Do you ever wonder why your cat licks your face? It’s a common question that pet owners ask, and there isn’t always a clear answer. Some people believe that cats lick their owners as a way of showing affection, while others think that it might be because the cat is trying to groom them.
There are a number of theories out there about why cats lick their owners’ faces, but the true reason remains unknown. In this article, we will explore some of the possible reasons behind this behavior and discuss why it might occur.
Why Does My Cat Lick My Face?
The most common reasons your cat may be licking you is either it is trying to seek your attention or it is showing you its affection. Apart from this, cats will lick their owners’ faces for various reasons, some of which are listed below.
To show affection towards their owners
Your cat licks your face because they want to show their affection towards you. They consider you their own and want to create a strong social bond. This behavior of licking faces may have been formed when they were kittens. Mother cats lick their kitten’s faces to show their affection and love towards them.
To groom you
Cats are very neat animals and spend hours grooming themselves. So your cat is just trying to keep you make you clean even though it doesn’t realize that this isn’t helping you get clean. Cats groom themselves and also other cats to form strong social bonds, and it is doing the same with you to form a bond.
To mark their territory
Cats generally mark their kittens by licking them. Apart from just licking, cats mark their territory and things in various ways like licking rubbing cheeks, scratching, and in some cases spraying or peeing, though this is very rare.
If your cat is licking your face, it may be trying to claim you as its own. Cats are possessive in nature and often tend to mark their things by licking.
To draw your attention
If your cat is bored or is in need of something, it will lick your face to draw your attention to it. Cats follow a routine when it comes to food. So if you forgot to give them their food or maybe water, cats may lick your face just to indicate that. Along with that, they will also meow which is a sure sign that they are hungry.
To cope with stress
Excessive licking in cats can be a sign of stress and anxiety. This can sometimes indicate an underlying medical issue. Make a note if your cat is licking you excessively, not only on the face but your hands and legs. Inspect it to see if it is hurt or is in some sort of pain.
Your cat may find you tasty
If you have eaten something and have some tidbits left on your face, chances are your cat may lick you to get a taste of what you have eaten or maybe to clean you since you didn’t do it yourself.
Often cats take a liking to human foods like salt crackers, cheese crackers, or lobsters. So if you have consumed them, your cat may be attracted to the scent of the food and lick your face. Allowing it to eat some of the same food as an occasional snack is no issue provided your cat is not allergic to the said food.
How Can I Make My Cat Stop Licking Me?
Unless your cat is licking you excessively, it is nothing to be worried about. But if you feel the licking is going way beyond what you can handle or you find it rough, you can make your cat stop doing it by distracting it.
As soon as your cat starts licking it, distract it and divert its attention. Pet it or play with it or if your cat is licking you so you can feed it, do that. Giving your cat what it needs can be the response to its licking and can then be used as an aid for behavioral training.
Is It Okay for Your Cat to Lick Your Face?
A cat’s tongue has bacteria like all other surfaces. Unless you have an open cut or wound on your face or have applied some medication on your face, it is perfectly ok for your cat to lick your face.
Why Does My Cat Lick My Face – Conclusion
Your cat may be licking your face for a variety of reasons – to show its affection towards you, to mark you as part of its own family, to seek your attention, to groom you, or to simply lick something off your face.
Unless you are irritated by your cat’s licking or your cat is licking excessively, there is nothing to be worried about and you should let your cat use it as a means of communication with you.