There is a broad notion that cats love the independent life and are not affectionate or sociable. However, this is not the definition of most of the cats we live with. Thus, there are still individuals who are shocked at their cat’s requests for affection.
Cats display affection through a variety of ways which range from:
- Cheek Rubbing
For cats, licking is a form of affection and grooming. In this article, we will explain to you why your cat licks your nose.
Why do cats lick?
Although cats don’t have a reputation for showing affection, lots of people know them to be quite neat.
Cats may lick your nose for a variety of reasons. It could be their method of relieving stress, coping with boredom or bonding with you. In those scenarios, cats asides from licking themselves, also lick the people they cherish.
But if you are wondering why your cat licks your nose, it may be because your cat trusts and loves you a lot. For this reason, he selects the highest part of your face to attain most of your attention and let you know what is on his mind.
The preening of cats
By instinct, cats are self-grooming/cleaning animals. They groom themselves via licking and clean their mantles beginning from the face, heading to the legs, body, and finishing at the tail.
Kittens learn these cleaning habits from its time of birth. For example, kittens’ mother cats clean their babies’ right from their time of birth. The mother cleans them till when they are around three weeks old and begins defecating on their own.
The hygiene the mother maintains on her young reinforces the family and social bond between these animals. They maintain this behavior all through their life. You will also be able to observe this behavior in cats living together irrespective of age.
This preening tells us why our cat licks your nose. It is a form of habit for these animals. In doing so, it shows the cat sees us at family, and for that reason, it will care for you by maintaining your hygiene and solidifying your bond.
Preening of humans
Now that we have an idea of what preening is, we can expand the concept a little further. Firstly, we must understand that for cats, humans are similar to a large cat that provides them the care that they got from their mother when they were kittens.
When our cats desire to groom us, they will find an issue of height difference. For this reason, cats jump towards us or often rub against our legs. They are making efforts to get closer to our nose or face.
When they find us relaxed, they use this chance to lick our nose which is what cats are used to while grooming. Additionally, the behavior supports the exchange of odors, which plays a very crucial role in the lives of our felines. The merging of our body odor and theirs will encourage a comfortable and familiar sensation for our felines.
It is also crucial to note that while they preen, your cat may bite you. This is because cats utilize their teeth when their tongue has issues eradicating dirt.
Reasons you cat may lick your Nose
You cat may lick your nose for a variety of reasons. We will be looking at a few of them below. They include:
They accept you
Body language plays a core role in the life of your cat as their primary means of communicating with one another. For domesticated cats, grooming one another is their favorite kind of body language.
When your cat wants to show its faith or acceptance, they tend to show their owner this mutual behavior. It is also similar in the case of dogs which tend to lick your feet as a display of affection.
Usually, cats like their peers behind each other’s heads or on both ears. Only cats with a close connection can lick the faces of one another. So, you should be glad because these kisses on your nose are great ways of showing how your feline friend cares and trusts you. They will never leave you as well.
They are trying to help you
Cats enjoy cleaning one another and those close to them as stated earlier. In a nest, they aid their family members in grooming where it is admittedly tedious for one to clean up on their own. The top behind their head is a great example.
It is for this reason most people believe that by licking your nose, your little feline is trying to assist you in grooming yourself.
You taste salty
The skin of humans often has a salty taste to cats. You may also observe that your cat licks you the most when you don’t fill up your screen with aftershave or moisturizing creams. All of these taste quite bad to cats.
So, a cat could lick your nose for just the fact that you taste great. Your cat may lick your nose particularly when you have been sweating and had salt on your skin.
Display of Affection
Just like how you display affection to your cat by petting them, your cat might lick your nose to return the favor. Kittens mostly will utilize licking as a method of easing anxiety similarly to how a human may utilize hugs.
If your cat loves licking you or your nose, it most like means, they want some form of affection in return. For most, this is the best aspect of owning a cat.
They are marking Territory
Cats utilize pheromones as a way of marking their territory. While most individuals are aware that cats mark items by urinating, they also have other methods of marking their territory.
Head rubs and licking are methods for cats to claim you as their property affectionately. When your cat rubs against you or licks you, they are reaffirming that you are crucial to them and want other cats to be aware. You may also observe that other cats shy away from you at times, it is possible that they smell the scent of another cat.
