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Why Does My Cat Insist on Licking Me?

Kelly Roper

"Why does my cat insist on licking me?" That's what one visitor would like to know. The Cat Expert gives a couple of plausible explanations plus a tip for stopping the behavior.

Question: Why Does My Cat Insist on Licking Me?

I have a beautiful, sweet, loving kitten that is about six months old. I rescued her through the SPCA at the beginning of the summer. She is the best kitten I have ever had.

My question is about some weird behavior she's displaying. My cat is obsessed with licking me. She licks my hands, arms, feet and face. She lays on my chest in the morning and licks my nose, cheeks, and forehead. She especially likes my eye-lashes.

Sometimes she licks my boyfriend, but not nearly as much as she licks me. Is there a reason why she does this? Also, she makes this soft moaning sound while she sleeps. It is so strange. I have never had a cat do these things. Any insight?

~~ Ashley

Expert Reply

Hi Ashley,

Adopting that kitten was a wonderful thing to do. Just think about what a loving companion you might have missed out on if you hadn't walked into the shelter that day. I wish more people would follow your example.

Now for your questions. Your kitten is actually bathing you, just as her own mother would have done. This type of behavior may signal that your kitten was separated from her own mother too soon, and she is looking for the same kind of comfort she was familiar with. She may also like the salty taste of human skin.

You can gently discourage her actions by putting her on the floor when the licking begins. You can also give her a toy to further distract her. If you're consistent, you should be able to curb the licking and she will eventually give it up.

As for the moaning in her sleep, this might just be a little personality quirk that she'll outgrow. However, if you think the moaning might have something to do with difficulty breathing, you should ask your vet to listen to her chest to determine if there's a medical cause for the moaning.

Thanks for your questions, and I hope you have a long and happy relationship with your new friend.

~~ Kelly

Why Does My Cat Insist on Licking Me?