Cats definitely do some weird stuff, but what makes them do the things they do? Every cat owner has had their cat unexpectedly come up to them and start licking their face or hands at least once. But what’s the reason behind this? Why do cats lick your face?
There are various reasons why your cat might lick your face. It could be because your cat wants your attention or enjoys the salty taste of your skin.
There are only a few explanations for why your cat might lick your face. If you want to know the rest, keep reading to find out and get answers to any other questions you have about this weird behavior.
What are the reasons my cat is licking my face?
There are many different reasons why your cat might want to lick your face. It could be a way for your cat to show love or to get your attention. Here are some possible explanations for why your cat is licking your face:
If you’ve ever witnessed a group of kittens being born, you’ll understand that the mother cat frequently licks them to provide comfort and let them know she’s present. When your cat licks your face, it could indicate that your cat has embraced you and feels secure in your presence. Now that you and your cat share an inseparable connection, your cat demonstrates love, affection, and acceptance in the same way it was taught. Acceptance is one of the reasons why your cat might lick your face.
2. Wants Your Attention
If you’ve been away from your cat for a while, whether due to work or binge-watching a TV show, your cat might lick you to get your attention. In this case, it’s a good idea to give your cat some petting and playtime to discourage the licking. However, if your cat is licking your face excessively, it could be a sign of separation anxiety or stress. You might also notice your cat grooming itself obsessively. If this is happening, it’s important to schedule a vet appointment to find out the cause of your cat’s new behavior and anxiety. Your vet can provide guidance on how to stop the behavior and help your cat feel calmer.
3. Marking You
Cats have the ability to identify individuals and other cats through their scent. If your cat is licking your face, it might be their way of transferring their scent onto you, making you smell like them. This behavior is similar to how mother cats mark their kittens to both clean them and show affection, ensuring that their scent matches hers and allowing them to recognize each other. When cats lick each other, it forms a strong bond between them. So, when your cat licks you, it could be their way of bonding with you and marking you as part of their own.
4. Grooming You
When your cat licks your face, it could be their way of grooming you. Even though cat saliva may not seem clean to you, this is how cats keep themselves and others clean, and it also helps with bonding. Cats in a community who are familiar with each other often groom each other to strengthen their bond and leave their scent for easy recognition. If your cat licks your face, it means they see you as part of their group and are trying to groom you so that you have a similar scent to them.
5. Self Soothing
Your cat might be using you as a human pacifier. When your cat licks your face, it could be seeking the same relaxation and calmness that human babies experience when they use a pacifier. This behavior is common in kittens who have been separated from their mother too early, leading to an oral fixation. If the licking becomes excessive, it’s a good idea to consult a vet to address the issue.
6. Your Cat Likes Your Taste
Don’t be scared, but your cat isn’t trying to devour you. However, cats might be attracted to the salty taste of your skin when you sweat, which is why they lick you. Consult your vet to find out how to prevent this behavior.
How to stop excessive licking?
Because cats often lick as a way to show affection and create a bond, it can be challenging to discourage this behavior without harming your relationship with your cat. When your cat starts licking you, try diverting their attention by gently moving them away from your face and giving them some petting instead. Another effective approach to stop your cat from licking you is to walk away from them when they start licking, as they will begin to associate licking with your departure. If these methods don’t work, you can always consult your veterinarian and schedule an appointment to determine the reason behind this behavior and find a solution.
Why does my cat lick my face at night?
It’s possible that the timing is just a coincidence. However, cats lick other cats when they’re vulnerable, like during sleep, because they want the other cat to feel safe with them. It also shows that the cat doing the licking feels comfortable and safe around the other cat. So if your cat licks your face at night, it could mean that they want you to feel safe with them and want you to know that they’re comfortable around you.
Should I lick my cat back?
Avoid licking your cat’s back because your tongue has a different texture and scent than cats, which can cause confusion. Additionally, ingesting cat fur is not good for your health as it may contain harmful bacteria like E.Coli and salmonella. Licking your cat can also lead to contracting diseases like ringworm and Sporotrichosis.
Why does my cat lick my fingers?
It all depends on what you’re up to right now – if your cat licks your fingers, it could have different meanings. For instance, if you’ve just finished eating and your fingers still have some grease or food on them, your cat might be licking your fingers to get a taste of the food. On the other hand, if you’re petting your cat and it starts licking your fingers, it could be their way of showing gratitude.
Cats lick for many different reasons, such as wanting your attention or enjoying the salty flavor of your skin. If your cat licks you excessively, you can redirect this behavior without harming your bond with your cat. For instance, you can gently move them away from you and give them affectionate strokes instead, or you can step away when they start licking you, so they learn to associate licking with you walking away.