Everyone who shares his or her life with a cat knows of his desire to lick. Either because they are grooming themselves or because they want to show their owner how much they love him or her. However, this gesture can also denote that something is happening to your kitten. Read on and find out what it could be.
Although it is difficult to determine if cats feel emotions such as love, licking is undoubtedly a sign of affection and belonging. Cats generally lick to groom themselves. Cats also lick their kittens as part of the grooming process. We will tell you below what the reasons why your cat licks you are.
Reasons why your cat licks your hair
Licking is a way for your furry to show you how much he cares about you and how much he loves you, although sometimes it hurts a little and excessive licking can be an indicator that something is wrong. The main reasons why your cat licks your hair are:
As a sign of affection: equivalent to a hug
One reason your cat may lick your hair is that he is creating a social bond with you. Since they are born, the mother licks them as a way to groom them, but also to show them affection. Later, when they are older, cats replicate this behavior with their human as a way of showing their own affection.
The lick is the equivalent of a hug. Cats that live together, even if they are from different breeds, lick each other as a way of socializing. It is a way to show belonging and that they are family. If your cat licks you, he is forming an affectionate bond with you to bind the two of you.
To groom you and leave you “to her liking”
Felines are very clean animals, they can’t stand having their fur dirty, and they won’t stand their human being dirty either. If he licks you, he is likely to find that you are poorly groomed or not doing well.
It is common, for example, that he licks your legs when you are just getting out of the shower because he finds that you do not smell as you should. When licking your hair, he leaves you the smell of him through the pheromones that you eliminate when you bathe, leaving a “wrong” smell on your skin, which he must quickly correct by putting his mark on you again.
The same happens if you have leftover food or cream, or even some perfume. Therefore, be very careful about using products that may be toxic to him or her if your cat has a habit of “washing” your hair.
To mark territory
Cats use pheromones to mark their territory. The most common way to mark territory is through urine, but it is not the only one; they can also do this by rubbing their cheeks against objects or people.
Licking is another way that cats claim something or someone as their property. Cats lick their kittens to establish that they belong to them. When your cat leaves her pheromones on you, she is telling all the other cats that you belong to her and that you are very valuable to her.
Stress and anxiety
Another reason your cat may lick your hair is that he is experiencing some stress moment. It is very common for cats and other animals to lick things excessively if they are stressed. If you think your furry is stressed, try calming him down with soothing music.
The licking relaxes them and reminds them of how comforting the breastfeeding stage was and the security they felt around their mother. Excessive stress licking is common in cats that are weaned early or orphaned, which can be accompanied by kneading and purring.
Licking excessively deserves your attention (can be your hair or himself), and sometimes it is so compulsive that it can pull out strands of hair and cause skin lesions. If you think this may be the case, don’t hesitate to ask your vet.
Remember that, for your cat, being licked is something that makes him feel good, he does not know that it can be uncomfortable or painful for you.
When a cat licks you, he is just trying to show a little love. Never challenge him or react in a brusque way that he can understand as a punishment. If you want him to stop licking you, try diverting his attention to a toy or other activity. On the other hand, if your cat bites your hair, most probably is because he wants to play.
Why is the tongue of cats so rough?
Licking may be difficult to understand as a token of love because it is sometimes uncomfortable and may even hurt a bit if your skin is sensitive.
This is because the cat’s tongue is designed for cleaning, and removing dirt and dead hair. Their papillae are like backward-facing hooks and are made of keratin just like their claws, this is what makes them so rough and why this act of affection can feel the same as small scratches, causing even irritations or erosions on the skin.
As you can see, it is not your cat’s fault that his displays of affection can become painful for you. Be grateful for his love, take the necessary measures if you see that this behavior is out of the ordinary, and show him back how important he is in your life.
On the other hand, if you want your kitten to stop licking your hair, try changing the fragrance of your shampoo, for example, one with a citrus scent since they don’t like it however, avoid using products that may be toxic to him.
Always remember that the licking action is something that cats will not do with everyone, if he does it with you is because he considers you as part of his own clan as he can do it with other cats.
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