Why Does My Maine Coon Cat Lick Me? Here Is Why

PawperCare Team

Updated on:


Have you ever wondered why your cat enjoys giving you a good lick? While it may seem strange, licking is a natural behavior for cats, and there are a few reasons why they do it.

Why does my cat lick me?

One reason why cats lick their owners is as a form of grooming. In the wild, cats will groom each other to bond and show affection, and your cat may view you as a member of its family group. 

Licking can also help clean any dirt or debris off your skin or hair, similar to how cats groom themselves.

Another reason why cats lick their owners is as a form of communication. Cats have scent glands in their mouths and will often use licking to mark their territory or show affection.
So if your cat licks you, it may be trying to communicate that it feels safe and comfortable around you.

Finally, some cats may simply enjoy the taste or texture of human skin. Cats are curious creatures and enjoy exploring the world with their senses, including taste and touch.

Is it safe to let my cat lick me?

While it is generally safe for your cat to lick you, there are a few things to remember. First, you should ensure your cat is healthy and up-to-date on its vaccinations before letting it lick you, as cats can transmit diseases through their saliva.

Additionally, avoiding your cat licking open wounds or sores on your skin would be better, as this can increase the risk of infection. If your cat accidentally licks a wound, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water.

Finally, you should be aware that some cats may have a habit of chewing or nibbling on their owners’ skin, which can be painful or cause injury.

If your cat has this behavior, it may be best to discourage it through training or by providing alternative outlets for your cat’s instincts, such as toys or scratching posts.

How do I get my cat to stop licking me?

If your cat’s licking behavior is becoming excessive or bothersome, you can try a few things to discourage it.

One approach is to redirect your cat’s attention to a toy or other object when it licks you to help break the habit of licking. 

You can also try gently pushing your cat away when it starts to lick you or giving it a firm “no” command to communicate that the behavior is unwanted.

Another approach is to provide your cat with alternative forms of affection, such as petting or playing, to reinforce positive behaviors and discourage excessive licking. 

Finally, you can use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats or praise, to reward your cat when it exhibits appropriate behavior.

It’s important to remember that cats are individuals, and what works for one cat may not work for another. If your cat’s licking behavior is causing problems, consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for additional guidance may be helpful.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, cats lick their owners for a variety of reasons, including as a form of grooming, communication, or exploration. While letting your cat lick you is generally safe, you should be aware of the potential risks and take precautions to ensure your cat’s health and safety. 

If your cat’s licking behavior becomes excessive or bothersome, there are a few things you can try to discourage it, including redirection, training, and positive reinforcement. 

With patience and consistency, you can help your cat develop appropriate behaviors and strengthen your bond with your feline companion.

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