Reasons Your Cat Wants to Lick You and What to do

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Cats tend to like to lick their owners.   But there are some instances where cats are literally “obsessed” with wanting to lick their owners.  Have you ever wondered why this is so?  It’s kind of an odd phenomenon and we have the answers for you.   Also, if you’re one of those rare “obsessive” cases and you need to do something about your cat licking you constantly we also have some advice for that as well.  Read on!

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It’s innate – As newborn kittens, their very first worldly experience is being licked clean by their mother and as they get older, for grooming.

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Licking is Social Bonding – Kittens groom each other. It’s how they clean each other and it’s a way for them to bond. So if your cat is licking you then there’s a very good chance they are bonding with you.

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It’s Paying a Compliment to You – When your cat is continuously licking you it generally means that they feel safe when you’re around. Consider that a compliment. It’s like a baby smiling when they see you walk in the door.

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The tongue is covered with barbs – Your kitty’s tongue feels like sandpaper because it’s covered with papillae — backward-facing hooks made of keratin, the same material that makes your kitty’s claws. The papillae help cats rasp meat off bones, and they also assist in grooming by acting like a comb to pull out loose fur and dirt.

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Possible Anxiety – Some cats get so stressed that they begin licking compulsively. Cats who lick themselves bald are often trying to comfort themselves because they’re stressed.  So if your cat is licking you to no end is there anything you can do about it? Of course there is. Here are a few tips…

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Distraction – Learn the signs that your cat is about to start licking. Before she starts washing your arm raw, redirect her attention with a toy.

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Interactive playing can de-stress your cat – Play is always good. It keeps your cat fit and trim, and it strengthens the bond between you. Not only that, but the chemicals released during exercise help your cat to relax and feel content.

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Have Patience – Remember, it’s not the easiest thing to retrain a cat (or any animal for that matter) who has a habitual behavior. Be patient. Don’t yell. Don’t do anything rash. Avoid doing anything but the steps you must take to “relearn” your cat.

Thanks to Catster for some of these tips!

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