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Why Does My Cat Lick Me? The 5 Shocking Reasons Why!

Ever wonder “why does my cat lick me? " The majority of cat owners probably wonder this. You may think your cat only licks you out of love, but there are really many more reasons why she does it. Let's find out!
why does my cat lick me

Numerous times, you have undoubtedly seen your cat bathing itself. Indeed, felines devote a significant portion of their waking time to grooming their coats using their tongues. Or they may have given you a sponge bath with their tongues? And so the question arises – “Why does my cat lick me?”

Is It Normal For Cats to Lick You?

As a species, cats are known to spend as much as 8% of their waking time grooming (and 50% sleeping), therefore it’s safe to assume that licking is a common behaviour for them.

If you’ve ever been given a tongue wash by a cat, you know that its tongue is more abrasive than a washcloth. Your cat’s tongue has a lot of papillae, which are small, hard, and oriented inward. These spines clean your cat’s fur of dust and dead hair and coat it with saliva so it stays cool.

With all this focus on cleanliness, many cat owners are left wondering, “Why does my cat lick me?”

The 5 Shocking Reasons That Explain “Why Does My Cat Lick Me?”

Even while it’s difficult to know for sure, researchers, veterinarians, and cat behaviour specialists have proposed a few probable explanations for “why does my cat lick me?”. So, let’s get down to business, shall we?

1. Affection

Your cat may be displaying affiliative behaviour, or friendly, selfless behaviour, when it licks you. All cats groom their young, and adult cats may engage in what is termed allogrooming. For this reason, your cat may groom you in an effort to foster a closer link between you.

2. Personal Hygiene

Your cat may not understand that licking you isn’t truly helping you “get clean,” but this behaviour is instinctive for them. Mother cats groom their kittens for many reasons, including instilling independence in them, showing love, and forging a strong link with them.

Your cat may be acting as the “allo-groomer” by licking you in an attempt to clean you and welcome you into the group. To find out more about “Allo-grooming”, click here to view this study published in 1998 in the Journal of Ethology.

3. Attention Seeking

As a result of your unintentional rewards—talking to, patting, or engaging with your cat while they lick you—your cat may have rapidly learnt that licking receives attention. Any feline even prefers some attention—even negative attention like being rebuked or pushed away—to none at all.

4. Taste

It’s possible your cat is licking you because they’ve detected a pleasant odour or flavour on your skin. It’s possible that your cat likes the flavour of whatever you’ve spilt or whatever residue you’ve picked up on your skin. If it’s warm, or you’ve been exercising, it might be that your perspiration has left a salty residue, and that’s what your cat is attempting to taste.

Despite the fact that cats’ tongues are optimised for grooming, the felines have a considerably more subdued sense of taste than humans. Cats are one of the few known animals that cannot detect the sweetness of foods.

5. Territory

There are several ways in which cats “mark their territory,” including rubbing their cheeks against objects, clawing, and even spraying, but licking is another common behaviour.

It’s likely that when your cat licks you, it’s attempting to establish dominance over you and let other animals know who you belong to.

How To Stop Your Cat From Licking You?

In order to prevent your cat from licking you, you must learn how to do the following.

You may get them to stop doing it by diverting their focus to something else. If your cat enjoys being petted or cuddled, you might do one of those things to divert their attention away from licking. Similarly, you might try replacing licking with playtime by giving them a toy to interact with. Finally, you may just walk away or move away from your cat if the licking gets extreme.

While it’s not unusual for cats to show affection by licking their owners, it is cause for concern if it happens often. If you’re worried about your cat’s behaviour, see your vet.

In Conclusiveness

Now that the age-old question of “Why does my cat lick me?” has been answered, keep in mind these 5 surprising explanations. It reminds us of the many various ways that our cats might attempt to communicate with us.

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