Why Do Cats Lick You? Things to Know on Cat Licking

Your cat will surely have licked your hand, arm, neck or other accessible parts of your body. Why do cats lick you? What do you want to tell me? What does it mean to him?

Anyone who has one or more cats will surely know this situation, the cat licks and bites immediately afterwards. Why does he behave like this? Know reasons on Why do cats lick you.

why do cats lick you

Every single gesture or action of our little cats has an explanation, it’s up to us to decipher their behaviour. As owners, we must learn to observe them carefully and understand the reasons for the specific gesture, also to understand Why do cats lick you and how to behave accordingly.


Reasons Why Do Cats Lick You

Licking one’s cats can be an unpleasant sensation for some, due to the rough surface of the tongue. The papillae of our beloved cats, in fact, are curved like small hooks and are very useful for self-brushing and rejecting excess hair.

In dealing with humans, cats apply what they have learned in social interaction with their conspecifics. This explains why your cat licks you.

Show Affection by Using your Tongue

why does my cat lick me so much

The most beautiful and most important reason why a cat willingly licks a person is the intent to express his great affection. So, if you pet your cat purring and see him licking your hand, you can consider yourself lucky. It means your cat likes you and loves being with you. But don’t be sad if your cat doesn’t do it. Because cats do it much less frequently than dogs. Basically, it’s a matter of taste. Not all cats like to lick the people they love.

Licking to Mark The Territory

Affection goes hand in hand with the next reason why the cat uses its tongue on your skin. Since your kitty likes you a lot, he’d like to somehow tag you accordingly. A bit like saying: “This person belongs to me!” What we don’t notice when our cats lick our skin is that they leave behind tiny particles of their smell. These particles signal other conspecifics and dogs that a particular person or other animal is “part of the territory” of that cat. Licking, therefore, expresses a kind of ownership claim. That’s kind of what happens when you pet another cat or dog before meeting your pet. You’ll see him sniff out the potential competition. By licking, it not only removes foreign odour molecules but coats them with its own.

The Cat Licks the Sweat Off Your Skin

why do cats lick you then bite you

Are you lying on a sun lounger, it is 30 ° C and your cat is licking your hand? Maybe he just likes sweat on his skin. Many animals find that slightly salty aroma quite interesting. Even when you happen to eat something tasty, it is very likely that your cat will want to savour it by licking your hand right afterwards. In that case, it’s no wonder your cat doesn’t want to miss it.

Cat Feels Alone

This is entirely possible. Grooming (licking each other) is a very common social activity among cats. It’s their favourite way of bonding together, as well as walking through the house together while terrorizing your frail ones. When a kitten or cat begins to feel lonely, they will try to groom and play. If you are often away from home (perhaps at work or school), your kitty may just need more bonding time.

In this case like Why do cats lick you, the best way to react is to “cure it”. You can do this by brushing the cat, stroking it, or scratching the kitten’s favourite scratching spots (usually located behind the ears and at the base of the tail). Make sure your cat or kitten gets enough attention and if nothing else, get a playmate for the kitten.

What Should I Do if My Cat Licks Me?

If your cat licks you out of affection, you can return the gesture by doing something yourself. You can stroke it with your other hand, for example. Many cats also like to have their fur combed with a soft brush or massage glove. If your kitty is one of them, use the brush to pet him. This way you strengthen the bond between you and your pet and know Why do cats lick you.

Can Cats Transmit Disease by Licking People?

why does my cat lick my fingers

It’s not just parents of young children who are wondering if the cat’s tongue can possibly transmit disease. Basically, it is best to follow some hygiene rules on why do cats lick you. If your cat licks your hands, you should wash them immediately afterwards. However, when there are very young children in the house, it is easy for their hands to end up in their mouths very quickly. This is why, regardless of whether the cat has the habit of licking people or not, the general rule always applies.

If there are children in the family and cats that also live outdoors, these would always god worm yourself regularly. If the cat’s saliva comes into contact with some small wound, this can lead (fortunately very rarely) to an infection due to the Gram-negative bacteria Bartonella henselae and therefore to the so-called “cat scratch disease”. However, as the name itself makes clear, it is a disease that is mainly transmitted through scratches or a bite from the animal. The risk of the animal transmitting the disease by licking someone is low. For reasons of hygiene, however, we recommend that you do not allow your cat to lick the faces of his favourite people.


If you follow these little instructions on Why do cats lick you and pay attention to your feline’s behaviours, we are sure there will be no more risks of turning your cuddling moment into scratches and bites. Visit our CatsBuz for more information.

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