do cats clean each other

Cats that are bonded sometimes show sweet displays of affection toward each other, like grooming. They’ll lick and bite each other, clean the other’s fur, and spend a lot of time making sure the other cat is purrrfectly clean. This type of grooming is a good sign—it means your cats are friends.

4. Mothers and Kittens

Almost as soon as the kittens are born, mother cats develop the instinct to groom them. In addition to cleaning the kittens’ afterbirth, the mother cat grooms their rear ends to help them when they go potty for the first time, if a human does not do it for her.

This grooming instinct never goes away in many mother cats. Having kittens makes female cats far more likely to groom other cats just by virtue of this innate behavior.

Cats may groom each other to communicate that they accept each other as part of their territory, colony, or “family,” so to speak. This is also one of the most common reasons why cats groom their human family members! Being groomed by a cat indicates that the cat does not see you (or the other cat) as a threat or a stranger any longer, but as part of the group.

Seeing your two cats groom each other for the first time can be particularly satisfying if they were adopted separately and have taken some time to get along.

Finally, cats may occasionally groom one another because they are aware that there are body parts they find difficult to access on their own. Cats require assistance from others to groom certain areas, such as the area beneath the chin, which they are unable to do on their own.

Given that every cat goes through this same experience, they probably have some understanding of it in relation to other cats. For this reason, cats are more likely to groom people in difficult-to-reach places.

It’s Very Normal for Cats to Groom Each Other

As you can see, letting your cats groom one another is safe. This can be a sign of closeness and bonding between your cats, and it’s a perfectly normal aspect of feline behavior. It indicates that they are extremely close in cat terms, even though it doesn’t mean that they “love” each other in the sense that we humans understand love!

If your cats are prone to grooming each other, make sure both of them are healthy and free of parasites before doing so. If one cat develops a skin or coat health problem, you may need to try to prevent shared grooming until the problem clears up.

Even though this behavior is typical, you should always see a veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s behavior or would like to find out more about why cats groom one another. You can schedule an appointment at any Heart Paw location, and our staff will be pleased to offer you insights into the behavior and health of your pet.

3. Allogrooming Helps Other Cats Groom Unreachable Areas

“Cats don’t like to be dirty,” Dale says. And who better to clean those difficult-to-reach areas than a reliable feline companion, like the top of the head?

Plus, just like cats love to be scratched on the top of their heads, on their cheeks, and under their chin, they love for their closest companions to groom those same places. Cats lick each other’s heads and other facial features because all these spots have scent glands that release pheromones.

These substances, known as pheromones, convey information to facilitate communication between cats. This explains in part why these body parts receive a lot of attention when allogrooming, according to Arden.


What does it mean when a cat cleans another cat?

Cats perform this type of social grooming because they want the other cat to understand they aren’t threatening. They also want the other cat to recognize the bond of their feline friendship and return it in some instances, too. This grooming may also indicate bonds to other cats who witness it.

Why do cats lick each other and then fight?

Overstimulation. When a cat feels it’s being pet or groomed for too long, they gradually become overstimulated. All the energy that has been built up needs to go somewhere, so after one cat bites the other, a fight often ensues. Since cats only groom people and fellow cats they like, it will rarely be a real fight.

How do cats know to clean each other?

Cats groom each other when they are in a happy, comfortable social group. They do it to meld their scents, to be closer to each other, to offer comfort and love. Cats living in the same household or colony do it to reinforce their close, loving relationship.

Is it normal for cats to lick each others privates?

Why do cats lick each others’ private areas? Usually they just sniff each other but if they’re used to grooming each other, one might help out the other—in a pinch. These two are absolutely infatuated with each & groom each other to their hearts’ content!