Why does my cat lick me?
A powerful, muscular organ covered with numerous hard keratin growths, the cat's tongue is used by the latter to perform tasks as diverse as they are varied.
Not only is it used for grooming and feeding, but also to show its affection to those close to it, the licking action is one of the cat's ways of expressing himself.
So, if you notice that your cat is licking you frequently, it may just be a sign of mutual aid or affection. However, this can also be a sign of serious disorders such as stress, anxiety and certain medical conditions.
He considers you to be a member of his group, a full-fledged
cat Cats in the same group are used to helping each other by licking each other, especially when grooming hard-to-reach parts such as the inside of the ears . Also, while grooming, in addition to licking, cats bite each other.
So, when your little feline licks you, it's because he considers you a cat in his pack, and he helps you with your toilet, so as to maintain the cohesion of the group. Generally, in this case, these licks are accompanied by small nibbles.
He shows his affection for you
To show your affection for your cat and to reward him, you tend to stroke him. Likewise, to show you how much he cares and trusts you, your cat will stroke you in his own way, licking you! It can also happen that this affectionate licking combines with small, soft nibbles.
It is attracted by a specific smell on you
The cat has a sense of smell 70 times more developed than ours. This means that if you have for example touched a food particularly palatable for the small feline (for example tuna), it is not uncommon for it to come and lick you where you have been in contact with it. food.
He is anxious or stressed: My cat licks me then bites me!
The fact that your cat is licking you is not always a sign of caring or affection, it can also be a sign of severe stress and anxiety. In fact, just like a frightened child who sucks on his blanket, your cat can compulsively lick you when he is anxious and stressed.
This nervous state of mind can make your cat aggressive, who, when they can't stand your petting for example, can lick you for a moment as a warning, then bite you suddenly, the start of aggressive behavior. In all cases, you will need to carefully observe your cat's gestures and posture when licking you, in order to know if it is a warning or not (bent back, body contracted, bristling, rigid, …).
Your cat may have a pathology
If you find that your cat is licking you excessively and for no real reason, it is also possible that he is suffering from a condition such as feline hyperesthesia. This pathology, the causes of which are not clearly known (but can be dermatological, behavioral or neurological) manifests itself in many ways, including excessive licking by the owner. In any case, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian, who will know how to give you the best behavior to take.
What to do if your cat licks you?
In general, the fact that your cat is licking you is not at all a bad thing : it is a gesture of help, or a mark of trust and affection. This is why even if you don't always enjoy licking, you should not bully your cat.
However, kitty can also lick you in some cases for the wrong reasons, for example if he is stressed or suffers from feline hyperesthesia. In this second scenario, you will have to prevent your cat from licking you, and the only way will be to correct the problem at the source.
In general, you will need to do what is necessary so that your little feline does not lack anything, and has food, accessories, and an environment conducive to his happiness and development. If your cat is suffering from feline hyperesthesia, you will need to turn to a veterinarian and a feline behavior specialist.