What Does it Mean When Your Cat Licks You?
Cat Licking Explained
Have you ever wondered why cats lick you? What does it mean when a cat licks you? Have you ever asked yourself, “why does my cat lick my face?” These are some really good cat behavior questions. But, like with any cat behavior, they why really depends on each individual situation and cat.
Five Reasons a Cat Licks You
- Love, Baby: Cats often lick people they love. This is one of the ways a cat shows affection. This sign of cat affection probably stems from when a mother cat grooms her young kittens. Grooming and licking behaviors tend to help the cat being groomed relax. It also is a way to scent swap from one “cat” to another, which helps with keeping a peaceful relationship.
- Grooming Behavior: Since cats enjoy grooming each other out of love and affection, grooming becomes the norm. Think about how often your cat grooms himself—I’m guessing it’s 10x more than you.
- You’re Dirty and Taste Great: As I mentioned above, when a cat licks himself, he may be cleaning himself. Maybe you didn’t clean your face after eating your turkey sandwich and your cat starts to lick your face. Yum—chicken!
- Cat Stress: When a cat is over-grooming or over-licking a person, they may be stressed. You can think of this like a compulsive behavior or displacement gesture, which is self-soothing for the cat licker.
- You’re His: When a cat licks you, he is placing his scent on you. Cat licking can be another way for cat to claim you as his human. And this isn’t a bad thing, unless you see it as a sign of stress.
If your cat seems to be licking you out of stress or conflict, please seek the help of a cat professional. In most cases, though, you don’t need to worry why your cat is licking you, just enjoy the ride.
Is your cat a licker? Tell me in the comments.
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