While it's hard to determine if cats feel complex emotions like love, a cat licking you is a sign of affection, to groom you or can be a sign of STRESS.
Like any morning ritual, I have a cat that lovingly crawls onto my chest and begins to lick any part of my face. Basically, any part of my bare skin that’s available. I’m not sure why they do this, so I did some research and dug into this phenomenon to get an idea.
So, why does my cat lick me? Cats lick humans as a display of affection, they trust you, to groom you, ask you for food or possibly to warn you of danger. It’s generally thought of as a positive behavior.
Just so you know you’re not the boss of the house. Your cats own you and they show you by licking you.
Their tongues aren’t just for butt licking, spreading those pesky FEL-d4 allergens or creating hairballs of horror.
They’re used for bonding and survival.
A Cat Tongue: Mini Claw Made of Sandpaper?
Anything dealing with a cat is always mysterious. With grooming, their efficient little tongue is a versatile part of their body so staying clean can mean life or death.
It’s instinctive. They’re so meticulous because they need to hide their smell from prey.
Plus how else would they get water into their bodies? A cats tongue is very important.
Ok, back to licking you.
Why does it hurt when a cat licks you? It hurts when a cat licks you because of their sandpaper feeling tongue.
No, their tongues aren’t made of sandpaper. Those small even shaped barbs or hooks are called Papillae.
Your cat’s tongue is covered in them.
They are made from keratin much like our fingernails, says Alexis Noel from Georgia Tech.
He also states that those spines on your cat’s tongue point in the same direction. The direction that takes anything they are licking head back towards their throat.
Those tongues are able to detangle all sorts of knots and break (tease) it apart.
What Does It Mean When A Cat Licks You?
Your cat is returning the favor by licking you in the same way you give them affection with petting.
The same way we give hugs, kittens will use licking to make a connection with us and to claim us as theirs.
They were borning into being cleaned by licking from their mothers.
So, washing is caring.
While we all love to be “kissed” by our cats, licking can get tiresome and excessive.
It’s best to understand this feline behavior so we can properly divert them when it happens.
Here are the most common reasons why your cat licks you:
They are taking ownership of you
Returning the favor from you petting them
You taste good – salty skin
They want attention
They are cleaning (washing) you
They’re giving affection
Stress or feel anxious
Relaxing – they feel calmer around their own scent
How To Stop Your Cat From Licking You?
If you want your cat to stop licking you, please don’t punish them, simply distract them or train them with repetition.
Pay attention to their behavior when it’s about to start.
You can redirect the licking with a food dispensing toy, catnip filled toy or some cat grass that you have nearby.
If your cats are licking you too much, could be from insufficient nursing as a kitten.
They may have developed some kind of oral fixation as a result. I’ve read that this is the culprit of many compulsive biters and lickers.
You could try getting another cat, giving them a stuffed animal or fuzzy type blanket.
Basically, redirect their actions.
If nothing works and your cats are persistent, then try getting up and walking away.
Maybe your cat will associate licking you with leaving and disappearing. They’ll learn eventually that you are a lick free human.
Why do cats lick your face?
I think cats lick our faces for affection, grooming and to tell us something.
It’s preening. Cats extremely fastidious by nature and preen to remove hair and dirt. They learn these behaviors from birth when momma is licking them to “life”.
So, while you’re laying down and it’s feeding time, I’m sure your call will either yell at you or climb up to lick your face.
Why does my cat lick my nose? When your cat specifically licks your nose, they’re showing a sign of a strong bond. It’s a claim of ownership over you by transferring their scent. Nose licks from cats are like kisses between humans on the cheek or forehead.
Why does my cat lick my hand? My cats lick my hands when they want to be pet or they smell something on them that they like. Especially green olives!
Why does my cat lick my feet? Cats may lick or rub on your feet because your scent might most pungent there or it’s just easily accessible.
Your cat might be attracted to shoes. I have 1 cat, Tanta, that loves to hide my toddler’s shoes all around the house.
It’s mostly specific to my youngest and it’s the shoes she wears every day. Strange behavior but I take it as she misses her.
Why does my cat lick my hair?
Your cat licks your hair as a way of showing love or making you their territory by grooming.
It’s a social behavior where they want to clean your “fur” and smother it with their scent. I’ve gotten this strange behavior a time or two, but it doesn’t last long as my hair is too long.
They start doing that flicking motion with their mouth and sometimes gag. Works better on short haired humans making a nice sticky cowlick.
“Some cats may also just enjoy the taste of hair products or even the natural oils found in human hair.” If this starts to bother you… “You should not look at, talk to or touch a cat who is licking hair, unless you are comfortable having the behavior increase in frequency. If you want to stop the behavior in progress, get up and leave,” says Dr. Christensen Bell, DVM, of Veterinary Behavior Consultations of NYC
Just be sure your cat isn’t eating your hair or becoming sick after licking it.
Why does my cat lick me after I shower?
Your cat could be licking you after a shower because you might smell different, they’re thirsty or they need you to be dry.
While cats are fascinated with water, they don’t (not all) like to be wet. Since you are part of their pride and own you, you can’t be wet either.
They will lick you after a shower in an attempt to get you dry.
Same goes with your scent. You washed them off you, so now they need to “reapply” their love on you again.
Whenever I got out of the shower, my Tanta girl would immediately begin to lick all the water drops from my legs.
When I gently would nudge her away, she’d go for my feet!
Below is a video from CatsandPats where his kitty is licking his hair!
Why does my cat lick me after biting? Or bite me after licking?
Some cats may bite after licking or lick then bite us as a warning sign so that we stop petting or playing with them, a sign of affection or signs of grooming.
We really need to get a clear picture here of what’s going on at the moment.
Your cat could mean one thing or it could be in their behavior:
Over stimulation – Your cat could be telling you they’re done with the playing. This bite might be a gentle way of saying enough and the lick is saying I still love you.
Love Bites – In this case, your cat is showing affection to you. If your cat isn’t bothered by anything that’s happening, petting or sitting close, the message of love is being communicated here.
They want to play or be loved – Cats aren’t the best communicators.
It’s hard to tell if they want to play or not. So, they need to come up with a way (non-verbal) to tell you. My cat often whines, paws at me or simply stares at me until I go to her.
So, the combo of the bite-lick / lick-bite can be one of them.
If you want to read an interesting article on cat eyes (more specifically, the reasoning for your cat’s excess tears) – click here to read our article!
Why does my cat headbutt me? A cat will headbutt (or bunting) you as a sign of affection or love. Indoor cats and outdoor cats will headbutt and do face rubbing to mark each other as a family or with cats they know.
What if my cat is licking too much? Excessive cat licking. These are known as “fur mowers”. Your cat can be licking too much from having parasites, has a skin infection, being bored, stressed, having anxiety, they’ll have bald patches or could be a compulsive disorder.
These reasons seem to be more prevalent with indoor cats because it’s less exciting and less exercise.
Cat licking concrete floor? Your cat is licking the concrete for minerals that she is lacking in her body for possible anemia, including calcium and other minerals.
Why do cats lick rocks? Some cats may lick rock out of a craving for dirt or earthly matter (geophagia). It’s instinctive due to a compensation for a deficiency they may have.
Why does my cat lick furniture? When cats start licking items that aren’t food, like furniture or walls, they can be showing signs of a form of Pica. Pica is a behavior in cats eating things that aren’t food. Definitely, see your vet for a consult about your cat’s current diet.
26-09-2018 · For more playful or energetic cats, 15 minutes of training may be all they need. Your average indoor cat will need more training for their new adventure. Every so often, reward the cat for getting on to the wheel to help support the idea that it’s fun. Studies of cat behaviors, after using an exercise wheel, have shown to become less anxious.
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
Cats are built for movement.
On the flip side:
Getting them to move, let alone run, can be hard. (sounds like us humans.)
Let’s face it:
There isn’t much for our indoor kitties to do.
So when your cat decides to nap rather than humor you, nothing will change his mind.
Trying something new.
Enter The Cat Wheel:
Well, they look like a giant hamster wheel but for cats.
They tend to be better engineered for your cat’s safety and won’t squeak in the middle of the night when kitty decides to go for a run.
Why would my cat want an exercise wheel?
Exercise wheels can help your cat with:
Health and staying fit
Keeping active (even while you’re at work)
Let’s talk about this scenario…
Say you live in a busy town.
You think about letting your cats out, but you’re really worried…
From the busy street to the possibility of them being scared off by something, to not coming back.
It can be really hard to feel at ease and let your cat roam outside.
It’s a bit different if you decide to put a harness on your cat and take her for a walk (which I’m sure she would love!)
But letting your cat out without keeping track of where she is (and isn’t) allowed to go can be daunting.
So, you keep them inside.
And they seem happy (after all, there are so many ways to keep your indoor cat happy).
But over time you notice your cats getting bigger (ahem – fatter) and just all around less active.
Why Choose A Cat Wheel?
We’ve talked about some of the positives to having a cat exercise wheel in the bullet points above, but what are other reasons for investing in this “wheel of fun” for your cats?
Well, for one thing…
It may help get rid of all that extra energy they use dashing around like lunatics in the middle of the night while you’re trying to sleep. (My husband can attest to how much more sleep we would get if the cats weren’t bouncing up and down the stairs in the night).
The other big reason I’m considering an exercise wheel for our cats (once we move into our new home) is that while we’re out of the house or on vacation, the cats have unlimited access to exercising.
Instead of just doing this all day:
Cat Exercise Wheel FAQs
Let’s talk questions, because with something this new, strange and amazing – there’s bound to be some questions!
Here we go…
⚙ Where can I get one? What a great question!
You can purchase cat exercise wheels from a few different online retailers or specialized pet stores such as:
Pet Planet (UK)
⚙ Are they expensive?
Depending on your needs (size, indoor/outdoor) they can be an investment – but that’s how you have to look at it. You’re investing into keeping your cat agile, healthy and happy.
To give you an idea, we’ve found wheels that range from about 0(USD) to about 00(USD).
⚙ What sizes do they come in? I bet the question you really wanted to ask is “how much of my living room will this take up?”
Well, cat exercise wheels come in a variety of sizes and styles.
Normally, cat wheels range from small (single cat wheels) to large (multiple cat or dog wheels) – but I was surprised to see just how much customizing you can do here.
You can buy wheels that are part of a tower and you can even have a custom-made wheel built!!
⚙ Do they need to attach to the wall? Don’t you worry!
Although there are wheels that fasten to a wall, there are also free-standing wheels! (So tell your husband to rest easy, you don’t necessarily need the drill and you won’t exactly be fastening a giant hamster wheel into your living room wall.)
Incredible Indoor Exercise Wheels For Your Cats
Really, it depends what you’re looking for.
So we’re going to talk about the biggest wheel, the smallest/easiest for you wheel and the “top rated” wheel!
Let’s get started…
The One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
? Large Wheel ? Freestanding Wheel
You can easily view more reviews here.
very stylish design to fit well with indoor spaces
it’s rather large
really for indoor use only
might be difficult to put move locations (heavy)
The One Fast Cat is the top selling cat wheel on the market with over 20,000 sold.
A hubless design (without spokes) is safer for the cat to run in while four supporting roller blade wheels allow the wheel to move freely. With an EVA foam to cushion your cat’s steps, the 48-inch inner diameter of this wheel should be large enough for the cat to run comfortably without arching its spine.
These wheels can be expensive but require a high level of construction to make sure it is safe for your cat to use.
**The manufacturer recommends you don’t purchase the wheel unless you are willing to spend time training your cat to use it.
Cat’s don’t really like being told what to do any more than humans do, but with a little practice – you can show your cat how much fun this is!
Large exercise wheels for cats like the One Fast Cat are more suited for indoor use only and its stylish design will complement the most home decor.
But if you want a giant cat exercise wheel, you are probably going to have to look for an outdoor one designed for large dogs.
Watch a video (review, set up and initial thoughts) of the One Fast Cat Wheel below:
? Runner-up for Best Large Wheel ? Best Outdoor Wheel (normally for dogs, but can be used for cats – see the specs here)
if you have more than one cat, they go use it together (and really, that’s so adorable that it’s priceless!)
it can be used for dogs, too
Cons: MAD EXPENSIVE.
it’s best suited for outdoor use, not able to use inside (too large)
this takes up a lot of space
a bit more expensive than other smaller models
Our second choice for the larger sized wheels would have to be something like the Gopet Treadwheel.
So why would you want an even bigger wheel that was actually built with dogs in mind?
Well, if you have room to spare (like outside) this provides lots of fun AND if you have two cats, getting a bigger wheel could even enable your cats to run together on the larger wheel.
At almost double the price of the One Fast Cat exercise wheel, this giant wheel requires some serious investment.
But don’t let that scare you!
You could do with getting all the neighborhood cats running in it and attaching to a generator–kitty power, anybody?
In your garden, this could prevent your cats from running or venturing too far, with all their exercise where you can safely watch them.
You can buy cat wheels from many of the usual online retailers, but searching the internet you will find suppliers that will custom build a cat exercise wheel for you.
Watch a video of two cats playing on a Gopet Treadwheel together (seriously cute)!
I found this other cat wheel call the Ziggydoo that’s for indoors and the cost is ok too:
When I emailed the company about how loud this was, she assured me it wasn’t too loud.
Here’s what she said:
The G5 FerrisCatWheel is very smooth and quiet.
You’ll find many videos on both my facebook page and the ZiggyDoo facebook page
(pls note that the most recent video post is with an older G4 model wheel – the newer G5 model moves a lot less and is more quiet as well)
Also bear in mind that the sound of the wheel is related to the contents of the room it is position within. If the room is bare and empty – it will be louder than a room with carpet and furniture etc…
Let me know if you have any more questions – Nikita and I are always happy to help
Elizabeth Gujdan & Nikita
DIY Exercise Wheel Cat Solutions
If you want a small exercise wheel for a smaller space, you can build your own cat wheel.
As long as you have some basic tools, you should be able to construct something for around . There are many designs you could try, even using an old bicycle wheel and mounting it to the wall (like this)! When designing a cat wheel, bear in mind the size you need, where you will put it in your home and how the cat will use it.
Be aware that most homemade cat wheels will be louder than a pro designed one.
Watch the video below to see this DIY cat wheel in action!
Training Your Cat to Use an Exercise Wheel
So, you’re interested in buying a cat exercise wheel…but how do you know if your cat will like it and how do you get your cat used to the idea?
Don’t be too upset if your cat doesn’t jump in the wheel and start running as soon as you unbox it.
Not all cats will adapt to using these wheels.
Some may take several weeks to build up their confidence before using it.
High energy cats, like a Bengal, will take to using the wheel faster than a more sedentary or older cat.
Training your cat to use the exercise wheel can take patience.
Try rewarding your cat with treats.
You could even try using a laser pointer and try to get your cat to chase it on the wheel.
Here’s a quick how-to on training your cat(s) to love their new wheel of fun!
Start by luring your cat to the wheel using a treat and reward them when they get on or off the wheel.
Try repeating, for about 15 minutes, until your cat is comfortable getting into the wheel.
Holding the treat a little higher up the wheel will encourage your cat to take a few steps.
Keep rewarding your cat as it takes more steps. Continue to increase the number of steps for each reward.
For more playful or energetic cats, 15 minutes of training may be all they need.
Your average indoor cat will need more training for their new adventure.
Every so often, reward the cat for getting on to the wheel to help support the idea that it’s fun.
Studies of cat behaviors, after using an exercise wheel, have shown to become less anxious.
Also, they can lose weight, increase their muscle tone, and strength.
If you’re worried that your cat is not getting enough exercise there are many other options.
Depending on the age, weight, and temperament of your cat you could set up a:
Try to engage with your cat for at least 15 minutes a day and encourage it to play.
Appeal to the natural hunter instincts they have and use wind up or remote controlled mice it can chase.
Making sure your cat gets more exercise isn’t a chore, it can be as much fun for you as it is them.
With a little commitment every day, you’ll find you and your cat leading a healthier and happy life with a cat exercise wheel!
28-10-2018 · You want your cat to enjoy the cool breeze of the outdoors - but you don't want to let her roam? Let's talk about CATIOS! It's a PATIO for your CAT.
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
Does your cat sit for hours gazing out the window?
If your cat does the same, it’s a reminder that underneath all their domestication, cats are still wild animals.
They want to experience being outside. So, why not build them a place to do it.
What’s A Catio?
A catio is a “cat patio” or cat enclosure that allows your cat to be safe and enjoy the feeling of being outdoors.
Most of the time this is a safe, enclosed, outdoor space that allows your cat to enjoy the breeze, sunshine, and sounds of the outdoors all while safe.
Catios are the latest craze in the feline world!
There may be a few different reasons why you would set up a catio for your cats:
You live in a dangerous area – where it’s not safe for your cat to be outside, but you still want them to experience the outdoors
Your cat may have been lost before, and you feel uneasy about letting them out without supervision
You have inside-only cats right now but are interested in doing so in a safe way where you can keep watch on them
You want to spoil your cat, giving them the absolute luxury of lounging in their very own back-yard oasis
A catio can give your cat their very own window to the world.
There are many companies that now manufacture enclosures which can be attached or mounted to your window, giving your cat a taste of the outdoor life.
Cat patios can be attached to any window, ground level or higher.
