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Why do cats lick?

Does your cat spend long hours licking itself? Have you started to lick yourself as if you wanted to wash? In we want to help you discover the reasons that lead our cats to constantly lick and clear all your doubts about it.

Cats are animals that they need to clean themselves often to remove possible accumulated dirt on your fur, parasites or dead hair. However, this is not the only reason that causes them to lick at all times. Contrary to what many people think, felines are very grateful to their owners if they treat them properly and provide them with a dignified life. Keep reading this article to discover all the causes that motivate this type of behavior and to be able to answer the question why do cats lick.

The tongue of the cat

Before going into the causes that cause cats to constantly lick themselves or even their owners, it is essential to talk about the characteristics of your language.

When your tongue comes into contact with your skin you will have noticed that the sensation it produces is not of softness, but quite the opposite. While the dog’s tongue is smooth and soft like ours, the cat’s tongue is rough and rough, why? Very simple, the upper part of the tongue of cats is covered by a thorny tissue called conical papillae. This tissue, in appearance, is nothing but tiny spines formed by keratin, the same substance that makes up our nails, placed in rows in the same direction.

These small spines allow them to drink water more easily and, above all, to groom themselves and remove the accumulated dirt between their fur. However, when acting as a comb, this causes the animal to swallow an excessive amount of dead hair and, therefore, the dreaded hairballs appear.

Now that we know what the cat’s tongue is like, Why do they lick so much?

For hygiene

As we all know, cats are excessively neat animals by nature. So much so that, unless your cloak has become too dirty, they hardly require baths on our part. So, if you notice that your cat is constantly licking its legs, back, tail or belly, do not worry, just take care of your hygiene eliminating dead hair, possible parasites and accumulated dirt.

Pay attention to the behavior of our pet is vital to realize the possible anomalies that may arise in them. Therefore, it is very important that you observe how often you lick and intensity. Animals, like us, are routine beings who also tend to carry out their tasks always in the same way. If you see that your cat stops licking itself and this neglect of your daily hygiene is accompanied by general apathy or discouragement, do not hesitate and go as soon as possible to the vet to examine it, it could be developing some pathology.

As a sign of affection

As we discussed in the previous section, cats are animals that need to stay always clean, however and although they are considerably flexible, they do not have the capacity to reach each and every part of their body. At birth, the mother is responsible for keeping them well cleaned by constantly licking them. After three weeks of life, the kittens begin to clean themselves and lick each other, both to wash those unreachable areas, such as the ears and neck, as for reinforce the link between the members of the pack.

At this point, the kittens, in addition to grooming their brothers, will also lick the mother to show her affection. In this way, if your feline lives alone with you, without the presence of another cat, and licks you often, do not be surprised, it’s a good sign. That your cat licks your hands, arms or even your face, means that you feel like part of your pack, your family, and wants to show you how much you appreciate them.

Yes, despite the prejudices that these animals have aroused for years, cats can also be affectionate. In fact, there are many signs of affection that can show their owners if they treat them as they should, providing the basic care they need, the right food, toys to release the accumulated energy, scrapers to file their nails and a box of sand to make their needs.

Does your cat have stress?

In the first section we pointed out the importance of Pay attention to our cat’s behavior. The development of a pathology of a serious nature can cause a loss of mood that can lead our cat to neglect its hygiene. But what if what happens is that it cleans up more than necessary?

If our cat has gone from grooming in a normal way to doing it with a greater intensity and at all hours, with total probability it will be suffering a picture of stress or anxiety. Keep in mind that cats tend to groom themselves, in addition to hygiene, to relax. Licking produces tranquility, calmness and serenity. In this way, when they feel stressed, they go to the lick to find relief and find the peace they so badly need.

If you suspect that the reason that answers the question why your cat licks it is this, it is essential that you try to find the focus of stress and, above all, go to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do cats lick?, we recommend that you enter in our Curiosities section of the animal world.

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