If you were ever curious as to why your cat licks you, you may be surprised to learn the answer. There are a few different reasons why your cat may enjoy it. The licking can be as simple as enjoying the way you taste or as complex as bonding with you. Here are 5 reasons why your cat enjoys showering you with sandpaper tongue kisses!

Anxiety or Stress

Your kitty may be licking you from stress, anxiety, or fear. Compulsive licking is a common sign of stress in a cat who faces anxiety and panic issues. They will clean themselves, you, and even suck on blankets and other soft materials. If you believe this can be the reason why it is very important to find out why your cat is having anxiety or too much stress in their life. Another sign your cat is stressed is hair pulling.

Cat licking human
Credit: Getty Images

Bonding

Cats who have become bonded or formed a slight friendship will lick each other. Similar to how apes in the wild clean each others backs, cats will lick each other to aid in cleaning. When you cat is licking you, it can mean they are helping keep you clean. Though the smell of their breath may be gross to you, take it as an honor. Your cat is showing you they care!

Hunger

Some cats will lick you to let you know they are hungry. This may be accompanied by light biting or sucking. In some cases, they might knead as well. If you have a very intelligent cat, they will lick your hands and your mouth when they are hungry. They have made the connection between the human hand and mouth and know how we eat. Very impressive!

Taste

If you have a scent or flavor to your skin that is pleasing to your kitty, they will not hesitate to lick it off! I have noticed that some cats love to lick human skin right after a shower. This is likely due to the body wash you use or your pores being opened up releasing new salts and oils on to the skin.

Mating

When a cat is in heat, especially female cats, they become very affectionate to everyone and everything around them. If you have a non-spayed female cat living with you, there is a good chance you will get showered in kisses when she goes into heat. She is not trying to mate with you, but her “feel good” hormones are very high. What this means is everything that feels good normally, feels amazing now. Some cats get this same release of hormones when they eat catnip.

Does your cat lick you? Tell us why in the comments!

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Brenton Horne
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Brenton Horne

My last kitty used to lick my face from time to time and while her breath indeed stank I must say I enjoyed it. Sure, I had to wash my face afterwards for the sake of hygiene, but it still felt like a wonderful scratch and kiss at the same time, as well as a badge of honour. Oh how I miss her, she was my little princess, I doted on her like she was my own daughter. ’tis a shame cats don’t live as long as we humans do, if only we could cross cats with immortal jellyfish to give them the ability to regenerate themselves whenever it is near death.

mgsolidus
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mgsolidus

Very informative, I learn so much from this blog. Thank you 🙂