what does it mean when a cat licks your fingers

Your cat wants your attention.

Licking may also be simply an attention-seeking behavior. If you find your cat is licking you when they want petting, food, play, or to go outside, then it could be that licking is the most effective way for your cat to communicate that they want something from you.

The 7 Reasons Why Your Cat Licks Your Hand & Fingers

It’s normal for two cats to exchange licks when they get along. Typically, grooming is used to accomplish this, but it’s not always the case. Mother cats, for instance, lick their kittens, which fosters social bonds.

It may also be a cat’s natural response to establishing a hierarchy as well as showing affection, and it has been suggested that cats groom each other, also called allogrooming, particularly on the head and neck area, as a way to redirect potential social aggression.1 However, we know that this type of grooming behavior is common among cats who live together and share a strong social bond.

Not only do cats like other cats in the house, but they also lick humans because they feel a connection to them. If your cat has been acting in this way from an early age, it’s possible that they were weaned sooner or that their lack of mother socialization led to the development of certain behavioral traits.

Some cats seem to like licking more than others. Your cat may still like you even if they aren’t licking you. Depending on the cat’s temperament, some will lick frequently, while others won’t lick at all. However, licking you by your cat is typically an indication of affection

what does it mean when a cat licks your fingers

Some cats also lick objects when they’re stressed. It’s like a nervous tick. Your cat might start licking you if it starts to lick too much. This behavior may also result in overgrooming, a behavior in which your cat licks a body part until the hair starts to fall out. They can also lick the floor or their sleeping spot.

If stress is not acknowledged and managed, it can result in major health problems. Cats get stressed for all sorts of reasons. Maybe something has changed in your routine that is making your cat anxious. However, some cats can become stressed because of an illness. They typically hide their symptoms quite well, so it’s unlikely that you will even be aware that something is off.

Cats will occasionally lick you or themselves to relieve stress because licking releases endorphins, which improves their mood and provides them with comfort. If you observe that your cat is licking excessively, watch out for any other odd behaviors and contact your veterinarian for assistance. They could indicate that something more serious is going on.

2 Answers 2 Sorted by:

Its hard to guess what a cat is actually thinking. But two possibilities occur to me:

1. She is grooming herself by petting her, and she is repaying the favor. My two will often wash each other simultaneously.

2. The cat considers you to be “mommy” and is attempting to nurse you on some level. Thst might explain the focus specifically on fingertips.

Other explanations are equally likely. You’ll never know for sure unless you can figure out a way to ask the cat. And even then.

It is undoubtedly a mutual grooming behavior; our dogs engage in it after we pet them for an extended period of time and they become fairly “into it”; after that, they won’t allow us pet them unless we return the favor. Presenting, say, your arm as a test is a good idea rather than the fingers you are using to groom them. Even though it’s not being used to groom them, I have a suspicion that they might groom that as well.

Another thing that occurs to me is how cats groom their heads and faces, which is where we tend to pet them most. They may be putting saliva on your fingers since we just rub them when they lick their paws to clean themselves. Instead, wash them instead of just rubbing them. But that is a wild idea.

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3. Your Hands Taste Like Food

It’s possible that the cat can still taste the food on your hands if you’ve just eaten. Your cat may lick your hands as a result of this just because it tastes good. Generally, depending on the situation, you can determine whether this is the cause of your cat’s behavior.

If your fingers taste good, even cats who don’t appear to engage in social licking will lick them.

what does it mean when a cat licks your fingers