Why Do Cats Lick Themselves

Published On: 09/08/2019|By |Categories: Why Do Cats|1.4 min read|
Why Do Cats Lick Themselves

Five out of the ten times you look at cats, they are licking themselves. The first explanation we usually give is that it is cleansed. Is that the only reason or are there hidden explanations? Why Do Cats Lick Themselves

Here are the most common reasons why they do so:

To protect against predators.

Cats\’ sense of smell is much more powerful than that of humans and that is why most predators track prey through scent. A mother cat in the wild will try to hide her young kittens by removing odors. For the same reason, cats will bury uneaten dead prey in the wild (some house cats are scratching at the floor around the food dish after eating).

To maintain body temperature.

Cats sweat a little from their feet but rely on the saliva they leave on their fur to keep their body temperature constant.


To cleanse injuries.

Cats wash their injuries to cleanse the wounds and possibly prevent infection. Licking with a rough tongue can also remove dead skin cells.

To groom and lubricate the coat and skin.

When cats groom, their barb-like tongues stimulate the sebaceous glands at the base of their hairs and spread the resultant sebum throughout the hairs. Their self-grooming also helps rid the coat of dirt and parasites such as fleas.

Everyone loves grooming, and sometimes, cats do seem to groom just because they enjoy it. They will also groom one another or their human friends, out of what certainly appears to be a desire to share tenderness and love.

Photo: Milada Vigerova & Syed Ahmad

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