If you have several cats, you have probably seen them lick each other, not just the mother with her children, but adult cats with each other. But why do cats lick each other when they are very territorial?

In this article, I explain all the reasons why cats lick each other.

Why do cats lick each other?

If your cats lick each other it is for one of the following reasons. As you will see, licking is very important in the group life of cats.

To strengthen the social bond

Cats are territorial animals, they need their own litter boxes, their own bowl, and their own personal corner. But cats are not solitary and live in groups in the wild.

And licking is a way for them to strengthen the bonds they have between them and it reveals that your cats are very close because this behavior only occurs with cats that are very close.

Cats from the same family will have a more natural tendency to lick each other, but cats that differ in behavior or breed may lick each other to strengthen their bond with each other.

Get help

Cats spend several hours a day cleaning themselves and are the most hygienic animals there are. But even though they are very agile, they cannot access all areas of their body.

So, if they live in a group with you, they will help each other so that the areas that are not accessible to them can be thoroughly cleaned.

For example, they clean their neck with their paws but this is not enough in case of encrusted dirt and another cat will be able to remove the dirt by licking it. In this case, the licking cat will go really hard on the lick to remove absolutely all the gunk.

Avoid conflicts

When there are several cats, a hierarchy is established between them and licking is a way of easing tensions. In this case, the dominant cat will lick the dominated cat to show it that there is no point in confronting it.

It is not only benevolent because the dominant cat makes it possible to avoid a conflict which can be fatal to him. This also avoids possible conflicts that could reach the whole group.

To remove their odors

Cats sometimes lick themselves after eating, when the food is impregnated on their coat and licking helps to eliminate it, it is a way to keep them clean and also to ensure that possible predators do not detect them. thanks to their smell, it is an animal reflex that persists even in the domestic state.

In the wild, this reflex is less frequent

To regulate the temperature

When it’s hot, cats can lick each other occasionally to cool off when it’s very hot. They will only do this if they can sufficiently hydrate themselves. And they hate water on their bodies too much to soak in it when it’s hot.

To relax

Licking is often a way for cats to relax, but in this case they will do it more impulsively and obsessively. If your cats lick each other compulsively, try to find the source of their stress so that they become calm again and do not have to use this compulsive behavior again.

Generally, stress is due to a busy environment or boredom, especially in young cats who need to play.

To strengthen their bonds

Cats will often lick other cats to bond with them. If your old cat licks a new cat, it’s a sign that he accepts him and wants him to feel better in your home by feeling totally included in it.

To fight a disease

If your cat has a sore or parasites, licking it will get rid of it. The saliva of cats allows healing (between them not when they lick us) and it is a natural way to disinfect.

Why Cats Lick Each Other: The Final Word

If cats lick each other, it’s not only for a question of hygiene, it’s also for many other reasons.