Licking is the cat’s way of showing affection to his/her owner. But though your cat likes it, you might not feel the same. Some people find it irritating when their cats lick them.
Sometimes, it becomes more annoying when the cat licks excessively. I did a little research on this topic and here’s what I know:
How to stop my cat from licking me? Gently push your cat away to discourage them from licking you. But it’s better to redirect your cat’s attention with a toy or tasty food, or you can also replace cat licking with other activities like walking your cat or making them watch TV.
Not only humans, but a cat can also lick other cats or themselves excessively which can result in cat hairball problems. In my recent articles, I have discussed more cat hairball problems and solutions.
There are some reasons why your cat is licking you constantly. If you know the reasons behind cat licking, stopping your cat from licking you becomes more effortless.
Read on to know more effective ways of stopping a cat from licking you:
What can you do to stop your cat from licking you?
I was really annoyed by this trait of my cats. My cats were very playful and were in constant need of pampering.
But though my other cats used to lick me at times, two of my cats were licking me excessively.
So, I found some solutions on how to stop my cat from licking me:
1. Discourage your cat by showing less affections.
Now you might feel it harsh to follow, but this actually works. Now you might feel it harsh to follow, but this actually works.
If you push your cats away when they come to licking you, your behavior will make your cat feel unwanted.
After continuously repeating the same action, your cat will understand that you don’t like when they lick you.
2. Get another cat
Cats groom each other by licking each other’s bodies. When your little feline can’t find anything else to lick or pamper, he/she will come to you to fulfill that desire. So, if you bring another cat, both of the cats will groom each other making your cat stop his/her tendency of licking you.
But excessive grooming can result in health problems, to reduce the grooming of cats you need to stroke your cat regularly. In my recent article I have explained how to stroke a cat properly.
3. Play with your cat
As licking is a form of showing affectionate behavior, you can push your cat away and play with your cats when they come to lick you. It will make your cat happy, and also, your cat will get habituated to this behavior. As a result, your cats won’t lick you anymore; instead, they will play with you more often.
4. Make your cat calm
Sometimes the cat licks the owner out of the anxiety and stress. If your cat suddenly starts to lick you, then anxiety or stress can be the reason. In that case, you have to change the environment or make the environment playful for your cat. Spending time with your cat also helps if your cat is anxious or stressed.
Sometimes the stress of a cat can result in cat shedding, know more on how to stop cat shedding.
5. Redirect your cats attention
When your cat comes to lick you, you can move its attention towards toys or other exciting things. Also, you can use foods to distract them in this regard. But I personally prefer toys to distract the cat.
Offering food every time to distract them, you can make them feel that they will get food every time they lick you. Eventually, cats may be licking you more to get food, which is a worse situation to handle.
Cats do not lick someone until they feel the safest with the person. So if your cat is licking you, you can think yourself lucky! But if you don’t like affection, do not hit or yell at your cat because it will eventually make your cat scared of you.AnimalWised
Why do cats lick the owner?
When cats want to groom, they lick their owners. Also, licking is a way of showing pampering and affection for cats. Cats only lick the owners when they feel safe around them. Sometimes cats can lick you out of stress and anxiety too.
Let’s know the probable reasons why your cat might be licking you!
- Your cat is bonding with you. As I have already shared, the way cats bond is different than other pets. So if your cat is licking you, you can assume that she is feeling comfortable around you and thinks of you as a friend. So, he/she is trying to make a good bonding with you, even though you don’t like it!
- Your cat is trying to groom you. Cats groom each other by licking. And as you are his/her owner, you are the closest to him/her. If you don’t have any other cat in your house, your cat will try to groom or clean you by licking your body as an instinct. Besides, it’s the cats’ tendency to groom each other. So, you can’t really break this natural grooming habit, even though you are a human.
- Your cat is stressed or anxious. Sometimes cats lick their owner out of anxiety and stress, especially when there is a change in the environment. However, there can be other reasons as well. So, if your cat is licking out of anxiety, you need to play with her or seek expert advice.
- Owning you as its territory. Cats like to make things their territory and mark them. So if you have other pets in your house, your cat might want to show them that he/she owns you as his/her territory. Believe it or not, your cat likes to think that you belong to only himself/herself.
- Your cat feels safe around you. I have already shared that cats lick their owners when they are comfortable around them. Also, there is a big place for him/her to feel safe around you. So when your cat feels safe around you, she will lick your body to show trust.
