Cats are a gift to humanity, and those who have them probably know that sometimes they do some pretty cute things.
One of those cute things just happens to be licking, and leaves many people asking the same questions… Why do cats lick each other, why do cats lick plastic and most of all, why do cats lick you? Well, it turns out that while there are many reasons your kitty might decide to gove you a lick, there are four main reasons why they could be doing it.
Cats are complex creatures and their behavior usually is for a variety of different reasons, even something as simple as licking their human (or animal) friends. But why do cats lick you?
Well, there are plenty of reasons why your cat licks you, such as:
Your Cat Licks You To Show Affection
Perhaps one of the easiest answers as to why cats lick you is because they’re trying to show affection. Mother cats will lick their young, and so cats grow up associating licking with affection and a type of care. A cat may lick their human parent to show the same affection they were shown while growing up.
Why do cats lick each other? Well, they often lick each other to show affection, so it makes plenty of sense that they would lick their favorite people too. While it may feel kind of funny, it just may be her way of giving you a kiss, which is pretty great if you think about it.
Your Cat Licks You To Mark Territory
Another possible cause for your feline friend taking a little lick is to mark you as their own. Cats are often territorial animals and will lick objects to mark it as their own. While they also do this by rubbing their faces and scent glands on things and people, they sometimes also use licking to mark their favorite things as theirs. They can often do this with plastic items leaving some perplexed owners wondering why do cats lick plastic!
While you may not be an object, cats will also lick living things they’d like to claim as well. In fact, mother cats will even lick their young to mark them, so this is just another way of your cat saying that they really like you.
Your Cat Licks You As a Pacifier
This is especially true for orphaned cats who may have been taken from their mother too soon. Cats who missed out on suckling by being removed too soon may use licking their caregiver as a pacifier substitute.
Sort of like a baby using their thumb instead of a pacifier. While this is normal behavior, it may signal that your cat has separation anxiety or issues from being removed from mom too soon.
Your Cat Licks You To Soothe Themselves
Much like the entry above, cats often develop behavior to help soothe themselves, and licking is often one of those behaviors. A cat who experiences anxiety or overstimulation may lick their person, a favorite object, or another animal as a way of soothing itself.
This is also another normal behavior, though it can mean that your cat would benefit from a friend if the household is a single cat household.
So why do cats lick you?
There are a variety of reasons why a cat would try licking their person, or even another animal or their favorite toy. From affection to claiming territory and self-soothing, your kitty’s behavior is normal, and rather adorable even.
However, if your cat is excessively licking itself to the point of hair loss or skin irritation, a more serious issue may be at play and a vet visit is in order. For most, a cat licking is normal, tickly, and often just a way of saying “I love you.”