Why do cats lick people?

| March 6, 2012 | Comments (1)

Have you ever come home from a long day, sat on the sofa chillin’ with your cat, conversing about things such as the weather and the program on the TV, when suddenly out  of nowhere your cat starts licking you?

Well, my friend, you are not alone. And beware – cats rarely do something to be nice. See for example the article about why cats purr to learn more about cats’ deceptive nature.

Why your cat licks you

Your predatory cat (Attribution: http://flic.kr/p/4vZhJA)

Your cat’s predatory instincts

Different cats have different personalities, tastes and likes. Most cats don’t lick their humans. They are well-trained cats, or cats who are easily tamed to new environments.

But cats are by their nature predators – something that is not easy to overcome. In fact, a cat’s predatory nature will create urges in it that it fights every day – the urge to hunt that bird, the urge to eat that dirty mouse, the urge to.. eat its owner.

Some cats have a more difficult time overcoming those urges. Although they seem like they might be tame, under the calm exterior, they might constantly be thinking about how good it would feel to play around with you, fighting you, ripping you apart, until you are weak enough for them to be able to take a tasty bite of your neck.

If your cat does indeed lick you sometimes, take this as a strong sign that it is fighting its urge to kill you.

Fighting the urge to eat you

Cats aren’t dumb – they know that eating their owners would not be a good idea, for many reasons. First of all, the owner is much bigger, and would likely win any fight. (Though beware of leaving licking cats alone with a child or baby – the cat might take the opportunity and “go for it just this once”.)

Cats also know that even if they did manage to eat you, they would lose out in the long run. After all, who’s going to buy them all that free food, pet them, and conveniently clean up their poop all the time? After eating you, they would have to go out and chase for new owners (to eat or be taken care of – depending on the cats personality).

Why your cat licks you instead

Hungry, and fighting the urge to eat you, the cat overcomes this challenge by going for the next best – licking you. Licking brings many benefits; it helps the cat “shortcut” the urge to eat you, while simultaneously getting to taste your skin which soothes its urges. It’s similar to how humans talk about exciting things rather than doing them, to soothe their lust for it.

Beware though – have you ever seen your cat starting off by licking you, then suddenly biting you slightly? It is fighting strong urges. The best thing you can do in this situation is to feed your cat. Normal cat food will likely do it, but better is to give it a live mouse or similar, that it can play with before eating it. This way, you will satisfy your cat’s urges, while minimizing the risk of it trying to eat you instead.

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Category: Pets

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  1. Bahar says:

    Hahaha epic cats are epic

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