- Your cat wants to play. Cats tend to lick their owners when they want attention. One of my cats licks me as soon as he wakes up from sleep so that I play with him. There might be a possibility that your cat is seeking attention and affection from you by licking yourself.
- You taste good (yeah, surprising). It might sound exciting and weird at the same time. But sometimes, we unknowingly spill food on ourselves. And as cats have improved smell power than us, they can smell food from our bodies. As a result, your cat will lick your body to get that taste from you. So, keep yourself clean!
Why does my cat licks the strangest things?
If you find your cat is licking random things around your house, then it can be a sign of Pica. The habit of craving non-food items such as furniture, clothes, plastic bags, or even dirt is known as Pica. Some veterinarians believe that a lack of fiber or fat in your cat’s nutrition can cause Pica.
Know more about Pica symptoms and treatments
As cats are clean animals, it’s natural for them to groom or clean themselves by licking. But there are reasons which explain why your cat is licking random things.
If your cat licks itself constantly, then it means your cat is bored or anxious. And if your cat licks strange things around, it might want to taste unique flavors.
Sometimes cats are curious about new things and want to taste or smell them. So those harmless licks won’t harm your cats unless they lick something toxic.
Sometimes the cats even lick their owners. If your cat licks you, it can be a sign that your cat thinks of you as a family.
If you often find your cat licking random stuff, you must discourage your cat from doing it. Spend more time with your cat, give attention, and play with them.
Keep harmful and toxic things such as chocolates, coffee, cleaning products, and makeup in a place where your cat can’t reach.
If your cat is constantly licking weird stuff, give your cat the right food with proper nutrition according to their age and breed. It would be best if you visit a veterinarian.
Because your cat might be suffering from Pica and the veterinarian can advise you on a proper diet plan for your cat.
A pica cat might also have feline leukemia, diabetes, and feline immunodeficiency virus. So, make sure to look after your cat, and it’s changing behavior.
Is cat licking safe for humans?
Honestly, you can face many potential hazards because of your cat licking habit. Cats do not keep clean from bacteria and other small organisms as we do. So their tongue and saliva are filled with different bacteria. Those bacteria might not be infectious or harmful to them, but they can be harmful to you.
Case studies show that 44% of cats contain numerous bacteria in their saliva. When they lick you, the saliva will come in contact with you. So you will get infected by the bacteria.
Also, if you have an open injury, the bacteria from your cat’s saliva can come in contact with your blood, which can bring serious dangers.
Moreover, if you or your cat is not vaccinated, you can fall victim to more significant troubles. Sometimes, cats tend to bite while licking. The bite can injure you badly as well.
That’s why health experts never suggest people encourage the cat’s habit of licking. It might not be harmful to your cat, but it can bring potential harm to you.
So, be very careful if your cat licks you. And if you think that your cat has licked your open injuries, seek expert suggestions as soon as you can.
Why does my cat bite me gently?
If your cat ever bites you gently, then it can be a sign of affection. Cats are more likely to gently bite you as a sign of affection or craving for attention while stroking or petting them. Your cat might be trying to communicate with you by biting you gently.
Cats tend to bite their owner gently to show happiness while playing. Gentle biting is a completely natural habit of a cat.
There are many reasons why your cat might give you a gentle bite. Your cat might gently bite you to show overstimulation.
If you have been stroking or petting your cat for too long, then your cat can bite you gently to communicate with you.
Your cat can even bite you to let you know that stroking for too long hurts them. Again your cat can bite you to seek your attention and tell you to pet them. When your cat wants attention, he/she will rub its body against you and cuddle with you.
There is a difference between your cat’s love bite and the aggressive bite. When a cat gives you a love bite, it will not damage your skin. But an aggressive bite can damage your skin.
Your cat can give you an aggressive bite for many reasons. Your cat might feel uncomfortable while you pet them, as all cats do not love being petted. So your cat might end up giving you an aggressive bite when you are stroking it.
Aggressive bites also include hissing, clawing, and growling. If your cat ever aggressively bites you and damages the skin, wash the wound immediately. Check if you have redness, pain, or swelling in the bitten area. If yes, then go to a doctor for treatment.
Did I cover everything on how to stop my Cat from licking me?
To sum up, when your cat comes to lick you, you need to redirect your cat’s attention by playing with them or providing them with tasty food. Moreover, above in this article, I have suggested some incredible ways to stop a cat from licking you.
Sometimes if your cat licks you excessively, it can be health hazardous to you too. Cat saliva contains bacteria, which can be harmful to humans in a few cases. As well as human bacteria can also be harmful to cats.