Probably every cat owner has experienced that their cat started licking them. Most people do not attach particular importance to this behavior, although experts say that there is always a reason for it.
A cat licking its owner’s hand or face may be primarily a manifestation of maternal instincts. The first experience of newborn kittens is that their mother licks them to dry and comfort them. This instinct is also aimed at eliminating the smell of the kitten so that predators cannot find it.
Adult cats also like to lick each other’s fur. This is a special ritual for them, and therefore, if the bond between the owner and the cat is strong enough, the cat extends this behavior to humans. But, as we have pointed out, licking is always done with good reason.
When a cat presses its wet nose against a person’s hand, it expresses its contentment or simply asks to be petted. In other cases, licking may mean that the cat craves a snack and tries to make its owner understand this by kind gestures. This is especially true in the morning, when a hungry cat wakes up its owner by licking.
Licking and “washing” another cat or the owner are usually kind gestures, but there can also be situations where licking can be a cause for concern.
The smell of a person
Cats often lick a person’s hand because they can sense a strong smell of food on it, for example, when the owner is cooking fish or meat. The stronger the smell, the more a cat strives to get rid of it.
Protecting and caring for the owner
If a cat is accustomed to its master waking up at a certain time during the week, there will be no way the master may laze on weekends either. The alert kitty will start “washing” them at the usual time, expressing its care and love.
Not all cats think that their master is the boss at their home. A cat that considers itself a “pack leader” licks its owner because it thinks that if left alone, they would be incapable of caring for themselves.
Cats sometimes lick their fur simply because they are bored. In this case, it is recommended to pay more attention to them.
If your cat constantly licks its fur, this habit may also indicate a disease. In this case, the first thing you need to check is if it has some skin condition. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a veterinarian immediately.