When cats lick us, we think they are showing us their love! This can definitely be the case, but there are other reasons why your cat may be licking you! Let’s take a look at a few reasons why your cat licks! 

Memories of Kittenhood

Your cat might be licking you because they accept you as a member of their family! They remember how their mother gave them cleanings as a kitten and is continuing what they learned with you! Your cat feels completely secure with you so they want to nurture you in the best way they know - licking! 

All Mine! 

Licking can be used by cats to establish their territory. They might lick toys, other animals, or even people to leave their scent and, in turn, let other animals know to stay away because that person or object is theirs now! This is what mother cats do to their kittens, as well as cats that are siblings! So, licking is a gesture to bond two things together for cats!

Licking is Petting

For cats, licking their owner is their version of us petting them! Petting and licking are forms of affection so, since they can’t pet you, they lick you! Your cat has no idea that their tongue is so rough though! 

High Anxiety

When your cat is very anxious, it may begin to lick compulsively! This is a good sign that your cat needs some love to reduce its stress! So if your cat is licking excessively, try giving them some attention and affection to soothe them and hopefully limit the licking! 

Pacifier Substitute

Cats who were weaned before it was time or those who were orphaned develop an oral fixation that makes them excessive lickers. Since they didn’t have the opportunity to suckle, licking is the closest thing they can get to the soothing comfort that nursing provides. So if your cat is licking you, just know that they feel comfortable with you and love you!


To keep your feline friend happy, healthy, and licking away, sign up for a Pet Notify plan to gain access to tools like the Pet Vault, Intellitag, and more pet-management tools!