Cats are renowned for engaging in all sorts of strange behaviors, and sometimes we’re not sure if they’re signs of affection or not.
Cats' tongues are an important part of their composition, after all, that’s how they clean themselves. You might be wondering then, if your cat is attempting to clean you, or if this behavior is assigned to something completely different.
In order to get to the bottom of why your cat is licking your nose, keep reading, as we take a closer look at the topic below.
Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Licking Your Nose
First of all, it’s important to note that licking is a behavior that is ingrained within the DNA of your cat. When they are born, they will be socialized to lick one another in an act of cleanliness from their mothers.
The rough texture of their tongue exists because it allows them to get excess first off of their fur. As they grow, and become a part of your family, they might begin to lick you because they now see you as one of their clan.
To find out more about the various reasons behind why your cat is licking your nose, keep reading, as we take a look at some of the most common causes below.
They Are Trying To Get Attention
One of the most common and obvious reasons why your cat might be licking your nose is because they’re trying to grab your attention.
Perhaps you’re otherwise occupied, and are engaged in a TV show, or your mobile device, if this is the case, your cat might be feeling left out.
They might want your attention for a whole host of different reasons, one of the most common being that they’re feeling hungry and need you to fill up their bowl.
Not all cats will lick as a way of getting attention, but if you’ve engaged with them in the past and granted them attention after they’ve licked you, they might take this as a sign that this is the best way to make you pay attention.
Another strange reason why your cat might be trying to lick your nose, is because they enjoy the taste of your skin. Cats are known for liking the way that human skin tastes, so it is not uncommon for them to lick your nose for this reason.
Perhaps you’ve recently put on some kind of moisturizer, it then means that your cat probably enjoys the taste of this.
If you’re not wearing anything that may provide a scent, however, then it’s likely the saltiness of your skin that’s attracting your cat. All animals, including human beings, require salt to survive, for this reason, cats will crave salt as it signals survival.
If you’ve recently partaken in an intense workout that’s caused you to sweat profusely, or the weather has been particularly hot outside, then you will notice that your cat will want to lick your face more than usual.
This does not however, mean that your can has a nutritional deficiency, so don't worry.
Marking Their Territory
Another reason why your cat might be licking your face is because they are attempting to mark their territory, in other words, you. Your cat may be licking your face to try and leave their scent behind, thus showing that you belong to them.
Although this may seem like typical cat-like behavior, it is actually quite uncommon. The more normal way that cats will mark you as their territory is by rubbing their scent glands located on their paws and cheeks against you. If you’re a cat owner, then you’ll be very familiar with this.
Sometimes, obsessively marking territory can be a sign of stress. If your cat feels like they’re losing control, then they’ll begin to mark their territory, including you, as well as engaging in some destructive behaviors.
If your cat is scratching up the furniture, or is acting in a hyperactive manner, then this could mean that they’re feeling stressed.
Another emotional reason why your cat might be licking your nose and face is because they’re feeling particularly anxious. Perhaps they’ve recently undergone a big life change, such as moving house, and they’re still trying to get used to things.
Even something as seemingly insignificant as changing their regular meals could cause your cat to feel anxious. They may not seem very big to us, but cats can be incredibly sensitive to change.
Although most cats can adjust to change very quickly, depending on your cat's temperament, they could take longer to get used to things.
Licking your nose in a repetitive manner might mean that your cat is feeling stressed out, and is engaging in this act as a method of distracting themselves.
Finally, probably the most common reason why your cat is licking you is because they’re attempting to clean your face. This might be slightly confusing to us humans, because we may feel like pointing out that our nose isn’t dirty, therefore it doesn't require cleaning.
If you however, have any facial creams or other items on your face, your cat won’t be able to differentiate these from dirt, and so will try to clean them off for you.
There are many reasons why your cat might be attempting to clean your nose. One of the most common reasons being that they’re trying to clean you.
This is a behavior that has been instilled in them since they were kittens, and so is a part of their DNA.
On the other hand, another reason why your cat might be licking your nose is because they’re stressed or anxious, so pay attention to their other behavior to check if this is the cause.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.