If you have a cat, you have probably noticed that it has one of its habits that of licking you. So why does he do it? To give affection? In fact this can happen for many reasons. So why does my cat lick me? I tell you everything in this article.
My cat licks me: the different reasons
Your cat can lick you for different reasons, here are all the ones that can explain why he licks you. To find the precise cause, you just need to know the context in which it occurs. So here are the reasons why your cat licks you.
To mark his affection
The first reason a cat starts licking you is to show affection, this social attitude is what all cats take to show affection to their young. He shows you his respect and rewards you for your good behavior towards him.
If your cat often licks you, it’s usually to show you how much he loves you. You are part of his pack and he shows it to you, he can also rub shoulders with you to tell you.
He heals you
This is especially the case for young cats who will sometimes lick your wounds to treat you and reassure you, thus acting as a protector who takes care of you when you have an outward sign of pain. In fact, it is something that helps healing between cats, but not for us, because our skin is different from that of felines.
And in addition to this attention, he also does it to clean the wound, cats are very hygienic and even with you when you have a sign of injury.
Too cute isn’t it?
You have good taste
Cats will sometimes lick your fingers, your face and your clothes because they have smelled a good smell that promises to treat them. If you have just eaten, they have probably seen leftover food that they love and will start licking you without any embarrassment, after all you owe them that, right?
He may also like the slightly salty taste of your perspiration, and if he licks you when it’s very hot, he may be enjoying it.
To enable you to survive
In the wild, cats have to face predators and must at all costs get rid of some of their odors. This is the reason why he can sometimes lick you. If it happens after sports, for example, he may try to wash away your body odor so that you are no longer at the mercy of predators.
Their survival instinct that is inscribed in them will always make sure that they put themselves and their loved ones out of all danger.
To create links
Cats often lick each other for hygienic reasons but also to socialize, young kittens are thus inveterate lickers and they can start licking you to bond with you.
On the other hand, if your cat isn’t a kitten anymore and licks you a lot, it’s probably because she’s bored and wants some attention. Playing with him is the best solution to keep him busy and to spend his energy.
Chatting and licking go hand in hand when he’s stressed, he can clean himself and lick you too. Try to see what could stress him, such as a change in the home for example, cats having a horror of change.
Maybe his diet has changed or he’s more alone than before. If you find a potential source of stress, make sure to remove it from the cat’s life.
If this licking is compulsive, it’s probably stress. If nothing helps, take him to the vet for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate solutions. In the meantime, don’t forget that some pheromones available online can tease him by emitting a soothing scent.
He marks his territory
Cats always mark their territory, usually by urinating , to show other cats that this is their home. If he licks you, it is sometimes to mark his territory and generally, he will also rub you to mark his scent, a sign that it is his territory.
Thus, it is a way for him to ensure that no other cat will approach you by smelling his scent on you. Uncastrated cats are always more territorial than others and it is strongly advised to have them neutered for all the advantages it brings.
To get your attention
Your cat may lick you to get your attention, usually to play or when hungry. This is one of the most common causes, especially when you come home at night. If you see him squirming or even rubbing his face against you, he probably wants your attention as a toy.
Watch out for feline hyperesthesia syndrome
In rare cases, when your licking is pathological for your cat, or if he constantly licks himself, there is a pathological cause called feline hyperesthesia syndrome.
This disease is generally caused by exposure to toxic fumes or thyroid dysfunction and should lead to a visit to the veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
He is stressed
A stressed cat will lick itself a lot and may also lick you compulsively, never stopping, ask yourself what can be causing your cat to be stressed. Perhaps you have moved or a newcomer is in the household, in which case you will have to get them used to it by having them have a good time with these new elements.
Also make sure you know if something legitimately scares him because it’s a danger to him, and protect him from it. for example, if his personal corner is in a very noisy place, he will inevitably be stressed because it is not at all suitable for him.
Is it normal for him to hurt me?
Sometimes, cats hurt by licking their master, it’s actually because his tongue is covered with small spines called papillae and which are made of keratin like our fingernails. This is what allows them to clean themselves well and always be clean. But it’s also the reason why your cat sometimes hurts you, not being covered with fur like him.
How to make him stop?
If your cat is constantly licking you, occupy it otherwise, by playing with it for example. This will allow him to have his attention focused on something other than you. To get him to quit this habit completely, understanding the cause will allow you to take action to stop him licking your face.
Cat licking: Can it transmit diseases to me?
Cats are very hygienic, but be careful because sometimes they can transmit parasites to you if they are not wormed. Especially if they go outside. And even if you wash your hands and your face after he licks you, your children will not necessarily have this reflex.
It is in any case essential to have it dewormed to prevent it from being infected with parasites.
My cat licks me: The most common questions
Why does my cat lick and bite me?
There are two different meanings here. If the bites are light and consistent with play, it’s a sign of affection towards you. But watch out for more aggressive biting, which is actually a sign of aggression towards you and shows that your cat didn’t like what happened, perhaps because you hurt him.
Why does my cat lick my face?
It is usually a sign of social belonging and affection. This is the most positive lick, and a sign that he wants to be close to you. It can also rub against your face for the same reasons. In this case, if it bothers you, just redirect your cat’s attention to something else so that it stops without being disappointed.
Why does my cat lick my hair?
This is also a sign of affection , and which can sometimes be due to the fact that the cat finds your hair dirty and wants to clean it, especially if its licks are strong and slow. But overall it’s a very good sign.
Why does my cat lick my hand?
If you have just eaten, he probably wants to absorb the taste, in general, it is a sign of affection and attention, for example to play.
Why does my cat lick my face at night?
The cat often does this to wake you up and to get what it usually wants to eat, but it’s still a sign of affection. After all, it’s way better than the usual meows he makes when he wants food.
Why does my cat lick my mouth?
This is one of the strongest signs of affection your cat can give you. He may also have smelled food there.
Why does my cat lick my nose?
Again, affection is behind this behavior.
Why does my cat lick my armpits?
Your cat is interested in your smells to know if everything is fine or if you may be sick. He may also want to taste your sweat or clean you up.
Why does my cat lick my fingers?
Three main reasons: To show affection, taste your fingers and play. If you’re eating, he probably wants to taste them, but outside of meals, it’s more likely a way for him to show you that he loves you.
Why does my cat lick my feet?
This allows him to smell your pheromones. Smell is very important for cats and smelling your pheromones allows them to recognize you even without seeing you.
Why does a cat lick me and purr?
These two signs show that he takes great pleasure in giving you affection. Purring, except if he is sick and apathetic and very often linked to well-being and to a moment he adores.
Why is my cat licking my eyes?
Again, it’s probably a sign of affection. Be careful though because its raspy tongue could hurt them. It is important to keep it away from your eyes.
The final word
Licking is often a sign of affection, but still check that it is not a pathological behavior that may hide an underlying problem. And if your cat bothers you by licking you all the time, apply the methods I told you about.