Cats and Licking

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Why might your cat lick you? For cats, licking is a social interaction as well as a cleaning rite. When your cat licks you, he’s trying to both clean you and claim you with his scent, as he would another cat. Licking is also a comforting and soothing sensation to cats–associated with a mother cleaning her young.

If an older cat who has not previously been affectionate begins to lick you frequently, pay attention to behavioral changes or anything that might be bothering him.

Why does your cat lick himself, and when does it become cause for concern? A cat who licks himself excessively or for long durations might be seeking relief for a skin ailment, such as fleas. Take him to the vet to find appropriate treatment. If all medical causes have been ruled out, excessive licking could be stress related. In this case, you’ll want to try to make changes gradually and introduce comforting items to your cat.

Sources:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/health_resources/CW_lick.cfm

http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/healthy-pets/what-does-it-mean-when-your-cat-licks-you.htm