Here are a few of the most popular ideas for a catio space:
Multi-storey enclosures (expanding upwards, could be on your back porch leading up to a window of your home for easy access)
Cat window catios (attaching a window box to your window to allow your cat to step outside)
Playpen-type catios (similar to a playpen for a child, this would be mobile and most likely a smaller confined space for your cat to laze in the sun)
Full back-yard type catios (including real nature in your catio, building around trees and bushes, etc)
There are some really nice cat enclosures and cat runs listed below, as well as some really awesome (and easy!) DIY ideas at the bottom of this post!
Let’s take a look at some options that allow your cat to satisfy their curiosity of the outdoors while giving you the peace of mind that they’re safe.
Window Mounted Cat Enclosures
For people living in smaller houses or second/third floor apartments, a window mounted enclosure is perfect for giving your cat a panoramic view of the world around it.
Your cat can take in the outside world without facing any of the potential dangers.
Not only are there some amazing window boxes you can purchase, but there are also some really easy DIY ideas to create a window box yourself!
Outside Window Cat Boxes
The type of window box you will need depends largely on the size of your window and whether it opens side-to-side or up and down.
Window boxes are designed to be lightweight yet sturdy and can be painted or stained to match the surrounding environment, you don’t want to upset the local neighbors or residents association, do you?
Another useful feature in many commercially available cat window boxes is a Plexiglas front which enables the enclosure to be used all year round.
The Plexiglas also provides protection from UV rays to prevent the risk of skin cancer in your cats.
Larger window boxes usually feature some sort of entry method that uses vinyl strips to restrict airflow back into the home, but others may have a specialized cat-flap door which attaches to your house or the window.
Online specialists who make window boxes include:
● Cats With An Attitude
● Habitat Haven
These companies are only listed as resources, we do not endorse them, but we love them! We just want to provide you with the most information possible.
Check them out at your convenience!
Personally, I really like Cats With An Attitude (CWAA), because they offer a range of outside window boxes, and are given the adorable name “Kitty Peeper.”
The following YouTube video looks at some of their more popular models…
A DIY Window Cat Box
If you can’t find a cat window box that meets all your cat’s needs, you could always try building your own. Although there are many companies which sell cat enclosure outdoor kits, a window box enclosure can be quite easy to make from scratch.
This way you can install extra shelves, built in cat scratch posts, use some cedar wood planks or flooring, and add other comfort features to keep your cat amused.
The video below is a good a starting place when building your own cat window box!
You can find more interesting DIY Catio box ideas here:
Cat Window Patio.
If you live in a house with a larger backyard, a cat window patio can be a larger structure attached to your window. You can expand up to another level of your home, or down to the ground to allow your cat to have access to grass and plants.
Unlike the window boxes, patios have more area for your cat to play in!
The size of a cat patio ranges…
You could have a multi-story enclosure attached to your window with climbing posts and ladders for more fun and exercise for the cat.
Or it could be something even bigger, like a covered play-pen that starts at the window but extends into the garden using tunnels and passageways.
The only limits are your imagination, the space available, and your budget.
By attaching a simple entry like the Window Pet Door from Ideal Pet Products, almost any cat enclosure can become a window attached patio.
With a door like this, there will be no need to carry your poor kitty out of the house and put her in the playpen anymore, she can simply choose when she wants to go outside herself.
With the window box idea, you can go really simple (such as just a box outside your window) OR you can do something a little bigger (okay, a lot bigger) like THIS.
This is a window box that leads to an entire outdoor cat enclosure in the backyard – how fun!!!!
The Best Un-Attached Catio Enclosures
If you have a spacious backyard or are looking for something that doesn’t attach to your home (and is maybe even mobile) – look no further.
Here’s a list of some of the best catios and cat enclosures to create a true backyard oasis for your kitties.
Prevue Pet Products Premium/Deluxe Cat Home.
Our Rating: ????? (5/5)
The Prevue Pet Products Premium/Deluxe Cat Home is one of my favorite catios – and it doesn’t break the bank!
Made from a rust-resistant heavy-duty aluminum, it’s a cage-like multi-level design with a paw-friendly construction for even the smallest of kittens.
It comes with two hammocks, lockable shelves, and is large enough to hold several cats with ease.
With a mobile design, it could even be used indoors and out.
Reviews for this cat enclosure are through the roof, with most claiming it’s the perfect little cat pen.
TRIXIE Pet Products Outdoor Cat Run.
Our Rating: ???? (4/5)
The Trixie Pet Products Outdoor Cat Run is a more premium option for allowing your cat to enjoy the outside world.
With weather treated fir wood, it provides an extra retreat for cats who may be less adventurous or just want some shelter.
Although it features wooden hatches enabling you to mount it freely in the garden, these could be easily modified to fit a cat-flap style attachment like the Window Pet Door from Ideal Pet products that we looked at earlier.
According to reviews, the only problem with this catio is the instructions… with quite a few reviews saying that the instructions aren’t very easy to follow.
However, finding a Youtube video that details a setup and installation of this product is an easy fix for that:
Reviewers are raving about the quality and price point for this little catio!
Nala and Company Portable Pet Enclosure.
Our Rating: ??? (3/5)
The Nala and Company Portable Pet Enclosure is a portable outdoor cat enclosure like this one from enables you to take your cat with you when you visit friends or travel.
Easy to assemble, it is a wonderful pop-up tent. (We all know how much cats love tents!)
This tent is a cost-effective way of bringing your cat with you wherever you go. It’s also pretty useful for after vet visits when your drowsy cat wants to wander about but shouldn’t.
While this enclosure isn’t large enough for play, it’s perfect for travel and lazing about!
According to reviews, people love this pet enclosure for more of a “relaxing” kind of situation for your cat (laying around on your porch or something to take with you if you’re traveling with your cat).
Topeakmart 4-Tier Foldable Cat Home Cage
Our Rating: ???? (4/5)
This Topeakmart 4 Tier Foldable Cat Home caught my eye – and I just had to tell you about it.
I almost didn’t add it to this list, because it is quite literally a smaller version of the very first catio idea we mentioned (The Prevue Pet Products Premium/Deluxe Cat Home) but it really is worth mentioning!!!
With 4 doors, 3 metal ladders and lots of space to add hammocks or comfy blankets, this is ideal for the beginner catio owner.
Mounted on wheels for easy mobility, you can plant this anywhere in your yard (or roll it around to different locations each morning to give your cats a fresh new view!)
What I liked most about this one is the price point:
It’s quite a bit cheaper than the other cat enclosure options on this list, but still offers quite a lot of room for your cats to explore and laze around!
DIY Cat Patio Enclosures
Building your own catio is where you can let your imagination run away with you.
You can do something small, or you can do something extravagant, like Serena’s garden getaway video.
This video below shows a catio made from an IKEA shelf:
This is absolutely swoon-worthy – what a lucky kitty.
Why not build your cat something all the other kitties will be jealous of?
You can buy many outdoor enclosure kits or modules, but it is much more fun to design your own and can be more cost-effective.
(Not to mention you can completely customize it to your cat’s liking!!)
A good resource to help in the design and construction of your luxury catio can be found here.
Below are some other great ideas on how to create your very own little outdoor space for your kitties:
DIY Catio With Netting
This is made with something similar to cat netting, more information on netting at the bottom of this page!
DIY Catio with Wiring
This is made with something similar to a chicken wire – a bit more sturdy than the netting. When doing something like this, we suggest adding carpet, as your cat could potentially hurt themselves on the sharp ends of the wiring.
DIY Catio on A Budget (under 0)
This kind of budget catio is great for beginners or people who aren’t really sure if their cat would even like the outdoor time, this is a great way to introduce them to the outdoors without buying a cat enclosure or spending a lot of money making one.
Let’s talk about this some more!
I’ve followed up with some of Google’s most frequently asked questions on the topic of catios/cat enclosures.
? What is a Catio for cats?
A Catio can be anything from a window box to a complete back-yard enclosure but the most important thing about a catio is that it is an enclosed space for your cat.
The idea behind a catio is to allow your cat safe and supervised access to the outdoors.
? What is cat netting?
Cat netting is a net material specifically used in creating cat tents, catios and other cat enclosures.
Creating your catio with cat netting helps ensure your cat cannot escape from the area, it’s completely safe for them (they can’t get hurt by it, as some wire material may cut them) and it’s very durable.
? What is a cat fence? Should I use cat netting or cat fencing for my catio?
Cat fencing is another material specifically designed with your cat in mind – because this type of fencing has a kind of pivoted arched top (patented to cat fencing) that won’t allow your cat to hop over the fence and escape.
To decide which material you want to use in your cat enclosure, you need to ask yourself a few questions…
Where will my catio be? If you have a catio that is attached to your home, you may want to go for something a little stronger, like cat fencing.
Will my cat attempt to escape? If you trust your cat will not attempt to escape, using something softer like the cat netting may be a better idea.
Is my cat prone to scratching, clawing things? If so, you may want to go with cat fencing. Cat netting is durable, but it’s still netting and could eventually be clawed out of.
Whichever type of catio you decide on for your feline friend, they will be excited to safely play and laze about in the outside world!
17-10-2018 · Indoor cat tents can also be a nice addition to the decor of your home (some of them are really cute!) Cozy little cat tents are easy to clean, some even being machine washable or heated! Made specifically for indoor use (and some specifically for certain areas of your home) – they will look good wherever you place them. For you outdoor only peeps:
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
If your cats are anything like mine, all you need is an empty cardboard box to keep them entertained.
Why do cats love to be inside things like cardboard boxes or bags?
Because they’re hunters and love to stalk!
Check out these quick pick variations below:
Cats, more than dogs, enjoy their own private spaces like:
an empty suitcase
an old wooden box
the inside of a cupboard
They do this to hide, relax, hunt, or even sleep.
They can find a spot anywhere, but why not make that spot a “made for a cat” tent.
While some cats may be stoked to hide in cardboard boxes, they’re pretty unsightly and annoying to keep around in your living room.
Cat Tents For Outdoors And Indoors: An Aesthetic Alternative!
I’ll be honest, I thought there would be more options for this kind of thing.
There are similar types to the few I’ve gone over below, but many don’t have oodles of reviews.
I’m sure its important for you to know how these stand the tests put by other buyers.
Seeing that my cat Bubs tends to hide, scares easily and has strongman abilities, I worry he’ll escape through the mesh if it’s too flimsy.
I don’t know if these are durable, but there are enough that have been used with some high enough rated reviews that I’d feel comfortable trying them out.
I wouldn’t put these in a place that gets a lot of commotion but you can put one in a quiet spot in your yard.
Maybe more durable and higher quality tents would be made if we, as cat lovers, would put more of demand out for these options on current ones.
We just want a safe place for our cats to enjoy the sun and fresh air.
Let’s get into the weeds about a few differences between putting these things outside, inside or both.
For you indoor only peeps:
Indoor cat tents can be the comfy and quiet place your cat goes to hide and sleep (a great way to keep your indoor cat happy!)
Indoor cat tents can also be a nice addition to the decor of your home (some of them are really cute!)
Cozy little cat tents are easy to clean, some even being machine washable or heated!
Made specifically for indoor use (and some specifically for certain areas of your home) – they will look good wherever you place them.
For you outdoor only peeps:
Outdoor cat tents can keep your cat safe on the balcony or as a backyard haven.
An outdoor cat tent is also less expensive than purpose-built enclosures
They can be moved for convenience.
I have one in the corner of my garden to provide protection from the cold and wet weather for some of the neighborhood feral cats.
What can I say?
I’m a sucker for kitties!
When I was researching for this piece, I was astounded by the variety of tents available.
Below are some of my favorite, which hopefully will be useful to you when you throw out the cardboard box and upgrade to a tent!
Indoor Cat Tents: Hideaways for Your Seclusive Feline
These will look cute in your living room or tucked away in your cat’s favorite laundry room cubby…
I was so surprised at how nice looking some of them were and how easy to set up most of them are. Not a fan of how some are a bit too thin though.
?? ABO Gear Happy Habitat
By far, one of the most popular cat tents is the ABO Gear Happy Habitat for Indoor Cats.
It’s really easy to assemble, it literally pops into play-mode (within seconds).
It’s just as easy to dismantle, taking only seconds to fold back into the travel case.
This makes it ultra-portable and suitable for travel.
This cat tent gets massive bonus points for ease of use – check it out in the clip below!
As a large black mesh dome-style tent, it provides up to 30 square feet of indoor or outdoor fun and safety for your cat.
It’s also large enough for multiple cats if you should be so lucky!
If you want to use it outside, there are stakes that can attach it to the ground.
It is very sturdy, although larger/stronger cats may cause it to wobble.
If your cat has destructive tendencies, be sure to keep an eye on them because they could claw their way out of the mesh if they were determined enough (especially if a squirrel was taunting them!)
If your cats are strictly indoor, this tent can be an ideal way of letting them play safely in the garden while you sunbathe…
It’s large enough to put a couple of cat toys in as well. (I use it indoors when I’m mopping or vacuuming, that way I’m not being attacked by my cat the entire time.)
Something to note…
Using this tent with a tunnel system is a GREAT idea.
Check out the review below and see how your cats can tunnel their way outside into the tent:
?? SmartyKat Pet Cat Tent Bed
These are super adorable – the cat teepee from SmartyKat.
This is one of the cutest cat tents I’ve ever seen, and your cat will love it just as much.
Plus, your cat will be trendy those teepees at popular music festivals.
Who needs Coachella, when you can have Cat-chella?
This teepee is much smaller than the ABO tent and is designed more so as a bed for your cat to play in.
It’s easy to assemble like the ABO tent, but it can take some practice to maneuver the poles into the correct position when you first set it up.
It also comes with a carrying case, which makes it portable for outdoor camping trips (as long as you don’t mind having it outside).
There are convenient flaps on the front entrance that tie onto the sides, allowing for your cat to enter and leave the tent.
It’s an easily cleanable tent made out of cotton and it even comes with a pillow.
It’s not really suitable for use in your garden, but for people looking for a smaller indoor tent, it’s definitely one of the cutest you’ll ever find.
This look is so popular that there are a lot of DIY tents that are styled like it!
Here is one I thought was super cute and looks easy to make (NO sewing involved):
Cat Tents For Outside: Field Trips Within The Boundaries Of A Tent
We’ve talked about portable cat enclosures before, but let’s dive into some of these fantastic outdoor cat tents (there’s even a heated cat tent… but we’ll get to that in a bit!)
That way, cats have an easy time of entering and exiting their play area.
Also, they allow your kitty an escape route in the worst case scenario:
A predator invading in their chill space.
Whether or not you have one or two entrances, you can attach a cat tunnel to make it a larger play area for your cat
It’s great if you have a hard time getting them in or out, so two doors solve that problem!
Let’s break down some options!
?? Petego Umbra Portable & Outdoor Use Cat Tent
One cat tent designed for the outdoors (but totally suitable for indoor play too) which features two entrances is the Petego Umbra Portable Pet Tent
Similar to the ABO tent we looked at earlier, this model from Roraima is 30 square feet, which is large enough for several cats and their toys but also features two entrances.
You can easily attach this to a car, window, or door flap in your house.
The black mesh provides ventilation and visibility for your cat while coming with a waterproof rain fly that will provide protection from rain and UV rays.
Although it’s very similar to the ABO tent, many users have found it’s not quite as easy to assemble or fold back into the bag…
The spring in the poles tends to be overly tight.
But if you want the flexibility of another entrance and might leave this tent more permanently fixed this could be the ideal choice.
This next tent is luxurious!
?? K&H A-Frame Heated Tent Bed
K&H Pet Products Outdoor Tent comes with features that no other tent has, like weather-proofed material and a heated pad.
This is the kind of tent I have outdoors for stray cats because I’m way too soft (so I keep getting told).
You can see an unboxing and set up of this cat tent below:
My pampered cat won’t even consider going outside in the winter months, not when he has a nice warm house.
But if he did venture out, I’d feel a lot better if there was one of these A-frame tents for him to take shelter in.
With waterproofing fabric and an overhang roof design, it helps keep cats both warm and dry.
And there’s room for up to four small cats. There’s even two entrances/exits, so cats can’t be trapped by predators.
The heated style of this tent features a 40-watt soft outdoor heated bed, which doesn’t heat until something lies on it.
I know this was my main concern when I was looking into this (if it’s constantly heated, it could be a hazard).
In the video above, he mentions that when you turn it on, it doesn’t feel like electric heat from a heating pad would, it feels more just like body heat…
And this is the key to making this type of cat tent popular.
We don’t want our cats to be laying on what feels like a heating pad all evening, because that’s not good for them and poses certain risks but we don’t want them to be chilly either!
Something else I love about this tent (that surprised me)?
This tent is easy to assemble!!!
With hook and loop style fasteners, no tools are required for assembly.
The outside of the tent can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge, and the cover of the mattress can be machine washed for easy care.
If your cat doesn’t love you too much already, they certainly will if you treat them to a heated tent.
The friendly strays in the neighborhood will definitely appreciate this too.
DIY Cat Tents: SO Adorable You Wish You Could Fit In It
Here at Cat Veteran, we encourage using your creativity to create custom spaces for your cats.
Cats will love any tent, and they’re not too expensive to buy, but if you want to create your own tent, it’s very easy. It could even be a project you start to provide some shelter for your neighborhood strays in those cold winter months.
You will be a regular kitty Saint!
Want more ideas for DIY cat tents?
Click here for details on building a cat tent with just coat hangers, an old t-shirt, and cardboard.
For tons more cute cat tents, check out this link!
