As of late’s bizarre science query covers a question that many cat folks have — Why do cats lick you? Kendraw says: “My cat is obsessive about licking me. She’s going to tolerate pets, however what she in point of fact needs to do when she wishes consideration is to lick me anyplace she will get pores and skin. [My cat] received’t lick my face, thank goodness, however my arm, elbow and hand are truthful sport! She’s going to actually hang me down in her paws and blank me. And it’s no longer only some licks; she will get rather thorough about it. I’ve attempted sour spray. No good fortune. I are aware of it’s a sign of affection, however is there any manner I will be able to gently get her to prevent?”

So, why do cats lick you? First, let’s speak about why cats lick you, after which provide you with some tips about the best way to convince your cat that there are a lot more superior choices than grooming you till your pores and skin is uncooked.

1. Why do cats lick you? Cats lick as a way of social bonding

Why do cats lick you? Cat licking is a way of bonding. A brown kitten licking with his tongue out.

Why do cats lick you? Cat licking is some way of bonding. Images by way of Seregraff/Thinkstock.

Step one in answering “Why do cats lick you?” is understanding that kittens groom each and every different, and older cats who aren’t similar however get alongside neatly additionally spend time grooming one another. Ceaselessly, they’ll get the spots which can be arduous for a cat to succeed in by way of themselves, comparable to the highest of the top and throughout the ears. Exchanging scents via grooming additionally will increase the bond between a couple of cats.

2. Why do cats lick you? When your cats lick you, they’re paying you an enormous praise

Any other solution to the query, “Why do cats lick you?” Neatly, a tongue bathtub out of your cat is a sign that she feels utterly protected for your presence. You’re in point of fact a member of her circle of relatives, and he or she reinforces that by way of cleansing you favor her mom wiped clean her when she was once a kitten.

3. Why do cats lick you? Your cats may well be licking you on account of anxiety

An older-looking gray cat licking his paw with his tongue out.

Cat licking isn’t all the time a favorable factor. Images ©sjallenphotography | Thinkstock.

On occasion, the solution to “Why do cats lick you?” isn’t so sure, despite the fact that. Some cats get so stressed that they start licking compulsively. (One mysterious situation is known as feline hyperesthesia.) Cats who lick themselves bald are continuously looking to convenience themselves as a result of they’re wired. Different compulsive kitties might lick and suck on fabric, plastic and even your pores and skin.

4. Ouch! Why does your cat licking you harm or really feel so tough?

Now that you just’ve were given a couple of solutions to the query, “Why do cats lick you?” when you’ve got a couple of follow-up questions — like, “Why does it harm when my cat licks me?” Your cat’s tongue seems like sandpaper as it’s lined with papillae — backward-facing hooks manufactured from keratin, the similar subject matter that makes your cat’s claws. The papillae assist cats rasp meat off bones, they usually additionally help in grooming by way of appearing like a comb to tug out unfastened fur and mud.

5. To prevent your cat from licking you, distract her

Be told the indicators that your cat is ready to start out licking. Earlier than she begins washing your arm uncooked, redirect her consideration with a toy. In case your cat likes catnip, slip a catnip-filled kicker toy in entrance of her when she’s about to lick you. If she’s no longer a catnip fan, check out a treat-dispensing toy as a substitute.

6. De-stress your cats with interactive play

Healthy play is always good for your cat. It keeps your cat fit and trim, and it strengthens the bond between you. Now not handiest that, however the chemical compounds launched all over workout assist your cat to chill out and really feel content material.

Feeling wired your self? Check out those natural, drug-free ways to combat stress >>

7. Be affected person when your cats lick you

It’s no longer simple to retrain a cat who has gotten used to appearing a routine conduct comparable to licking. Take note to stick mild and steer clear of yelling or intense bodily reactions like shoving your cat or tossing her off your lap. And not, ever hit your cat.

Let us know: Have you ever been ready to rehabilitate a compulsive licker? Please let us know within the feedback how you probably did it.

Thumbnail: Images ©Murika | Thinkstock.

This piece was once in the beginning printed in 2016. 

About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mother, science nerd, animal safe haven volunteer, and all-around geek with a zeal for dangerous puns, clever dialog, and role-play journey video games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her standing as leader cat slave for her circle of relatives of pussycat bloggers, who’ve been writing their cat recommendation column, Paws and Effect, since 2003. JaneA goals of creating an ideal residing out of her love for cats.

Learn extra about cats and science on


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here