Do cats lick people?

Licking is a behavior most commonly noticed in dogs. Dogs have the tendency to give their human friends sloppy kisses. Do cats lick people too? The answer is yes! Cat owners often get to feel the raspy tongue of their pets because just like dogs, cats also have the inclination to lick people.

Cats are lickers! Cats are fastidious groomers. Guess what they use to remove dirt and even parasites from their fur? Their tongues of course! Licking is a natural characteristic of cats. A newly born cat’s first tactile experience is the mother cat’s licking. A mother cat would use the tongue to remove the afterbirth fluids. The tongue serves as a washcloth that will thoroughly clean the kitten. Licking is as well done to stimulate the newborn to breath. Kittens therefore learn to lick. Kittens would use the tongue on its littermates and on its mother. Kittens wanting to nurse would lick the mother cat. Kittens would discover the things in its environment by using its tongue. As if licking themselves, licking other cats and licking objects are not enough, cats would still lick humans. Why do cats lick people?

Animal behaviorists have noted that orphaned kittens or kittens that were separated too early from the mother cat have more inclination to lick humans. These pets may even develop an excessive habit of licking people. Studies have suggested that kittens should be allowed to stay with the mother cat until six weeks of age. Premature weaning can result to the development of infantile behaviors one of which is an excessive inclination to lick people. Licking becomes a comfort behavior. Kittens and even mature cats would lick humans when stressed, bored or when ailing.

Cats have the inclination to lick humans. Although the sense of taste is not as sensitive as the other senses, cats appear to like the salt on human skin. This is one of the reasons why cats lick humans. Humans are not as territorial as dogs but these animals would claim humans that provide their basic needs as theirs. What cats would do is to mark the “claimed” humans with their own scent and this is done by licking. Cats’ habit of licking people can be associated with their grooming habits.. These animals spend long hours grooming. Cats in multi-cat household would hold grooming sessions where the pets would groom each other. Licking is a cleaning rite that is also done by cats to people. A cat licks to groom people. The most common reason for licking is to express affection. Cats lick their owners to express their love. Cats are always believed to be solitary animals. Although not very big on showing their affection for their owners, cats do form strong attachment with their human family. Just as they love getting attention and affection from the owners, cats are also inclined to show their love and this is done by licking.

While some cat owners would appreciate the affectionate licking of the pet, others would be less appreciative of the cat’s raspy tongue. Some cats have the habit of eating their own and other animals’ feces. One of the disgusting habits of felines is to drink from the toilet bowl. It would not be surprising then for cat owners to dislike the pet’s licking. Something can be done to stop the pet’s habit of licking people. One is to provide the cat with a toy or an object that it can safely lick. The licking habit can be a call for attention. Devote more time to interact with the pet and provide the pet with more varied activities to prevent boredom. The owner can simply stand and walk away from the pet.