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Why does my cat lick me? Stop guessing

Cats are unique animals. Despite being excellent hunters and possessing the spirit of a giant lion, these little felines also enjoy letting themselves be loved, and, although sometimes it seems like they don’t, they like showing love demonstrations. But have you ever wondered, “why does my cat lick me“?

They have different ways to let you know that you matter to them, for example, when they rub against you or give you the treat of sleeping around you. And while the next is behavior more associated with dogs; yes, cats also show you their love when they lick you.

Why do cats lick you? What does it mean when a cat licks you?

It is a good idea to learn to interpret the not-so-complex language of cats. Those small details will allow you to communicate better with your beloved furry friend.

If you’ve ever wondered why cats lick their owners, let’s find out!

Your cat is expressing love

Congratulations!! If your cat does this, you are part of the pack. Cats can be pretty selective, so don’t dare to think they will lick anybody.

Since they are born, the mother licks them to groom them, keep the kittens nice and tidy, and show them some mama cat affection. If your cat repeats this behavior with you, it could mean it is expressing its devotion to you!

Your cat is playing 

They are bonding with you!

Cats know how to have a good time. Even if they are lazy, they will always go after a nice play session with their owner. In their excitement, they may lick you to let you know they are having a blast, and if whiskers give you a soft bite, you don’t have to worry; it’s treating you as one of their own.

why does my cat lick me - playing

BUT if suddenly the front legs stiffen or crouch down in a threatening way, beware, your cat isn’t playing anymore! This is their way of telling you that something went wrong and they are preparing to attack.

Your cat is protecting you 

The main reason for a cat to lick is to groom. Cats are extremely clean. Their rough tongues are designed to drag (and extract) most impurities from their skin and fur and work as an excellent brush. Even more importantly, preventing bacteria from building up in their bodies.

Grooming is a significant social activity. You are now at your cat’s popularity top. If your buddy wants to give you some good old fancy maintenance, rest assured it is because they care and want to prevent you from getting sick.

Your cat is marking you

Licking is a sign of affection and belonging. As cats are very territorial, they want to make sure everything that belongs to them smells just like them. This way, they make sure no other cat in town will dare to try to steal you away.

Animals use pheromones to mark their territory, and the most common way to do this is through urine. Fortunately for you, this isn’t the only way your cat has to do it. They can also spread their scent by rubbing against you and, of course, you guessed it, by licking you!

why does my cat lick me - marking

By having this familiar scent on you, you now officially belong to them, and if the smell washes off every time you shower, you can expect your cat to be ready to correct that mistake repeatedly.

Your cat is anxious or stressed

Like humans, cats can sometimes feel anxious, scared, and stressed, and a way of trying to soothe themselves is by doing repetitive actions, like licking or chewing.

We can assume that our friend doesn’t feel well when this action is excessive. It is important to distinguish if something may be bothering them, for example, a loud noise, a penetrating smell, or even a person.

why do cats lick you - anxious or stressed

If your cat is licking because of this, don’t try to discourage the habit since they won’t understand the reason, causing more distress. Instead, try to eliminate what bothers them, and if you can’t, redirect your cat’s attention towards a toy or a treat.

Your cat may have a medical issue

Another, perhaps less likely reason is that your kitty has a medical problem. When your cat isn’t feeling well, their behavior will change, either because they can’t control their impulses or as a way to let you know something is wrong. If suddenly they start licking excessively you, themselves, or an object, your cat may be experiencing discomfort.

Don’t hesitate and take them to the vet. You may prevent a more severe problem.

Do I have to worry about health problems if my cat licks me?

Luckily no! Unless you have an open wound, it’s okay to let your cat lick you. And just as their saliva does not represent any risk, you can also avoid problems by not using creams or lotions that could be harmful to them.

Remember that if you have an open wound, the saliva of your kitty cat can infect it.

Why is my cat’s tongue so rough?

A cat’s tongue is covered by small backward-facing spines called papillae, made of keratin, just like their claws. They are designed for cleaning and removing dirt and dead hair.

This makes their tongues so rough, and even if they do not cut you, they can leave your skin a bit irritated.

The bottom line: Why does my cat lick me?

Your cat may lick you for any of these reasons, or maybe they like the taste of your skin. Anyway, enjoy those lovely cuddles and show them your affection. After all, you are now the cat owner, which means you have one of the most loving creatures by your side.

Let us know in the comments if your cat also licks you and why you think they do it! And don’t forget to share this article with all the cat lovers in your life.

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