Every time your cat licks you, they’re trying to communicate something with their body language, and a lot of times it’s pretty clear. Now, why does my cat lick my feet? The problem is that because cats are often disinclined to vocalise their feelings, we often don’t understand exactly what they want us to do.
Instead of trying to guess though, I’ve compiled this list of some possible explanations for why your cat might have a lick attack on you.
Why does my cat lick my feet?
Reasons why your cat would lick your feet are listed and explained below:
- Your cat is worried about you. Maybe your cat doesn’t realise that humans have feet too?
When a new pet enters the household, the first thing to get their attention is often the feet. Perhaps your cat thinks that you are just another new toy to play with.
Maybe your cat has picked up on something in your scent that they don’t like and is responding negatively to it. Whether this be the way you smell or maybe different food with an odd smell or freshly baked bread smells, some cats don’t like them and lick them off to remove these scents from their body.
- Your cat is trying to tell you that you need to trim their claws.
Because cats walk around on the ground, their nails are constantly getting caught and broken.
Because cats are naturally fastidious animals, they often don’t like long nails. If you’re letting them outside and/or if they’re scratching up furniture as a result, then it’s likely that your cat is telling you that they would appreciate some claws trimming!
As a guide for how sharp your cat’s claws should be, look at the edges of the nail – if there’s no visible black part left, then it’s time to do something about those sharp little weapons.
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- Your cat is bored and wants to play with you.
This is another reason why your cat like to lick your feet. A lot of cats, especially those that are indoor-only or spend a lot of time in the house, get very bored and lethargic without enough stimuli.
If your cat isn’t getting adequate physical activity and stimulation (i.e. play time, walks etc.), they’re going to get a little frustrated and that’s when you start to see the telltale signs of it – sniffing and licking at their humans.
Both these behaviours are used by cats to “groom” their humans, which is just another way of saying that they’re trying to get closer to you and bond with you. Play time in the form of walks and games with toys will help keep your cat happy and healthy, so always make sure that you take the time out for them.
- Your cat is trying to tell you to leave them alone.
If your cat is constantly licking and playing with them, then they’re clearly not doing something that they enjoy.
If you want to see your cat happy and content, then it’s best to leave them alone for a little while so that they can do what they find enjoyable, instead of causing trouble for you (and the fact that cats aren’t good at dealing with stress).
Keeping quiet, ignoring your cat and allowing them to relax (whether this be via a quiet room or some meditation time in the sun) will help reduce their level of frustration and will more easily provide them with the stimulation that they need to be content.
- Your cat is trying to tell you when you’re going out so that they can follow you!
Cats aren’t much for being out and about on their own (although they’re getting better at it).
But since most of us are working eight-hour days, often there’s no time for them to leave the house and go on walks, play with toys or get any stimulation.
Some cats that have less socialization may find themselves in this situation and will resort to their other ways of getting attention – mainly with their pawing at you and licking your feet.
It’s important to realise that cats can get rather stressed when they’re left on their own too long (which is why it’s best to spend some time with your cat while you’re at work).
If you’re ever going to be out and about for longer than a couple of hours, then make sure that you give your cat’s needs some consideration.
- Your cat is trying to tell you that they like you!
Most cats will groom every human in their household, maybe even the ones who don’t live in the house. This is because they want to show their humans that they are happy with them and let them know that they approve of them being there.
Many cats also have a sort of purring way of communication, where they will make a “chirruping” noise that sometimes gets mixed up with their meowing and will often sound like their vocalisations.
When your cat does this, it’s not actually that they’re trying to tell you to leave them alone – it’s mostly just the purring noise that they’re making.
It’s not unusual for cats or kitten to meow to their humans, especially when they want food. That same meowing is usually a purr as well and it could be interpreted as wanting food (although it might also be related to being happy).
Why does my cat lick and bite me?
We have looked into reasons why your cat licks your feet, now lets look at why your cat would lick and bite you. The first thing to try would be to keep your cat away from the things that they are trying to attack.
Once you have taken those things away, you can try and give them something else to do, or provide them with a distraction. Things like catnip or toys can be some good distractions.
When they are distracted, they will often get less interested in biting and licking at you. The longer that it takes before they go back to biting and licking you, the better chance that they will stay distracted, as long as it is something that holds their interest. A lot of cats like having catnip around or have favourite toys or scratching posts.
The next thing to try if they are attacking you, is to give them a head start. If they are in the middle of an attack, and you move away, they will think that it is a game and will start chasing after you, which could result in more attacks.
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If you give them a head start, then they might think that it is still a part of the game and run around the room until you reach them and get to them before they get to bite or lick your feet or arms again. This has worked for some people with their cats and stops the cat from thinking that it is a game that it can play any time it wants.
Another thing you can do is to get the cat a spray bottle filled with water and put it in a convenient place that they will have to get to in order to drink it. The water will make them thirsty and hopefully cause them to slow down or stop.
The last thing you can do is to try and distract the cat from you, as this is what they are interested in, not trying to attack you. You can use a small stuffed cat toy when you are near the cat or hide some chew toys for them, so that the cat has somewhere else to focus on.
Why does my cat lick me in the mouth?
This licking could be related to something that you have eaten and the cat has smelt. If they are not hungry and they are doing it while you are eating, this is very likely the reason why.
It is also possible that your cat might be trying to groom you in a way that they think is appropriate, which means licking your hair or face. Cats like grooming each other at times and can learn how much grooming their human friends can tolerate. This type of grooming is usually done when the cat wants affection from the owner and doesn’t know how else to show it.
Some cats might like to groom sometimes because it makes them feel closer and more intimate with their owners in a way (such as some dogs do).
If you don’t want to be licked, try using a hand to stop them as soon as they get close to your mouth. It may take a while for them to understand that they are not allowed to lick you in the mouth. They may also learn that licking your hands or cheeks is okay and so it can help if you do not push their face away as soon as they have licked you, but wait until they have stopped licking anything before doing it. They may think that if they have already licked you once, then it makes sense for them to lick again.
If you have read this guide from the beginning to the very end, and followed all of the suggestions, then you should have a much happier cat and much less stress in your life. Most reasons why your cat lick your feet is because they are stressed and need comforting.
If your cat does not like the way that you have been treating them, or if you feel that they are not going to change their behaviour if you do not like it, then you should consider having them neutered or spayed – some of the behavioural problems might go away.
Always make sure that your cat is content and happy, which will make them less likely to want to lick their feet.
If you are still struggling with your cat being stressed or have not found a solution to this problem, then please contact a professional.
If there is no professional close to you, then it’s best that you go onto www.petharbor.co.uk which is an advice service that cat owners can contact for help in dealing with any problems they might be having with their cats. Hope this article gave you a clear understanding on why your cat licks your feet.
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