“Cats room fastidious about cleanliness,” explains Dr. Marci L. Koski, certified feline actions consultant and also founder of Feline actions Solutions.

You are watching: Why do cats lick each other

Flexible felines spend up to 50 percent of their waking hrs on grooming, bending, and also stretching to make certain that every one of their fur—from the tips of their ears to the end of your tails—is groomed to perfection.

In multi-cat households, part cats groom every other, giving a few quick licks behind the ear or a complete bath for your feline friends.

Cat Self-Grooming: one Overview


Grooming is an important cat behavior. Felines groom themselves to remove dirt and debris from their fur; distribute the oils in their skin to save their coats silken and smooth; swipe away dead skin cells; eliminate parasites; and also keep injuries clean and also prevent infection from setup in. For outdoor cats, grooming likewise helps eliminate scents that can reveal their areas to potential predators, follow to Koski.

“Grooming is likewise soothing behavior,” she adds.

Since cats are dependent top top grooming because that both health and also survival, their tongues room designed because that the task. Koski notes the cats have papillae on your tongues. These space hooked hair that provide their tongues the feeling of sandpaper and also serve together bristles designed to “comb” your fur, removed mats and keeping lock clean.

Why execute Cats Groom every Other?


Mother cats start grooming their kittens in ~ birth, moving their rough tongues over their newborns to wake up breathing and bowel movements.

“A cat’s mother will groom them not only to save the kittens clean however to teach them appropriate grooming for when they room older,” defines Jessica Watson, certified pet training and enrichment expert at ideal Friends animal Society.

The act of cat grooming each other, referred to as allogrooming, does no stop once kittens take over their very own grooming.

Part of the factor cats groom every other could be for helpful purposes. Koski notes the cats have tendency to emphasis their shared grooming about the head and neck, which space spots the are challenging for cats to reach on their own.

Cats likewise groom each various other as a authorize of affection. Allogrooming is most common in cat that are related or have strong social bonds.

The higher likelihood of shared grooming amongst related cat led researchers at the college of Georgia to recommend that those considering adopting an ext than one cat (or bringing second cat into their homes) were more apt to engage in this essential social, bonding behavior.

While that is uncommon for cat in shelters to interact in mutual grooming, Watson notes that cat living in the same family who room not related however are comfortable with each other may also groom each other on occasion.

What if cat Fight ~ Grooming each Other?


When cat groom each other and also then fight, the is no a authorize of dominance, adjustment behavior, or acting territorial—and the “fighting” could not it is in fighting in ~ all.

“When cat fight after grooming it might be because one cat is done through the affection and wants to be left alone, favor a hug the lingered as well long,” Watson says. “Or, they may not be fighting at all—they may in truth be playing. Cats like to wrestle and it’s critical part of exactly how young cats discover to hunt and defend themselves that carries on right into adulthood.”

The grooming-wrestling-fighting bike is normal and also there is no must step in to prevent it—unless one cat has an illness or injuries the make common grooming a bad idea, or bite or scrape injuries result from the fighting. Because that example, cats v skin injuries or stitches complying with surgeries or other medical measures need time come heal. In these situations, enabling self grooming or allogrooming could cause irritation.

See more: Can Pumpkin Pie Be Left Out ? How Long Can Pumpkin Pie Sit Out

“Unless there is a medical concern, this habits is natural and there is no must stop or discourage it,” Watson says.