Why Does My Cat… Lick Me?
If you own a cat, you’ve likely experienced the sensation of your feline companion licking you at one point or another. While it may seem odd (and feels really weird), it’s actually quite common for cats to lick their owners. Let’s explore the reasons why cats lick their owners and what it means when they do.
- Affection and Bonding
Cats get a bad rap for being aloof, but in reality they can be incredibly affectionate. Licking is one way that cats show affection and bond with their owners. When a cat licks you, they are marking you with their scent, which is a way of claiming you as their own. This behaviour is similar to when cats rub their faces against objects or people to leave their scent.
Cats are naturally fastidious creatures and spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves. When a cat licks you, they may be trying to groom you as well. This behaviour is more common in kittens, who may try to groom their owners as if they were part of their litter. However, adult cats may also exhibit this behaviour as a way of showing their love and care for you.
- Health Reasons
Cats may also lick their owners as a way of identifying potential health problems. If a cat detects a strange scent on your skin, they may lick you to investigate further. For example, if you have a cut or wound that is oozing blood or other fluids, your cat may attempt to lick it to help clean the area and prevent infection (it’s the thought that counts but not recommended). Additionally, cats have been known to detect cancer and other illnesses in their owners through their sense of smell, so licking may be a way for them to assess your health.
Cats are known to be very ‘look at me, right now’, and licking is one way that they can get your attention. If your cat is licking you excessively, it may be a sign that their needs are not being met, they are feeling a heightened level of distress, and want your attention. In this case, it’s important to spend time with your cat and provide them with the things they need to feel safe and secure.
In conclusion, cats lick their owners for a variety of reasons, including affection, grooming, health reasons, and attention-seeking. While it may seem odd at first, licking is a common behaviour in cats and is a sign of their love and affection for their owners. If your cat is licking you excessively or in a way that seems unusual, it’s important to observe their behaviour and consult with your veterinarian if necessary.
Until next time,