Cats are the cutest pets with quirky mannerisms and soft paws and noses. They will laze around, give you attention, and even have the audacity to ask for attention when you are busy.
However, if many pet parents are brutally honest, they will all confess some things about their feline pets that concern or intrigue them. But unfortunately, some actions can be too annoying and make you mad at them.
Cats sometimes can start licking your ears, causing you to get distracted away from the work you are doing. You must have wondered why they do this after the utter discomfort of some cats licking your ears. Moreover, the smell of cat food emanating from their mouth can be a huge turn-off.
So, to solve your queries and utter confusion about this unique cat characteristic, this article will explain why cats lick your ears. The answer will make you laugh or cringe, or maybe both.
Why Do Cats Lick Your Ears?
Cats can like licking your ears for several reasons. We will explore the reasons below.
Your Ear Wax is Tasty for Cats
One slightly disgusting reason is that cats like your ears precisely because they like the smell that ear wax gives them.
Earwax has this peculiar smell that we humans might not notice often. However, since cats are blessed with this strong olfactory system, they can smell our earwax smell more intensely.
Cats have around 500 taste buds, while humans have about 2000-5000 taste buds. So, it means that they will not be able to taste the way humans do.
Human earwax can feel particularly greasy and flaky because it is composed of dead skin cells and fatty acids, and the odor is not bad. Moreover, it will be interesting to know that cats are too attracted to this smell because they smell protein in place of ear wax.
Felines have developed a strong-smelling sensation as compensation for their lack of taste buds, which helps them find food. For taste, cats rely on their noses rather than their tongues. As a result, things that smell like fats and proteins will appeal to cats’ tastes.
If you know your cat’s diet properly since you’re probably the one feeding them, they love having animal proteins like fish and meat. Hopefully, this easy explanation using science elucidates the weird behavior of cats licking your ears.
Cats Lick Your Ears for a More Affectionate Bonding
Another reason why cats might be licking your ears is that they tend to bond by licking each other’s ears. Cats usually groom each other by spending a massive amount of time licking their ears and cleaning them.
So, considering how cats practice grooming for bonding with loved ones, cats might probably be licking your ears to express their affection and love for you. If your cat has been licking your ears, do not interpret it as a case of them feeling disgusted by your dirt.
Most probably, your precious cats might be enjoying bonding time with someone they love. A cat’s lick could be a way of them claiming their territory or subtly telling you that you’re a member of the family. Kittens, in particular, might be using licking to relieve tension in the same way as humans do with embraces.
Cats Find Your Earlobes Appealing and Interesting
Cats could probably be licking your ears because they find your earlobes to be too intriguing. Well, if you think in-depth about it, the shape of human earlobes can be pretty interesting, and thus, cats find it fun and profoundly comforting to fiddle with.
Besides, cats tend to brush against humans to transfer their scent to us and vice-versa. They do this because cats are territorial, which helps other cats know who their masters are. And brushing or licking your earlobes can be a part of this behavior.
What Does It Mean If Cats Don’t Lick Your Ears?
You know that cats lick your ears when they either want to express their affection or find your ears tasty. But do not be worried if cats do not lick your ears. Like all humans, even these feline creatures have different languages to express their love due to their varied traits.
Should You Let Your Cat Lick Your Ears?
Well, you must be thinking about what the harm is to letting feline creatures lick your ears. After all, it is pretty endearing and fun to have your cat licking the ears. However, some concerns have been raised by many health experts.
Cats’ saliva can have dangerous effects on your skin if you have certain medical conditions. For example, you might not want bacteria from a cat’s saliva to go into any scratches or wounds on your skin.
Allergies from cats are primarily caused by Fel d 1, a protein found in cat saliva that accounts for roughly two-thirds of all human allergies to cats. Furthermore, the saliva that cats secrete can smell bad and give a headache in the worst-case scenario.
Solutions to Prevent Your Cat from Licking Your Ears
Cats can be licking your ears for a variety of reasons. They may be restless and want something to play with.
So, to help them, you can consider opting for the following means.
How can it prevent your cat from licking your ears?
Applying essential oils on your ears
Cats do not like the taste and smell produced by these oils. They will stop licking your ears, and you will be spared trouble and disturbance.
Buying catnip or cat grass
Cats are attracted to the drug, which gives them a euphoric feeling. So, if your cat needs anything to put in its jaws, this is a secure and healthy option that will help them get more roughage in its diet.
Well, apart from these, buying your feline toys for them to stop licking you can be a good option. You can consider this if you hate getting your ears licked, which is understandable as it can cause significant disruption to your work.
You can buy toys like catnip scatter toys, complex electronic gadgets, spinners, and many more. However, many cat parents found the Petstages Cat Tracks Cat Toy product excellent. Most cats enjoyed playing in it. Moreover, if you have multiple cats in your house, this toy will be a good place for them to socialize.
So, cats licking your ears is a simple sign of affection. However, cats’ saliva can have many harmful effects on your skin. Hence, if you do not like it, you can discourage this licking behavior by opting for any aforementioned solutions.