Click the image below for a “No Sew” cat tent:
Related Questions For Your Felines:
How do you make a cat tent out of a shirt and hanger?
You can make a cat tent with a t-shirt and hanger using:
1 old t-shirt
15-inch x 15-inch piece of cardboard
2 wire coat hangers
4 safety pins
Why do cats love to hide?
Cats like to get into drawers, boxes, and tents because there, they feel warm, safe and secure.
Hiding places should also be available in your cat’s environment because, when given the chance what they feel is a dangerous situation, cats will usually always choose to hide rather than fight.
Do cats need darkness to sleep?
One reason to get a cat tent is to put a nice little bed in there for your cats to sleep on.
But do cats need an enclosed/dark space to sleep?
Cats can sleep in darkness or sunlight but usually prefer enclosed space where they know they won’t be disturbed (enter the cat tent!)
Your cat will be sure to love any tent you get for them.
If you’ve tried something like this, or considered getting one, let me know your thoughts in the comments!
25-10-2017 · How To Tell If A Cat Is Owned. You should begin by taking pictures and posting flyers asking if any of the cats are owned. If any of the cat (s) will let you, you can put a breakaway choke safe collar on the cat with a note asking if the cat is owned, and for the owner to give you a call. In the flyer and the note, it’s only fair to warn any ...
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
I live on an Air Force base and we have a couple of feral and stray cats come visit our back door most nights and early mornings. Nothing too bothersome until my little girls started leaving food for them without us knowing. We dug into how we could decrease the number of strays coming around and help our indoor cats from freaking out each night.
So, what do you do with stray cats in your yard?
The first thing to do is figure out if they’re:
Owned wandering or lost cats
Abandoned strays or
How To Tell If A Cat Is Owned
You should begin by taking pictures and posting flyers asking if any of the cats are owned.
If any of the cat(s) will let you, you can put a breakaway choke safe collar on the cat with a note asking if the cat is owned, and for the owner to give you a call.
In the flyer and the note, it’s only fair to warn any owner that, if they don’t call, you will look for a home for the cat(s).
If an owner does get in contact with you, let them know that their cats have been in your yard and that you are worried about their safety.
Be friendly and open, not accusatory, because sometimes people get defensive when it comes to animal issues.
Don’t say things like:
“Your cat is in my yard and I want you to do something about it.”
Instead, express that you are on the same side as the owner, not accusing them. Explain that you are concerned about the cat, and bring up any dangers you think are an issue – loose dogs, busy roads, other animals, as examples.
Statistically, the average lifespan of a cat is broken down into three sections:
Indoor Only Cat
The average outdoor only cat lives about two years, the average inside/outside cat lives about eight years, and the average inside only cat lives about fifteen years.
Many people feel that cats live a better life if they can go outside and play, but with some thoughtful additions to their home, they can live a better and much longer life indoors.
If they have a cat tree to climb, and some toys that work with their instincts and keep their interest up, then they will be happy – and long lived – cats.
Work with owners on a compromise that makes everyone happy.
What If No One Gets In Touch With Me?
If no one claims the cat(s), but they are friendly strays, put up found flyers and run a free found ad in your local newspaper.
If any of the cat(s) are tame, take them to a vet and get them scanned for a microchip to see if they have an owner that can be located.
If you get no response to your advertisements, clip or print out a copy of the ad and flyer, jot down the dates they ran, and begin to look for a home for the cat(s) (or adopt them yourself).
If you can prove you looked for an owner for a reasonable amount of time (legally it varies, but 14 to 30 days is usually required) and no one claimed the animal, then it is considered a stray.
If you are interested in microchipping your own kitten/cat, you can read more here.
Where Do You Take Stray Cats?
You could turn the cat over to animal control, but most government run animal shelters have a 95 % euthanasia rate.
[Who to call to pick up stray cats? Find out your states information here.]
Call them to ask what their policies are, and ask about their success rate.
Some states only require them to keep a stray for three days before euthanizing them – and the facility doesn’t even have to be open those days!
These agencies do their best, but the problem in most areas is just that out of hand.
Unless you live in an area that does a great job of finding homes, adopting the cat yourself or finding it a home on your own is the kindest thing to do.
If the cat(s) are friendly, take pictures and post them to online classified sites and make flyers to put up at local veterinarian’s offices.
Write a description of his personality and, with persistence and patience, you can find him a good forever home.
What To Do About Feral Cats?
If the cat(s) hanging around are feral, your options are different.
Once you establish that they are not owned and are feral, talk to your neighbors about formulating a neighborhood plan.
Check with your local animal control about very low cost spay/neuter options for feral cats.
Check out the website of Alley Cat Allies (alleycat.org) to see if there are any local Feral Friends volunteers to help you. They have many great resources on their website.
Many people think the only thing to do with feral cats is trap them and turn them in to animal control. This policy of trap and euthanize usually won’t fix the problem.
If there are cats hanging around, there is a food source.
If you get rid of some cats, more will just move in.
Trap Neuter Release Program
The best plan is to do something called TNR, which stands for Trap Neuter Release. This means that you work on trapping them, getting them spayed or neutered, and release them back to your area.
Most feral spaying and neutering programs will tip the feral cat’s ear – trim the top of one ear in a straight line as a visual indicator that this cat is fixed and not reproducing.
If you can educate your neighbors about TNR (again, Alley Cat Allies has great resources for this) and get all the feral cats in your neighborhood fixed, you will stem the growth of the cat population, and the released cats will keep more cats from moving in to their territory.
Many of the behavioral issues people complain about regarding strays – such as fighting and urine marking – will be eliminated and you will have free neighborhood rodent control.
TNR is really the only policy that works.
If the cats are feral and absolutely cannot stay in the area, the third choice is to contact your local feed store or horse associations.
Many people with horses and livestock are very happy to have barn cats to keep the rodent population down in their barns.
Once you find a group willing to give homes to feral’s, you could trap them and get them to a vet for spaying and neutering, and then the barn owners could pick them up from the veterinarian’s office, set them up in a safe enclosed area for a couple of week so they can settle in, and then release them to the area.
You want to look for responsible owners who will provide water, a safe place to sleep, and some dry food daily (especially in bad weather). In return, the cats will stay in the area and provide expert rodent control.
It may seem overwhelming, but it isn’t – it can grow to be, though, if no one steps in to address the issue and improve the situation.
Assess the situation, get your neighbors involved, choose the best plan, and work together to give these cats a chance at longer, healthier lives.
My neighbor and I worked together to get a handle on feral cats in our area, spaying/neutering and releasing the feral’s, finding homes for the friendly strays and feral’s who were young enough to be tamed.
Together, we took care of all the cats – and became really good friends in the process.
Stray cats in your yard may seem like a problem, but they are an opportunity for you to step up and make your little corner of the world a better place for everyone.
Best Large Cat Tunnel: Rainbow Pop Cubes and Cat Tunnel. This is more than just a cat tunnel – it’s a cat cube tunnel fun play palace! Combining two of the things cats love (playing and small spaces to lay in) – this cube and tunnel set has everything your cat could need for hours of fun! Our cats need regular play for a wide variety of ...
As the saying goes, “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.”
But if Jack’s a cat, that lack of play can cause a lot more problems than just making him simply ‘dull’.
We try to find ways to make our cats happy, especially if they are left alone while we’re at work or running errands and having toys, tunnels and games for your cat to have regular playtime is important!
At a glance, our favorite tunnel types for our 4 cats is theFeline Ruff 4 Way Cat Tunnels. (check out the dimension over at Amazon) You’ll like these because they are extra long and extra large for those biggin’ snuggly kitties.
If this is too much tunnel for you then you can easilyget the 3 way, which also has shorter tunnel length.
First Question: So, What is the Best Cat Tunnel?
This is, of course, based on the preference of you and your cat but we have a few suggestions for the numberone tunnel system out there.
Best Basic Cat Tunnel: SmartyKat Hideout Tunnel
I love this tunnel because it’s basic but large, so there is tons of room to play!
Something to keep in mind with this tunnel is its size – you may need a bigger play area (but it also maximizes the fun!)
Best Play Tunnel: Purrfect Feline Crinkle Cat Toy Tunnel
If pouncing, a heart-pounding play is your goal – this is the tunnel for your kitties! With crinkle noises and cat toys dangling from each entrance – this FOUR WAY cat tunnel will have your cats running, leaping, playing and pouncing all day!
Best DIY Cat Tunnel Idea: Modern Transparent DIY Cat Tunnel
We may have already talked about this one in this post, but being made from transparent wrapping plastic, this tunnel is both easy for you and fun for your cats.
I love that it’s completely clear and see-through – meaning your cats have a full view of their world around them while inside the tube. This makes it really fun for “hunting” their favorite toys on the other side of the tube!
Best Outdoor Cat Tunnel: ABO Gear Kitty Compound
Again, one we have already talked about in this post but we just can’t say enough good things about it. The reviews speak for themselves and this outdoor cat compound is perfect for your cat’s outdoor adventures.
Best Small Cat Tunnel: Ethical Pet Sleep Zone Cuddle Cave
What cat doesn’t love laying in a plushy, comfortable spot? And what cat doesn’t like tunnels!?
Here we have the best of both – a comfy plush cat tunnel that is the size of a cat bed!
Great for apartments, living rooms or small spaces!
Best Large Cat Tunnel: Rainbow Pop Cubes and Cat Tunnel
This is more than just a cat tunnel – it’s a cat cube tunnel fun play palace!
Combining two of the things cats love (playing and small spaces to lay in) – this cube and tunnel set has everything your cat could need for hours of fun!
Our cats need regular play for a wide variety of reasons…
Here are a few ways playtime is beneficial for your cat:
relieves the boredom that can lead to destructive vices (like scratching up the sofa.)
relieves natural aggressive tendencies that would otherwise come out in less pleasant ways (like attacking their kitty brother or sister.)
lowers blood pressure
makes every feline a happier and healthier kitty
And what playtime is complete with some paw-some cat tunnels!!
This video below shows the 3-way tunnel and how to collapse it:
Playing with your kitty is also a great way to bond with your feline roommate while also relieving stress and tension for us.
But aside from the:
…many of us aren’t sure what else a cat enjoys playing with. So, what is another great toy that your cat will love and actually regularly use?
Let’s dive into the world of cat tunnels!!
Cat Tunnels: Toys for Kitties of All Ages, Shapes & Sizes
When you think of things that cats love, what comes to mind?
Most cats love comfortable areas with:
Most cats love to play and explore and genuinely enjoy an opportunity to try something new, on their own terms, of course.
So it comes as no surprise that most cats adore tunnels…
Because of this:
There are many, many options on the market with a huge variety of types, colors, sizes, uses and so much more.
You can even use these to transition to a cat ladder!
Determining which play tunnel is right for your cat is best approached by thinking of your cat’s specific needs, and what you (the human) want to accomplish with their new toy.
Until recently, space was a huge issue for us (as in, we had none!) so we often opted for collapsable cat tunnels that didn’t take up much space.
Now that we’re moving into a bigger house and will have much more room for the cats to play, we’re looking for more sturdy, fun, and extended cat tunnels.
The kind of tunnel also depends very much on your cat(s) personalities, too!
Each cat has their own unique personality, so you may end up buying a few different tunnels for a few different cats in your home… (the more the merrier, right?!)
Some cats seemingly:
live to cause trouble (especially at night).
others only wish to have their ears rubbed.
or be hand fed filet mignon all day long.
Some cats are absolute pranksters, and love to jump out are “frighten” their humans, where others are happiest passing the day sleeping among the numerous pillows on our bed.
It’s because of the wide variety of kitty personalities that there need to be such a wide variety of cat toys and tunnels for our pampered pets.
It’s easy to think of cat tunnels being a toy for only the feline wild-child who love to jump, chase, pounce and rattle crinkly things into the wee hours of the night.
Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennetthighly recommends cat tunnels for not only the playful puss, but for the shy and insecure ones, as well. 
If your feline friend regularly hides under the bed and prefers to remain as unobtrusive as possible, they may have confidence and fear issues that prevent them from coming out in the open. 
Having tunnels that come part of the way out into the interior of a room gives them the opportunity to explore without feeling too exposed.
Soon, your kitties will be playing and having as much fun as these cats in the video below!
The more time they spend away from the walls and other hiding zones, these fearful felines will realize they are safe in their habitat and will become increasingly more secure in their surroundings.
It won’t happen overnight, but tunnels allow frightened felines to dip their toes into uncharted territory one step at a time.
Eventually, they will reach the end of the tunnel, and one day, you may see tiny toes peeking out as they take their first steps into the great unknown.
Given ample time, these frightened kitties will build confidence that will make them much happier pusses in the long run.
It also gives cats a chance to get comfortable and have fun with each other (as you can see in the video above).
So, now that we know that all cats can benefit from tubular playtime, let’s get down to business determining which kitty tunnel is right for your feline friend.
Second Question: Indoor OR Outdoor Cat Tunnel?
When searching for where to start with your search, you can ask yourself:
Where you will set it up?
After you’ve determined where you need to determine which one.
When looking online, the options seem nearly infinite.
So let’s try to narrow this down.
Outdoor Cat Tunnels:
If your kitty has a taste for the great outdoors but you’re worried about predators and other outdoor health concerns, then a fully-enclosed predator-proof tunnel is a great way to get your kitty some safe outside time.
Outdoor tunnels give your cat a great way to have a taste of the outdoors but still be safe. But always supervise your cats while outside with these types of tents… they might be able to get out or use their nails to claw their way out.
This outdoor kitty compound from ABO Gear received great reviews for its easy assembly and sturdy frame and mesh.
So, let’s talk about outdoor cat tunnels for a minute:
Outdoor cat tunnels can be great if you already have a catio set up, or if your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat
One of the most important things you want to consider the area and ask some questions (will it rain a lot here, how do I protect the cat tunnel from damage, is it easily accessible to my cats, etc).
And, if this is your first outdoor cat enclosure, you may want to try a less expensive option to start to make sure your puss really wants that outdoor experience.
Some companies, like Catbitats, offer a wide range of custom mad tunnels and outdoor catwalks built of strong wire mesh that can be put together in a wide variety of options.
From catwalks to catios, Catbitats (think cat habitat) is designed for safe outdoor respite time for otherwise indoor dwelling kitties.
For less adventurous cats or those kitties content to just snooze in the grass, there are smaller and less expensive options available (such as the indoor cat tunnels from above), as well as options for cats that live in condos and apartments.
All of these are designed with options like kitty doors, so your cat can come and go as they please.
Many of them have shelter from inclement weather, as well as other options like hammocks, feed and water stations.
Although there are cheaper options out there for outdoor tunnels, general feedback from purchasers is they don’t last long and have a tendency to fall apart easily.
As this is not as sturdy as an enclosure made with wire, supervised pet play only is strongly encouraged with these types of models.
How to make an outdoor cat tunnel?
For those of you that are handy with hammer and nail, there are YouTube videos and other instructions on how to build your own outdoor cat tunnels and enclosures.
Below is a great video by “Self Sufficient Me” that details how to build a cat run and enclosure including a pet door and what materials they used:
If you are capable of quality construction, building a DIY outdoor kitty habitat can save you lots of money. (We’ll talk more about this later!)
But if you are like me and are more likely to hit my thumb with a hammer rather than the nail, it might be best to leave the construction to the professionals.
The last thing you want is for Fluffy to get hurt by an incorrectly constructed cat condo.
Indoor Cat Tunnels:
If your cat is terrified of the great outdoors, then an indoor model will suit their needs perfectly.
Interior-use tunnels come in a huge assortment of materials, colors and textures.
From the crinkly plastic tubes to plush fabric lined cylinders, I can almost guarantee there is an option for even the finickiest feline!
Before determining which one to get, look at the space in your home where you want to locate the play tunnel.
Here are some things about indoor cat tunnels to consider:
So, indoor cat tunnels are great – but will likely end up in storage if you don’t actually have the space for it.
You want to think about adding cat tunnels into your living room in ways that will least inconvenience you (such as creating DIY cat tunnels with furniture or buying furniture made with you and your cats in mind.)
However – you also want to place the cat tunnel in an area that your cat will actually feel comfortable using it, so keep that in mind, too!
If it’s in a dedicated kitty play room, or a large area, you may want to splurge on a longer option, or maybe even get a few different types for different activities.
If you are tight on space, you may want to look at options that are easily collapsible so you can remove them when not in use or if you are having guests.
Third Question: What Size Cat Tunnel Do I Need!?
Also, this is a good time to look at the size of the kitties that will be using the play tunnel.
Take our Cat Veteran leader, Toki, for instance:
2 of her cats, Bubs, who is easily 16 pounds, Coo Coos who is a mini-kitty and weighs in at 9 pounds…
If she were to buy a tunnel based on Coo Coo’s size, Bubs wouldn’t be able to fit his head into it.
In this case, she would need to buy a tunnel based on Bubs’s size if the goal was for both kitties to be able to play in the tunnels.
Luckily, they do make tunnels for the “huskier” puss, so even our larger kitty friends don’t have to miss out on the fun!
On the flip side, Bubs and Coo Coo don’t always get along.
Having an option where the little girl can hide out and know Bubs can’t bother her has made her a much happier cat as she feels much safer in her little hiding zones.
As she is also one for plush fabrics, she loves the feel of fleece, and also loves the crinkly noises of plastic and paper bags.
With all that in mind, the Kitty Cat Tunnel by Easyology (video below!) is the perfect tunnel for her specific needs.
Fourth Question: Can I DIY This!?
