Does your cat lick your face? This may seem very curious at first, but it is in fact generally very positive. Why does my cat lick my face? Find out everything you need to know in this article, in the pros and cons of this feline behavior.
Why does my cat lick my face?
There are many reasons why your cat licks your face, usually they are related to love. But all the meanings are not the same and the context makes it possible to know precisely why i do it. Here is all you need to know.
He expresses his confidence
This is often a very good sign, he feels happy and safe with you. He expresses his love in this way. Mothers often lick their kittens to show them their love. You are now part of his family. If your cat licks you at night when you sleep, it’s a way for him to watch over you.
Generally, the cat will purr at the same time and if it is younger, it will be very excited and very lively in its licking.
He cleans you
If you have a wound on your face, he’s probably trying to clean it up, using his saliva, which has healing properties. Cats and dogs use licking to heal wounds. This way of cleaning is done by their enzymes and they use this way of healing themselves in the wild. If the cat seems intent and stares at the areas before licking them, it is doing a cleaning job.
It marks you as their property
It’s also a way to mark you as their property by depositing their scent on your face. Cats are very territorial , which is why they rub up against you everywhere. Their scent shows other animals that you belong to them in some way.
Thus, they can smell your scent even from afar (cats have terrible eyesight but a sense of smell 70 times more developed than ours), so they can quickly find you if they recognize your scent. The other animals also know that you belong to him and that they should not approach you.
He has a binding
If your cat was taken from its mother before the end of weaning, it will tend to excessive licking to reassure itself. Cats that were weaned too early or too late will always have behavioral problems. I advise you to go to a behaviorist because a kitten weaned too early will have behavior problems in general.
A cat that quickly licks like it’s something vital and shows no signs of liking it is probably doing it because of fixation.
The earlier his behavior is improved, the less the consequences of early weaning will be strong, such as fear or difficulty in gauging the danger.
You have good taste
If you sweat he may lick your face because he likes the taste, cats like the salt of sweat. If you have just cooked, he is attracted to the smell of what you have prepared and licks you accordingly.
He is stressed
Finally, stress can be the cause, and if you find that he is very agitated, you must find the cause of this stress and make sure that it disappears. If nothing helps, an examination at the veterinarian is advised. For certainly superficial but nevertheless immediate results, use Bach flowers which will act on these hormones and will relax him.
Then, check that his personal space is calm, without harmful odors and without agitation, otherwise he will be on his guard because that is where he is most vulnerable since he is not necessarily alert there when he eats. or when he does his business. His space should always be personal.
Finally, if a source of stress is harmful to him, remove it and he will return to normal behavior. Because in addition to licking you, he can also lick himself until he loses his hair.
Having your cat lick your face has many benefits. Here are all the benefits of cat licking.
A chemical found in cat saliva called histatin helps wound healing and is done by promoting the migration and spread of new skin cells.
If you have a wound on your face, then this will help heal it. But in addition, the cat’s saliva produces nitric oxide on contact with the skin. This helps contain bacterial growth and acts as a barrier against potential infections.
Establish a relationship of trust
As mentioned earlier, the cat often licks as a sign of trust. It strengthens the relationship between you and him. If you reject it, then this relationship of trust will be weakened. I will come back to this a little later because certain methods allow him to avoid doing this without getting offended.
There are also some downsides to having your cat lick your face.
While cat saliva has many anti-infection and healing properties, there are also parasites and bacteria that live in your cat’s saliva that can cause serious lymph node and infection infections.
They can also transmit parasites through saliva that can cause brain disorders, intestinal diseases, skin problems and blindness. If you are pregnant, avoid licking your cat.
If your cat’s saliva is naturally clean, you can’t tell what it licked off until it licks your face. If it is an outdoor cat, it is possible that there are pieces of the corpse of a mouse for example.
Precautions to take if your cat licks your face
If you want to let your cat lick your face, here are a few things you can do to keep it safe:
- Wash your face with an anti-bacterial cleanser after your cat licks your face. Anti-bacterial wipes are also suitable. This will prevent the spread of certain harmful bacteria.
- Make sure he is always wormed : So that there can be no transmission of parasites which are very harmful for him and for you. Even indoor cats can have parasite problems, as mosquitoes can carry flea larvae.
- Make sure he hasn’t stuck his tongue in dirty places before licking your face. Especially if your cat goes outside to hunt. Cats are very hygienic when it comes to their coats, but their teeth are something else.
What if I don’t want him to?
If your cat licks your face and you reject it, the trust relationship will be damaged, here’s how to stop him from licking your face without negative consequences.
- Distract him: While he’s licking your face, playing with him, petting him, or handing him a toy, he’ll understand that you want to play with him and won’t feel like rejection.
- Positive reinforcement: This solution is excellent in the long run and he will break the habit of licking your face. Just reward him with a treat or a hug when he doesn’t come near your face.
FAQ: The most frequently asked questions
Many questions are asked on this subject, here are the answers to the most asked ones.
Why does it hurt me?
The cat’s tongue is very rough because it is covered with papillae made of the same material as that of the claws. This helps them remove the meat from the bones and wash thoroughly. It is also this aspect of their tongue that allows them to always be clean even deep in their hair, allowing them to pass with their tongue anywhere on their body.
Can I lick my cat?
You might want to give him feedback, but know that he won’t appreciate it. Your saliva contains different chemicals that will damage their fur. Prefer to cuddle him or blink slowly to answer him.
Why does it do this when I sleep?
He usually does this to watch over you when you sleep and often to get attention, especially in the morning if he is hungry or thirsty. It is a reflex that many young cats have and which is linked to their mother. No need to punish him, which would make him lose his confidence in you, but ignore him so that he understands that it is useless.
Why does my cat lick my face: The final word
Cats lick the face out of affection in the vast majority of cases, but if you find that your cat is stressed, it will be necessary to do what is necessary to reassure him.