Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? Here’s Why

Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? Here’s Why

Cats are confusing. They tend to show their love in strange ways. You may observe them licking you, rubbing against your legs, meowing loudly, and biting your fingers – all in the name of love. You may ask yourself, why is my cat licking my face? What’s the point of all this?

There are many reasons why cats lick your face, and we have settled on 5 main reasons. Read on to find out what this weird cat behavior really means!

What does it mean when a cat licks your face?

It usually means she wants your attention. She could be hungry or just showing affection. However, if she does this too often, it could also be a sign of anxiety or territorial behavior.

We have listed some of the most common reasons why a cat might lick her owner’s face.

Attention seeking

The most common reason is that your cat is seeking your attention. Cats need a lot of stimulation from humans so they do not get bored quickly. This is one reason why cats will often try to rub or lick you to get your attention. When they do, it’s time to get out the teasers or balls to play with them.

Another reason cats ask for your attention is because they are hungry. It’s no surprise when they lick your face to remind you that it’s time to eat.

Signs of affection

Yes, cats love you and they do show their affection. One of the ways they show their affection is by licking you, in your case – licking your face. When they lick you, your feline friend is happy. It shows you that she trusts you and cares about you.

If this is the first time your cat is exhibiting this behavior, it is a sign that she has accepted you as part of her family. Just rub her head or chin and she will love you even more.

Memories of kittenhood

Kittens are usually pampered by their mother cat for grooming and comfort. This is also the time when they first experience affection. They then do the same with their siblings to form a social bond.

If you have cats that grew up with their mother cat, your cat will likely think back to those memories with you. This shows that your cat finds you comforting, just as she did when she grew up with her mother.


cats claiming ownership is one of the reasons why they lick your face

Let us face it – cats get jealous! Have you ever come home and felt your cat rubbing up against your legs? Have you seen her lick you after you have played with another cat? This means that she has picked up other scents, like that of cats, and is now demanding you back.

Cats have scent glands on various parts of their head and paws. And of course, they also leave their scent through their saliva. So when they lick you or rub against you, that scent sticks to you and marks you as their property. This goes back to when their mother would lick them to claim the kitten as her own


Not quite as flattering, but this reflects your cat’s instincts. Your cat seems to come to you after eating, perhaps to lick off your leftovers. However, this is not a very common behavior in a cat. On the other hand, she may lick you after you sweat because the smell is appetizing to some.

Why does your cat lick your hair?

For cats, grooming is a ritual. This involves them licking your hair and some even chewing on it. Some even go so far as to pull out strands of hair and swallow them, just as they groom themselves and swallow their own fur.

If they start swallowing your long hair, you should change their behavior and make them stop. Even though hair in small strands is quite harmless, they might start eating things similar to strings! It is important never to allow cats to eat strings or similar things that can cause severe damage to their organs if swallowed.

What does it mean when your cat licks you in the morning?

The first thing most people do upon waking up is roll out of bed and fire up the coffee maker. But before you even get to that, your cat is licking you and demanding attention. Not only does she do this because she loves you, but why does she do this in the morning?

There are two reasons why cats lick you first thing in the morning:

  1. They want to play with you.
  2. They are hungry and want to eat

Most cats want the latter. So do not be surprised if they stop licking you once you have fed them and continue doing what they were doing before.

If this bothers you, avoid playing with your cat right after they wake up. They’ll remember that you are not a morning person and will not have the tendency to remind you of playtime in the morning. Instead, play with them in the evening or at night.

If your cat tends to skin you alive early in the morning because they are hungry, you can try setting up an automatic feeding schedule based on their wake-up time.

Why does my cat lick me and then bite me?

By now you know that cats communicate with us through their bodies. Their behavior is expressed in the way they lick, bite, and rub against you.

Cats lick and bite for a variety of reasons. If you observe closely, you can understand why they behave the way they do. For example:

  1. You may have startled her when she licked you.
  2. They were not interested in pats at the moment.
  3. They express their affection for you.
  4. They play with you as they do with their siblings

Although some of their bites can be painful, there is no need to worry if they are not a regular occurrence. Not all of their actions are positive, however.

You will know the difference when a cat bites you playfully or angrily. For example, after licking you, cats may bite you when they are scared or angry. This is accompanied by hissing, decreased meowing, contractions, and a curved back. Contact a professional if this persists.

Should you let your cat lick you?

A cat licking you is normal behavior. She will not be harmed unless you are wearing makeup, lotion, ointments, or something toxic that can be ingested orally.

As for you, some diseases can be transmitted from your cat, the most common being cat scratch fever. If your cat has this bacteria, she can infect open wounds through her saliva. So to be on the safe side, do not let her lick your face or open wounds.

You should not be too concerned about your cat’s behavior unless the licking is accompanied by other signs of feline stress or anxiety. Excessive licking can also indicate illness. If the licking seems unusual, you should take your cat to the vet.

If you do not want to encourage this behavior, you can simply walk away when she licks you. They will associate the licking with being excluded from their playmates. Otherwise, distract them with toys or cover the area where they are licking. Do not spray the bitter spray, shoo them away, or treat them roughly.


The next time you are sleeping, do not be alarmed if your cat jumps on your bed to lick your face. She may just want attention or affection. If this behavior continues without other signs of feline stress (like loud meowing), it may not be so bad!

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