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Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? 6 Reasons for This Behavior

Kitty kisses can be cute and endearing. But being incessantly licked by a tongue that feels like sand can be uncomfortable and irritating.

In order to correct this bothersome behavior, it’s important to understand exactly why your cat is constantly licking you. Here are six of the most common reasons behind your cat’s tongue baths.

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1. Fond Family Memories

One reason for your cat licking your face is that she has accepted you as part of her pride and feels completely at ease in your presence. Mother cats will often lick their kittens to make them feel safe and secure. Now, the roles are reversed, and your kitty is showing you affection the best way she knows how – to by licking your face.


2. She’s Seeking Attention

If your cat is feeling bored or lonely, she may start licking you to get attention. Sometimes, the licking means that she simply wants to play or be petted. However, in other cases, the obsessive face licking could be a sign of stress or separation anxiety.

Excessive stress-induced licking, whether it’s grooming herself or grooming your face, may mean that your feline is stressed. If it’s gotten to the point where the licking is interfering with day-to-day life, you should schedule a wellness exam with your vet.

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Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay

3. Mine, Mine, Mine

Cats will lick items (and seemingly your face) to mark it as their own. Leaving her scent on you establishes you as her property. Mama cats will do the same to their kittens. Even cats that aren’t related but get along very well will lick one another to socially bond.


4. Grooming

When your cat licks your face, she may be trying to clean you. While a bath of cat saliva doesn’t really sound that clean, this grooming promotes bonding. In the wild, cats who are part of the same community will often lick one another to form tighter bonds. The face licking just means that your pet considers you part of her pride.


5. A Human Pacifier

Kittens who were taken away from or abandoned by their mother before they were eight weeks old may develop an oral fixation, making them susceptible to excessive licking. They didn’t get the appropriate amount of time to suckle and licking can be a soothing substitute for that.


6. She Finds You Tasty

Whether it’s from the salt of your sweat or a spill on your arm, your kitty may be licking you because she enjoys the taste.

Cute Kitten
Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay

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How to Stop the Constant Licking

Stopping excessive licking from your cat could prove to be difficult. This behavior is often rooted in love and affection, so it may be tough to stop without harming your relationship.

The best way to prevent licking is to redirect your cat’s actions. For example, if your cat goes to lick your face, simply move it away from her and pet her instead. You could also move away from your cat when she starts licking. This causes her to associate her licking with your disappearance.

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The Bottom Line on Licking

If your cat is always licking your face, it could be because of her deep adoration for you, wanting to mark you as her property, or because she wants attention. It may also be because of stress. Contact your vet if you think this is the case.

Above all else, know that your cat loves you and considers you part of her feline family.


Image Credit: Pixabay