The tongue is one of the greatest assets of a cat. They use their tongue to groom themselves. Cats dedicate nearly half of their time to keep their fur clean. So after their cats spent all this time on hygiene, cat parents may wonder: “Why does my cat lick my face?” What if your cat licks you a lot? It is not quite an uncommon thing. It is natural if your cat licks your hair, forehead, lips, feet, nose, or even your clothes. Each time they lick you, they do it for some reason, and this article will provide you with all those possible reasons. Also, after the grounds, you will get to know “How do you know if your cat loves you”, and “What does it mean when a cat licks you then bites you?

what does it mean when a cat licks you

Six common reasons why cats lick their owners- What does it mean when a cat licks you?

Table of Contents

Veterinarians, researchers, and cat behavior experts have represented some reasons why cats may lick owners now and again. After being well aware of the reasons, you can decide, “should I let my cat lick me?”

To show affections Cats use licking not only as a grooming mechanism. They show affection via grooming. What do they want to build is just a social bond via licking their owners. Thinking about how this occurs?

Yeah, part of this habit may come from kittenhood when queens (mother cats) licked to groom them and show them affection.

1. To “mark their territory.”

Although there are different ways that cats “mark their territory,” including scratching and cheek rubbing, they also use licking as one. In this case, by licking you, your cat is trying to ensure that other animals know who you belong to! You belong to your cat!

2. To groom you

Your cat may not realize that licking you is not helping you in getting clean. But that behavior is entirely OK with them. As we have mentioned earlier, mother cats groom kittens with the hope of teaching them to do it for themselves. It is a way in which they show kittens affection and create a bond. So by licking you, they might be trying to fulfill a role to establish your membership in their group.

Most of the times, cats bring this behavior into their adult lives, licking their human owners to pass along the same impression.

3. To taste something interesting

As simple as it may seem, your cat can be licking you because it tastes something interesting on your skin. Sometimes you may have spilled something, or your skin had contact with something which leaves a residue on your skin. If your cat likes how it tastes naturally, it refers to lick you. When it is warm, your sweat can leave a salty residue on your skin. Maybe your cat will try to taste it by licking you.

4. To have your attention

Another possible reason for your cat to lick you is to gain your attention. Cats desperately want you to feed them, pet them, or pay attention to them. So your cat may lick you to try to capture your attention. In this case, licking is similar to any other attention-gaining cat behavior, like meowing or pawing at you.

5. To cope with anxiety or stress

Finally, a cat might lick you because they feel stressed or anxious. Sometimes cats’ excessive grooming or licking can indicate medical issues. But many times, cats lick themselves, or you, as a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress. You might observe your cat licking you when they experience a change in their environment, like moving to a new home.

Typically, this kind of licking is nothing to worry about. But the situation is different if they groom themselves so much, they create bald spots, or their skin becomes raw. In this case, it is better to meet a veterinarian to know how you can remedy this behavior.

What does it mean when a cat licks you then bites you

What does it mean when a cat licks you then bites you?

We know why cats lick you in detail now. Cats can also be licking and biting you to show their affection which means it is a little love bite. Also, this could happen when the cat has had enough of your affection and wants you to stop petting them. However, if they bite you suddenly like they have not before, meet your veterinarian as it could be an act of pain.  some cats are lick in the middle of the night

How do cats show their love and gratitude to their owners?


Each cat spends an enormous amount of their time grooming themselves, and friendly cats groom each other as well. Cats groom their loveliest people by licking their skin/hair, or even nibbling/sucking on their clothing denote great affection. This leaves a familiar scent and marks a person as an essential part of the cat’s family group.


Cats are precious! Cats pretty much show their love and happiness by purring. Not only that but also purring comes when they feel relaxed or enjoying something. Of course, this vibrating noise comes when you pet your cat most of the time.  

In rare cases. Purring can also be a sign that says your feline is kind of upset. Just keep this point in your mind because that is not a common sign.


Children love to throw themselves on the ground and roll around during a tantrum. But when your cat rolls down, it means your presence excites them! Cats may run to you, throwing themselves on the ground, and then begin to roll around. This brings you a loving greeting, and they ask for your attention, especially when they show you their belly.


Bunting is your cat rubbing their cheeks on you or an object. They scratch their head on you or head-butt you with their forehead. It is a method for your cat to leave its scent on you to mark its territory. Cats bunt when they love someone or something. They may practice bunting on their favorite humans or other pets.


Scratching leaves both visual and scented marks of ownership to a cat. Pay closer attention to where your cat leaves scratch marks the most. A cat’s most important areas are often associated with the owner.


Cats’ kneading behaviors come from ​kittenhood. Kittens knead their paws against the mother cat’s breasts to induce milk. Cats continue this behavior even as adults when they feel content, relaxed, and loved. That is often when owners pet cats on their laps. You can think of the cat’s kneading as a unique expression of adoration.

Hunting and Gifting Prey

Cats are adorable, but we know they are still tiny carnivores who carry hunting instincts. Cats try to hunt everything from mice to toys and often share their prey with those they love. If your cats present you with any catch, they deserve praise because they bring these gifts to show their love for you.


Little kittens play out of pure enjoyment. Their favorite playmate is typically a loved and trusted companion. Some cats control their interaction by moving just out of sight. This action forces their companions to reach them and start playing.


Typically, a cat sleeps up to 16 hours a day, and they are most vulnerable while sleeping. The place your cat selects to snooze must be a trusted and secure location. So there is no more excellent and lovely compliment than a cat choosing your lap as their sleep spot.  

Loving Eyes

A cat’s eyes are proportionally huge. Also, cat eyes are severe assets for survival and yet extremely vulnerable. Cats who place their wide-open eyes near a person are trying to express great love and trust. You can consider a slow “eye blink” from a kitty as a cat kiss.


It is rare for cats to meow at other cats. Typically, only kittens meow at their mother cats, and they grow with this habit as adults. The adult cats use these vocalizations primarily to interact with people. Just like people, cats do not “talk” to people they dislike. So remember, even when your kitty pesters you with so many meows, they are contacting you out of love.

Conclusion-Now you know what does it mean when a cat licks you!

Veterinarians, researchers, and cat behavior experts have represented some reasons why cats may lick owners now and again. They can be licking you to show affection, mark their territory, groom you, have your attention, or cope with anxiety. However, if they groom themselves so much, they create bald spots, or their skin becomes raw. In this case, it is better to meet a veterinarian to know how you can remedy this behavior. 

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