Home Behaviour Problems Why does my cat lick me?

Why does my cat lick me?

Have you ever asked why does my cat lick me? It is a common question many cat owners ask. Many people assume that cats lick them as a sign of affection which is not really far from the truth. While it may be a form of flattery, cats licking still has the potential to become excessive or tiresome since cats tongue can be a bit rough.

It is important to understand the specific reasons behind this feline behaviour so you can appropriately divert your cat’s when your arm starts paining.

There are so many different answers to your questions of “why does my cat lick me?” It is up to you to determine which one fits your cat. So here are some reasons why your cat licks you.

Reasons why your cat licks you


One of the reasons your cat may lick you is because of creating a social bond. From a young age, a cat’s mother would not only lick them as a way of grooming them but also show affection. Cat then repeat this behaviour with you as a way of showing their love and affection for you.

Licking Is a behaviour cats carry out with people they love that is why sometimes you will see cats licking each other.


When a cat licks itself excessively is often a sign of stress and anxiety, similarly, if a cat licks you a lot, it shows they are tensed or nervous. To cats, licking produces a sense of calmness and serenity so they will often carry out on themselves or others as a way to reduce accumulated tension.

In these cases, it is imperative we source the cause of stress or anxiety so that it can be treated and improve their wellbeing.


Cat is a very territorial animal and has different methods of marking their territory. This territory is not limited to the area but also includes object and members of their family. As a way of marking, cats can use their urine. They will also try to mark you again as a way to ensure you are theirs.

While this behaviour is completely normal it could lead to problems in the house if you have more than one cat or pet.


When cat’s tongue comes in contact with your skin, you notice the sensation it provides is not soft but rough. While dogs tongue is soft like a human’s tongue. A cat’s tongue is rough and bristle. The reason is that the upper part of a cat’s tongue is covered in papillae which is the same material that is present in their claws.

This helps them to drink water most especially for grooming to remove accumulated dirt on the fur.


Due to the fact that it hurts when cats lick you especially if the cat does it at the same spot all the time, many cat owners want to discourage their cat from licking them without pushing them away.

To avoid making them feel unwanted, try to distract your cat with catnip or a toy every time it licks your hand and gently put your cat in another room. Another distraction technique you can use is food. Distracting your cat with a tasty treat is a great way to encourage them to stop.

It is important not to frighten your cat when you do this. With patience, you should be able to wear it off the habit.


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