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Why does your cat lick you?

Why does your cat lick you?

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Have you ever wondered why, when petting your fur baby they suddenly start licking you? You feel a warmth yet a slightly wet roughness like sandpaper dragging your skin gently in little strokes. You look down and see your cat contentedly nuzzled up either beside you or on your lap and they are busy, seemingly grooming you.

As cats spend almost 50% of their time grooming, it is not surprising they would assume ownership of you and feel the right to groom you too. In actual fact, your cat is showing you love.

When kittens are being licked by their mothers, they instinctively know this behaviour to be related to being cared for and offer this service to you and other cats or animals they have a strong bond with. It shows they are caring for you, they are comforting you and offering you their affection. They may also be marking you as “theirs” as licking you can also be a way of claiming ownership of you in the same way as they would claim their territory. This allows other cats to know they own you!!

It is a very good sign if your cat does this to you as it clearly shows they love you. It is a common thing when cat owners are stressed or upset that cats can pick up on this and have been known to excessively lick their owners during these times as a way of offering comfort. 

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Another possible reason your cat may be licking you is if they are stressed or anxious. They are known for excessively licking themselves when stressed as a way of self-soothing and this can also include licking you. If this happens, some home detective work may be required to find out what’s bothering your furry friend, such as a neighbouring visiting cat but ultimately please do take your pet to the vet immediately should you have any concerns to their health and happiness.
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