what does it mean when a cat keeps licking you

To show affection

Licking is not only a grooming mechanism but also a way cats show that they love you. Your cat is creating a social bond by licking you, other cats, or pets. This sign of affection may stem from kittenhood when your cat’s mother licked them to groom them and show care and affection.

When is cat licking a problem?

What is the threshold for excessive licking, and are there any additional risks connected to excessive cat licking?

The short answer is that you should never lick someone more than what irritates you or feels excessive. Like with any other problematic behavior, you can take steps to minimize and correct it so that you and your cat can coexist peacefully.

But because there are so many possible explanations for your cat licking you, it’s critical to recognize any symptoms or circumstances that might point to a more serious problem so you can seek the appropriate assistance. These include:

What does it mean when my cat licks me?

There are several reasons why cats might lick people.

  • Your cat finds something intriguing on your skin to be tasty. Your cat is probably savoring the tasty taste of “leftovers” or anything that is still on your skin from a recent meal if you notice that they are licking your hands after you have eaten. But foods aren’t the only tastes that appeal to cats. Your cat might lick you after working out or after applying lotion because they enjoy the taste of your moisturizing oils or salty perspiration.
  • Your cat wants to groom you. One cat will frequently take on the role of groomer for the other cats in the group. This role, known as “allo-grooming,” is frequently performed by mother cats grooming their young as well as by groups of cats. Since it’s regarded as a natural bonding behavior in cats, your cat might be letting you know that you’ve joined the family for real.
  • Your cat is marking their territory. Our cats view us as their property, despite the fact that we may not want to acknowledge this, and they will mark us to demonstrate this. Cats use various marking techniques to identify their territory, such as scratching, rubbing their scent glands on our cheeks and tailbase, and, yes, licking us. (They mark their territory with spray as well, but that is a topic for another article!)
  • Your cat wants your attention. Licking may also be simply an attention-seeking behavior. Your cat may be trying to tell you that they want something from you by licking you if you notice that they do so when they want food, playtime, petting, or to go outside.
  • Your cat could be stressed or anxious. When cats lick you in these situations, it’s known as displacement behavior. There are many other reasons your cat might be experiencing stress, including not getting along with another cat, moving to a new house, remodeling, underlying pain or medical issues, visitors, or even when you suddenly and unexpectedly start staying at home for months at a time! Stressed-out cats frequently lick their humans excessively and overgroom themselves, leaving bald patches on their bodies. In these situations, visiting the veterinarian is necessary to identify the problem’s cause and fix it.
  • Your cat loves you. This is the best reason for licking. When kittens are young, their mother licks them, and many cats carry on this habit into adulthood. They lick bonded animals and humans as a way to show their affection and connection.

Your Cat Is Seeking Attention

It’s possible that your cat quickly discovered that licking gets attention because you’ve probably unintentionally encouraged them to lick you by stroking, talking to them, or engaging in other interactions.