- Cat

Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? 7 Attainable Causes

Indicators of affection out of your cat could be great, however a cat who insists on continually licking you is something however nice. In case your cat likes to lick your face, it may be irritating, uncomfortable, and unhygienic.

When you’re questioning why your cat likes to lick your face or beard, listed here are some potential causes for this habits and how one can right it.


The Prime 7 Attainable Causes Your Cat Licks Your Face

1. Bonding Habits

cat licking man's ear
Picture Credit score: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

Cats groom their kittens by licking, so it’s a discovered bonding habits that your cat might keep in mind from its time with its mom. Your cat is displaying nurturing and affection by acquainted bonding behaviors.

2. Possessiveness

Licking is a manner to your cat to mark its territory and declare you as its possession. Cats will typically do that with toys, different pets, and private areas in the home, leaving a scent and displaying rivals that it’s their property. Very similar to the primary instance, cats be taught this habits whereas they’re kittens.

3. Looking for Consideration

cat licking a mans fingers
Picture Credit score: Piqsels

Cats might have a status for being very impartial, however they are often demanding when they need consideration. Licking is an effective technique to get your consideration because you possible discuss to get the habits to cease or cease what you’re doing to pet your cat. You’ve bolstered this habits, so your cat continues to do it to get what it needs. Do not forget that detrimental consideration remains to be consideration, so even yelling at your cat or pushing it away is reinforcement.

4. Style

Cats are extremely meals motivated, so licking might merely be since you scent or style good. If in case you have meals in your beard or utilized a strong-smelling face lotion, your cat could also be interested in the scent and licking to research. Your sweat additionally has salts that your cat might take pleasure in.

5. Nervousness

sad lonely cat
Picture Credit score: medveda, Shutterstock

Licking could be a displacement habits, which is an motion your cat makes use of to alleviate stress. That is normally seen with self-grooming behaviors, however it may be prolonged to you. When you discover the licking solely occurs throughout disturbing conditions, like when you’ve got guests, or there’s a storm or fireworks, it’s possible due to anxiousness. If this continues with out remedy, it may well result in compulsive habits that ends in pores and skin irritation.

6. Medical Issues

In case your cat is affected by medical issues like ache, digestive upset, or nausea, it could lick you, itself, and different pets or objects. In case your cat’s licking is a brand new habits or reaches an extreme or compulsive degree, it’s time for a vet go to to rule out medical circumstances.

Is It Protected for Your Cat to Lick You?

Whereas it’s usually secure for cats to lick you, cats do carry and unfold some zoonotic illnesses or illnesses that may be transmitted to individuals. Most wholesome adults have a robust sufficient immune system to combat off illnesses from cats, however infants, immunocompromised individuals, and the aged are prone to zoonotic illnesses from cats.

Cat scratch illness is a bacterial an infection carried within the saliva of contaminated cats and cat fleas and could also be transmitted to people if a cat licks an open wound or damaged pores and skin, amongst different methods. Individuals contaminated with cat scratch illness might develop swelling and blisters, fever, headache, sore joints, and fatigue. It’s treatable, however it could take months to heal.

Cats may carry illnesses which are handed to people by oblique or direct contact with feces, similar to toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis, and pasteurella multocida. Happily, the chance of your cat contracting these infections and passing them to you is low, particularly by licking behaviors.

When you or somebody in your family is immunocompromised, aged, or younger, it’s greatest to curb licking behaviors in your cat. You also needs to sustain with hygiene, similar to washing your palms after dealing with your cat and utilizing gloves to scrub the litter field. It’s additionally essential to maintain up together with your cat’s veterinary care and maintain it indoors to scale back illness threat.

cat licking woman's ear
Picture Credit score: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

Learn how to Cease Your Cat from Licking

The explanation to your cat’s licking habits may give you some steering in learn how to cut back or cease it. If there’s a medical difficulty or emotional concern like anxiousness, correcting the issue can get rid of the licking.

If the licking is behavioral, you need to use constructive and detrimental reinforcement to attenuate it. Listed here are some suggestions:

  • Redirect licking habits by giving your cat a toy.
  • When your cat licks you, transfer away from it. Watch out to not by accident reinforce the habits by speaking to or petting your cat till the habits stops.
  • Provide reward and rewards when your cat offers you affection with out licking.
  • Play together with your cat typically and supply enrichment like computerized toys, timber and perches, and hiding areas to keep away from boredom.
  • By no means scold your cat or use distressing punishments like loud noises or water spray bottles to discourage your cat. That is prone to enhance anxious licking.


Cats lick their house owners for a number of causes, however extreme licking could be annoying and disruptive. The important thing to lowering or eliminating extreme licking lies in figuring out the underlying trigger and addressing it, then making use of behavioral coaching to discourage licking and educate your cat applicable bonding behaviors.

Featured Picture Credit score: NivCube, Shutterstock

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