The tongue of cats is special. They use it for a lot of things. Unlike humans, it is not just a sensory organ to them. Due to its rough surface, it is an extremely good grooming tool. But it is also great for grabbing a variety of foods.
But what about when they lick us? The most logical answer is that this is a sign of affection. However, there may be other reasons.
In this article, we look at this topic.
It’s not uncommon for cats to lick you because they want a little attention. This usually means they want to play or want a little care.
Sometimes, however, there can be more serious reasons for this activity. Examples are stress or anxiety. If your cat still licks you too much after the stressor is gone, there is a reason.
Especially if this licking is interfering with your daily life as well. In this case, you should talk to your veterinarian. He will probably find out if there is any medical problem that needs to be addressed.
If all health problems can be ruled out, you can try some kind of behavior training.
In cats, grooming each other is a very important social activity. In cats living together, it can be observed that there is a so-called “allo-groomer“. This cat’s job is to groom the other members of the group.
So licking can mean your cat wants to involve you in the group.
This title speaks for itself. Cats have much better senses than ours. Because of this, you may have long forgotten that something accidentally spilled on your arm. But your cats will feel it and if they like it, they will lick it down. However, make sure that this lickable thing is preferably not an essential oil, because it is especially dangerous.
People express their love for cats by caressing. Cats can only reciprocate this in other ways. So if your cats lick you, it can clearly indicate their love. It’s like a hug or a kiss. If your cat does a lot of this, it could mean that he or she longs for a little care in return.
We are not talking about the usual marking in this case. But in a sense, it can also be considered that. When cats lick their owner, they want to let the other cats know that he belongs to them. This will be seen and felt by the other cats.
In some cases, our cats have a special purpose by licking us. And that is that they want to teach us self-grooming. Remember that this is how their mother taught them this activity.
Grooming each other not only improves bonding in cats but also plays a role in stress management. So the next time your cats lick you, it is possible that they feel that you are stressful. Cats have a good sense of how to feel that.
Should you stop your cat licking you?
As you can see, licking means something positive in most cases. If this happens infrequently, I don’t recommend any kind of stopping. After all, this endangers our relationship with our cats.
However, if you are very bothered by this activity, you can start thinking about how to prevent it.
Some people try to smear their skin with something unpleasant tasting. While this may be effective in itself, I do not recommend it. After all, your cats can connect the negative experience with you. Nor do I recommend any form of punishment.
You can try to redirect your cats’ actions. During licking, start to pet your cat. If she enjoys it, there is a chance she will stop licking. If that doesn’t work, just leave her there. After a while, your kitten should learn that leaving is the result of licking.
As you may have seen, licking can mean more things to cats. Most of the time, this is a nice gesture that you need to appreciate. But most importantly, pay close attention to your little feline so that you can best strengthen your relationship.