If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably seen your feline friends licking each other. But have you ever wondered why they do it? Understanding this behavior can provide valuable insights into your cat’s emotional and physical well-being.

The Act of Licking: What Does It Mean?

Cats often engage in a behavior known as “allogrooming,” where they lick each other. This isn’t just a random act; it serves multiple purposes.

The Science Behind Cats Licking Each Other

The Anatomy of a Cat’s Tongue

A cat’s tongue is a marvel of nature, covered in hook-like hollow hairs that serve as a grooming tool.

The Percentage of Time Spent in Grooming

Cats spend 30 to 50 percent of their day grooming, showcasing their self-care skills.

Reasons Why Cats Lick Each Other


Licking is a form of communication among cats. It helps them convey messages and emotions to each other.

Affection and Bonding

Allogrooming is often a sign of a special relationship between cats. It’s a bonding activity that strengthens their connection.

Survival Instinct

In outdoor colonies, allogrooming helps in the removal of parasites, making it a survival tactic.

Behavioral Indicators: What Does Licking Signify?

Emotional and Physical State

Cats are in tune with each other’s emotional and physical states. Excessive grooming can be a sign of underlying issues.

Maternal Allogrooming

Mother cats lick their kittens to stimulate elimination and to teach them grooming behaviors.

Expert Opinions

Veterinarians and pet experts generally view allogrooming as a normal cat behavior. However, excessive grooming could indicate a need for a vet visit.

FAQs: What People Ask Too

  • Why do cats lick their owners?
    • It’s a sign of affection.
  • Is it true that a cat’s saliva has healing powers?
    • No, this is a myth.
  • Do cats lick each other to show dominance?
    • It depends on the context.


Understanding why cats lick each other can deepen our relationship with these fascinating creatures. Whether it’s for communication, bonding, or survival, this behavior is an integral part of a cat’s life.

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