all-groomer,’ which is a feline that licks and grooms the other felines in the group. Usually, the members of the group are related to each other, so licking a human might be the cat’s effort to include you as part of her group.

Licking cat

Often, the answer to “Why do cats lick you?” isn’t so positive, though. Some felines get so stressed that they begin licking compulsively. (One mysterious condition is called feline hyperesthesia.) Felines who lick themselves bald are often trying to comfort themselves since they’re stressed out. Other compulsive cats may lick and suck on material, plastic or perhaps your skin.

It Is Painful!

We all understand that a through feline licking isn’t always the comfiest experience. This is because cat tongues have backward-facing hooks that are meant to pull and clean their fur the way a comb would. Keep in mind to your feline being licked feels good, they don’t know they’re harming you! When a cat licks you, it’s merely trying to show some love.

Licking and biting

It’s difficult to retrain a feline who has gotten used to performing a regular habit such as licking. Keep in mind to remain mild and prevent shouting or intense physical reactions like shoving your cat, tossing her off your lap, or (heaven forbid) hitting her.

How to Get Your Feline to Stop Licking You

For habits that are frequently about love and psychological nearness, it’s challenging to inform your cat to stop without jeopardizing your relationship.

Some individuals will try to avoid the behavior entirely by using something that tastes bad to felines to their own skin. The concept is that the cat will not like the taste and won’t lick you in the future. It can have an undesirable effect, nevertheless, and the feline might begin to associate the unpleasant experience with you in a more basic method, which can be problematic. The exact same applies to any type of penalty that you might administer in response to licking.

If you seem like your cat is licking you excessively, the best thing you can do is reroute her actions. If have a cat who likes cuddling with you and licking your face, so move your face away from him and either offer your head to nuzzle versus, or pet him so that he merely enjoys the petting and stops licking.

If that doesn’t work, merely walking away when licking becomes excessive, which causes the cat to associate licking you with you disappearing. With time and consistency, your feline ought to learn that you are a lick-free zone.

Owners that Licked By Their Cats – Sharing Experience

Jenifer from Atlanta: My young boy cat Volly has a concern with licking me when I pet/ holds him. I usually have no interest with a couple of licks from my cats; however Volly goes really overboard with it. Plus, he has very halitosis since he needs a dental done. However, it threatens (he has a heart issue) and costly. I am not sure how to discourage him from this licking, he appears to need to do it. Like if I even reach to provide him a pet his head follows my hand to attempt and offer me a lick, once when he was on me and trying to lick I kept moving my arm away when he began to lick, and he ultimately got my arm, claws out to hold me still so he could lick me! He does it to his siblings too, if either of them attempts and plays with him or cuddle, he licks them to death! They get irritated generally and leave, or end up soaking wet with spit. Why does he do this! How the heck can I break him of this annoying routine?

Toni from NY: My one cat will hunch down and lick me while kneading me a minimum of as soon as a day, for some minutes. He and his bro were discovered alone a couple of days old, and he has never ever outgrown the licking. Fortunately, I don’t have your issues to a big degree- he doesn’t do it to his bro, and if I stop him he looks injured for a few seconds then overcomes it. My veterinarian states it is basically because he was weaned method too soon and he is revealing me he is accepting me as his new mama, but going way OCD overboard about it (for years).

Jess from Ottawa: About 3 months earlier, my sis found a starving kitten in her garden. We cleaned her and fattened her up and then I took her home and made her my baby. I took her to the vet, and the vet stated she was healthy, about 6 months old, and cute.

Now she is about 9 months old. My only issue is that she licks incessantly. She cannot be on me without licking some part of me. She’ll lick my feet, my face, my hands. It wouldn’t be so bad if she ‘d simply lick me and get it over with. However, she does not stop.

I have observed that she seems to have an oral fixation. If she’s not licking herself or me, she’s chewing on cardboard or paper, licking the walls, licking pictures, or bring toys around in her mouth. She’s quite like a puppy.

Dorie from Seattle: My kitty Rusty (now 9 years old) pertained to me at about age 2, from the local shelter. She used to lick a lot of things, the carpet in specific. Do not ask me why. She does lick us as well, but just on the hands or arms (among my other cats licks my chin). I’ve moved twice since I got her, and she no longer licks the carpet, though she does still lick us now and then. I’ve matured with cats, and never comprehended this, however, what I’ve been told is that they lick us for mainly one factor; they like the taste of the salt on our skin (or maybe it’s skin oil). However, in your case, I ‘d say that there’s a possibility your kitty is missing something in her diet, as from your description, she appears to focus on paper products if not you. What are you feeding her?

I also found an article that recommends that licking excessively (individuals, furniture, towels, floor) can be a sign of displaced tension. Typically cats will over-groom themselves when they are stressed out, causing bald patches or even worse (I have a kitty with this problem; he is on a diet), but when they lick other things, they may still be worried. Has your cat constantly licked things, or has something changed and she’s only now doing it? Perhaps she’s going through her first heat cycle, and it’s worrying her out– is she spayed?

Rob from Memphis: My cat, a 6 years of age male whom I nursed back to health and made a house cat after he hurt himself, appears to like to lick my face. He is very, very friendly and enjoys to cuddle. And for some reason, he likes to lick my face (usually the chin) when he is cuddling with me. This occurs a couple of times a week, and when he went for his yearly checkup I asked the veterinarian about it, and he didn’t seem to have any answers.


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