Felines typically send 30% – 50% of their day grooming themselves, and believe it or not, Siamese cats are no different!
Your pretty little kitty can spend up to half their day grooming, and I don’t know about you, but that makes my mouth dry just thinking about it.
Not only do Siamese cats spend a fair amount of time licking themselves, but they also enjoy licking their humans. While it may seem rather unpleasant due to their spiky tongue, their slobbery little kisses are just another way to express their affection.
In this article, I’ll share the reasons why our Siamese kitties enjoy licking so much, as well as a few ways to curb the habit if it becomes excessive.
Why do cats lick every day?
Have you ever wondered how on earth your Siamese is so clean? Well, you can thank their religious grooming routines for this.
If you think about it, Siamese cats are licked from the moment they are born. From the mother cat removing the amniotic sac, stimulating breathing, and licking their bums to stimulate bowel movement, there’s no wonder that these creatures are naturally clean animals.
Kittens begin self-grooming after as little as a few weeks of age, learning from their mother and siblings. You’ll often find them grooming each other, both for keeping them clean and expressing their love.
Other reasons why cats lick include:
Is it normal for cats to lick you?
I would be more concerned if you said your cat doesn’t lick you! I think it’s a rite of passage for all Siamese cats to lick their owners.
The main reason you’ll find your Siamese attacking you with their spiky tongue is due to something called allogrooming. Allogrooming refers to cats grooming, or in this case licking, other cats, animals, and humans in an attempt to strengthen their social bonds.
So, if your Siamese is licking you, it’s just another way to say, “Hey man, I love you.”
Grooming also isn’t reserved for cleaning. Cats seem to groom themselves just because they enjoy the feeling. So, they will often groom other creatures to share this pleasure (even though it’s less than pleasurable for us most of the time!)
Is it bad if my cats lick a lot?
While grooming and licking are a natural part of their day, if your Siamese licks themselves too much, it can lead to overgrooming and painful sores.
While it’s uncommon, pet parents have some potential risks when letting our Siamese cats lick us. Cats carry many bacteria inside their mouths, leading to infection if they lick and open wounds or cuts. This will usually only affect immunocompromised people, but to be on the safe side, never let your Siamese lick your face or any cuts on your skin.
Why does my Siamese cat lick so much?
If you find that your Siamese is constantly licking you, this could be a cry for attention. As we all know, Siamese cats need more attention than your average moggie and can quickly develop anxiety or depression if left alone for too long.
Even if you respond with negative attention, such as pushing your Siamese away or reprimanding them, they will still deem it as attention, therefore increasing the habit in order to get a reaction.
Anxiety can also cause your Siamese to overgroom. Since grooming is a comfort for them, they may start to do it excessively to cope with stress.
How do I know if my Siamese cat licks too much?
Since it’s such a massive part of their day, knowing when your Siamese is overgrooming can be challenging.
Signs to look out for include:
Why does it hurt when my cat licks me?
Let’s face it, getting licked by your cat is usually a less than pleasant experience. Unlike dog licks that are soft and slobbery, cats’ tongues are downright painful, especially if they do it excessively or in the same place.
The reason why it hurts when your Siamese licks you are due to back-facing barbs called ‘papillae.’ These special barbs are made from the same materials that your kitties’ claws are made from, hence why a lick can sometimes feel like a scratch.
Siamese cats have these barbs to help remove debris or dirt from their fur. Unlike dogs who need baths, cats bathe themselves with their tongues and would not be able to keep themselves half as clean without these sharp barbs.
How do I get my cat to stop licking me?
I know from personal experience how uncomfortable and annoying licking can sometimes be. I once rescued a Siamese who had been weaned from his mother too early, and he would constantly lick me. Not only was this painful for me, but I also wanted to help him find other ways to cope.
Here are some of the things I tried:
Don’t punish your Siamese for licking. No scolding, spraying of water, creating loud noises, or applying bitter flavors to your skin. This will only compromise your relationship with your Siamese and make them more anxious, which in turn makes the licking worse.
Why does my cat lick me?
Typically, your Siamese will lick you out of love. This action is not only comforting to them, but licking is a way of telling their humans that they’re part of their squad. Unless your Siamese is licking you excessively or due to feeling stressed, there isn’t anything to worry about.
If you want to curb this licking habit, be patient with your Siamese and avoid any punishments. Siamese cats respond well to positive reinforcements such as praise rather than punishment.
If you feel like your Siameses’ licking habits affect their health, get in touch with your vet for advice.