You knew that dogs particularly enjoyed lovingly licking their owner’s face, but you didn’t think cats were too fond of it. However, your hairball seems to take some pleasure in frantically licking your face or your hands. Not that you mind since, unlike a dog, your cat won’t spray you with saliva or have bad breath. But you would still like to know why it acts like this… Is it really because it loves you?
Good to know: If your cat’s tongue is raspy, it’s for a good reason. This allows them to more easily remove dead hair during their toilet, to suck up water more efficiently but also to better catch food.
1. He is attracted to a smell
The smell of a food, a plant, a cream or even your hormones can cause your cat to lick you. Not only does it try to appropriate the smell you give off, but it also shares their smell on you, which is also a way of marking their territory. Indeed, the cat is a very territorial animal and a real control freak. Nothing and no one should enter their territory without their being informed.
This is also why some cats suddenly start peeing all over the house. Most of the time they have smelled a new smell inside their own territory, for example that of another cat, and they then feel the need to proceed to the marking of territory again.
This marking can be done by scratching, rubbing against furniture or even by urinary jets. In all cases, odorous pheromones are deposited. The latter allow the felines to inform their possible enemy that this territory is already taken and that it has no interest in returning to the area, under penalty of reprisals.
2. He tries to communicate with you
Among themselves, cats communicate a lot with the tongue. They lick each other to make peace after an argument, to establish their social status, to encourage play or simply to establish friendships.
Since your feline thinks you’re a big cat and considers you to be part of its social group, it’s normal for it to use its tongue to communicate with you as well. It’s just another way of interacting with you, that’s all.
But cats can also use their tail, their purr or their voice (meowing …) to talk to each other but also to talk to their human. Body language, however, is the most widely used form of communication between felines.
3. He shows his affection for you.
Yes, cats also know how to express their love! If your cat licks you often, it is also to show you that it appreciates living by your side and that it simply feels good with you. It is therefore a sign of affection, just like when it snuggles up to you to take their nap.
And take it as an honor if your cat enjoys grooming you and licking your face. Indeed, it is a real mark of confidence. And for good reason, cats have a habit of only licking people or cats they respect, especially the most dominant ones.