Majority of people thinks that cats lick them as a gesture of affection and love, which is not really the reason every time your cat licks you.
While it is difficult to find out, if cats are feeling complex emotions like Love, licking is a gesture of affection. Although, cats typically lick themselves in order to prepare.
Furthermore, mommy cats lick their kittens because it is a part of their grooming process. However, cats also lick each other and their kittens as a sign of love and affection. Cats actually lick their owners for many reasons, but many of them come down to show affection.
One of the most versatile parts of Cat’s body is their Tongue
Why Does My Cat Lick Me
A certified feline behavior and training consultant and owner of Feline Behavior Solutions in Washington State, Marci Koski Stated that “Cat’s tongue is covered with tiny little spikes that act as a scraper for getting all the tiny meaty bits off bones or food and also acts as a comb when she is grooming herself.“
That is why your cat’s one of the favorite activity is licking. However, this behavior of cats is not only restricted to just licking their food bowls or themselves. Dr. Megan Maxwell says, “Plastic, bedding, rubber, and cotton are the common materials that cats love to lick”.
Dr. Megan Maxwell is an accredited applied animal behaviorist and at the same time owner of Pet behavior Change in Virginia. He stated that “Unfortunately, some of this licking can also be problematic when it leads to masticate and then ingestion of all these materials“
Safety is not a problem with another one of your cat’s most favorite targets: You!. Though there are so many reasons why cats love to lick their owners, it is normally thought of as a positive behavior. Koski Says “I normally take my cats licking as a compliment“
Licking may be a form of praise, licking of cats still has the ability to become tiresome or excessive. So it is important to understand the specific reasons behind this feline behavior. You can appropriately divert your pet’s attention when your hand or arm needs rest.
Why does my Cat Lick Me then Bite Me
Some kitties might bite after licking their owners as a sign of warning so that they stop petting them. Others might do it as a symbol of love and a third group could do it as another chain that guides to groom, for instance, cats may think that biting is also a part of their grooming process.
Similarly, as licking, cat biting also has many meanings, nevertheless, whoever has been bitten by a very frightened or angry cat knows that it has nothing to do with the bites that can be made by a playful kitty, even if they’re a little painful.
Furthermore, truly frightened or angry kitties displays very expressive body language rigid, bristling and contracted, accompanied by waning meows, curved back, and hissing.
These types of bites accompanied by painful scratches have completely nothing to do with kitty bites through play, they usually happen when cats get out of control, only them they use warning bites so that we should stop petting or disturbing them. Many cats bite as a sign of love and affection that are normally more repetitive and controlled.
Reasons why Cats Lick You
Some possible reasons for “Why Does My Cat Lick Me” are given below:
Cats licking is Sign of Affection
In a similar way that you show love to your pet by petting it, or rubbing your hands on it, Similarly, your cat might attempt to return the good deed by licking you. Human use hugs to ease anxiety in the same way kitten use licking. So if your cat likes to lick you, it possibly means that your cat needs some love in return. And honestly, this is the best part of owning a cat.
Cats always use pheromones to tag their space. While many people know that cats mark their place by urinating of things. They can also mark their space by using other ways also. Head rubs and Licking are the ways for a feline to consider you as a part of their property.
So, when your cat rubs or licks against you, it is claiming that you’re important to them and they want everyone to know about this. You might notice that sometimes other felines shy away from you, it is possible that they could smell your body and they believe that you belong to another cat.
Going Back to Kitten-hood
Your feline might lick you while kneading their paws against you. They may cuddle close your purr and skin.
Moreover, this is a throwback to kitten-hood when the tiny kitten would take care of. This conduct showed is an indication that your cat feels safe, secure and comfortable with you.
They Want Attention
Maxwell stated that she has worked with many owners whose pussies will lick or bite them to get their attention. This means, that sometimes they want to play with you or be pet, but in other cases, it might be a sign of something very serious like anxiety or stress.
At the same time, stress-involved licking is more commonly related to feline grooming itself. Koski stated that extreme licking of cat that continues after a stressor has been removed from a cat’s surrounding is a cause for worry.
If you find your pussy licking you, herself or some object to the point that it is interfering with daily routine then you must speak with your vet to sort out any medical issue that may be to blame. However, if your pet gets healthy reports, then an authorized animal behaviorist might help you with this issue.
