If you’re a cat owner, you’re probably a victim of cat licking.
You’ve also most likely wondered, “why does my cat lick my face?” Is it because it loves you, or is it just trying to get rid of that pesky tuna breath?
Today, we’ll look at why cats lick their owners’ faces and offer tips on keeping your kitty’s tongue from creeping you out. Stay tuned!
Why Does My Cat Lick My Face
What does it mean when a cat licks your face? It’s not just because they want to show you how much they love you (although that is part of it). Here are some other reasons cats lick their owners:
- Showing affection: Much like how we show our love by kissing our partner or family members, cats often lick their owners to show their affection.
- Seeking attention: If your cat feels neglected and is looking for quality time with you, it may start licking your face as a form of attention-seeking behavior.
- Marking their territory: This is a fancy way to say that your cat is claiming you as their own. By licking your face, they leave their scent on you, which helps them feel more secure and comfortable.
- Grooming: Cats are very meticulous groomers and often lick their owners to groom them. This is especially common between mother cats and their owners.
- Your cat likes your taste: Believe it or not, some cats just enjoy how your skin tastes and feels. While this may sound gross to us, it’s perfectly normal for cats.
- Coping with anxiety: Just like humans, cats can suffer from anxiety and stress. Licking their owners is a way for them to self-soothe and calm down.
So, the next time your cat is licking your face, don’t be too alarmed. It’s most likely their way of showing you some love in their own unique way.
Should I Let My Cat Lick My Face
Most cat owners have probably wondered whether they should let their cat lick their faces. After all, cats spend a lot of time licking themselves, so it stands to reason that they might want to share that affection with their humans. However, you should consider a few things before letting your cat lick your face.
For one thing, cats’ tongues are covered in tiny spines called papillae, which help them groom themselves. These spines can be scratchy and may not feel too pleasant on human skin. In addition, cats often use their tongues to clean up after using the litter box, so it’s best to keep them from licking your face if they’ve just been dealing with their waste.
Another consideration is that some people are allergic to cats and may have an adverse reaction to coming into contact with their saliva. Also, there is a small risk of contracting a disease from letting your cat lick your face, like cat scratch disease (CSD). While most healthy cats are unlikely to pass on diseases, those with immune deficiencies may be more susceptible to illness.
To keep it on the safe side, we advise you to use antibacterial soap after your cat licks your face. If you have any cuts or open wounds, it’s best to avoid letting your cat lick them altogether.
|Read also: Best Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes in 2022 (Reviews & Guide)|
Benefits of Letting Your Cat Lick Your Face
Are there any pros to letting the cat lick your face? Actually, there are a few.
- Cat saliva has healing powers: Researchers in the Netherlands discovered a chemical in cat saliva called histatins. This chemical helps speed up the healing of wounds by boosting the migration and spread of new skin cells.
- Cat licking is a sign of affection: When your cat licks you, it’s essentially giving you a kitty kiss. It’s a way of showing love and trust, and what’s cuter than that?
Dangers of Letting Your Cat Lick Your Face
Besides its benefits, there are also some cons to letting your cat lick your face. Let us see what some of those might be:
- There is a potential health risk: There are parasites and bacteria in the cat’s saliva. While most of these are harmless to humans, some can cause diseases.
- It’s also not very hygienic to let your cat lick your face: This goes especially for the kitties that often roam outside, as they might have been in contact with all sorts of dirt and germs.
- Allergies: Some people can be allergic to a protein found in cat saliva, which can cause problems such as sneezing, itchiness, and watery eyes. In severe cases, it can even lead to anaphylactic shock.
Like any other thing, it has a good and bad side. It’s up to you whether or not the pros outweigh the cons for you.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Licking My Face
If you’ve been struggling with this issue, you’re not alone—many people find it uncomfortable when their cats lick their skin.
One way to prevent this is to try and distract them when they start to lick. You can do this with cat toys or by playing with them. If you can get their attention away from licking, it might help stop the compulsive behavior.
Another tip is to use positive reinforcement when they don’t lick you. This means petting or rewarding them with treats or attention when they snuggle next to you and do nothing. This will help teach them that licking is not a behavior you enjoy or welcome.
You can also try to make your home more cat friendly. This means having lots of places for them to scratch, climb, and explore. When they have other things to do, they might be less likely to want to lick you.
Finally, you can always get up and leave if all else fails. This doesn’t mean ignoring them completely, but it might be necessary to take a break if they just won’t stop licking you.
If none of these tips work in the long run, the licking behavior might indicate an underlying medical condition, and you should take your cat to the vet.
|If you want to learn some crucial tips and tricks about being a cat owner, look at this comprehensive cat guide.|
If you ever asked yourself, “Why does my cat lick my face?” we hope this article offered some answers. While the behavior may seem odd to humans, it’s just one of the many ways cats show their love. And as any cat lover knows, getting that kitty affection is definitely worth a little face-licking here and there.