Pricey JOAN — I have a cat named Cecily. She’s a Maine coon and is incredibly lovable and mellow. Lately, she has created a behavior that is driving me mad.
She licks me all the time. She primarily licks my arms and hands, but at evening I occasionally wake up to her licking my legs, toes and a couple occasions, even my face. I really do not like the feel of her tongue. I can get it for a little while, but then it becomes frustrating. I also be concerned that she may well be licking some thing off my skin that can make her unwell.
Why is she accomplishing it, and how do I get her to knock it off?
— Lucy L., Palo Alto, California
Dear LUCY: There are quite a few causes that cats like to lick us — and contrary to fantasy, they aren’t tenderizing us in preparing for a upcoming cat revolt.
Although none of the good reasons are indications of wellbeing troubles, it is nevertheless something you will want to talk about with your vet. There may be a thing missing in Cecily’s diet — sodium, most likely — that she’s having from licking your skin.
In all likelihood, Cecily is just displaying you that she enjoys you. Cats typically lick their litter mates and even other animals as a signal of passion. She almost certainly sees you as a great companion, and as this kind of, she is demonstrating her enjoy.
She also could be marking you as her house. Cats use scent to mark territory, normally rubbing their chins and mouths on objects, leaving a scent that tells other cats that this property is taken. They also do it by licking points, or in this circumstance, persons.
If you have other animals or a human that you are fond of, Cecily could be warning them not to get as well severe about you as you are taken.
Cecily could possibly also be commenting on your grooming. Mama cats groom their kittens in order to instruct them how to do it. You shouldn’t just take this as a major criticism of your cleanliness or grooming practices. It’s just a cat matter.
Has Cecily been beneath some worry? If you’re someone who has mostly been at property with her in the course of the pandemic, and now are out and about extra, she may well be feeling stressed or neglected. Licking you is a way to relieve her anxiety — cats can grow to be fairly Zen in the act — or reminding you that you have not been giving her all the focus she deserves.
Finally, you might merely taste great, or distinctive, to her. I had two Siamese cats who would assault my palms anytime I’d been dealing with brined olives. It was much better than catnip, but quite agonizing for me. I also experienced a cat that went nuts for the scent of my deodorant and would check out to lick it off.
If you wear cologne or hand or entire body lotion, there could be one thing about the scent that Cecily likes. Cats typically style smells by licking them.
There’s no actual issue unless some thing in the lotion is poisonous. In that scenario, you require to prevent her when she commences in. (And maybe reconsider your lotion decision.)
Whenever Cecily starts off licking you, and you’ve had more than enough, try out to distract her with something else — a toy, play time, cuddling. If that does not operate, just remove on your own from her existence. She will finally get the message.