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Why do cats lick us?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My Smidge has been with my three months now - and she has become quite the licker. If I get my face near her she licks and licks it, as well as my hands and arms often when I'm petting her. Course it seems to happen mostly when she is feeling content.

My fave time when she does it is when I'm napping and she's asleep on my shoulder, licking my ear to wake me up.

Why do they do it? Is it just "grooming" to them?
post #2 of 28
Mostly I think it's a grooming thing, cats that are close often groom each other, why shouldn't they groom the humans too?

Part of the time, I'm sure there is something on your skin that they can taste, and they either like it, or they are trying to rid you of it.

Irish Spring bath soap gets a couple of ours really licky, and one girl goes wild after my facial moisturizer.
One of my past cats loved my foot creme.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Irish Spring bath soap gets a couple of ours really licky, and one girl goes wild after my facial moisturizer.
One of my past cats loved my foot creme.
Oh that's funny! And so cute!
post #4 of 28
Face it...we taste good.
post #5 of 28
With Buzz, his licks are a prelude to his love chomp.
post #6 of 28
Lovey licks Burts Bees lip balm right off my lips until its all gone..

My friends and family think its disgusting but whatever
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
Face it...we taste good.
post #8 of 28
My Cleo licks my face and hands all the time, but Alex does not lick us much. He likes to put his mouth on us, but he never bites down. Cleo's new habit is to lick my face at 3 or 3:30 a.m. until I wake up and pet her. If I start to nod off again she licks my face some more. It's really cute but I wake up really tired. She's a sweetie though.
post #9 of 28
I usually get sandpaper kisses when I have a cat grooming itself on my lap, I guess they think I need some grooming too
post #10 of 28
I often get kisses from Ollie-cat too... I love it, but can only take so much of that sandpaper tounge! My dog occasionally grooms her humans too - and you can tell the difference between her giving kisses and grooming us... she especially loves it when we're down the shore (like right now) and get all salty while we're on the beach with her... Most of the time I get Ollie kisses during or after one of his preening sessions! I love mommy kisses from my baby!
post #11 of 28
There's salt in human sweat.
post #12 of 28
MY kitties lick and even nibble but I know I am supposed to stop them from nibbling. I prefer to think they are just lovey kisses over anything sensible.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
I often get kisses from Ollie-cat too... I love it, but can only take so much of that sandpaper tounge!
Charlotte licks me more than Izzie. I have noticed that Charlotte has a much gentler lick than Izzie. It's kind of a nice massaging sensation. Izzie, on the other hand, does feel like sandpaper!!
post #14 of 28
My two younger ones will lick my nose (and they have stinky breath). Carly has this new thing where she will place her paw on my nose and turns me toward her and then lick my nose. So cute.
post #15 of 28
I had a cat once that was a lickin' machine. She was an outside cat, but due to a visit to the vet, I had to keep her in my room for a few days while she healed. Both nights, she'd jump up in bed with me, lay down on the pillow and just purr away for about five minutes. Then, she'd start moving around (licking herself, kneeding her claws into my pillow-case, etc.) Then about the time I was nodding off, she'd start kneeding her claws into my hair. Then, she'd go to licking. First, my ear, then a little on my cheek, more ear, more cheek (sounds like my wife! ) THEN, she'd start licking my hair - real hard. She'd almost pull it out with her tongue! It was actually really therapeutic feeling, and I'd fall sound asleep. Next morning I'd like in the mirror and the hair on one side of my head looked like Dumbo the Clown where it was all sticking out. She'd licked ALL the moistre out to where it felt like broom-straw! After I put her back out, it took me about a week to sleep good again - no more bed-time massages!
post #16 of 28
I think it's because they remember their mom and nursing and it bring them happiness to go through the 'motions'

post #17 of 28
YY has this endearing habit of headbutting me in the morning (Not so endearing if it is too early but she has lived with me long enuf to know I am not the keenest in the AM) and kissing me on the chin with her rough tongue. I always thank her since she also does it when she knows I am sad about something. My little sweetheart!
post #18 of 28
I like to think thatPearl is giving me kisses and telling me she loves me. I also notice she's more prone to lick me when she is grooming herself and laying on or next to me. She's also an ear sucker so it's hard to say with her!!!!
post #19 of 28
I know Cupid does it for attention sometimes, and other times to groom, and sometimes it's just one quick, light lick and I think that's a kiss. But when he decides he wants attention FAST he comes up and licks my chin a couple times. Gets me every time!
post #20 of 28
Speaking of kitties licking their humans... guess how I was woken the other morning....

Garfield licking the sleep out of my eyes!! Ewwww gross I know. But he s his meowmy!!
Boy did it hurt though!!
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie
My Smidge has been with my three months now - and she has become quite the licker. If I get my face near her she licks and licks it, as well as my hands and arms often when I'm petting her. Course it seems to happen mostly when she is feeling content.

My fave time when she does it is when I'm napping and she's asleep on my shoulder, licking my ear to wake me up.

Why do they do it? Is it just "grooming" to them?



You lil kitty might be licking you cause the salts you have on *in(?)*your ears or lips *maybe even face(?)* but i am not all that sure ,maybe she juss feels like it is grooming ,or maybe happy to see you
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purr
I know Cupid does it for attention sometimes, and other times to groom, and sometimes it's just one quick, light lick and I think that's a kiss. But when he decides he wants attention FAST he comes up and licks my chin a couple times. Gets me every time!


Sounds adorble I was gone for a week at one point gone out of town and when i got baq my cat licked my face and i really think it was a kiss 2 and i know she was happy to see me(so of course i spent time with my baby .lol.kitty)
post #23 of 28
I have a black kitten, that licks my feet and my face, and she also site on my feet
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Why do they do it? Is it just "grooming" to them?
I've heard it's a sign of great affection!
post #25 of 28
Chester is such a licker! With my guinea pig, I know her licks are because my face tastes like salt, but I don't think it's true with my kitty (could be because I don't want it to be true).
My muchly missed Natasha never really did lick, unless my hand got in the way of a cleaning session. Same thing with the other cats we've had. They're just not interested.
Chester on the other hand, is a licking machine. In Fact, his licking was what made me choose him from the shelter, he licked the end of my ex boyfriends nose when he was going in for an "allergy check sniff". Chester mostly licks my nose and sometimes my third eye, and has been known to try to lick my hair first thing in the morning(which mostly results in a spitting action and me making him stop). He's also started to lick the backs of our legs if we don't pay attention to him in the kitchen. Sometimes he'll lick our feet for the fun of it (for the "kicks"??? ), me thinks. Regardless, it's fun having such a kissy little man! He's always there with a nose kiss when I'm feeling at my worst
post #26 of 28
Shane and SunLee lick my hands when I pet them. Simba is not much of a licker. My beloved Snoopy used to actually lick and groom my hair, I had to stop him because I don't think it was good for him. When my hair was shorter, I used to wear hair spray, and I think he liked the taste of that.
post #27 of 28
Kandie does cause she feels your dirty... Zoey gives kisses
post #28 of 28
I always took licking as the greatest show of affection your cat can show you. I read somewhere in a cat book that by licking, cats are getting their "scent" on you so that other cats know that you are theirs. In other words, it is a type of "claiming" they do. Regardless, I know they are saying that they love you.
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