I have two cats. And, while one of my cats like to sit back and relax while I cuddle him, another cat can’t stop licking my face. Especially nose. I never understood why is that the case. Because of that, I started searching for answers on the Internet. Why does my cat lick my nose? And, I got my answer. Answers, to be exact. Because there is more than one reason for it. Some of them make me happy, but, on the other hand, some of them got me worried. Does your cat lick your face, nose or any other part of your body? If yes, you might find the answer for that in this article. So, keep reading. I hope it will help.
Why does my cat lick my nose? – Reasons for it
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 1. Social Bonding
You have probably seen other cats licking each other. My cats do it all the time. And, they do it because of the social bonding. With licking, they are transferring their scents on to each other. When your cat licks you, she/he is transferring her/his smell on you. And, we can say that licking your nose is just another way your cat is trying to bond with you. So, just relax. Your cat wants you as a friend!
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 2. Complimenting
Yes, by licking you, your cat is actually complimenting you! It just means that she/he thinks you are really great. Also, she/he feels comfortable and safe with you. But, why licking? It is just an act that cats learn while they are still kittens. Their mother cats lick them and, with that, show them that they care about them.
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 3. Cleaning
In every cat group, there is one cat that always licks and grooms other cats. Especially when it comes to places of a body that cat can’t reach her/himself. Seeing this, you can assume that the reason for your cat licking you might be this. She/he just took a role of a group groomer. And, you are a part of her/his group, aren’t you?
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 4. Salt on your skin
We all know that human skin produces natural salt. If you don’t find it gross, try it out. But, let’s move forward. Yes, your cat licks you because you have a salty taste. Furthermore, a reason for licking you might not be from your natural taste. Think back. Did you spilled something on you, or did you eat something tasty and forgot to clean yourself? If yes, your cat can smell that tasty food and drinks. And, she wants to try it out. To sum up, either way, your cat find you tasty! Now, I don’t know what to think about it. Creepy or not? I just hope my cat won’t eat me.
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 5. Affection
People show their affection by hugging and kissing. But, cats can’t do that. Because of that, a way of showing affection is licking. If a cat loves another cat, dog, other animal or a human, she/he will lick them. Multiple times. Seeing this, next time your cat licks you, hug, kiss or pet him/her. Give your cat some affection back.
See also: Cat Affection
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 6. Marking its Territory
This is yet another act that cats learn from their mothers while they are still kittens. We already mentioned that, by licking, cats transfer their scents to other animals, humans or objects. And, by transferring their smell, they are also marking their territories. When kittens are born, their mother cat licks them. And, with that, she is claiming them and marking them as her own. Yes, cats usually mark objects and other people by rubbing against them. But, sometimes that is not enough. Maybe your cat wants to be hundred percent sure that you are hers/his. That is why your cat will sometimes jump on your lap and give you a gentle lick on your nose.
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 7. Stroking
Licking your face, nose or whatever is just another way of saying thank you for cuddling them and stroking them. With licking, they are returning a favor. Cats enjoy it when other cats lick them. The feel of that rough tongue on their fur is good to them. I guess they automatically assume that it will feel good to us too. Thus, they lick you to cuddle or stroke you back. Enjoying that, human?
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 8. You’re a part of its Family
Affection, cleaning, complimenting, bonding. These are all the things mother cats do to their kittens. Because of that, we can say that the act of licking has such a powerful message in cats world that, if they do it to you, they consider you as part of a family. But, before getting too excited, look at this in another way. These are the things mother cat do to their powerless kittens. Yes. Sometimes, cats can see us as powerless. And, they will have a need to teach us how to clean ourselves or to calm us down with their way of cuddling and affection. We can even say that, even though some people consider their cats as their kids, cats actually consider us as someone who will learn from them. So, did you learn something from your mother cat?
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 9. Searching for Attention
Ah, yes. Cat licking you. Just another playful and spontaneous way of searching for attention. You watched TV for 5 minutes without giving your cat attention? Here comes the lick. It is like asking you to cuddle her or play with her. But, on the other hand, a reason for searching for attention could not be something regular or good. Searching for attention can also mean that your cat is under a stress, or that she has anxiety.
See also: 12 Interesting Facts about Cat Paws
Why does my cat lick my nose? – 10. Anxiety
While all of the above reasons for licking you are somehow good and cute, this one is not good at all. When cats have anxiety, they tend to lick compulsively. Themselves, other objects, and you. But, to ease your concern, if your cat has anxiety, you would probably notice it sooner. Because of the fact that, when cats are under a stress, they tend to lick themselves all the way to their skin. So, if you see any bald spots on your cat, it is time for professional help.
How to make your cat stop licking you?
Personally, I don’t have anything against it because my cat’s not doing it so often. But, some people have a problem with it. And, it is understandable. Cat tongue is covered with barbs and, when they lick your skin, it can hurt. So, how to make your cat stop doing it? Distraction. When your cat starts licking your skin, distract her/him with a toy, food or catnip. You can also distract your cat with cuddling. Also, every time your cat licks you, you can walk away from her. In this way, your cat will associate her/him licking you with you leaving. And that is something your cat doesn’t want for sure.
Why does my cat lick my nose? I think this article answered this question. And, we can see that in most cases it is just love, love, and love. Embrace it! But, if you don’t like it, there is a way of stopping it. The only thing you need is patience. Nothing comes overnight.
(Reasons behind cats act of licking people are taken from catster.com and petmd.com.)