A cat’s tongue is made up of papillae. They are structures that help the cats clean and groom themselves. If they did not have this papillae we are talking about on their tongue then they wouldn’t be able to keep themselves as clean as they generally do.
This is an important part of their body but it can some times be a problem. Does your cat start licking you out of the blue? And are they doing it regularly now?
There may be a number of reasons behind this behaviour of your cat. The researchers and scientists have come up with 6 such reasons and we are going to discuss it with you today. So without any problem, we can say that you have come to the right place!
Anyone who has spent time around cats knows they have unique ways of showing affection. From licks and bites to nose kisses, feline behaviors often leave pet owners curious and sometimes concerned.
Is it okay for your cat to lick you? Why does your cat follow a lick with a bite? Let’s delve into these behaviors to better understand what your cat is trying to communicate.
6 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Licks You
These are the 6 possible reasons behind your cat licking you. We will discuss each one of them briefly so pay attention to each of the reasons. They are all probable and important in understanding the behaviour of your cat. So without any further ado let’s get right into it.
1. To Show Affection
You cat might be showing affection while they are licking you. The licks are not only for cleaning or grooming themselves. Unlike popular belief, cats can also show affection to their owners. Your cat might love you very much and want to tell that to you through this activity.
Some cats get this habit from their childhood when they were licked by their mother who showed them affection in that way. They carry forward this trait to their own life and take this licking action as a sign of affection. It is very cute if you think about it.
2. To “Mark Their Territory”
Your cat might as well be marking their territory by licking you. If they are doing so by licking you then you should be grateful that’s because cats are known to usually mark their territory by spraying, you wont want that to happen to you. If licking does the job then its far better than experiencing spraying.
The cats have different other methods to mark their territory too. The rub cheeks or scratch. By doing so they make sure that when you go out, the other animals know that you belong to them and them alone! Talk about possessive!
3. To Groom You
This is a natural behaviour for cats. Like we said before that when cats are kittens they are taught by their mothers to groom themselves by licking themselves. This is also said to create a bond between the cats.
While the process of licking you does not actually help you get clean, your cat won’t understand that. It is possible that your cat has taken responsibility upon his/ her head to keep you clean. It is a very sweet gesture if you think about it. But it can also mean that your cat thinks that you are dirty.
4. To Taste Something Interesting
As weird as it may sound, your cat might be licking you to try and taste something interesting. It is actually weird to think about but your cat might also like the taste of something on your.
If you spilled something earlier or if you sweated a lot then a little residue might be left behind on your skin and your cat might just like the taste of it. Cats have muted taste buds. They are the only mammals that can not taste the sweet. This might also induce them to go in search for some interesting taste and you just might be in close proximity.
5. To Get Your Attention
This is another very plausible reason for your cat licking you. Your cat might just want attention. Cats are very much likely to adore attention from their owners. Your cat might be feeling hungry or simply lonely and they want some love and affection from you.
That’s why they lick you to tell you that they need some of your attention. Just give them a little bit of love and affection and if this is the reason behind their licking you, they will be satisfied. This is such a cute gesture though. We can’t stop thinking about it.
6. To Cope With Anxiety or Stress
The last reason behind your cat licking you is to cope with anxiety or stress. Out of all the reasons behind your cat licking you, this might be the saddest one. Excessive licking or grooming can also be a sign of your cat being stressed.
This is a medical condition which is not at all good for your cat. If this is the case then you may want to consult a vet. They can suggest what steps you should take next. Be patient and your cat will make a full recovery soon. Good luck.
Why It Sometimes Hurts When a Cat Licks You?
You might have noticed that when your cat licks you, you can feel hurt sometimes. This happens for a reason. However it does not occur always so many people might not experience it but if your cat is licking you constantly or excessively then you might feel some pain or hurt while your cat licks your skin.
This happens because of the barb like things or structure on your cat’s tongue. It is called papillae and it is said to me made of the same substance as cat’s nails as crazy as that sounds. If you don’t believe us then go get your cat right now and feel its tongue, it will feel like sand paper.
It is not there just for show. These structures helps your cat groom themselves. When they lick at their coats these structures help in removing the dirt from their coats. It is a needed part of their body.
How to Discourage a Cat Licking You?
We all love an occasional lick from our cats. It makes us feel needed. However it is not always good to have your cat lick you all the time. Many people push their cats away to make them stop licking but however this can make your cat feel like you don’t love them or don’t want them anymore.
So the best way to deal with this problem is to distract your cat rather than pushing them. You can distract them with food or toys. We think that you should try the toys rather than the foods because eating extra is not good for your cat.
They might get the wrong idea and associate licking you with getting extra treat. This can be not good because this can invite them to lick you even more. Use food distraction occasionally, otherwise use cat toys.
Is It Good to Let Your Cat Lick You?
When a cat licks you, it usually indicates a positive emotion such as comfort or affection. In the wild, cats groom each other as a sign of social bonding. However, keep in mind that cat tongues can harbor bacteria. If you have a wound or sensitive skin, it may be best to discourage this behavior.
Why Does My Cat Lick Me Then Bite Me?
The act of licking followed by biting can be perplexing. Generally, it’s a sign of overstimulation or playful behavior. Cats have sensitive skin, and extended petting or licking can sometimes become too much for them, resulting in a gentle bite. If the biting becomes aggressive, it might indicate that your cat wants some space.
Do Cat Licks Mean Kisses?
While it’s tempting to interpret a cat’s lick as a form of a kiss, felines don’t have the same conceptions of affection as humans do. Grooming behaviors like licking are signs of social bonding and comfort among cats. So while it may not be a “kiss,” it’s a sign your cat feels safe and comfortable around you.
Should I Be Kissing My Cat?
Kissing your cat on the head is generally harmless and can be a way to show affection. However, avoid kissing your cat near its mouth, as cat saliva can contain harmful bacteria. Also, not all cats appreciate human forms of affection, so pay attention to your cat’s body language.
Why Do Cats Give Nose Kisses?
Nose-to-nose touching, or “nose kisses,” is another form of feline greeting and bonding. It’s a way for cats to exchange scents and identify each other. When a cat offers you a nose kiss, it’s usually a sign of trust and affection.
Is It OK if a Cat Licks Your Face?
Similar to letting a cat lick your hand, allowing a cat to lick your face is generally a sign of affection from your feline friend. However, caution is advised due to the bacteria in a cat’s mouth. People with sensitive skin or allergies should particularly avoid this.
Are Cats Protective of Their Owners?
Cats are generally independent creatures, but many exhibit protective behavior toward their owners.
While a cat’s protective nature might not be as overt as a dog’s, signs like following you from room to room, growling or hissing at strangers, or positioning themselves between you and a perceived threat are indicators that your cat is protective of you.
We hope that this article has been useful for you. Thank you so much for giving this a read. Hopefully, you will consider sharing this article with others and also help someone who has the same problem too.
Thankfully there are ways to prevent your cat from licking you without hurting their feelings. Make sure you try them out. Understanding the nuances of cat behavior can help you form a stronger bond with your furry friend.
Whether it’s licks, bites, or nose kisses, each action offers insight into what your cat is feeling. While showing affection is generally positive, always remember to consider hygiene and the comfort level of both you and your cat.
Thank you once again and have a great day!