This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your cat might lick your hands a lot and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat lick my hands? Likely reasons why your cat licks your hands are that it is grooming you, it likes the taste of your hands, or that it is being affectionate.
It could be the case that your cat has been licking your hands for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your cat licks your hands
Below are possible reasons why your cat has been doing it and what would make them more likely.
It is grooming you
Cats will often groom each other to help keep their fur clean and to show affection. The reason why your cat does it could be that it is grooming you. This would be more likely if your cat doesn’t only lick your hands and if it also licks things such as your hair.
It likes how you taste
The reason why your cat licks your hands could also be that it likes the way that your hands taste. This would be more likely if your cat only licks your hands and if it tends to do it more at a certain time such as when you have just been cooking and your hands likely taste better.
It is being affectionate
A part of the cause is likely to be that your cat is showing you affection. This would be more likely if your cat tends to lick you more when you are petting it.
To mark its scent
It could also be the case that your cat has been licking you in order to mark its scent on to you. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs itself on you when it does it and if it does not only lick your hands. By marking its scent on to you, it will make it less likely that other animals will enter its territory and will help to keep it safer.
It could also be the case that it has some anxiety. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it more when you are leaving home or when something else could be causing it to be anxious.
Things to consider about your cat licking your hands
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your cat has been licking your hands.
If your cat has always licked your hands
If your cat did not always lick your hands, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If your cat started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that your cat became more comfortable around you or because you started interacting with it differently.
What else is different when your cat licks your hands
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your cat tends to lick your hands. For example, if your cat licks your hands more after you have been cooking, it would be more likely that your cat likes the taste and smell of your hands.
What to do about your cat licking your hands
Below are some things you can do about your cat licking your hands.
Redirect its focus
The first option would be to redirect your cat’s focus when it seems likely to start licking your hands. One way to do so could be to pet it in a different spot.
Give it distractions
If your cat also licks your hands when you are not petting it, another option would be to give your cat things to be distracted by such as toys.
Get it to sit in a different spot
If your cat tends to lick your hands when it is sitting next to you, you could also get your cat to sit in a different spot. By doing so, it will be harder for your cat to lick your hands.
Why does my cat lick my hands when I pet it?
If your cat licks your hands when you are petting it, the cause would be more likely to be that your cat is either showing you affection or doing it because it likes the way your hands taste.