Oh yes, yes you can!!! I alluded to this about with the outdoor tunnels.
For the DIYers out there, the indoor cat tunnel is much easier to build than an outdoor one.
Something as simple as cutting holes in a cardboard box or taping together a bunch of paper bags and reinforcing them to keep them perpetually open is an extremely easy and inexpensive way to use household items as cat toys.
Below is a super simple way to make a tunnel:
Sure, they won’t last nearly as long as fabric or nylon tunnels, but when they are that inexpensive, you don’t mind if you have to construct a new one when the old one has seen its final use.
You can also use this stuff to make some cat stairs!
Here are a few ideas!
DIY Cat Tunnel with a Sweater!! (Level: super duper easy!)
The idea behind this one in simple – turn one of your old sweaters into a cat tunnel using just a few products!
The inside of the tunnel can be constructed of foam or cardboard:
Totally Transparent Tunnel (Level: medium difficulty, maximum payoff!)
This tunnel excites your cat in a variety of different ways, as the tunnel is clear and lets your cat see obstacles, toys or “prey” through the walls – it also makes a sound when she pounces through it!
Click through to this video and scroll down to the description box to see how this see through wrapping plastic tunnel was made!
From-Here-to-There Functional Tunnel System (Level: Super difficult but also super awesome!)
Tunnels aren’t just for playing – some are functional!
If you have space, time, patience, wire and wood – you can make something like this!
Fifth (and final) Question: Should I Get a Cat Tunnel for My Cats?
Our take on it?
Not only will this be endless fun for your cat, but you can make cat tunnels interactive (for you and your cat, or for your cats to play together with each other).
As we’ve covered, there are different tunnels to fit all cats and all house spaces; super wide tunnels for the kitty who is a bit bigger, and collapsable ones for the living room that seems to be shrinking – you can (and should) find the cat tunnel that suits you and your cat’s needs!
Cat tunnels really are the ultimate all purpose toy.
From playtime to nap-time, a way to enjoy the adventures of the great outdoors or to slowly accustom a shy cat to a new home, cat tunnels are an enrichment tool that all cats can enjoy.
With all the tunneling options available, there is no reason for
Jack to be dull, bored or cranky, as there really is a tunnel for cat and every purpose under the sun.
 Cat Behaviour Associates – How to Use Cat Tunnels
24-02-2019 · Unlike humans, cat acne is almost always isolated to a single area on the skin, and it generally isn’t recognizable at first glance. Cats affected by acne almost always experience it in the same area of the body: Below the chin. This area of skin is typically more exposed to bacteria because of its lack of long, thick fur.
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
Feline acne may be an unpleasant reality, but the good news is that there are many ways to get rid of cat acne. If you’re a concerned cat mom like me, you may be curious about finding out how you can help your feline stay blemish-free.
When I first discovered that cats can suffer from acne, I was so astonished that I did a ton of research to find out all the details of the matter.
Especially after one of my cats got it from a flea!
So you’ve noticed that your furry feline has some unsightly blemishes. Yikes!
How do you get rid of and treat cat acne? Clean the affected area by applying a warm, damp washcloth. Additional home remedies include topical applications stemming from cucumber pulp, tea bags or witch hazel. Medicated wipes and shampoos containing benzoyl peroxide may help, too. More extreme cases may require veterinarian attention and antibiotics.
While it can be comforting to know that there are some things you can do to help clear up your cat’s acne, there are also some very dangerous practices that you should never try at home.
While the causes of this occurrence aren’t surprising, feline acne is not always recognizable at first glance, so it’s helpful to become familiar with its characteristics so you can spot it right away on your feline.
This is important because severe cases can transform into a more dangerous threat for your cat.
What to Do For Cat Acne
When faced with feline acne, the first reaction of most cat owners is:
How do I get rid of it?!
Similar to skin blemishes in people, feline acne can be unattractive and physically bothersome, and most measures are an attempt to manage the condition rather than cure it indefinitely.
If you notice that your cat has an acne issue, there are a few steps you can take to try and resolve the problem.
Clean The Area Of Your Cats Chin
First, the most basic action you can take as a pet owner is to try and clean the affected area with a gentle approach.
Use a warm, damp washcloth and apply it to the affected area, holding it there for about 30 seconds.
Then, gently wipe the area.
This method accomplishes two things:
It cleans the area, getting rid of grime and bacteria.
The warmth of the washcloth encourages pores to open up, which can help expel additional bacteria buildup and relieve pressure from the blackheads.
There are also a number of DIY soothing treatments that you can create at home.
While these applications are not always clinically proven to help, general knowledge that has passed on throughout the pet community suggests that these treatments may help relieve cat acne.
The application of green or black tea bags
Diluted witch hazel
These are some of the most common DIY treatments for cat acne.
The general theory that backs up these do-it-yourself ointments is that these substances are known to dry out the skin, simultaneously expelling bacteria buildup.
When the affected area is dried out, acne is less likely to advance.
Some medicated wipes or shampoos found at pet stores are essentially over-the-counter versions of these treatments.
A more aggressive approach to clearing up cat acne is to use a medication formulated with benzoyl peroxide.
For more severe cases:
Whether contained as a topical ointment or shampoo, benzoyl peroxide medications designed to target feline acne can generally be obtained with a veterinarian prescription.
Benzoyl peroxide fights acne by oxygenizing the skin, which causes the reduction of moisture.
Essentially drying the skin out, benzoyl peroxide also has the effect of expelling dead skin and rejuvenating hair follicles, which may otherwise be clogged and contributing to the development of acne.
For most cats, these methods will already prove helpful.
However, for more severe situations, a visit to the vet may be in order.
Some veterinarians may determine that a course of antibiotics is necessary to clear up feline acne.
What NOT to Do for Cat Acne
While it is quite helpful for cat owners to be aware of home remedies for cat acne, it is equally important to know what NOT to do for cat acne.
Some well-intentioned attempts to clear up feline acne can actually result in putting your cat in serious danger.
Most of us who have survived the turmoil of teenage acne understand how tempting it can be to pop and pick at those little blemishes.
Don’t transfer this temptation to your cat! While some cat owners may think popping their cat’s pimples could be helpful, this is actually a very dangerous action to take.
DO NOT: Popping and picking your cat’s blackheads or pustules is never recommended.
Not only can it prove quite painful for your cat, but it can also actually damage the skin and cause more severe irritation.
If picking or popping results in open abrasions, this exposes your cat to a greater risk of skin infection and irritation.
Here’s another thing you should never do, even though it may seem like a clever idea for resolving feline acne.
DO NOT: Don’t apply acne treatments intended for human use to your feline’s skin. This includes ointments with benzoyl peroxide.
Human acne medications are designed with active ingredients intended for use on human skin only.
The concentration, or amount of medicated ointment in each dosage, that is safe for human use can be extremely dangerous for felines.
In other words, even a small application of human acne treatment can prove poisonous for your cat.
If you’re using a recommended DIY treatment for your cat’s acne, be sure you apply it carefully, without making contact with the cat’s mouth.
Accidental ingestion of certain substances, like a tea bag, medicated ointment or witch hazel, can be very harmful to your cat’s digestive system.
For that reason, do not ever leave the cat unattended while ointments are sitting out, as you don’t want the cat to curiously taste something that could be poisonous for them.
What Are the Signs of Cat Acne?
When it comes to noticing acne on your cat, you may be surprised at its appearance.
Unlike humans, cat acne is almost always isolated to a single area on the skin, and it generally isn’t recognizable at first glance.
Cats affected by acne almost always experience it in the same area of the body:
Below the chin.
This area of skin is typically more exposed to bacteria because of its lack of long, thick fur.
Here’s a great soothing video for an overview:
The pores are also larger in this area, providing a greater opportunity to become clogged and break out as blackheads.
Typically, a breakout of acne under the chin is made up of mostly blackheads.
For this reason, the chin may appear darker, similar to a dirt mark or dark colored cloud.
Might even look like mange in your cat.
Cat owners often mistake feline acne for a small smudge of dirt or grime!
For most cats, this will be the worst of their acne breakout experience.
However, in more severe cases, acne can present as small pink or red sores.
If your cat is irritated by acne, it may begin to rub and scratch at the affected area, which may also lead to it becoming red.
If the skin is red or oozing, it’s often a sign that the area has become infected, requiring veterinarian assistance.
Identifying acne correctly is extremely important.
Unfortunately, the appearance of acne is very similar to that of other conditions, such as mites, fungal infections, and skin parasites.
These health issues can be detrimental to a cat’s wellbeing, so it is vital that acne is identified correctly.
Once I learned that most cat acne presents as a dark smudge, I started double-checking my cat every time I noticed a dirt spot.
If you aren’t 100% sure that the dark spot is dirt or acne, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to rule out other, more severe conditions.
After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
What Causes Cat Acne?
There are many things that contribute to feline acne.
In most cases, the culprit is unidentifiable.
However, if you can pinpoint the specific cause of your cat’s breakouts, then you may be better equipped at preventing the reoccurrence of blemishes.
Excessive oil is one cause of feline acne.
This may be the result of poor grooming habits.
Most felines groom themselves regularly and effectively, but when the chin area is neglected, acne may have a better chance of developing.
On the other hand, over-grooming can also cause breakouts.
During grooming, the chin is often rubbed repetitively.
If this skin is particularly sensitive or rubbed too much, small abrasions could develop.
These little abrasions are like an open invitation for bacteria buildup and clogged pores, meaning blackheads are on their way.
Skin and hair abnormalities are also possible acne culprits.
While this is uncommon, it is possible for cats to have exaggerated skin sensitivity that results in higher levels of acne.
In addition, you may have noticed that your cat tends to develop acne at certain times throughout the year.
You’re not going crazy…
This is actually a real cycle with a scientific cause.
Because acne formation is strongly linked to clogged pores and hair follicle entanglements, it only makes sense that cats are more likely to break out during the spring or fall when they are experiencing natural shedding.
Is Cat Acne Serious?
In most cases, feline acne is not a dangerous condition.
Most cats aren’t bothered by it…
Either physically or emotionally!
In most cases, feline acne is primarily an aesthetic issue that may bother the cat’s people friends.
However, in some severe situations, feline acne can lead to an infection.
If a sore develops and it is exposed to the staphylococcus virus, it is possible for the feline to develop bacterial folliculitis.
While this is a rare development stemming from acne, bacterial folliculitis is a condition that would require veterinarian care.
If your cat has acne, be sure to keep an eye on it and consult a veterinarian if it seems to be taking a turn for the worse.
Otherwise, you can rest easy knowing that feline acne is not a big cause for concern.
Does feline acne go away on its own? Feline acne varies in its severity. Most cases are mild and often clear up on their own with basic home care, such as attentive cleaning. However, more severe cases of feline acne may require veterinarian attention for resolution.
Can I use benzoyl peroxide on my cat? Products made with benzoyl peroxide are commonly used to treat feline acne. Feline benzoyl peroxide treatments can come in the form of topical ointments or shampoo.
Products with benzoyl peroxide intended for human use should never be used on a cat because the concentration of benzoyl peroxide can be extremely dangerous for use on a feline.
Where does feline acne usually show up? In the majority of cases, feline acne is isolated to a small area under the chin. It is possible, however, for feline acne to show up under the lower lip and around the eyelids in extreme cases.
Is cat acne contagious? No. Feline acne cannot be passed from cat to cat or from cat to human.
Does acne bother cats? Most cats are not bothered by the presence of acne. However, felines with more sensitive skin may be irritated by the presence of acne, which can lead to scratching and rubbing the area.
Severe acne that presents as sores can be painful and sensitive.
22-10-2018 · So, how much does it cost to adopt a cat? Adoption fees range from to 0 for cats a year plus and 0 to 0 for kittens 2 to 11 months old. Each cat’s adoption fee depends on demand, behavior, age or medical condition.
This post contains affiliate links & I’ll be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Doesn’t cost you anything 😉
One of the biggest gifts you can give to a cat is a second chance at life. At your local shelter, there are dozens of cats for you to choose from, and by picking one, you’re giving that little feline a companion for life.
So, how much does it cost to adopt a cat? Adoption fees range from to 0 for cats a year plus and 0 to 0 for kittens 2 to 11 months old. Each cat’s adoption fee depends on demand, behavior, age or medical condition.
To adopt a cat from a shelter, the standard fee for a cat is roughly , 5 for kittens under 5 months, and around 0 for 2 kitties from the same litter.
If you’re new to the cat world or haven’t adopted before, you may have many questions about the process.
Like, the application process, associated costs for ongoing cat care or any extra fees…
In this post, we hope to teach you more about cat adoption and help you make a more well rounded decision.
What’s Included In A Cat Adoption Fee?
Adoption fees help to cover your cats, and other animals in the shelter, medical care while waiting for a new home.
These fees also cover their food and costs for transportation.
Money from adoption fees also serves as donations to help the entire organization to continue its cause and efforts to rescue and give these animals a new home.
Please donate to your local shelters!
Just imagine the money you’ll save adopting from a rescue or shelter.
These places will usually cover those initial veterinary costs to prepare these cats for new homes.
Cat adoption fees often include:
Initial Visit Wellness Visit/Exam -100
ID or Collar Tags -10
FVRCP Vaccine (Distemper included) -30×2
Rabies Vaccine -25
FIV – Feline Leukemia (this is for testing) -50
Spaying / Neutering 0-300
Tick/Flea Treatments -200
Microchipping your cat (Again not needed, or recommended, unless your situation calls for it)
Deworming Your Cat -50
This can total you: ~ 5-880
You’ll pay this for your “free” kitty but not to adopt!
Usually, when you get cats for free, they aren’t spayed, neutered or have a full set of vaccinations, adding up to that higher priced medical expense above.
Why Adopt A Cat? Here Are 4 Reasons Why.
By adopting a cat you, you’re going to save lives. 2.7 million adoptable cats, each year, are euthanized in the U.S. simply because there isn’t enough space in the shelters and not many people are utilizing shelters when searching for or adopting a new pet.
Adopting a pet has increasingly become a more popular choice when it comes to choosing a cat.
The Shelters Are Crowded With Animals
Every year, millions of pets are rescued and put in shelters. [source]
In the feline realm, over 3 million cats are put in shelters.
That’s a lot of meows!
However, your shelter can only hold so much, and often, these animals may have to be put down if they stay there too long.
There are no-kill shelters out there, but even so, your shelter shouldn’t be filled to the brim with animals.
However, this does happen. One reason is that cats have a high breeding rate.
If left unspayed and unneutered, these cats can create a lot of babies!
Adoption supports your local shelter and helps clear it out a little bit.
Animal Mills Are Not Fun
While there are reputable breeders out there, many breeders treat their animals like factories, making them reproduce as much as possible.
Because the breeders want their animals to be purebred, the babies often come with health problems and other defects.
The animals may be abused, and they just aren’t designed to breed so much.
While mills are mostly centered around dogs, there are kitten mills that do exist.
These mills are often less regulated and the kittens there don’t have socialization.
They aren’t good for the cats, and mills may charge thousands.
Also, many mills won’t care if the owner is qualified or not raise the cat. Animal shelters will often monitor the owners to make sure the pet is in good hands.
Cat Adoption Is Cheaper
Owning a pet is going to cost you, and while a cat isn’t as much responsibility as a dog, there is still a lot that goes into it.
The first big investment is purchasing the animal. With a mill or a pet shop, it can cost you thousands.
With pet adoption, it’s much cheaper.
Adoption Fees Often Include All The Medical Essentials
With the adoption fee, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Often, the money you pay to adopt will give you vaccinations, a checkup, microchipping, and spaying/neutering.
You can start your cat’s health right by making sure they’ve had all the procedures done to them.
How Much Does Adopting A Cat Cost?
Like I stated above, the price for adopting a cat is going to vary depending on the shelter and other circumstances surrounding the cat.
Obviously, the best answer to this question is to go to your shelter and look at the prices.
Here are a few factors that are going to play a part in the adoption fee:
The Age of the Cat – The older the cat is, the less the adoption fee may be, and vice versa.
An Older Cat – An older or a senior cat may have a low adoption fee. For a cat over five years of age, you may only need to pay for adopting it. Of course, with an older cat, you may want to consider the cost of medical care that will come with aging.
Getting Kittens – Kittens are usually the most expensive to adopt. You may pay at least 0, if not more, to adopt a kitten.
First, there is a higher demand for kittens. Everyone thinks kittens are cute, and they often want the pet to begin its companionship at birth.
With that said, don’t adopt just because you want a cute kitten. The kitten will quickly grow into a cat, and if you’re planning on trading that cat in for another kitten, you shouldn’t adopt.
Second, kittens require more care.
They are at a vulnerable stage in their life, and they often will need to have all their medical procedures. A kitten is weaker, more susceptible to disease, and needs all the TLC they can get. A shelter needs to put effort to make sure that kitten is as healthy as possible.
A Young Adult Cat – This is a cat that is fully matured, but still young. The cost of a young adult cat can depend on the vet. Sometimes, you may pay - to adopt them.
Of course, it all depends on where you go, and you can sometimes find some good deals.
At pet stores such as PetSmart, there are often cats from the local animal shelter that you can adopt.
Sometimes, the fee may be less there.
I adopted a beautiful black cat, who was only six months old at the time, at PetSmart for just .
What makes adopting at a pet store better is that you can buy all the essentials without taking another trip.
What is Included in an Adoption Fee?
When paying the adoption fee, you may wonder where your money is going.
