Java licks me and gives little love nibbles ALL THE TIME. I figured it’s a good thing, and it looks like that’s mostly true. While it’s hard to determine if cats feel complex emotions like love, licking is generally considered a sign of affection. Cats usually lick themselves in order to groom. Mother cats will lick their kittens as a part of the grooming process as well. However, cats will also lick each other as a sign of affection. Cats actually lick humans for one of several reasons, but most of them come down to displays of affection.
“This is me. I’m marked by my scent. Accept me.”
Your cat is grooming you
This is the most likely reason why your cat licks you. When cats lick other cats, they are actually grooming them. They are removing loose hair and any dirt or debris from the cat’s coat. This also sends a scent-message to the other cat. They are saying, “This is me. I’m marked by my scent. Accept me.” This is called scent-marking.
Cats don’t just scent mark other cats. They will rub up against objects and even people to leave their scent, which is why your cat may not only lick you but rub all over you too! When your cat licks you, it could be a similar attempt to scent-mark you as their own.
Is It a Sign of Anxiety?
Even though licking is usually a sign of affection and love, it can also mean that your cat is maybe upset or anxious. Some cats will lick themselves excessively, and they do so as a way to relieve anxiety. If your cat is stressed out, they may also lick you as a way to relieve their anxiety. If that’s the case, when your cat licks you, they are acting out their anxious feelings by cleaning you or using you as a way to ease their anxiety. Think about if there’s any reason for your cat to be stressed. If they are, they might be sending some other signals with their tail as well.
Licking could be a sign of emotion
Cats can show their emotions through their body language. In addition to licking, cats will roll over on their backs and expose their bellies as a sign of vulnerability. They will also make a kind of purring sound that is associated with this. When your cat licks you, it may not be a sign of affection. Just as it might be them trying to relieve stress, it might mean that they are trying to relax YOU. Cats will lick their owners’ hands as a way to help them feel calm and relaxed. They do this by softly licking their hands. Cats are very perceptive to humans’ emotions. This is one of the reasons why they often act as a soother for people who are experiencing anxiety, depression, or other forms of negative feelings.
So, Why Is Your Cat Licking You
Just because your cat licks you, it doesn’t mean that it’s a sign of love or a way to show affection. It could be that your cat is simply scent-marking you. This is especially true when it comes to cats that are in heat. However, if your cat is licking you excessively or over-grooming, you may want to have your cat checked out by your veterinarian. You may find that your cat is actually anxious and needs your help. On the other hand, if your cat is licking you as a way to soothe you, maybe it’s a sign that your cat truly does love you.
Do your cats lick or nibble on you? I would love to hear why you think they do in the comments below!