Your Cat is Cleaning You
The thought that an arm or foot covered in cat’s saliva is “clean”, this does not totally make sense for us, for other cats although it is a vital behavior that encourages bonding.
Koski Says “Many cats living together in a group, there is normally a designated “allo-groomer”, that is a cat that grooms and licks the other pussies in the group,”. “Often, the members of that group are related to each other, so licking a human might be the cat’s attempt to put them as a part of their group”
They Taste Something Interesting
Just spill something on your hand? Do not be astonished to find your cat sidling up next to you to get a taste.
Occasionally, it does not take a spill for this to hold true, but Koski Said “Cats might enjoy licking the salt that builds up naturally on human skin”.
Cats Lick to Strengthen Social Bonds
Cats who are well known and friendly will often touch tongues to each others body. Moreover, behavior helps the bonds grow stronger and the exchange that happens also develops a matey group scent. Cats also depend upon fragrances as an important means of identification.
So, when your pussy licks you, it is also a part of showing affection and a way of strengthening the bond between two of you in the same way you show affection and love to her by petting.
Your Kitty May Lick You Due to Anxiety
Some cats lick and groom themselves to alleviate anxiety. Cat’s anxiety and extreme licking can also result in bald patches on their bodies. You cat might lick you as a way of comforting itself.
Whenever you notice excess licking, bald patches on your cat’s body you must speak to your vet because there might be an underlying medical problem or your pet might be experiencing stress overload.
Furthermore, if your feline licks you excessively with tense body posture and for a long period of time then this might show an attempt to self-soothe.
Cats Consider You their Family
So many people joke that cats may think they are humans and given the way few felines behave towards their owners, so it is easy to see why. For instance, a cat who leaves dead birds or mice on their owner’s door is a try to share tasty food.
Cats have also been famous to present their owners with live birds and animals in an attempt to teach their owners how to hunt. It is clear that not only do few cats see their owners as a part of their cat family, feline also see them as a bit incompetent at being a feline. Female cats especially show this type of nurturing or parenting type of behavior.
When your pussy cat licks you, it means that they are trying to teach you to groom yourself. It is a memory you cat had from being licked by its own mom and it is a real sign of love. Cats will also lick other cats as a way to relax them.
Cats are very attentive to their owner’s moods so you may find your feline is more affectionate when you are sick or stressed. Cats try to calm your stress and anxiety the same way you would pet your feline if they seemed stressed or nervous.
Sometimes Licking Hurts
A rigorous licking of cat is not always a very comfortable experience that’s because tongues of cats have backward-facing hooks that are meant to clean and pull their fur the way a brush would. So always remember, to your pet being licked feels good, but it does not know it is hurting you. So when your cat licks you it is because your pet is showing some affection.
Although, for this behavior which is often about emotional closeness and love, it is very tricky to tell your pet to stop licking you without jeopardizing your relation.
How to Get Your Cat to Stop Licking You
Koski stated that few owners of cats will try to stop this behavior altogether by applying something bitter on their own skin. The thought is that the feline would not like the taste and would not lick you in the future.
Koski says, it can have an undesired effect, but the cat might start to associate the unpleasant experience with you in a more general way, which might be problematic. Furthermore, the same holds true for any sort of punishment that you may dole out in response to licking.
“If you feel like your pet is licking you so much, the best thing you can do is to divert its actions” Koski stated. “I have a pussy cat who loves cuddling with me and licking me” What I usually do is simply move my face away from her and offer my head to nuzzle against. I also start petting her so she stops licking and starts enjoying petting”
If this does not work for you, Koski recommended simply walking away when cats licking become extreme, which cause the feline to associate licking you with you disappearing. So, with time and consistency, your pet will learn that you are a lick-free zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some frequently asked questions are given below, so you can go through them quickly:
Q-1 How do you know if your cat loves you?
If you cat first stares you, then blink its eyes, and then open its eyes wide, then slowly blinks its eyes the second time, then your cat is telling you he trusts and loves you. This is an extreme sign of affection, and it is equal to being kissed.
Moreover, the flashing of the tummy is another way that your kitty is telling you “I love you”.
Q-2 Why does my cat lick me when I pet him?
Kitties normally lick their own bodies in order to groom themselves. Mommy cat licks their kittens as a part of their growing and grooming process. But, cats also lick other cats as a sign of love and affection. So, cats basically lick humans for one of many reasons, But most of them come down to show love.
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