The good news is that your money is going to a few good causes, which include:
Supporting the Shelter
Obviously, an animal shelter can’t run without funds, and by adopting that cat, you’re helping to keep a roof over the shelter’s head.
Money can help the shelter rescue more animals and improve the infrastructure of the place.
Shelters are often underfunded, and by giving your money to your shelter, you can help them.
Below is great update story of a cat adoption after 9 months!
Cats will be given some core vaccines, which may depend on the shelter.
Core vaccines help stop the spread of disease at the shelter and helps the cat once they reach their forever home.
Even if your cat is primarily indoors, you may want to keep their vaccines up to date. You never know.
Microchipping Your Cat
Some shelters will microchip your cat for you.
If you don’t know what that is, it’s a lifetime procedure.
The microchip is injected into the pet like a vaccine, and it tells all the information about your pet.
If your pet is ever lost and gets rescued, the shelter will know who it belongs to.
Microchipping can be much more effective than a collar, which can fall off.
Spaying or Neutering
If you ever watched The Price is Right, you know how important spaying or neutering is.
All it takes is for an unspayed/unneutered cat to have one night out for it to reproduce and contribute to the growing homeless pet population.
Spaying and neutering have a few health benefits, such as preventing some cancers, reducing the chances of your cat running away, and preventing female cats from going into a painful heat.
These medical procedures may have already been performed on the cat.
If not, they may ask you to wait a few days until picking up your pet. When we adopted our first cat, we had to wait a couple of days because she hadn’t been spayed yet.
Hearing how an unspayed cat acts, we definitely could wait.
General Costs Of Adopting A Cat
Finally, the money you pay for the adoption supports the cost it takes to care for your cat while it’s there:
Water to drink
changing the litter
anything else you need to keep a cat happy
By paying the fee, you’re helping the shelter support the cats.
Different shelters may pay for different services when it comes to the adoption fee. If you’re unsure where your money is going, look it up or ask.
Other Costs to Consider
The first year according to the ASPCA, it can cost around
,000 for a cat, and then around 0 each preceding year.
For me, I have 4 cats, and the annual cost I pay is roughly: 00. (it’s the food bill! I feed fresh food from NomNomNow)
The costs take into account many of the first time medical procedures (which can be waived if you adopt,) and many items such as:
a litter box
While a cat isn’t terribly expensive, first-time owners should prepare.
Don’t Forget About Emergencies!
We would all like the image that nothing bad will ever happen to our cats.
They’ll be as healthy as possible until the end of time. However, this isn’t how the world works.
All it takes is for Fluffy to get into something she isn’t supposed to in order for a life or death situation to happen.
No matter how hard you hide the people food, some cats are prone to getting into it.
And then, there’s always a chance your cat may get sick, even if they are young and healthy.
Life happens, and in a situation like this, you need to act fast. Getting your cat emergency care is very important.
How much will an emergency surgery cost?
It will all depend on the situation.
With our healthcare system, it’s hard to say.
However, you need to be prepared.
Having a few thousand saved up is one move you can make. Another move to consider is pet insurance, but you may not get a good enough return on investment.
Having a credit card handy may be your best bet, with you only needing to use it for emergencies such as your cat needing surgery.
Anything Else You Should Know?
One thing you have to remember is that when you choose your cat to adopt, there are no “take backs”.
This cat is your companion for life. Don’t get rid of it because it misbehaves, or because it’s no longer cute.
If you’re adopting a cat, for this reason, you’re doing it all wrong.
That’s why it’s important to ask a few questions when adopting a cat.
Don’t feel intrusive when talking to the adoption center about the cat’s medical history, temperament, and any other questions you want to have answered.
Many people will choose the cat that responds the best to them, but don’t write off a cat just because it seems shy or seems a bit aggressive at first.
Many cats take a bit to warm up to new people, and the cat may be stressed. Ask the vet about how the cat typically behaves.
Also, do you have other pets in your home? Consider that before you adopt.
Your old pet, whether it’s a dog or a cat, may be hostile to the newcomer of your home.
However, by slowly introducing your new cat with your other pet, you can reduce hostility.
Separate your new cat with your old pet, and let them trade rooms.
Get them used to each other’s scent. Every so often, let your pets get a glance at each other.
After you think the time is right, introduce them. There may be some skepticism and hostility at first, such as hissing.
If they get into a fight, break it up and start again. It can take a bit for two pets to warm up, but when they do, they’ll love each other.
Or at least tolerate one another.
How Does The Cat Adoption Process Work?
Each and every rescue or shelter will have its own adoption processes.
A list of steps you may go through during the process are:
Make sure your finances and lifestyle will work around your new cat or kitten. You’re bringing them into your world, they didn’t ask for it… so accommodate them!
If your local shelter is open to the public, go visit. If they don’t, adopt a cat from a rescue or find online within your zip code. You’ll be able to see images and their information there.
You can arrange a visit with the shelter or rescue if you found a cat online. They may foster out their animals and you could get your whole family there for a visit with the cat.
Always ask questions. Ask about medical problems, up to date vaccines, any known ailments, how’s their temperament: playfulness, likes/dislikes petting, social or energetic, a loner.
After you find a kitty your whole family loves and is a good fit, it’s time to fill out an application. (at some pound you may be able to take the cat home the same day.)
When that application is filled out, you’ll go through a screening process: interview (in person or phone), background check, reference check, may be asked if you own or rent a home (they’ll ask your landlord if your allowed cats
You may be asked to sign an adoption agreement. It’s a binding contract that guarantees that the cat will be cared for. Usually, the provisions include: spay or neuter a cat, provide adequate food and medical care, and to keep the cat indoors.
While that’s going on, get your home ready!
a few cat toys
plenty of healthy food
You may also need to kitten-proof your home by checking for toxic houseplants, cords, and blinds that pose a strangling hazard.
So, when you pass your screening process you can take your cat home!
So What Does Adopting A Cat All Mean?
Save a life and save money by adopting.
If you’re adopting a cat, it is indeed the cheaper option.
At the most, you’re only paying a couple hundred to adopt, and those fees are usually not that expensive.
With adoption, the basic medical procedures your cat needs are often included. Adoption fees are a drop in the bucket compared to the other costs you may have to pay, so always save up.
Adopting a cat can be a magical experience.
If you’re prepared, head to your local shelter and see who is waiting for you.
Do you have any adoption stories or process you’d like to share or add to this ongoing post? Feel free to leave a comment or contact us!
My cat never licks me. But my friends’ cats act like they are grooming their humans as one of their own. It is perfectly understandable to want to know why cats do this. We are spending so much time…
My cat never licks me.
But my friends’ cats act like they are grooming their humans as one of their own. It is perfectly understandable to want to know why cats do this.
We are spending so much time with our cats and understanding our feline companion’s behavior is key to a healthy relationship between us and our cats.
Why Do Cats Lick?
I am sure you have noticed that cats’ tongues are very weird.
While dog tongues are smooth like humans, cats’ are rough and feel like sandpaper.
This is because their tongues are covered in papillae, which are made of keratin. These papillae are made of the same material as their claws. It allows them to drink water and groom themselves.
Cats have a reputation for being incredibly clean. The way their tongues are shaped helps them remove dirt from their shiny fur.
If for some reason her tongue does not manage to clean her fur, she will use her teeth and nibble gently to get rid of any residue or matted fur. This hypnotic and calm self-grooming act is called preening.
Cats are self-cleaning animals; this comes from birth.
The mother bites and licks to open the placenta and helps the baby to breathe for the first time. She licks the kitten till she is no longer wet from amniotic fluid. The mother has to lick her kittens every few hours to help them urinate and defecate till the third week, which is when kittens can start to do these things themselves.
While this act is for hygiene maintenance for the kittens, it also reinforces the bond between them. It is a behavior that sticks with them even when they become adults, even if they are with other adult cats.
If you introduce two cats and they get used to each other, you will witness them starting to groom one another as a sign of affection between them.
In some cases, you might witness that some cats lick themselves excessively. This is not normal behavior, in fact, it is a sign of a high level of stress or anxiety. It is a way to release their accumulated tension. When they lick you a lot, this is also a sign of stress and it is called psychogenic alopecia. This can lead to bald spots or rashes.
You should try to find the cause of the stress to see if it is something you can eliminate in order to improve their well-being. The cause of the stress can be many things such as a new member joining the household, loud noises, unfamiliar smells or a new animal.
If you cannot find the cause and your cat keeps doing it, I would advise you to take your furry companion to the vet to see if there is a physiological problem.
Why Does My Cat Lick Me?
If your cat licks you, take it as a compliment!
First, we need to understand one thing: Dogs see you as their owner and cats see you –if they want to– as their pack member. They see you as a big (size-wise) cat. If they like you, they will show you affection as their mother showed them.
This affection can come in many different forms and it may not always be very nice.
They might preen, knead, or headbutt you. They might also bring you “gifts” like dead or alive mice, birds, lizards, or various insects because they see you as a horrible hunter and think you need help in that department. They usually decide whether or not to bring these gifts alive based on how bad of a hunter they think you are. But hey, that is a different topic.
Cats are territorial animals.
They have different methods of delimiting their territory. This is not only limited to marking their space. It can include objects and humans as well. They mark you with their smell to let everyone know that you belong to them. Licking can allow them to exchange scents to strengthen their bond with you.
Your cat might lick you and rub her face against your body. Cats have scent glands at the top of their heads and they “mark” you with it during those head bunt sessions.
You can observe this behavior a lot more if you pet another animal and then come home and let your cat smell you.
This is to let other cats know who you belong to.
Although this type of behavior is perfectly normal, it can cause territorial problems at home if you have more than one cat, so be careful with this.
Another reason for excessive licking can be oral fixation which develops in some cats who were orphaned or weaned prematurely. Because they couldn’t suckle their mom as kittens, licking can be a substitute for that experience.
Therefore, if your cat licks you, take it as a compliment!
Last but not least, if you have a senior cat that has taken a liking to lick you all of a sudden, you might want to head to the vet because this could be a sign of hyperthyroidism which can cause behavior changes in cats.
Why Does My Cat Lick Me and Then Bite Me?
We are all familiar with this scenario: One moment your cat is licking you so peacefully that you are recording it to send to some friends to show how adorable she is. And then, suddenly, she bites you!
There is no one simple answer to this situation that would explain everything and stop them from doing it.
Cats lick and groom us as a sign of affection. In these intimate grooming sessions, there is a possibility that your cat might bite you while she licks you. This is due to using her teeth because she cannot remove the “dirt”. But also, it might be a sign that she is angry or that she wants to play with you.
You might think that she came to you and started to groom you as her choice but this doesn’t change the fact that she might all of a sudden feel that it is enough and wants to leave or be left alone.
Nonetheless, congratulations! You are part of her family.
Cats are weird. When you say their name or make eye contact, they turn into this furball and show their bellies and hypnotize you into petting them. And the moment you touch that soft, fluffy, irresistible belly, they bite you.
Sometimes you just pet your cat exactly where she shows she wants you to pet her and after a few touches, she starts biting. I am sure every person who likes cats must have gone through this at least one time.
If she starts biting you when you are petting her and she thinks that it is a game, then you have a few options.
If your cat is a kitten, then it will be easier to teach them that biting is not okay. You need to be consistent and when she bites you, you should stop showing affection immediately and react vocally by saying “no!”. This is how they will understand that biting is not something you approve and in order to have your attention, they have to change this behavior. You also need to vocally state that you do not approve of this and that it hurts you.
If you want further information on different causes of biting, you may refer to my earlier article called why does my cat bite me?
When cats are part of a litter, and they hurt each other while playing, they will let each other know by biting back or meowing angrily. While you tell your cat that she hurts you when she bites, you should encourage positive attitudes to show her what is acceptable.
But if you play with her using your hands and feet, she will see them as toys that she can play with and bite. Always use toys when you are having playtime with your cat.
If you have an adult cat, you should do the same, but it might take longer for them to accept and adapt. Do not yell at them, never ever hit them. You need to be patient. Consistency is very essential.
While we cannot read the minds of our cats, we can try to read their behaviors and learn to understand how they say, ‘I love you’. It gets easier after spending a bit of time with them.
Here are some things cats do that show they feel affectionate towards you:
13 Ways Your Cat Shows You Love
1. Showing Their Belly
Like most animals, cats do not show their stomachs to just anyone.
It is the most vulnerable part of their body. You might have already noticed that stray cats are always very alert even when they look like they are sleeping.
Their paws are tucked underneath, and they never show their belly.
If your cat rolls over on her back to show you her fuzzy belly, this is an indication that she feels comfortable around you. She feels loved and protected by you, rendering herself defenseless.
2. Following You Around
This is a type of behavior that you would expect from your dog but when your cat does it, it means she cannot get enough of your companionship.
You can notice this especially if it is not close to her feeding time. She will follow you room to room, even jump onto furniture to get closer to you. When you observe this, you can be sure that she loves your company. She might even come to fetch you if you stay in bed too long without her or if you close the door to the bathroom and try to have some alone time.
If you close your bedroom door at night and don’t let her in, she will repeatedly scratch the door or meow constantly until you give up, open the door and let her in. It’s all out of love! Well, maybe a little bit out of nosiness as well.
This behavior may seem very odd, but it shows that your cat absolutely loves you and cares about you.
Cats have glands that are hidden in their cheeks and heads and various other parts of their bodies. When she even lightly brushes against you, she can still mark you with her scent to declare you as her property or her family. However, you would like to believe. For kittens, this familiar scent is a great comfort and it helps them to calm down.
4. Rubbing Against Your Legs
Sometimes, when you come home after a long workday feeling very tired and your cat runs through the door to greet you, rubs herself against your legs and she immediately makes you feel like she is happy to see you.
You are right to feel this because that is how she shows her affection. That, and she is putting her scent on you as a way of claiming you as her own. Just like when she head-butts you. It helps you develop a deeper bond with your cat to allow her to do it.
5. Sitting on You
Cats are known for not being interested in physical contact but once you meet a friendly cat, you will see that quite a bit of them like to be in physical contact and sit on your lap.
It is due to both showing affection and using your body heat in cold weather. But you may also see some very stubborn cats who will follow you around and try to sit on your lap or lean on your body even when it is too hot. Then you can be sure that she is doing it to be close to you and to feel your presence.
This happens a lot more if you are living alone with your cat. It gets easier for them to bond with you and get used to you.
Kneading is when your cat uses her paws to push in and out against a surface like your lap, or arm. Just like making biscuits.
This is one of the things you can be sure that means your cat is saying “I love you” to you.
If your cat comes up to your lap and starts kneading while you pet her, she is returning the fondness. Unluckily, this show of affection can be very painful. Because the happier she gets, the harder she will dig in with her sharp nails.
Regular nail trimming can be very helpful in this situation. If you don’t know how to do it, ask your vet to do it for you during her regular check-ups.
To ease the painfully sharp nails, you can also use a soft blanket as a barrier between her and your body. It helps a ton.
7. Sleeping on You
You might have a king-size bed and a huge sofa, but your cat will still somehow find sitting on your lap or sleeping on your chest a lot more comfortable.
I don’t know who wouldn’t like this scenario but in case you are wondering why she does this; she does it because she wants to be close to you.
8. Responding to Your Call
When you have a guest over and they want to get your cat’s attention by calling her name, your cat can act like she is deaf.
But, when you call her, she immediately responds. Well, this should make you proud, shouldn’t it?
You might have heard your cat purr many times on many different occasions before, but you may not have realized that this is a loving purr.
Cats’ purr can mean a variety of things. It can be from delight, an expression of concern or even to ease their pain. It can range from a soft and subtle to incredibly loud truck-like purr. You can be sure that she is doing it to show her affection and contentment.
Also meowing. Cats don’t meow to other cats to communicate, they do it only to humans. Your cat is talking to YOU. If you pay attention, you can notice the difference between meows when she tries to tell you what she wants.
10. Approaching You With Their Tail Pointing Straight-up
The tail of a cat works as a barometer into how your cat feels about you or her habitat.
You can read all her emotions from her tail. All you have to do is pay attention.
It affects your cat’s perceptions about you. Another way to understand a cat’s feelings is when you see her tail straight up while she gently flickers the tip of her tail. The tail’s shape usually looks like a candy cane, but it slightly quivers and well, it is furry.
They also say that this tail curve “is sometimes called the happy tail dance.” You can read a lot of emotions from her tail such as whether she is in a good mood or on edge, scared or content.
Some people say that this is one of the reasons why cats cannot get along with dogs.
Dogs wag their tails super-fast when they are happy, and it gets faster and faster as their excitement increases whereas cats wag their tails fast when they are angry or annoyed.
11. Bringing You Presents
Your cat might not bring you toys to play with but there is a bigger chance that she may bring you a dead animal or worse, animals. It depends on how “lucky” you are.
You might find this very weird, but this is also another way of your cat showing you that she likes you and she cares about you. This is how she likes to show her love towards you.
If your cat loves you and if she is a good hunter, she will bring a lot of gifts to you. Natural born hunter cats will catch various things from toys to birds, socks to mice and unfortunately, they will share the prize with the ones they cherish.
There may also be instances where you might see your cat playing with a dead mouse (or one that wishes to be dead!) and after that, the mouse is nowhere to be seen.
In a way, you might think that this is better because you don’t have to clean up after her but you might also want to reconsider your relationship with your cat since she doesn’t want to share this gift with you.