It’s a habit of Kittens
Cats are generally nocturnal, and kittens are quite energetic. Combining both conditions will result in a little fluff-ball with a lot of enthusiasm which is awake and wants to play at the strangest hours. But similar to babies, they do not understand they are annoying.
Cats of around 12 weeks old that have been recently weaned may still be recovering from the surprise of weaning. For this reason, cats that have been weaned too early will make efforts to nurse all kinds of things. Your nose may happen to fall into this category as it may look like the breast of their mother.
Mother cats groom and lick their kittens, especially their faces. This is for more reasons than just to help their little ones stay clean. While cleaning the face of the kitten, the mother cat can do other things simultaneously like learning the scent of one another, rousing for nursing and specifically bonding with them.
Therefore, if you have a kitten who has been orphaned and likes to be licking your nose, your kitten may miss his mother and trying to re-attain the bond with his latest caregiver.
Your cat may be stressed out or Hurt
Similar to other animals, cats lick themselves or anyone they cherish when they are in pain or uncomfortable. They have a higher probability of giving your nose the most priority so they could have your full attention.
When you head to a new home with your cat, he may feel anxious. For this reason, he may lick you or himself excessively as a mechanism for coping. If you are unavailable, he may choose items in your home like a scratching post, toy or other furniture to suck on or lick.
When your cat was younger, his mother would continuously lick his body and face to keep them clean as well as to display affections. For cats, this is quite soothing. Stress affects people the way it does for cats.
Your furry friend is aware of this, so when he believes his human is dealing with lots of stress, he will do the same to help soothe you.
What to Note If Your Cat Abnormally Licks Your Nose?
Excessive grooming or Psychogenic Alopecia
Cats licking your nose is normal behavior and is a sign of confidence and affection. But if you observe your cat grooming itself excessively, it may be a sign of psychogenic alopecia. It is when your cat excessively licks as a response to stress or anxiety.
If you observe your cat excessively grooming itself to the point of rashness or baldness, there are a few steps you can take.
Offer your Cat Appropriate Medical Solution
If your cat which is usually obedient starts to ask strange all of a sudden, he may not be feeling well. For this reason, if you own a bossy cat that excessively or suddenly begins licking your nose, you may want to take a closer look at him.
Be sure to observe if he has any swellings on his skin, or if there are any notable injuries. Don’t waste time calling on your vet if required.
If your cat has ADHD, the vet will advise you to offer him valium or anti-depressants. These medicines are not dangerous to your feline friend but will aid in calming him down a little.
Offer your cat an appropriate Physical Solution
As much as being a sign of showing affection, lots of cat owners do not fancy it and find it unacceptable. But a majority of the cats tend to grow out of such behavior naturally.
Therefore, for kittens, the nose-licking behavior will wear off as they mature.
But for now, you can either indulge your cat or utilize the following suggestions to stop your cat.
- If you don’t like the nose licking, you can just lock your cat out of your bedroom. This will ensure he is unable to lick your nose while you sleep. But note that you should never utilize any violent means as it only angers and scares your cat.
- Utilize exercise and toys to tire your ADHD-like kitten. This will help in curbing the issue as well. The core reason your cat licks your nose may be to get you to play. That means he has too much energy accumulated in his body and would need to burn some off.
- You can keep a can filled with pennies close to you. Cats do not like loud noises, so anytime he wants to lick your nose, all you have to do is spook him by shaking the can hard at him.
- If you do not like the idea of a noisy can of coins, you can utilize a straightforward method. Although cats enjoy grooming, they hate getting their fur wet. For this reason, you could always keep a spray bottle beside you and utilize it in spraying your extremely active cat. This can discourage him from licking your nose.
- If you intend using this approach, ensure you don’t drench him or spray the water directly to his face.
- You can also combine these with straightforward gestures like loudly clapping your hands, pushing his head from the direction of your nose or setting him on the ground. All of these are quite efficient, and your cat will eventually cease licking your nose.
Any cat owner would love to get the faith and familiarity of their feline friend. But sometimes, your cat’s way of telling you how he feels. Like licking your nose may not be welcome and pleasant.
With the tips above, you will be able to learn why exactly your cat behaves this way and learn to curb them as well.