Why Do Cats Lick Each Other?

If you own more than one cat, you might have noticed them licking each other, which must leave you wondering, why do cats lick each other?

It is common to see a cat licking herself which in most cases is equal to taking a bath and getting rid of the matted hair. If there is one thing cats are known for their knack for cleanliness and they are able to achieve that by licking themselves. Buy why exactly do they lick each other?

Turns out, there are many reasons for this behavior depending on the sex, surrounding and age of the cat. Most of it is not as surprising as you might think and in some instances, you might be surprised by the reasoning behind the licking is quite interesting.



You have probably seen a couple hold hands, spend time together, eat, laugh or even cuddle. All these are methods that we humans use to show affection and to bond. Well, cats bond too and since they don’t have hands, they do this by licking each other.

In cats, licking is not only a way of bonding but it is also a show of confidence in each other and it also shows that they trust and love each other. If this is the reason for the licking, you will notice the cats are calm and quite relaxed and seem to be comfortable. Usually, these kinds of licks are focused on the ears, the face which also happen to be some of the areas that cats love to be fondled.

Other than bonding, you cat could also be licking another cat out of affection especially when the cat is on heat if it is the male, it could be trying to reel in the cutie and if it is the female, she could be letting the guy now that she approves his effort and they can finally make some babies. 

It’s a Family Thing

Family has to stick out for each other and stick together. Cats of the same family will usually lick each other to strengthen their ties especially with kittens of the same litter. If the kittens grow up together, they nurture that bond by licking each other’s coat which also helps to spread a familiar smell that they use to identify themselves as members of the same family.

It’s a Mother Cat’s Job

Female cats make great mothers. They are very attentive and usually have a very high success rate of bringing up their kittens. Most of the time with their little ones is spent licking them. There are quite a number of reasons why mother cat does this. The first is to clean her babies once they are born and to impart a familiar smell on the kittens which identifies them as family. If she doesn’t lick them enough, their scent changes which leads to rejection. Because of the extensive licking, you might want to give some pumpkin to your cat to get rid of hair balls that might accumulate faster in her tract and save yourself a trip to the vet and to make sure she is comfortable.

It is also a way of the matriarch letting you know that she will do anything to protect her little ones by marking them as part of her territory. Licking between mothers and kittens is so important because it builds a bond and without, all hell breaks loose.

For Protection

How does protection have anything to do with understanding why do cats lick each other? Well, everything! Cats react differently when you bring another cat to their territory. There are those that don’t like it and there are those that love the new addition to the family. The latter understands that the new addition might not feel comfortable or very trustworthy since it is in an unfamiliar territory. By licking the newcomer and adopting a protective position, the new cat knows it is welcome and it can finally relax. That is how licking can be a sign of protecting another cat.

Your Cat Could Be Sick

You probably don’t want to hear this but, it could be the case. Unlike us, cats have very heightened senses and they might be able to detect a disease in another cat even before you can spot the symptoms. In such cases, the ailing cat receives extra attention by licking from another cat. Usually, this is concentrated in specific areas and mostly those that are ailing. It is a cat’s own way of letting their feline friend know that they are with them in their moment of pain and also trying to comfort them. How sweet?

Round Up 

Some reasons as to why do cats lick each other have not yet been explained especially when they fight immediately after the licking sequence but, there is a fair chance that any one of these reasons could be why your cat is so licky licky towards other felines.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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