Why Do Cats Lick You?

ginger cat and a baby playing

When we think about pets licking their owners, our minds immediately conjure up images of canines but licking is also associated with felines. What does it mean when your cat licks you? Cats are known for all kinds of weird and wonderful behavioural traits but have you ever wondered why your cat licks you? If you’ve ever felt that familiar sandpaper touch on your arm, you will probably be curious about the reasoning behind this act.

Cats use their tongues to groom themselves but it can also be a sign of affection if they are expressing this behaviour towards you. They may do this while nuzzling their noses into you and purring which is a positive sign. Or it can also be a sign that your cat is marking its territory. In this blog post, we will delve into the many reasons that your cat is displaying this kind of behaviour and explore your pet’s actions in further detail.


Should you let your cat lick you?

It’s nice that your cat wants to show you affection but is this behaviour something you should encourage? Or is it something you should try and deter? If you have mixed feelings about your cat licking you, it may stem from the fact that it’s an undeniably strange sensation. A cat’s tongue is covered in backward facing hooks that when come in to contact with your skin feel like sandpaper. The reason for this is to help cats consume their prey. Whether you let your cat lick you is obviously a personal decision but if you want to deter your cat from licking you, you can use distraction techniques and redirect his or her attention with a toy. 


Why does my kitten lick me when I pet him?

When you pet your cat, you are showing them attention and affection and when they lick you this is your pet’s attempt at retuning the sentiment. Take it as a compliment! Your cat is showing you love in this scenario in a way that he or she would show it to a sibling or parent.


Why does my cat lick me like crazy?

Kittens often groom each other when they are little and sometimes older cats can take this habit into later life and it signifies that they think of you as their kin. If your cat licks you, you can take it as a positive sign that you are part of their inner circle as this act often signifies a bonding ritual. There’s also another reason that your cat may be licking you. Cats are territorial creatures and this behaviour could be a way of marking their territory.


While there are various reasons why your cat might be licking you, cat licking is normal and it’s not usually a cause for worry. If your cat’s licking habits are excessive, however, or you are worried about your pet for any other reason, always seek professional advice from a vet. If you do this, pet insurance can help you avoid any costly bills. You can compare pet insurance policies at your leisure here.

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