However, cats may also bring you dead animals because they think you are a bad hunter. If they bring you an alive pray, then it means they are trying to teach you how to hunt. If it is dead, then they think you are a very, very bad hunter and you are not yet capable of killing prey.
So, they bring you dead one for you to not starve to death. Come to think of it, it is a very nice gesture.
12. Making Eye Contact With You/Slow Blink
It is a very hard thing to see a stray cat blink or make long eye contact with you.
If you try to make eye contact for a long time it makes them feel agitated and threatened. They usually get really uncomfortable and sometimes they leave. This happens when the cat is tameless. It is a whole other deal with your cat.
If your cat is staring at you and slowly blinking, she is showing you that she trusts you and the slow blink is the equivalent of being kissed by her.
This might be the easiest body language for humans to understand. Just watch her eyes and see if she will open her eyes wide and then slowly blink to tell you she loves and trusts you. This is referred to as a ‘kitty kiss’. Cats only make eye contact with the people they like.
When there are other cats around, you may see cats slow blinking a lot. This is a way for them to let other cats know that everything is cool.
13. Tolerating the Affection
You might realize that your cat doesn’t like it when you kiss her, but she tolerates it. S
he might duck, she might give you grumpy looks but if she doesn’t run away, you can consider this as a victory.
In some cases, they like to touch you before you try to pet them! There are a ton of videos on the internet where cats are tapping their human’s shoulder and demanding to get some affection.
Can Cats Be Obsessed With Their Owners?
Your cat getting overly attached to you can happen from the first time you two meet, or you might have a bad start but gradually she learns to trust you. It all depends on how you met.
If you rescued a cat when she was in bad shape, you will have a quite different bond from a cat adopted from a shelter or from someone that treated her well. If she was a stray, wounded or scared, it might and probably will take you a long time to make her truly trust you.
Because unfortunately, most people are not nice towards stray animals. They think strays are dirty disease carriers and will attack them for no reason. All these negative behaviors cause the cat trauma and it becomes very hard for her to trust people and you end up trying to change her perspective towards people. She will probably be terrified of noises and sudden movements.
If you are patient and gentle you will be rewarded with gratitude. She will not trust other people as much as she trusts you. This might look like she is obsessed with you. After all, cats are not famous for their trusting abilities.
There are some possible explanations for why cats get attached to only one person. It could be the person’s approach, voice, smell or simply how that person treats her.
When cats are with their trusted human, they get chattier and playful. But when they are with strangers, they are much less chatty, and you can see that all they want is to leave the premises immediately.
This type of behavior can be seen in young children when they are with adults they are not acquainted with.
So, knowing that cats are not very into trusting people and seeing that she cannot get enough of you is a priceless and very fulfilling experience.
Kittens and cats tend to be social groomers; that is, they love to groom their family members. They lick us because they want us to be clean and healthy too. They will commonly try to bite and pull off any foreign object on your body. This could be a ring, a sock, or even a mole.
I am an avid animal lover and love to write about cats in particular.
Have you ever wondered why your cat licks you all the time?
Photo by Gabriel Crişan from Pexels
Why Does My Cat Lick Me?
We all love our cats—from their cute little paws to their sometimes inscrutable facial expressions.
On the other hand, you might wonder about some of the things they do. I mean, is it really necessary to try to scale a wall only to fall on their butts, or to yank your favorite teddy off of the shelf a thousand times a day? Here's another age-old question: "Why does my cat lick me all the time?"
There are many different possible answers, and it is up to you to determine which one fits your cat.
Have you ever wondered just why your kitten licks you so much? Perhaps it's because they think you are THEIR pet!
By Kenichi via Flickr
1. She's Grooming You
One of the many reasons that our cats lick us is because they are grooming us. Cats are notorious bathers! They love to lounge for hours at a time while only bathing and napping the day away. Cats are very clean animals, as you can probably tell by their neat appearance and well-maintained coats. For the most part, there is never a single hair out of place!
Cats will also turn this attention to us. Kittens and cats tend to be social groomers; that is, they love to groom their family members. They lick us because they want us to be clean and healthy too. They will commonly try to bite and pull off any foreign object on your body. This could be a ring, a sock, or even a mole. Should your cat groom you, you should take it as a sign that they care for your well being. Then again, many of us may take it as a sign that our cats are telling us, "PHEW! You're stinky and need a bath!"
Kitties love to lick! There are many possible reasons why they may be doing this.
By Jacob via Flickr
2. You Taste Good
Of course, this one might be a given. If you taste like a delicious steak, your cat is going to want to lick you- especially if you were not courteous enough to share a few bites with him or her! Kittens and cats love our food just as much as your dog does. If they don't get the chance to have any, they will resort to the next best option: getting a taste from you! Kitties may lick your fingers or face to see what they were missing out on, and will also lick your clothing if you dropped food on yourself. Don't worry though: these quick tastes won't be enough to harm your cat if you're worried about them ingesting human food.
3. It's a Survival Strategy
Cats are accustomed to bathing after eating in order to eliminate any evidence of food. It's a survival strategy to fend off predators! Therefore, it is quite possible that your kitty is trying to help protect you from predators by ridding you of any meal evidence.
4. Your Kitten Is Lonely
"Does my kitten lick me because she's lonely?" This is quite possible! Grooming (licking each other) is a very common social activity among cats. It is their favorite way to bond with each other, other than stampeding through the house together while terrorizing your breakables. When a kitten or a cat begins to feel lonely, they are going to try to groom and play. If you are away from home often (perhaps work or school), it is quite possible that your kitty just needs more bonding time. In this case, the best way to react is to "groom" her. You can do this by brushing the cat, petting her, or by scratching the kitty's favorite scratch spots (usually located behind the ears and at the tail base). Ensure that your cat or kitten gets enough attention; and if nothing else, get a playmate for the kitty!
How to Keep Your Kitty From Becoming Lonely
Leave the TV on
Hire a pet sitter
Use a treat dispenser
Get another kitten to be a playmate
Leave your favorite music playing while you're out
Invite family or friends to visit
Cats will overgroom due to anxiety, which might carry on over to you, the owner. If you notice that your cat has been off its rocker lately, then anxiety might just be the cause. Moving to a new home, gaining a new roommate, moving the furniture, and even a change in diet can bring on an anxiety issue. Try to determine any problem causing factors that may be in the kitty's environment if you think this might be the cause. No one likes to be stressed out or anxious; especially animals!
Why Are Cat Tongues So Rough and Spiky?
Cats and kittens have rough-looking tongues. They seem to have lots of spikes on them, much like the bristles of a boar bristle brush. This bristly structure of the cat tongue (the bristles are actually papillae) is made up of backward-facing taste buds that are actually a tool for survival. They are used to deep clean the coat, while also helping them to eat. They help the cat to remove flesh from bones (not a common occurrence for the modern house cat) and help them to remove food and debris from their coats. These papillae on the cats' tongues also help cats to drink. Believe it or not, they don't just dunk their tongues into the water and swallow whatever water is absorbed. Instead, their tongues are capable of yanking water upwards into a miniature column of water, and then they close their mouths quickly around the water. How cool is that!?
How Much Licking Is Too Much Licking?
Sometimes, our wonderful kitties may begin to lick too much. At first, we might not even notice it. All we see is an adorable kitten bathing in the sunlight or a kitty who might be licking some messy spills from the night's meal off of our clothes. Unfortunately, there is a point where licking becomes excessive and unhealthy. How and why does this happen?
When your cat begins to spend an excessive amount of time licking itself or you (let's say 30 minutes to an hour or more per session), it should set off a red flag. After a while of licking, your skin will become irritated. If the cat is only licking itself excessively, you may notice a thinning coat on your cat or even bald spots. As the problem worsens you will probably see irritated patches of skin that may even bleed or become infected.
There are several main causes for this issue:
Skin irritation or allergies
Anxiety triggers cats to compulsively clean; anxiety may be a part of a cat's personality or it can be due to environmental stress. Skin irritations, allergies, and parasites can all cause itching or odd sensations on the cat's skin, enticing the cat to eliminate the problem the best way it knows how: licking and scratching! For most of these issues, a veterinarian can prescribe medications. Yes, there are anxiety and allergy medications available to pets!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Cats are cute on April 30, 2020:
There is a typo
There are 2 reason #4's and no reason #5
not david on March 26, 2020:
you lied to me it said 5 reasons
Frannie-Cakes on December 07, 2019:
"i lick my cat because she purrs when i do it"
Lmao! Does anybody else see that comment?! How am I the first to say something?! 16 months ago lmaooo.
Great article by the way! Thank you.
Kandy the Ferret on August 11, 2019:
My cat demands lots of attention, but she loves grooming me also. Although she doesn’t lick me a lot anymore.
Risandi jayasekara on June 09, 2019:
I lick to do
Dont need to know on November 04, 2018:
My cat licks me so much and purrs I had him for two months he Is 7 weeks he’s adorable but he’s a bad cat
He also has “wobbly cat syndrome”
His back legs don’t work
So he falls when he walks or runs
He runs like a bunny
someone on July 22, 2018:
i lick my cat because she purrs when i do it
Yes I do on May 20, 2018:
To donald duckling:
My cat which I have for 9 years sometimes does the same, she does love to have very sharp claws, perhaps that's the reason she sometimes comes to me for grooming
donald duckling on March 07, 2018:
I have owned/been owned by cats all my life and I have a unique (for me) situation in the licking department. One of my cats, LB, does this licking of my hands and then rubbing himself on it......trying to get me to 'groom' him. Not sure if this is due to the fact that he was found in the woods with his siblings as a kitten or not. I have had him for almost 5 years (his previous owner gave him up to fight a losing battle with cancer) and he has been anxious cat for 3.5 of the years he has been with me......... he's 12 now. In the last year or two since he's calmed down a bit, he insists that it is my job to 'groom' him by letting him lick my hand and then having me rub the sides of his face and body...... over and over again. He gets brushed, but that always ends with him trying to lick my hand and rub it. I don't have 30 minutes before bed each night to do this and it is seriously getting on my nerves. I have started to tell him no every time he tries to lick me, but i kind of feel bad for the guy. He has another cat that I adopted 1 month before him that will groom him, but he is really intent on having me do it.
I have never had this experience before with a cat, even the 2 that I raised from 1 week old. Has anyone else??
donald duckling on March 07, 2018:
@marie, keep an eye on your cat and the inappropriate urination because the stress could have inflamed his bladder. I have a boy that used to sometimes pee on my clothes and then in my bed if I didn't notice the clothes. He had a chronic inflamed bladder which turned into chronic UTIs, for a while it happened every six months or so. Once I tuned into the signs and gave him UTI when it started, it got much better. Now he hasn't had an episode in 1 1/2-2 years. Don't get upset at him because of the peeing, that will only make it worse; it is just his way of letting you know that something hurts.
The reason he is licking/kneading you every night is because it is probably his routine to groom before going to bed.... and he includes you in that.
Marie on February 28, 2018:
My cat licks my hands aswell as neading me every night for at least 20 minutes before he goes to sleep! He's done this from 2 months old.....
Can anyone tell me why??
Also he wakes me every night throughout the night doing whatever he can to piss me off,
About 3 months ago he started urinating in the house I found out this started after he was attacked by another cat and was told it was stress related!
I've brought spray to stop him and plug in stress relief which worked for a while then he started agian
Advice greatly appreciated please
anonimoose on February 22, 2018:
My cat is blind, and she accidentally licks me all the time trying to groom herself
Luis Laureano on August 03, 2017:
Thanks for the info, I had a feeling I was right about my cat grooming and bonding with me. I love my cat named Fatboy ☺
Soul on March 26, 2017:
Joker likes to groom and groom if he did something wrong. Including trying to bite if you pet him.
Beth on November 21, 2016:
I have two cats right rascals they are I just wake up in the middle of the night to find my cat trying to lick me lol
Terry h on November 03, 2016:
My oreo licks me and my hubby all the time and always licks herself too alot she also scratches at her ears and shakes her head i wonder if she has ear mites and or skin condition doesnt want you to pet her too much yet she is affectionate i will have to take her to the vet see whats what thanks for the post
Barry Bishop on September 28, 2016:
My experience tells me that licking behavior in cats is often a domination behavior. I've always allowed my cats to lick me as much as I could stand because it gave them the sense that while they were doing it, despite their almost total dependence on me, they were "the boss." To my mind, a happy, satisfied cat is the best kind! Thanks for the chance to tell about my little Skippy.
Barry Bishop on September 28, 2016:
In the 1980's I had a cat who I found near death in the Minnesota winter with a severed, severely infected paw (caught in a trap?). After he recovered, and was neutered, he was a serious behavior problem. He would attack me, biting and scratching. Famous animal behaviorist Dr. Robert K. Anderson (U. of MN Vet School , inventor of the Gentle Leader harness) taught me how to train him ("boot camp" style). He became my little buddy. He was a compulsive licker, and would lick my arm bald if I let him. I called him Skippy because of the way he walked with his right front paw missing. He's been dead over 25 years, I've had many cats since, but I still miss him.
Eric on July 21, 2016:
I appreciate all the neat information ! My kitty Honey Bear always licks me :) She was a rescue and a medium hair orange and white tabby and just saves me from the world daily !
Cheska on April 10, 2016:
My cat has bald spots due to excessive grooming, she has mites btw and I already took her to the vet for medication. Will my cat's fur grow back?
Amelia on April 10, 2016:
I love your cat
Alex on January 03, 2016:
Yes my male cat George licks me I think out of effection
angryelf (author) from Tennessee on April 29, 2014:
Thank you everyone! I'm glad all of you enjoy it! I used to have cats in the past who were big on licking; but I saw this question somewhere and decided that it would make an awesome hub :) Thanks for the support & interest!
travmaj from australia on April 29, 2014:
My daughter has the cats now, totally spoiled and much loved. And oh so bossy, they groom us all. Now we know why. Lovely hub and most informative. Thank you.
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 29, 2014:
I quite enjoy the care that they give me; they can lick all they want to. Good hub!
sheilamyers on April 29, 2014:
The cat I have now doesn't lick me that much, but last one loved to lick. He'd even lick my toes. YUCK! Usually it was my fingers or hair. He really loved sitting on the back of my chair and washing my hair for me. I ask the vet about it and he told me the same things you covered in this article. I'd say Pippen did it for the first three reasons you gave. This hub will really help people learn why cats lick people, especially those who are first time cat owners.
Jennifer Kessner from Pennsylvania on April 29, 2014:
Prince Fredward is the groomer! He's super social, and I wish I had a companion for him. (It might save me from some of his baths!)
Sp Greaney from Ireland on April 29, 2014:
Our previous cats used to do this quite often, but our current cat just wants to chase butterflies outside. :)
angryelf (author) from Tennessee on April 28, 2014:
Thank you Peggy! Cats truly are awesome pets, I myself currently have two. They will terrorize our home all hours of the day and night... destroying everything within their paths... but I wouldn't trade them for anything! LOL! It's absolutely adorable when they cuddle up and bathe us. Thanks for jumping in and browsing my little ole corner :)
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2014:
We have 2 inside cats both of whom were strays. They are a joy and delight. Our female cat Peaches not only grooms Dusty, our male cat, but me as well on occasion. Ha! Up, useful and interesting votes.
07-01-2022 · Cats lick their owners for a variety of reasons including to show affection and to gather scent. iStock Cummings went on to add that another reason for …
Cats are enigmatic creatures. While they make wonderful pets, their behavior can often leave us baffled.
For instance, have you ever wondered why your cat licks you? Why do they run their little rough sandpaper-like tongue across your arm or face?
Well, as it turns out this action can be for a myriad of reasons. We spoke to some experts to find out...
Sign of Affection
If your cat "starts licking you while you're cuddled up together, it could be that they're trying to show affection and make friends with you," Cats Protection behavior officer Daniel Cummings told Newsweek.
The expert added: "Cats are usually quite happy to just groom themselves, using their rough tongue to remove any dirt and excess fur from their body.
"However, if they're in the same social group as another cat, they may lend a helping tongue and groom each other. This helps them to form a close bond, and it can sometimes happen across species too."
Felines can also show affection in many other ways, such as through eye contact, body language and making sounds such as purring.
"Cats lick to wash themselves but they also can lick us to gather scent from us", Anita Kelsey, cat behaviorist and author of Let's Talk About Cats, told Newsweek.
"Our body scent or sweat can excite cats also, which is why some nuzzle up under our armpits."
Cats have a very good sense of smell, 14 times stronger than humans.
It is the primary way they identify people and objects; they have more than 200 million odor sensors in their nose, in comparison with the 5 million that humans have.
A stock image of a cat with its tongue out. Cats lick their owners for a variety of reasons including to show affection and to gather scent.iStock
Cummings went on to add that another reason for licking is to share their own scent.
"This helps them tell, with a simple sniff, that the other cat is part of their social group and can therefore be trusted," he said. "By licking you, your cat could simply be marking you as safe and letting you know you're part of the family."
To Feel Good
As well as gathering scent, grooming and showing affection, cats also gain pleasure from licking.
Cummings revealed this releases "'feel good' hormones, called endorphins, in their brains."
"This gives them a natural 'high' so it's understandable that they may want to do it at every opportunity, even if that means licking you instead of themselves."
When Cats Lick Too Much
Although licking is normal and largely a positive thing, when your feline begins licking too much it can be a bad sign.
Due to the release of endorphins when a cat is stressed it may turn to licking to release anxiety.
