Why Do Cats Like Licking Their Owners?

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Why Do Cats Like Licking Their Owners?

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During their early days, the first thing kittens experience is licking. Their mom licks them, and that helps them to breathe after birth, clean their fur, and comfort the young kittens. Thus, very early kittens learn that licking has hygienic and protective function, which they associate with safety and stability. They also use licking as a means for social bonding with brothers and sisters of their litter. For them, licking or being licked is a positive experience, which they are willing to share with their owners. Sometimes, cats can use this technique if they want to mark us as their territory or do not like our new body milk. In order to better understand why cats like licking their owners, the excerpt from the article “Why Does My Cat Lick Me? – 5 Real Reasons Behind“gives us 5 possible reasons.

Why Do Cats Like Licking Their Owners?

1. A Cat Feels Extremely Comforting During Licks
Experts say that many kittens, who are weaned early from their mums or the ones that are orphan, develop oral behaviors like licking and suckling sooner. In fact, they exhibit such babyish habits even in their adulthood. To put it in simple terms, its generalization. Cats just love to lick and be licked. They find it very soothing and comforting. Hence, this is one primary reason why it is licking you. So whenever your cat licks you, he or she is trying to return its favor.

2. When Cats Lick Each Other, It Is Social Bonding
If you own more than one cat, then you might have seen them licking each other. They do this to not only bond with each other but also to reach spots, which are hard for them to reach themselves. For example, inner ears, top of the head etc.

3. When a Cat Licks You, It Means That He Or She Loves You
One major answer to the question why does a cat lick me is that he or she loves you to the core. Your cat knows that you are the caretaker and you love him or her just like your other family members. Once they get used to you, they feel 100% safe with your presence. Now, your cat shows its love by cleaning you with its tongue just the way his or her mom once did when it was a kitten.

4. If Your Cat Licks Often Or In Excess — There Is Something Wrong
Besides showing their love and affection by licking, there can be something beyond too. When your cat licks in excess, remember that it is a red sign. The first thing kittens experience before even opening their eyes is their mom licking & washing them. Undoubtedly, grooming is a sign of affection, feeling secured and care but excess licking could mean that it is in pain. For instance, if you have a cat (older), who has never shown you such affection until now but all of a sudden starts licking you or your clothes then PAY ATTENTION. This is the time when you have to change its behavior.

5. Cats May Lick You Out Of Anxiety. So Pay Attention!
Apart from the above reasons, yet another significant answer to your question why does my cat lick me is: “Stress”. Yeah, some cats can become so stressed that they start licking compulsively. Cat, who licks itself is often comforting because it is stressed. This behavior is seen in some cats whereas few compulsive cats may suck and lick on plastic, fabric and skin. If you notice such behavior in your cat, then just try to relax her. If you aren’t aware of how to handle it then below are some pro tips to help you.

Sometimes, the cat uses licking as a way to wake us up early in the morning and get their breakfast. Whatever is the reason for cat’s licking, it annoys many cats’ owners, especially if it serves as waking alarm. Before trying various techniques to break of this habit, we should consider carefully all the 5 reasons and determine if our cat has some health issues. Only then, we can try to teach the cat that we are not fond of licking. During the process of breaking the habit, punishment will not bring expected results. It is better to show the cat that we still love it and distract its attention from something else. Playing with the cat will distract it easy and help it to learn that bonding can be made not only by licking, but also in some other way.

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