Why do cats lick people?

Why do cats lick people? A question that every cat owner has surely asked himself once in his life. One thing is certain: cats don't think people are vanilla ice cream, they just mean well with us. The cat's tongue is not exactly pleasant on our skin because it has barb-like papillae - Shutterstock / Eliane Haykal

There are several reasons why your velvet paw licks you from time to time. If you don't mind, it's best to just let your fur nose go - there is usually only good behind it.

Cats usually lick people out of affection

In most cases, it is about showing affection when cats lick people. If your velvet paw occasionally runs your rough tongue over your skin, this can be a proof of love. Cats are very social creatures that lick each other for various reasons and also transfer this behavior to us humans - provided they like us. For example, it is about "grooming". When cats get their coats cleaned by their peers, it feels very good and has a relaxing effect. Your kitty therefore thinks that you, too, find it beneficial when she cleans you. Cats do not know that the very rough cat tongue does not necessarily feel comfortable on our skin.

Licking your favorite people may also be related to some kind of marking; true to the motto: what I lick belongs to me. This is also a proof of love of your kitty and shows her trust in you.

Tongue work is instinctive

Licking cats have literally in their blood because it is the first haptic feeling they remember. Newborn kittens are treated with the tongue by their cat mother right after birth. On the one hand, the baby is cleanly cleaned or cleaned of all fluids from the postpartum and on the other hand, breathing is animated by licking it off. After that, the cat mom takes care of the fur for her young for weeks until they can take care of it themselves. Therefore, licking and cleaning is basically anchored as a behavior pattern in every cat.

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When cats lick themselves

Of course cats like dogs and other animals lick themselves. This is primarily for grooming, but can also be used to provide relaxation. It can be observed that stressed cats keep brushing themselves in order to calm down in this way.

If your kitty licks itself remarkably often and / or for a long time so that it looks excessive, caution is advised. It could be caused by a skin condition, infection, or insect bite. Massive stress is also a possible reason. In any case, you should observe the behavior and then consult the veterinarian.