This could manifest as compulsive grooming, known as psychogenic alopecia, which could be triggered by a change of routine or environment.
Cummings warns: "If they're licking you, or themselves, excessively then they could be feeling stressed or anxious, so take them to a vet to see if they can help identify a cause."
A stock image of a cat licking a finger. If your feline is licking you excessively it could be a sign of anxiety.iStock
18-03-2022 · Even if your cat is licking you for normal reasons, it has the potential to be a nuisance or even dangerous. The scent of products used on your hair or skin could attract your cat and entice them to lick you. Ingredients in those products are not always safe for cats or could cause irritation to their gastrointestinal system.
It can feel uncomfortable when your cat licks your bare skin due to the backward-facing barbs on a cat’s tongue.
Our dog companions are well-known for licking people, but what about cats? Cat parents often complain of their cats licking their fingers, their feet, or even their hair.
The sensation is generally not pleasant because of the barbs on a cat’s tongue, which make things quite rough. So why do cats lick people? It turns out that there are a variety of reasons.
Normal Licking Behavior In Cats
We first need to identify what is normal versus abnormal licking behavior for a cat. Cats are some of the most fastidious groomers out there. In fact, they are so good at it that most pet cats rarely, if ever, need a bath if they are in good health. Grooming serves a variety of functions for a cat’s health and well-being.
Health Reasons for Grooming:
Grooming keeps the coat clean and dry.
It spreads around natural oils from the cat’s skin, conditioning the coat.
Grooming removes parasites. Cats are so good at this that it can be tough to find evidence of certain parasites, like fleas. We often have to look for things like flea dirt, instead of the actual fleas, to confirm their presence.
Licking also has a cooling function. Cats do not sweat and they also do not pant like dogs to dissipate heat (cats panting can be a sign of severe distress or illness). Licking applies moisture to the coat and when that evaporates it provides a cooling effect for the cat.
Social Reasons for Grooming:
One cat licking one another is called allogrooming. This is a much more common behavior among familiar cats than strangers. Seeing this behavior between cats in a household provides insight into the social relationships between them. It most commonly happens around the head, neck, and ears. Cats have been observed allogrooming other species, including dogs, horses, and rabbits, among others.
Licking provides scent distribution between cats. Scent is a crucial way that cats identify other members of their social group. That scent distribution can also help form and strengthen social bonds between the cats or between the cat and another animal.
Don’t let your cat lick lotions or creams from your skin as the ingredients in these might be dangerous for cats.
Even if your cat is licking you for normal reasons, it has the potential to be a nuisance or even dangerous. The scent of products used on your hair or skin could attract your cat and entice them to lick you. Ingredients in those products are not always safe for cats or could cause irritation to their gastrointestinal system.
Two common ingredients found in certain topical creams that are toxic to cats are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) and estrogen. It is important to be extra aware of your cat having access to potentially lick these products and prevent that from happening.
Cats sometimes lick hair and swallow it. This is also a concern because hair can accumulate in the intestinal tract and lead to urinary blockage.
Licking could be a sign of a gastrointestinal problem, which is not uncommon in cats. From the mental health perspective, licking can be an attention-seeking behavior or even a behavior performed due to anxiety or stress. Anxiety and stress are the least common reasons for licking so ruling out other possibilities is always the best place to start.
Also Read: 5 Visual Signs of a Stressed Cat and How to Help
As with any behavior, when there is a sudden change or it is performed with excessive frequency or intensity, it can be an indication of something else going on. In that case, the first stop should be to your veterinarian’s office to make sure your cat is in good health.
What To Do If Your Cat Licks You
If your cat is licking you too much, provide more toys and activities to help engage your cat in a healthier way.
If you want to stop your cat from licking you, the best approach is to become incredibly boring. That may sound silly, but this approach works very well. The reason is that a lot of cat behaviors are inadvertently reinforced by their family members which causes the behavior to happen more often.
Pushing your cat away, petting them, and talking to them can all be rewarding to your cat. On the other hand, unpleasant punishments can also make the problem worse. Things like yelling at your cat, using a spray bottle, or any type of physical reprimand have been shown to potentially lead to aggression and should never be used.
Being very boring is typically more effective. That means completely disengaging from your cat when they start licking you. Often, the best way to do this is to get up and walk away without looking at, speaking to, or touching your cat every time that they start to lick you.
Cats are very quick learners and it should not take long before they figure out that licking you does not get them any form of attention.
Remember that licking is a variation of a normal behavior for cats. Oral behaviors such as licking, chewing, and sucking are natural way for cats to explore the world around them. Ensuring that your cat has plenty of outlets for both physical and mental activity can go a long way to reducing unwanted behaviors like licking.
Enrichment Options to Reduce Licking
The term enrichment comes up over and over again when discussing undesirable behaviors and creating the best quality of life for pet cats. There is a good reason for that—it works!
Any enrichment is good, but in the case of licking it may be most helpful to give them appropriate options to use their mouths. Food puzzle toys are very popular and there is almost no limit to both products for sale and do-it-yourself options available.
Feeding puzzles get your cat thinking and problem solving. They can get your cat moving around more, and they also allow cats a good place to focus licking or other oral behaviors.
Food puzzles aren’t the only options, though. Cats may like chewing on safe plants like cat grass. Chew sticks are available made of silver vine or other woods that cats like. Even soft chew bones designed for puppies can be enjoyable for some cats. Be sure to supervise your cat with these items to make sure they don’t try to swallow them whole or in pieces.
That depends. If the licking does not bother you and it does not happen too often or for too long, it may be OK. However, it is very easy for licking to become a way of seeking attention and get out of hand. In some cases, for example when certain products are present on the skin, licking that can be dangerous for your cat. It's best if you can redirect your cat to a more desirable activity.
It can be, or at least a sign that your cat sees you as a member of their social group. It is not the only reason a cat may lick you.
This doesn’t always happen for the same reason. Licking can be an appeasement behavior, meaning that it helps defuse tension. This could be the reason that a cat licks someone after biting them. You may also see the opposite, where a cat licks first and then bites. Sometimes social interaction gets to be too much or too intense for a cat and they bite as a way to stop that. If you pet your cat while they are licking you, this is more likely to happen.
26-03-2017 · It’s how cats remove meat from bones; Licking is important for coat maintenance; Licking removes the scent of prey after a meal; It’s how mothers clean their kittens and help them eliminate their waste; In a multicat environment or in a cat colony, allogrooming helps create a familiar group scent; Licking is a way cats cool themselves
Oh, the cat’s tongue. It’s as cute as can be when it’s peeking out just a bit from the cat’s mouth as she drinks water or delicately grooms herself. It’s small and pink and so adorable. Yet, when the cat’s tongue starts licking you, that little sandblaster seems as if it could take off several layers of skin.
Licking serves many social and practical functions:
It’s how cats remove meat from bones
Licking is important for coat maintenance
Licking removes the scent of prey after a meal
It’s how mothers clean their kittens and help them eliminate their waste
In a multicat environment or in a cat colony, allogrooming helps create a familiar group scent
Licking is a way cats cool themselves
Licking is used for stress relief
Licking helps remove external parasites
That’s just a few of the ways that cute little tongue is kept busy. In a previous article I discussed in detail why cats groom so much (access article here) but in this post I want to cover the licking that cats tend to do toward family members.
When your cat licks you, is it the feline equivalent of a kiss? Is she marking you as hers? Well, let’s examine some of the reasons cats lick us.
29-05-2021 · When my Siberian cat Alexei licks me I take it as a sign of love. However, when he quickly follows the licking up with a bite I begin to think that he might feel otherwise! I was heartened to discover…
When my Siberian cat Alexei licks me I take it as a sign of love. However, when he quickly follows the licking up with a bite I begin to think that he might feel otherwise!
I was heartened to discover that this problem is not unique to Alexei and that many other cat owners have asked why does my cat lick me then bite me?
It can be very confusing when your cat displays what seems to be loving behaviour and then behaviour that can actually cause you pain. Is it angry? What have you done wrong? And what should you do?
Here are 5 reasons why your cat may lick you and then bite you – plus some of the other most frequently asked questions in this area.
Why Does My Cat Lick me then Bite Me? 5 Reasons
1. To express their love
If your cat approaches you and gives you a couple of little licks and then a bite when you weren’t petting them before hand – and if they seem happy and calm – they are probably trying to show you their love.
This little nip is a normal way for them of expressing their love. I am afraid that your cat most likely doesn’t understand that this love might be a bit unpleasant for you to receive.
Kittens and sometimes grown-up cats will often lick and nip each other. Their skin is a bit tougher than ours so it most likely doesn’t hurt them. Thus your cat thinks this is an appropriate way to express its love for you.
2. They are Grooming You to Bond
Cats will give little bits in their own grooming process when they have matted fur or need to get rid of something on their fur. Or they will do this when grooming each other, particularly when they are kittens.
Cats have keratin spines on their tongue – this is why your cat’s tongue can feel a bit exfoliating. These spines allow your cat to clean itself thoroughly.
If there is lots of licking and not much biting then they may be attempting to groom you, as if you were another cat. And if they are focussing on licking and nibbling on your hair then grooming is an even more likely explanation.
If your cat is trying to groom you this is a very positive sign as it shows they have a good bond with you. Remember, cats don’t randomly groom other cats – they will only groom the cats in their group.
3. It is Overstimulated
Have you ever noticed that your cat can quickly go from being happy and content whilst you are stroking or playing with it to suddenly being very unhappy and frustrated? This normally means that they are overstimulated.
Our cats of course can’t tell us to leave them alone so they communicate this through the lick and bite.
There are no set rules about overstimulation. What is too much for one cat will be fine for another. Your cat will probably have a tendency towards a small amount or a large amount of stimulation being comfortable.
However, there may be some variances in what they will tolerate depending on their mood eg they may like more cuddles if you have been away or if they are feeling unwell.
Also, your cat may become agitated if you spend too much time petting a part of their body that is more sensitive. Have a look at your cat’s ears when this happens.
If they are flat against its head or flicking back and forth it is time to leave your kitty alone.
Another good way to know if you have overstimulated your cat is by watching what they do after the lick and bite. If they run away and hide then it is likely that they have been overstimulated. If they stay near you then it might be one of the other reasons in this article.
4. They are Playing
If there is a toy involved in the lick and bite then it is likely that your cat wants to play. However, the desire to play and overstimulation can look quite similar.
If your cat has its whiskers and ears pointing forward, tail up, slightly arched back, and dilated pupils they may well be in the mood to play.
The key determinant of playing vs overstimulation is how your cat reacts after the bite. If your cat wants to stay around you and is bouncy and looking happy then they are probably looking to play. If they tense up and depart the scene overstimulation is the most likely explanation.
If your cat stays on the scene then bring out a feather toy or other cat toy and you’ll soon find out if they are in the mood to play.
⇒ How long do cats live? How to get a cat to eat? How to train a cat not to bite? How often do cats pee? and How to Pet a Cat.
5. It is stressed
Excessive licking and biting can be a sign of stress or anxiety. Some cat breeds like Siamese cats will chew things when they are anxious. Alas, this chewing behavior may also extend to chewing parts of you.
Some cats will start licking non-stop or in a compulsive manner when they are stressed.
⇒ 10 Types of Siamese Cats, Siamese Cat Personality Profile, All you need to know about the Lynx Point Siamese,13 Most Popular Siamese Cat Colors and 12 Sensational Siamese Cat Names.
If your cat licks you and then bites you it is unlikely that they are genuinely angry with you. You may well have seen your cat angry or scared.
Angry cats tend to get very arched and firm backs, fur standing on end, and quite a hit of hissing. At worst you may be annoying your cat due to overstimulation.
Licking and Biting Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why does my cat only lick and bite me?
Probably because you are the person that they love the most.
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2. Why does my cat lick and bite other cats?
As mentioned, licking and biting other cats can be quite normal in the world of kitties. It could also be because of one of the reasons above. However, it is likely that the other cat knows what your cat is up to!
3. What do gentle cat bites mean?
This is most likely a little love bite from your kitty. If your cat is relaxed and happy when biting you gently then this is the most likely explanation. However, if they are tense then it may be time to back off before the gentle part becomes history.
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4. Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me?
If your cat is grabbing and biting your hand it is probably mimicking hunting behaviour. This is how your cat would treat captured prey. This would mean that it was tearing its prey apart so that they could eat it but the odds are they don’t plan on doing this to any of your body parts.
5. How do I get my cat to stop biting me?
If you want your cat to stop biting you, make sure you react to every cat bite, even if it is gentle. Pause and very loudly and firmly say No. Then don’t make eye contact with your cat for at least about a minute so they also link biting with not having your attention.
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06-01-2022 · This particular cat behavior extends to their favored humans. Your cat may lick your at your hair or elsewhere and then bite you or vice versa because, like her siblings, she is grooming you as a way of strengthening your bond and relationship. 2. Your cat is showing you affection. This is a way for a cat to show her affection for you.
Your cat may lick and bite you as a way to bond by grooming you, to show affection, or as an invitation for playtime. She may also be licking and biting you to show that she’s had enough of your attention and it is her way of telling you to stop petting her.
You are reading: Why do cats lick and bite you
Why does my cat lick me then bite me?
Here are five common ones why your cat licks and then bites:
1. Your cat wants to bond with you by grooming you.
Cats normally lick their fur when grooming themselves. They usually do the grooming process by biting their fur to remove tangles and then lick it afterward to finish it off. Similarly, they may also lick their fur first and do some nips or little bites on particular parts of their body.
This particular cat behavior extends to their favored humans. Your cat may lick your at your hair or elsewhere and then bite you or vice versa because, like her siblings, she is grooming you as a way of strengthening your bond and relationship.
2. Your cat is showing you affection.
This is a way for a cat to show her affection for you. It means your cat is comfortable, relaxed, and contented in your presence. Along with her intention to groom you, her behavior signifies that she is happy and feels a deep connection with you.
3. Your cat may be telling you that she wants to play with you.
As complex and mysterious as they are, cats have amusing ways to communicate with their owners. Your cat may invite and initiate playtime by licking and then biting you. How do you know she is in a playful mood? Look for cues like ears and whiskers that point forward, with the tail up, and the pupils somewhat dilated. Your cat may also walk with an arched back, act like it is stalking a prey, and may crouch with her rear end slightly raised.
By licking and biting you gently, your cat is telling you that you are her best friend and she is in the mood for playtime.
4. Your cat may be telling you to stop giving her physical attention.
Cats love playtime with their humans and it is a great way to bond. However, cats also have mood swings and if you become overly-aggressive in playing and petting her she may feel agitated. Overstimulation happens when a cat’s sensitive body part is touched accidentally or repeatedly. Your cat may lick and then give you a gentle bite to signify that she wants to take a break and for you to stop giving her physical attention.
These are some of the signs that your cat is overstimulated:
your cat may ripple her tail
her ears are flicking back and forth
her ears will flatten against her head
5. Your cat may be stressed.
Some cats are prone to stress and even aggression. This is manifested through signs like biting and excessive licking. Your cat may be licking then biting you because she may be stressed and anxious. Other cat breeds like the Siamese may tend to chew things more than others and this may extend to your hands. If you suspect that your cat’s peculiar behavior is due to stress, consult your vet for the proper treatment. Also CBD oil such as Chill Paws helps to lessen stress and behavioral issues with cats.
Why does it hurt when my cat licks me?
You may feel uncomfortable each time your cat licks you especially if she is excessively licking a particular part of your hand or face. This is because of the back-facing barbs or spines in her tongue called papillae. It is scoop-shaped and hollow which allows it to store and hold saliva.
The discomfort you feel may be due to the sandpaper-like sensation when your cat’s tongue brushes against your skin. The barbs help remove dirt from a cat’s coat that is why it has to be sharp so that cats may be able to keep themselves clean.
Cats communicate with their owners through various body language and behaviors and one way of doing so is by licking and biting you. Your cat may lick and bite you as an invitation for playtime and to show affection. It may also mean that she is overstimulated and wants to take a break. However, it may also signify that she is stressed and you should bring her to the vet at once for prompt treatment.
04-03-2020 · Why Does My Cat Lick Me. Cats are known for their independent nature, with a character generally very different from that of the dog. But, this does not mean that they are affectionate, even as much or more than dogs!
Cats are known for their independent nature, with a character generally very different from that of the dog. But, this does not mean that they are affectionate, even as much or more than dogs! Cats can show us their affection in many ways: lying next to us, rubbing or … sucking.
If you have ever wondered why does my cat lick me then bite me, you are in the right place to find out.
When you live with a cat, you discover how incredible they are as pets. Do not be surprised if he only approaches you when he wants something: food, attention or, almost as if by a miracle, a dose of pampering. Perhaps this is why, every little show of affection you give them, they value it and receive it with much more enthusiasm.
If you have seen yourself in the situation of petting your cat and that it responds to you with a lick and a subsequent bite, it is natural to be intrigued by why does my cat lick me all the time and it’s meaning. If you follow us, you will discover the answer to why my cat licks me and then bites me.
The lick has a clear connotation of hygiene, and you should know that they only groom those they consider as their family. The bite, on the other hand, requires paying attention to the animal’s body language to know how to interpret the message that accompanies it correctly.
Why Do Cats Lick?
Surely more than once, you have wondered why, suddenly, your cat goes crazy licking you … as if he really loved you! These outbursts of tenderness and affection have a motive, but it is not always the same. Cats continually communicate with us, but they don’t do it in our own language. That is why it is important to know their body language to learn to interpret their behavior, understand them, and communicate with them.
