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Why do my kittens lick my hands?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have two five month old calicos. I have had a cat most of my life, I am now 23. I had a Tabby cat that died when he was 17 and I was 20. My two kittens love to lick my hands, but my old cat never had this trait. I think its adorable and I dont mind at all, but what is the reason behind this behavior? Why do they do it and my old cat didint? Both cats were/are very affectionate. Is it a form of affection or is it the natural saltiness of human hands?
post #2 of 13
Are they in a happy, affectionate mood when they do it? Both of my cats lick my hands, arms, neck and even my face on a regular basis when I am cuddling them and it is obviously a sign of affection from them.

Admittedly though I am not a cat expert and there could be other reasons for them doing it, although I can't think of anything (unless you just ate something good and have residue on your hands, hah).
post #3 of 13
My kittens do the same when they're happy or purring.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
yeah they are happy when they do it. I kind of think they do it when they want something. Nu Nu does it in the middle of the night when she wants me to wake up.
post #5 of 13
Mine only does it when he is happy too. Although, in the past I have experienced this with other animals, i.e. rabbits. I guess rabbits do it because of the little bit of salt they get from it.

My cat is always interested in trying to get at my saltwater when doing water changes on my tank. So I think he likes the salty taste that our skin sometimes has, sounds gross.
post #6 of 13
Mine does it when he's happy and purring AND when i yell at him for biting my hands
It's as if he's saying "ok ok, i forgot, sorry"
post #7 of 13
my kitty runs into the bathroom and licks the water off my legs when i've just gotten out of the shower... like hes trying to help bath mommy!
post #8 of 13
I have a calico that loves to sit on my lap and lick my hands. She is very passionate about it when she's doing it. It's almost like she's playing mama and grooming me. It's so cute. I have a male long hair that will lick my chin 3 times, and then bite it. That just smarts!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
yes I think it is very cute too. I had an orange tiger cat for 16 years but he never did it . In my opinion my calicos are much more inquisitive than my old cat. They are fascinated by sinks and love to see whats up when I'm in the shower. Its a little scary somtimes though because they have both singed their whiskers on the stove...but they never go near the stove now so I guess they learned their lesson. They also keep us up at night sometimes because they are into everything in our bedroom. They keep surprising me with their little quirks.
post #10 of 13
Tora likes to wash me. It's mainly my hands, but I guess that's partly because they're more easily accessible to him. He really works me over, too, for a long time, and he has a very rough tongue. But it's love. :-)
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstishtwo View Post
I have a calico that loves to sit on my lap and lick my hands. She is very passionate about it when she's doing it. It's almost like she's playing mama and grooming me. It's so cute. I have a male long hair that will lick my chin 3 times, and then bite it. That just smarts!
Blossom has always liked to lick us. I thought it was b/c she was only 3 weeks old when we got her & she looked upon us as her litter/momma. She grabs your hand & won't let go. If you pull away she holds on tighter & pull your hand in to her.She also sometimes gives a little nip.
post #12 of 13
Mine love to lick my hands, but mainly only after I've eaten something and my hands still smell like the food!
post #13 of 13
Only my "tortie" (similar to a calico) licks me to no end and it really is strange. Torties and Calicos are almost always female due to genetics. I've taken in many cats in the past and have many now, but this particular cat is the only one I've ever had that absolutely insists on constantly licking/grooming me! I don't think it's the salt, I don't think it's insecurity. I think it is simply a sign of affection and/or a way for her to establish her territory. This cat is very small - not even 7 lbs. - and she is 5 years old! She's a "pistol" though - she's the best hunter despite her size (she's an indoor cat - she hunts in my basement. :-) and is constantly on the go otherwise. She also seems unusually smart. Last, I'm not the only one she insists on grooming. One of my other cats (a large male) is also one of her favorite "targets". She will seek him out and lick him too(which he enjoys to a point), but if he tries to get up before she's done, she'll do exactly what another previous poster said - which is try to pin him down and "nip" him! It's actually hilarious when that happens, because my much bigger cat submits to her. In closing, I was also curious about this behavior and wasn't able to find much. It does seem there's a lot out there about calicos and torties exhibiting this behavior though. It's in the genes I guess...
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