Why Does My Cat Lick Me? The Meaning Behind This Sometimes Bizarre Action


Many of you have probably wondered “Why Does My Cat Lick Me?”  While the answer may be very simple, believe it or not their reason for licking can be very complex.  Every cat is different of course but they all share common traits and when it comes to this behavior, many do it for a very specific reason.  Felines are very detail oriented animals and when they do something it’s for a purpose and not just because it’s cute.  So let’s take a look at why these animals seem to always practice this sometimes bizarre action.

So Why Does My Cat Lick Me and What Is The Meaning Behind It?

Felines can sometimes be nervous animals.  It doesn’t take that much to set them off and anxiety is very prevalent in these pets.  If the licking becomes compulsive and very ruff it can be a sign that something is bothering them.  Not only will they do this to you but also to themselves.  When they do it to themselves it can lead to negative results such as hairballs and even baldness.  This is very common in kitties especially.

Another reason for licking can be a much more positive action.  Felines love to be social and if you notice them calmly licking your hand or face, it’s a way for them to bond with you.  It also means that they feel as if you are part of their family.  If you have more than one animal in the house you have probably seen them bonding with each other in this fashion.  So relax, they are just trying to show you some affection.

They may be trying to give you a bath.  Felines are notoriously clean animals and if they feel you have dirt on you then they are going to try to clean it off.  While you might not consider it a proper way to get clean this is how they do it.  So don’t get offended they are just trying to do you a favor.

Finally, this behavior can mean that the animal is marking its territory.  They are in fact claiming you as their property.  If you have been over to a friend’s house who also has pets in the home and one of them gets on or near you, when you come home your cat will know.  This will then promote them to start licking you in order mask the scent of the other animal.

Image via E.L.A at Flickr.com

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One Comment

  1. My cat comes up to my lap and licks the corner of my mouth and taps it with her paw when she’s hungry and wants me to feed her. I always thought it might be a signal from a kitten to its mother to regurgitate food after hunting.

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