Why Does Your Cat Lick You?
We have been analyzing the different situations in which a cat licks, and we can tell you the various possible causes of this behavior. A behavior that sometimes we do not understand, but that comforts us and, without a doubt, strengthens the bond with our feline. Usually, it is a positive social behavior, but we will tell you the possible options to help you better understand your cat.
My Cat Licks Me As A Sign of Love
Cats do not share our language, and to relate to them, understand them, and enjoy their company is necessary to learn it. Yes, as you probably thought most of the time, your cat licks you to express his love. It is his way of showing that he loves you and that he feels happy by your side. Just like when they lick each other or their kittens, it is a way of telling you that you are their family.
My Cat Licks Me to Socialize
Yes, as simple as socialization. Licking is one of the ways cats have to interact with people and other animals. In this way, they show their interest in you and convey confidence and security. Surely you will have seen how cats lick each other by way of affection and, other times, as an aid to clean the areas that they do not reach themselves.
My Cat Licks Me as a Protection
Cats lick their young to protect them. By cleaning them with their tongue, they not only take care of their hygiene, but they also eliminate the bacteria that may be in their body. Your cat can lick you for this same reason, to clean you and protect you from viruses. This clearly translates to his desire to keep you close and healthy.
My Cat Licks Me When He Is Playing
Licking and biting is a game for cats. While biting you softly, you don’t have to worry or scold him, it is his way of having fun, and he doesn’t do it with the intention of hurting you.
If your cat licks you and then bites you hard and you notice that his hair is frizzy, it is a sign that he is not comfortable or is behaving aggressively. Be patient if this happens in the first months of having you at home and teach him not to act like this.
My Cat Licks Me to Clean Me
Licking is a grooming behavior. Just as they lick themselves to wash, remove dirt and remove dead hair, they lick other cats and their humans. But don’t believe that they do this with anyone; they need to have a strong bond to do it.
My Cat Licks Me Because He’s Stressed
Licking is not always related to something good or with signs of affection. When cats are nervous or going through a time of anxiety, they need to lick. It can be yourself, a carpet, a piece of furniture, a toy, or you.
This lick can be somewhat compulsive; Don’t panic, it’s normal. Try to find out the reason that makes them feel this way and try to avoid it. It may be related to some annoying sound, changes in the house, in your daily routine, or the visit of a person or other animal. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid it, but surely you can take some measures to reduce the impact it produces on your cat.
Cats also lick to mark their territory and to exchange odors. Surely your cat has licked your fingers many times after having been cooking, right?; They also usually do it if you have been touching aromatic plants that are attractive to them.
The Bite, How Do You Know What it Means?
According to the experience of the ethologists, among the cats that have been separated before the month of life of their mother and their siblings, it is usually usual that while we caress them, they begin to bite.
This is because they have not had the opportunity to learn, along with their brothers, to moderate their impulses. Enabling him to smell you before caressing him usually helps. Get used to bringing your hand toward your nose slowly and so it can recognize you.
If, on the contrary, the bites are soft and repetitive, it is a clear symptom that your pet is well socialized and indicates that there is a healthy bond between you. It has enough body self-control to communicate that it wants to play with you.
On other occasions, the bite reveals certain tiredness or preference not to maintain physical contact. It is his particular way of expressing himself that he has had enough fun for today and wants to be alone.
If despite its good purpose, this ritual is not to your liking or if its bites really hurt you, you should comply with the following recommendations:
Don’t lose your temper or scold him.
Stop caressing him and take distance from him.
On the other hand, reinforce the behaviors that you like, such as purring or licking, rewarding it with, for example, your favorite snack or treat.
Give it time to internalize it, don’t expect me to learn it overnight.
In summary, if you want to know why does my cat lick me and then bite me? Pay close attention to the bond you two have and how much you mean to him. This would help you know why, and the next time it happens, give him a good dose of pampering.
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02-08-2020 · A cat’s tongue is one of its greatest assets. With tongues covered in “papillae,” cats use these curved spines to groom themselves – spending anywhere from 30% to 50% of their day keeping their fur…
A cat’s tongue is one of its greatest assets. With tongues covered in “papillae,” cats use these curved spines to groom themselves – spending anywhere from 30% to 50% of their day keeping their fur clean. So with all of that time spent on hygiene, many cat parents wonder: “Why does my cat lick me?”
6 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Licks You
Although it may be impossible to say for sure, researchers, veterinarians, and cat behavior experts have suggested a number of reasons why your cat may lick you every now and again. Let’s dig in…
1. To show affection
For cats, licking is not only used as a grooming mechanism, but also to show affection. By licking you, other cats, or even other pets, your cat is creating a social bond. Part of this behavior may stem from kittenhood when your cat’s mother licked to groom them, as well as to show care and affection. Many cats carry this behavior into their adult lives, licking their humans to pass along the same sentiment.
Many cats carry this behavior into their adult lives, licking their owners to pass along the same sentiment.
2. To “mark their territory”
Although there are a number of ways that cats “mark their territory,” including cheek rubbing, scratching (and unfortunately, spraying) – licking is another behavior that cats might use to claim something as their own.
In this case, if your cat is licking you, they’re trying to ensure that other cats or animals know who you belong to – them!
3. To groom you
Even though your cat might not realize that licking you isn’t actually helping you “get clean,” this behavior is completely natural to them. As we mentioned earlier, mother cats groom their kittens in order to teach them to do it for themselves, show them affection, and create a bond.
In fact, according to certified feline behavior and training consultant Marci Koski, a group of cats living together often designate an “allo-groomer” – a cat that licks and grooms the other cats in the group.
If you find your cat licking you, they might be trying to fulfill their role as the “allo-groomer”– cleaning you and establishing your membership in their group.
4. To taste something interesting
As simple (and even silly) as it may seem, your cat may be licking you because they taste something interesting on your skin. You may have spilled something, or came into contact with something that left a residue on your skin – and your cat likes the way it tastes. If it’s warm, or you’ve been exercising, it could be that your sweat has left a salty residue, and that’s what your cat is trying to taste.
Interestingly enough, although cats’ tongues are made for grooming, they have a much more muted sense of taste in comparison to humans. In fact, cats are one of the only mammals that are known not to be able to taste sweets.
5. To get your attention
Another possible reason why your cat licks you may just be that they want your attention. Whether they want you to pet them, feed them, or pay attention to them, your cat may lick you to try and capture your attention.
In this case, licking can be equivalent to any other attention-seeking cat behavior, like pawing at you, or meowing.
6. To cope with anxiety or stress
Finally, your cat might lick you because they’re anxious or stressed. Although sometimes excessive licking or grooming can indicate a medical issue, many times cats lick you, or themselves, as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety.
You might find your cat licking you after moving to a new home, or experiencing a change in their environment. Typically, this kind of licking isn’t anything to worry about – unless your cat grooms themselves so much that their skin becomes raw or they create bald spots. In this case, you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to remedy this behavior.
Why Does It Hurt When My Cat Licks Me?
A question directly related to, “Why does my cat lick me?” is “Why does it hurt when my cat licks me?” When it comes down to it, the answer is simple.
As we mentioned earlier, a cat’s tongue is covered in little spines called papillae. These papillae are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up human fingernails. Because cats are self groomers, the makeup of their tongue is strong enough to get saliva down to their skin, as well as detangle their fur, remove substances like dirt, and redistribute oils.
Therefore, when a cat licks you – repeatedly rubbing their spine-covered tongue on your skin – it’s apt to hurt a little. It’s for this reason that cats’ tongues are often compared to sandpaper.
How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Licking Me?
Unless your cat is repeatedly licking you and grooming excessively, licking isn’t usually anything to worry about – it’s a natural cat behavior. However, with the rough makeup of a cat’s tongue, it can be annoying to have them consistently licking you.
If you’re looking to curb this behavior, the best thing you can do is try to redirect their attention. If your cat likes cuddling, you might cuddle or start petting them to try and distract them from licking. Similarly, you might try and use a toy to divert their attention from licking to playing. Finally, you might simply walk away or move away from your cat if the licking becomes excessive.
While your cat licking you isn’t typically anything to worry about – and can even be a compliment – if at any time you’re concerned with their behavior, we recommend that you reach out to your veterinarian for advice.
(What if your cat grooms too much? Read this post, "Excessive grooming in cats.")Are there any other reasons why my cat might lick me? Maybe. Google this question and you’ll be flooded with answers like: cats lick to show love, or they lick because their mothers licked them when they were kittens, or because they were taken from their mothers too soon.
I once overheard a co-worker at the shelter where I volunteer baby-talking to one of the cats. “Aren’t you the sweetest?” she cooed. “I love, love, love your little kisses!”
Although I never asked, I assumed the cat was licking my fellow volunteer. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d heard a cat-lover refer to a cat’s licks as “kisses.”
Are they kisses? When a cat licks you, is she trying to share physical affection with her mouth the way a human would, but without the purse-able lips?
A cat’s lick means something to the cat, but probably not exactly what a kiss means to us.
Why does my cat lick my hand when I pet her?
Why do you pet a cat? I’ll guess that you find it soothing to stroke a living thing that is so soft and warm. It’s a relaxing, almost hypnotic behavior, and touching a cat’s silky coat produces a pleasant sensation on the skin, too. If you feel emotionally connected to your cat, petting adds a physical dimension to that closeness. You are probably thinking about how your cat feels, too. I’m sure you assume that petting is pleasant for him, too, like when someone gives you a little back scratch or a gentle massage.
But what does your cat think you are doing when you are petting her? To a cat, petting isn’t just like a backrub. It means something different.
What does petting mean to a cat and what does it have to do with licking?
According to researchers who studied how cats respond to being petted by humans, cats seemed to like it best when humans pet them the way other cats do.
Now, we all know that cats don’t really “pet” each other. But they do touch each other in a few particular ways. Cats rub their bodies against each other, in a behavior that is called “allorubbing” by scientists. Cats also mutually groom each other, and this behavior is called “allogrooming.” Both allorubbing and allogrooming are behaviors that only cats who are already friends perform with each other. These are “affiliative” behaviors, meaning that they reaffirm the social bond between cats.
Reseachers discovered that when a human pets a cat, the cat views it as grooming behavior, not allorubbing. How did they figure that out? Cats who are allorubbing perform the routine in a very specific order of body parts, with an emphasis on those body parts that contain scent glands: lips, chin, cheek, between the eyes and ears, and near the base of the tail. Allogrooming cats, on the other hand, lick each other’s body parts in a random order.
The cats in this study showed absolutely no preference for the order in which they were petted by people. This suggested to researchers that cats probably view petting as an allogrooming activity.
So, when your cat licks your hand while you pet him, it is likely that he thinks you are grooming him. The licking is him returning the favor. That’s what allogrooming cats would do: one cat would start the licking, and the other cat would lick back to reaffirm the bond.
So, when your cat licks you while you are petting her she is saying, effectively, “yes, yes, we are friends.”
(What if your cat grooms too much? Read this post, "Excessive grooming in cats.")
Are there any other reasons why my cat might lick me?
Maybe. Google this question and you’ll be flooded with answers like: cats lick to show love, or they lick because their mothers licked them when they were kittens, or because they were taken from their mothers too soon.
Do any of these answers have merit? They might, but there is nothing but wishful thinking and unscientific observation to back them up. In the absence of hard science, and without asking a cat directly (so far they aren’t saying much), there is no way to know what a cat is thinking when he’s doing what he’s doing.
One theory that has merit is that some cats may lick to consume what tastes good on your skin. The validity of this theory is up to every individual cat owner. Does your cat start licking the moment you come out of the shower and apply a particular brand of lotion? If so, it’s possible your cat likes the taste of your lotion. (It’s probably best that she doesn’t eat it, however.)
Does your cat lick you after a particularly sweaty workout? It’s possible, as some other websites suggest, that your cat loves the salty taste of your skin. Be a scientific observer of your own cats for an answer.
Why does my cat’s tongue feel like sandpaper?
A cat’s tongue is covered in little hooks called papillae. The papillae are made from keratin, just like our fingernails. The papillae are actually shaped like little cat claws and have very sharp tips that are surprisingly effective in untangling a cat’s fur.
Mechanical Engineer Alexis Noel was so fascinated by the structure of cats’ tongues that she created a model to mimic these little spines using a 3D printer and the scanned image of a cat’s tongue. She tested the model out using a machine that dragged it across a patch of faux fur. What she discovered was that the cat-tongue design was surprisingly easy to clean compared to a traditional human hair brush. Unlike a traditional brush which got clogged with hair that could only be removed by painstakingly plucking the caught hairs out from between the bristles, she only had to sweep her finger across the “cat-tongue” brush to thoroughly remove the caught fur.
Watch Dr. Noel remove cat hair from her "cat-tongue" brush here
Is it safe to let my cat lick my face?
Probably not. Are some of us going to do it anyway? Probably. But regardless of your current stance on face-licking, at least get educated so you can decide whether the risk outweighs the reward.
A cat’s mouth can harbor bacteria that may not be harmful to them but could be a problem for very young, elderly or immunocompromised people.Capnocytophaga canimorsus and Pasteurella multocida, are two organisms found in a cat’s mouth that can be dangerous for people in these populations. It is less likely, but still possible, that a person with a healthy immune system will become infected.
Does your cat eat a raw diet? If so, face-licking could expose you to more bacterial dangers that every person, regardless of their age or immune status, should be worried about. A two-year study conducted by the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine analyzed a variety of pet foods from different manufacturers, including raw foods, for harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Of 196 raw pet food samples, 15 were positive for Salmonella and 32 were positive for Listeria monocytogenes. By contrast, of 740 dry, semi-moist, and jerky-type dog and cat food and treats tested, exactly one was positive for Salmonella only.
The FDA offered suggestions for handling and storing raw pet food to minimize the risk of infection and also recommended that pet owners do not let their pet lick their faces, especially after the pet has just finished eating.
Now you can decide for yourself.
How to get my cat to stop licking me
Once you understand that your cat is licking you in the only way his little cat self knows how to reciprocate your petting, you might be inclined to tolerate a bit of licking.
But what if the licking goes too far?
Cat licking that seems obsessive might very well be. Some cats lick themselves bald (a topic for another blog post) and some cats seem to want to lick YOU bald.
Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett explained that excessive licking can be a sign of stress and up to us responsible cat owners to identify the stressor and try to remove it from your cat’s environment. Remember that an indoor cat is helpless to remove herself from something in her world that is bothering her.
Do you have a multicat household? Examine the relationships between co-habitating cats to see if there is friction you can reduce by providing more resources (toys, beds, litter boxes, water and food dishes), and more space (especially vertical space).
Perhaps your young, exuberant cat is stressed because he has no outlet for his abounding energy. You might need to set aside more time to play with him, especially vigorous play.
Or maybe your cat is bored. Consider providing puzzle toys to exercise his mind, or moving a perch nearer the window so that your cat sit and can watch the world go by.
Simultaneously, observe and try to learn the behaviors that precede the excessive licking. Does your cat settle into a particular position before the licking starts? If so, try to head the obsessive behavior off at the pass in the gentlest way possible. Distract your cat with a favorite toy, or place a soft object between you and your cat to make it more difficult for her to revert to her old ways.
What are some things you shouldn’t do to stop the licking? If you want the licking to stop, don’t put something unpleasant tasting on your skin so that your cat gets an unhappy surprise. It’s true this tactic might get your cat to stop licking you, but it may have an unfortunate side effect, too. Your cat may begin to associate you, and not just your skin, with unpleasantness.
Never, ever, ever hit, shove, or yell at your cat for licking you too much (or for any other reason). Abusive behavior doesn’t prevent licking and can permanently damage the bond you’ve worked so hard to build with your beloved cat.
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 Todd, Zazie. Where Do Cats Like To Be Stroked?, Blogger, 27 July 2020, www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2015/03/where-do-cats-like-to-be-stroked.html.
 Terry, Sarah Jeanne. “Why Does My Cat Lick Me When I Pet Her?: Cuteness.” Cuteness.com, 31 Oct. 2019, www.cuteness.com/13721775/why-does-my-cat-lick-me-when-i-pet-her.
 Cassidy, Joshua. “Ever Wondered Why Your Cat's Tongue Feels like Sandpaper?” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 1 Mar. 2017, www.pbs.org/newshour/science/kqed-deep-look-cats-tongue-sandpaper.
 Noel, Alexis C., and David L. Hu. “Cats Use Hollow Papillae to Wick Saliva into Fur.” PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 4 Dec. 2018, www.pnas.org/content/115/49/12377.
 Solomon, Donna. “Safely Living With Pets: Don't Let Your Pet Lick Your Face and Other Helpful Tips.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 4 Jan. 2015, www.huffpost.com/entry/safely-living-with-pets-d_b_6069134.
 Medicine, Center for Veterinary. “Raw Pet Food Diets Can Be Dangerous to You and Your Pet.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/get-facts-raw-pet-food-diets-can-be-dangerous-you-and-your-pet.
 Johnson-Bennett, Pam. “Why Does My Cat Lick Me So Much? - Part 2.” Pam Johnson-Bennett Answers the Why, When & How of Cat Behavior Issues, 9 Sept. 2020, catbehaviorassociates.com/why-does-my-cat-lick-me-so-much/2/.
 “Why Does My Cat Lick Me?” PetMD, 16 Feb. 2016, www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/evr_ct_why-does-my-cat-lick-me.