Affection or Affliction: Why Does My Cat Lick Me?

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Why does my cat lick me

Ah, kittens — they’re adorable! Their soft paws, their wet noses, and their wiggly tails melt anyone’s heart. You may think you know all there is to know about cat behavior. But have you ever found yourself asking “Why does my cat lick me?” Most owners automatically assume it’s a sign of affection, but that’s not the only explanation!

Why Does My Cat Lick Me? There Are a Few Potential Reasons

Cats are oddballs, that’s part of their charm. They do what they please and when it pleases them. Their grooming habits are just one of the many things that fascinate owners. Yet, nothing confuses owners more than when a cat or kitten tries to lick them. Why do they do that?

The first explanation is that they’re welcoming you into the family. Sometimes, cats think you’re an animal just like them. So, they take it into their own paws to teach you how to be a better cat. The first step is to groom you just like their mommas used to when they were little.

Another answer to “Why does my cat lick me?” is that they’re stressed. Anxiety makes them pick up habits typical of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. In a way, them grooming you is a call for help, so keep an eye out for excessive licking.

Marking their territory is another reason why cats groom their owners. By leaving their scent on you, they’re telling all other cats “back off, this human is mine.”

Despite all this, there’s a more common (and more adorable!) answer to “Why does my cat lick me?”

What Does It Mean When a Cat Licks You? Probably That They Love You

Kittens licking owner

When a kitten licks their owner, it usually means they love them. It’s a sign of showing affection. Just like you would pet them with your hands, your furry friend pets you with their tongue.

Affectionate licking is never alone. You’ll see other hints of joy and relaxation in their body language. If your kitten comes up to you, purrs, kneads on your lap, and rubs their head on you, we have good news—they love you!

Cat Licking Is a Sign of Affection

Momma cats lick their offspring to groom them. But they also do it to show affection and appreciation. Kittens love feeling like they’re wanted. So, the bond formed licking and love never disappears, not even when they grow up.

If you’ve ever wondered “Why does Mittens lick my face?” you most likely have found the answer: love. In a nutshell, they’re imitating what their mom did to them!

They’re Clean Creatures and Might Simply Be Helping With Your Hygiene

Remember how we said cats think you’re a pet like them? Well, sometimes they don’t think you’re very good at cleaning yourself. Not because you’re filthy, but because your furry friend has strict hygiene standards.

Cats are very meticulous about their cleaning routine. They’ll spend hours grooming their fur so that they’re squeaky clean. That’s why they cough up hairballs.

Thus, because they don’t see you doing the same, they think they have some things to teach you. Don’t take it the wrong way, Mittens is just concerned and trying to help!

When the Licking Drives You Nuts: Find a Cat Groomer Neat me!

Feeling your furry friend lick you for the first time feels funny. It may even hurt! Their tongue has sharp hooks called papillae aimed at pulling and cleaning fur. In a way, they feel like sandpaper. That’s why licking you excessively in one spot is bound to hurt.

If you’re starting to think “Why does my cat lick me so damn much?” there’s something wrong. They shouldn’t be licking you more than once or twice. This may be a sign of anxiety or that they’re stressed.

A veterinary behaviorist will know what to do. They may recommend you play more with your kitten at home. Alternatively, they may recommend giving Mittens a few drops of CBD oil for cats. This natural medicine will calm them down and make them feel less anxious.

Another thing you can try is going to a cat groomer near you. It’s super important that your cat looks after themselves. Otherwise, they may develop skin irritation and matted, tangled fur. But when they seem to slack off, a professional groomer will certainly help them!

Two Questions, One Answer: Cat Grooming Explained

cat licking its paw

Are you as amazed by cat grooming as we are? There’s so much to cover on this topic, from tips on cat grooming for cat owners to the biology of grooming itself. But one question still remains: Why don’t they just lick themselves?

Why Do Cats Lick Each Other?

Any animal behaviorist will tell you that cats are social creatures. Despite their bad rep for being mean to other cats sometimes, they still love their feline friends.

Once again, this grooming habit is an indicator of love. They’re showing their cat friends they appreciate their company. But the licking isn’t just aimed at other felines. Dogs, guinea pigs, birds—any animal they love—will all experience that weird feeling of being licked!

Why Do Cats Lick People?

To recap, the most likely answer to “Why does my cat lick me” is that they’re trying to show affection. By imitating what their mommas do to them as kittens, they’re strengthening an emotional bond with you.

Feisty Felines: Why Do Cats Lick You One Moment and Attack the Next?

Kittens and adult cats have an unfair reputation for being moody. One moment you think they love your company and the next their claws are out. More often than not, you’re not interpreting cat body language correctly.

To stop your feline friend from attacking you after licking you, play with them. They are probably feeling anxious and stressed—nothing a good playdate can’t fix. Let them take out their energy and frustration on a toy. Better yet, stuff it with catnip!

The most important thing is to not lose your cool. There’s always an explanation for cat behavior and a way to diffuse all situations!

Common Questions on Why Does My Cat Lick Me

Is my cat licking me a sign of trust?

Why does it hurt when my cat licks me?

Why do cats groom other animals?

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