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Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? 9 Interesting Reasons

You must have seen your beloved cat licking the face of other cats or its own, and it seems completely normal to you, what raises the eyebrows is, why does my cat lick my face!

Now, we understand that it might seem cute at first, but have full potential to annoy you later on.

Before you scold your feline, take a pause and read our article which will help you to understand, why my cat licks my face! The texture of a cat’s tongue resembles that of sandpaper.

why does my cat lick my face

Reasons Your Cat Likes to Lick Human Faces:

Why does my cat lick my face? There are some interesting reasons behind it, to quench your curiosity, go through them, and you will know what you can do about it!

1. Cats: My Human Is Tasty!

Our cats are experts in having weird choices and tastes! Just the way they can hop on to as weird food like a banana, why can’t they strive on your face. They enjoy the particular tastes and smells.

cat likes to taste human face

In the same way, there is something about your skin, interesting scents, odors, salt of your sweat, or a spill.

This could be one of the reasons, why does my cat lick my face.

2. Claiming: This Human Is Mine

Cats usually rub themselves on other cats, humans, and objects to make them familiar by leaving their scent on them. In the same way, they lick your face to show how much they love you.

cat claiming his owner by licking his face

So, whenever you rise this question to yourself that, why does my cat lick my face? Settle your heart, because your cat loves you and wants other cats or people to know that this person over here, who is super cute, is mine! And no one else should come near it.

3. Your Cat Loves You

This might not surprise you that much, but if you have recently got a cat or kitten in your house, and looking for validation of her love, then it’s a sign you got to believe! Cats, in their initial stage of life, learn the licking behavior from their moms!

Cat licks your face just like how her kittens as a form of grooming and out of love, so it indicates that face-licking is a learned behavior related to love.

cat loves licking human face

Even if you are not a cat and your cat knows it, she will lick your face in order to let you know that, ”hey human, I love you!”

4. Cats Need Attention

Just imagine you had a busy day, and as soon as you enter your home, you throw your bag on the bed. Hop on it and lay down, forgetting about anything else, this might be your behavior on a super busy and tiring day.

cat wants attention by licking face

Your cat won’t understand this, as she is habituated to the always pampering nature of its human, she might get surprised that why my human is ignoring me! And hop on to the bed with you, start licking your face, she clearly needs your attention.

5. Building Trust

Your cat will only come and lick you if she likes you, because cats don’t go on licking each and every person they meet in their path. They are very picky about the choices! So if your cat is licking your face, and you be like, why does my cat lick my face?

cat licking human face to build trust

She licks your face because she trusts you and feels safe with you!

If you are a new pet parent or to be a new pet parent, don’t worry if the cat comes and lick your face, don’t reject her because she is building a bond of trust with you. If you stop her, then it can break your poor cat’s heart, and she might think that you don’t like her!

6. She Wants to Heal Your Wounds

You will be astounded to know the fact that histatins, a chemical that is present in the saliva of cats, help to speed up the healing process of wounds. So if your cat can sense any wound on your face, she will lick you more so that the wound gets recovered faster.

7. Missing Their Birth Moms

If you have a good amount of knowledge about cats then you must be knowing one thing which is, licking is a learned behavior. Kittens in the initial stage are taken care of by their mothers through the act of licking, which is also considered as a grooming session!

cat licking nose of a woman

Tho she has accepted you as a family and loves you blindly, but it’s very natural to miss her original family and that’s why she might engage into licking your face. So from next time don’t ask yourself a question, why does my cat lick my face, instead understand and pamper her more.

8. She Likes the Taste of Your Face Cream

Cats tend to like weird things and would dislike the most desirable things. In the same way, if you find yourself in a position where you did your skin care routine before going to bed and all of a sudden your cat comes out, starts licking your face.

cat licking face cream from human face

Don’t ask yourself, why does my cat lick my face at such a moment! Instead, know that she is like the smell or taste of your skin product, don’t wish to use it but to taste it.

9. Your Face Is Always Reachable While Cuddling

Once, we discussed all the possible reasons why does my cat lick my face. Now you don’t need to be overdramatic every time, sometimes the only reason behind it is that while you cuddle your cute fur ball the only thing which is reachable to them is your face.

cat licking face of a woman

Licking your face in such a scenario is the only way your cat will use as a medium to return the love.

Side Effect of Excessive Face Licking

Excessive face-licking, will definitely give you an unpleasant feeling and not just it can make you feel pukish, but it also comes with a pack of side effects on your skin and health. Let’s see how!

Unhygienic

No matter how many times you keep your cat clean, or make sure she doesn’t get engaged in the dirty surroundings. But she’s a cat, after all, she’s going to follow the cat norms! Just imagine after having poop she took a sniff of it or licked the litter box, or what if she came right to you after chasing and catching mice.

Most of the time, cats groom themselves using their tongue. How contiguous her tongue will be with all the bacteria, and you can’t always keep a tab on her each and every action.

This may lead you to develop various types of fungal infections on your face.

Health Risks

Did you know that a cat’s saliva contains a number of parasites and bacteria, which is why sometimes you can develop health risks.

Bacteria such as campylobacter, clostridia, E. coli, and salmonella can cause serious intestinal diseases in humans, however, apart from these other bacteria do not create much harm. Pasteurella is also one of the bacteria found in the mouth of cats, can cause serve infection or lymph nods in humans.

Skin problems can also be caused by the single-celled parasites or parasitic worms which cats have.

How to Stop Excessive Face Licking

Preventing your cat from excessive licking might be a difficult task to conduct as it is related to love and affection. Don’t turn away your cat too rudely, even if it is super annoying! Instead, try to divert your cats’ attention to somewhere else.

how to stop cats from excessive face licking

If she is licking your face, then try to move away or pet her on other body parts, this will give her a message that excessive licking is not appreciated.

Conclusion

We understand that the texture of a cat’s tongue feels like that of sandpaper, and just the way you pet her with your hand and wet kisses, in the same way, she has her own way of showing love. So before asking yourself, why does my cat lick my face, try to understand the motive behind it.

Make sure you don’t try to get too rude with your cat to stop this behavior of excessive licking because it is rooted in the concern of your cat’s affection and love!

References

  1. Cat Communication — Wikipedia
  2. Why do cats lick people? — Science Focus
  3. Licking — Wikipedia

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