10 THEORIES ON WHY CATS LICK THE HAIR OF HUMANS

1. YOUR SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, OR OTHER HAIR PRODUCT MAY APPEAL TO YOUR CATS.

If you don’t like this behavior, the answer is simple: use a citrus-scented shampoo or shampoo and conditioner combination, such as grapefruit, or lavender if you prefer that aroma.

Why Does My Cat Lick Or Chew My Hair?

Even if your cat isn’t attracted to your hair because of the flavor of your hair product, if you use a shampoo that smells like something your cat doesn’t like, you’ll have a good chance of changing your cat’s behavior and encouraging them to stop licking hair in general.

2. CATS WHO LICK HAIR ARE LIKELY TO ENJOY THE TASTE OF HAIR.

Apart from the shampoo you’re using, the oils produced by your scalp or your hair itself may appeal to cats who enjoy licking hair.

3. THE TEXTURE OF HUMAN HAIR MAY APPEAL TO CATS, CAUSING THEM TO WANT TO LICK IT.

Human hair is sleek and similar, yet different from cat hair.

Because of how smooth it is, some cats may be drawn to its texture and find it delightful to lick.

4. A CAT MAY LICK HUMAN HAIR AS A FORM OF GROOMING THEM.

If your cat licks your hair, it’s possible that it’s a sort of grooming, similar to how cats groom themselves and other cats.

Why do cats lick themselves? - Sepicat

5. LICKING COULD BE A BEHAVIOUR LEFT-OVER FROM KITTENHOOD.

As kittens grow, they will frequently lick and groom their moms. This cleaning tendency of their mother’s may have carried over into adulthood, and they may be cleaning you as if you were their own mother.

2 brown tabby kittens sitting in front of a wooden door and grooming each other, Satteldorf, Hohenlohe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

6. LICKING YOUR HAIR COULD BE A STRESS RELIEF, RELAXATION, AND CALMING DOWN METHOD.

Scratching and kneading, for example, are feline behaviors that reduce stress and promote peaceful relaxation, as well as having numerous other benefits. It’s possible that licking your hair is one of these behaviors, and that stress reduction has a role, however minor, in why your cat likes to lick your or other humans’ hair.

7. GROOMING THEIR HUMAN IS A SIGN THAT YOU’RE ONE OF THE CLAN.
Outside of their social group, cats do not lick and groom felines.

They will only groom another cat if they regard them to be their clowder, so if your cat grooms you, it’s only because he or she thinks you to be a member of the clan.

If your cat licks and grooms a newcomer’s hair, it’s possible that he or she considers the newcomer to be a member of the family or close group. This is where trust comes into play.

8. GROOMING ALSO MAY BE USED AS A FORM OF SHOWING YOU AFFECTION.

While there’s no way to tell for sure, many pet parents (including myself) believe that a cat’s licking and grooming in general is an act of love and affection.

If you’ve ever had this behavior from a cat who loves you, it makes perfect sense.

It’s nearly impossible not to see the behavior in this light, especially when it’s accompanied by happy purrs, cuddling, and other similarly good behaviors and acts.

Perhaps cats brush us as a symbol of devotion and because they adore us. Maybe it’s all part of the plan.

It’s possible that this isn’t the correct reason for the behavior, but I’d bet on it.

9. YOUR CAT GROOMING YOU COULD BE A SIGN THAT HE OR SHE VIEWS HIMSELF AS IN CHARGE OF YOU.

Cats who groom and lick each other in the house don’t appear to do so solely to express affection, to keep each other clean, or for any entirely altruistic reasons.

Actually, the more dominant cat in the family will often allogroom the less dominant cats, implying that dominance plays a significant role in cat grooming.

If this is true, as it most likely is, your cat licking and grooming you could be a sign that he or she regards himself as superior to you.

Let me know what you think of this one, and if you have any cats at home who you believe treat you like a slave.

Many folks I know have bossy cats who act as though they’re the boss of the house (which they may be, hehe!).

Is it your dominant cat who licks your hair?

10. YOUR CAT MAY LICK YOUR HAIR AS A WAY OF MARKING YOU AS HIS OR HER TERRITORY.

Cats use their scent and may even urinate to mark their territory.

Because their saliva also retains their scent, it makes likely that licking things could be a way for them to mark territory — notifying other cats that a person, location, or thing is fundamentally theirs.

cat grooming

If you have a cat who is routinely protective or possessive over you, please let me know if this is the same cat who licks your hair in the comments.

Do you believe there’s a link? Does it make sense to you that territorial marking could be a factor in your cat’s licking of your hair?

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON CATS LICKING HUMAN HAIR?
Why do cats lick human hair, in your opinion? Have you ever met a cat who does this?

Do you think this is a frequent behavior among cats, or do you think it’s something that only a few cats you’ve encountered do?

Which of your cats lick your hair if you have them? When are they most likely to do it? Why do you think they’re doing it?

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10 THEORIES ON WHY CATS LICK THE HAIR OF HUMANS
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