what does it mean when one cat licks another cat

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. Mother Cats Groom Their Kittens

For a newborn kitten, one of their first experiences in life is being caressed by their mother. When a kitten is born, its mother will groom it right away to encourage bowel movements and clean up after her young.

As the kittens grow and become independent in their elimination, the mother keeps up the grooming habits. Mother cats licking their kittens is primarily motivated by hygiene, but it also fosters bonding, offers comfort, and teaches the kittens how to groom themselves, according to Arden.

2. Survival Instincts: Clean Cats Live Longer

Bonding isn’t the only reason cats groom each other—at least in outdoor colonies. Allogrooming is important for survival. Aiding in the removal of fleas, ticks, and other life-threatening parasites.

Indoor cats might allogroom, in part, because their survival instincts tell them to. But that drive is likely minimal—especially if your cat is up to date on flea preventatives. More likely, Dale says, indoor cats allogroom because “it’s social and a means of communicating mutual trust.”

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.


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.

What does it mean when a cat licks a cat?

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.

Why does my cat lick then bite my other cat?

Cats do it when mating. Even neutered/spayed cats will form pair bonds involving this licking/biting pattern. It is also a grooming technique used by mothers grooming their litters of kittens. As someone else mentioned, it is a form of dominance of one cat over another.

What does it mean when a cat licks its lips at another cat?

Usually it only means they’re licking their lips clean. But licking the lips is also something many cats do after swallowing, and swallowing is something they do when they’re nervous. It could mean they’re not quite comfortable with each other… or it could mean they’ve just finished dinner.