Cats have a wealth of wisdom and intelligence. You can often compare a cat to a human, and you see a close parallel in what each species does, why they do it, and their behaviors. Male cats love other male cats differently than a male human loves another male human, yet they are much the same.
A human male invites other males to their men’s cave for game night and snacks, shakes hands vigorously, knocks elbows, or gives a swift hug. Cats cannot do these things, of course, so they lick each other.
Cats have a love-hate relationship like many humans I know. Perhaps hate is too strong of a word. Meaning that cats can lick each other to death, and then one sets the other off at the next minute, and they start to fight. Later on during the day, they are snuggled next to each other, sleeping.
Why Does My Male Cat Lick My Other Male Cat?
When a male cat licks another male cat, it says hello, while their licks on the other cat signify a bonded friendship and acceptance. This cat behavior is similar to one man shaking hands or hugging another man.
It would be strange indeed to see men rubbing noses or licking heads to say hello. How are you? In the case of cats versus humans, this is a show of affection from one cat to another cat. Male cats licking other male cats is a purrfectly normal behavior.
If a male adult cat licks a male kitten, the adult male cat shows this baby that this cat protects them and is safe. Whether the adult cat or male kitten receives licks, it is a purrfectly normal behavior.
It is common for a male cat to lick another male adult cat or a male kitten. An adult male cat has several common reasons for licking another male cat, and this behavior is not an abnormal action of male cats. Some of these reasons are as follows.
For an adult male cat to lick male kittens is to help keep them clean. The licks do not harm the kitten. Be observant during this licking session. If you hear purring from both cats, they are comfortable and are bonding into a lifelong friendship.
When an adult male cat licks another adult male cat or kittens, the cat does the licking, showing other cats their dominance in the household. This male cat is the protector and may also cater to other cats. One example is that the dominant cat may share food with other males. Not only do female mama cats make sure the kittens have everything they need, but a male cat frequently shares in this responsibility.
As much as a human father knows his children, so does an adult male cat. When speaking about stray adult female cats who gave birth to a litter of kittens, the father will most likely seek out their kittens and share in their care through licking. Male cats display a fathering instinct towards their kittens. If you find a nest of kittens with their mother and see a male cat approaching the nest, you scare the male cat away, fearing that this male cat will harm the mother and her kits. While this can be true, it may be the father. Like humans, there are good and bad cats.
For example, while some male cat fathers are aggressive and mean to their kits, others are nurturing, kind, and gentle. Monitor the situation because you do not know what the situation is. This male cat you think will cause harm to the mother, and her kits are the father who looks over its family. You may scare off the father. However, he will return to fulfilling his duties to the mama and his kits.
We saw this in one of our daddy cats. As we discovered in our household, some of our other unrelated male cats did well with our kittens, and the few males that did not warm up to the kittens ignored the babies and had no interaction. We had heard so much negativity regarding kittens and other male cats and found all these statements unfounded, such as,
- “Male cats will eat the kittens.”
- “Male cats will always scrap with kittens into adulthood.”
- “Male cats will always steal food from growing kittens.”
Our other male cats did a lot of licking on the new kittens, and as the kittens aged, they were forever friends with the unrelated male cats. These male cats,
- Licked other male cats and kittens
- Groomed unrelated male cats
- Snuggled up next to other male cats for a nap
- Supported and came to the rescue of other male cats
- Played with other male cats
- Became teachers of life
Is It Normal for Boy Cats to Lick Each Other?
I am so glad that licking is not entirely normal or daily behavior in the human populace. However, while some cat behaviors may seem weird, abnormal, strange, or unnatural on a human-to-human aspect, licking between male and female cats is very typical and offers nothing to worry about in your cats.
Cats do not consider this abnormal behavior, and they use licking as a form of communication. Not only do cats lick other female and male cats, but they will also no doubt lick you to communicate their love and devotion to their human. One strange thing that we discovered over the years is that our cats only lick certain people. My hubby, our children, and I loved and adored our cats, and they were fully aware of this love for them that they would frequently lick our face, arms, or hands to communicate their bond with us.
However, when we had visitors come into our home, our licking cats knew who would appreciate their hellos and who would not. These cats knew who loved their species and who did not. So, while some visitors got a cat cuddle and a few licks, other visitors were ignored. Cat knows who likes them and who does not. I knew some visitors did not like our cats, and it always amazed me how our cats already knew this and kept their distance from them.
How to Get My Cat to Stop Licking My Other Cat?
From This Crazy Catlady’s Prospective
If licking between cats is a purrfectly normal behavior, why would you even consider stopping this behavior? It makes no sense to me. Stopping your cat from licking other cats is like asking me,
- How can you and your family be stopped from talking?
- How can you and your family be stopped when you try to show your loved ones how much you care for them?
- How can you stop your partner or children from expressing their love and devotion to you and one another?
- How can you be stopped from taking care of those you love?
- How would you feel if someone said to you, “Leave your babies alone, do not bath them, show them, love, feed them, or nourish them with the essentials of life?
My answer is to leave your cats alone to do everyday cat things as long as no cat hurts the other.
What is normal behavior to all cats that may seem strange and weird to you?
Cats are excellent observers and keep watchful, keen eyes on what goes on around them. It is a bet that your cat (s) are as perplexed about some of your behaviors and things you do.
Obsessive cat licking can cause injury to its skin and sometimes starts an inflammation process. When we adopted our Sophia, she had a habit of licking her hair off from her mid-back to the base of her tail. She has always carried a bald area. The vet checked her out a few times and told us not to worry about it. The vet did offer her a mild sedative. However, we said, “No Thanks!” The last thing we wanted to happen was to have a cat in la-la land all day. We told Sophia, “Lick away if this makes you comfortable.”
We adopted Sophia and sister Isabella out of a home with two rambunctious puppies, and we thought these dogs made her anxiously lick her hair off. We have had Sophia for six years now, and she still has a bareback. I believe this is a habit versus a case of ongoing anxiety.
Sophia is a high-strung cat. She does not lick so much that it causes sores or inflammation. She is healthy and satisfactory in all other respects, so we allow her to do what makes her feel comfortable. We no longer worry about her obsessive licking.
What Do Professional Cat Specialists Say?
Let us see what some cat professionals have to say about this subject. For one thing, cats love to lick, which we already knew. They enjoy tasting what is around them. I frequently see one of our cats licking the couch, and nothing is there.
There are situations in which licking is not wise for the cat to do, such as seeing your cat lick a wound or a surgical site. Although, their reasons for doing so may or may not be wise. I have to agree.
- It is a natural response.
- It wants to help reduce pain and irritation.
- The cat tries to remove sutures.
- It wants to help remove wound drainage.
- Excessive licking impedes the healing process.
There are a few more reasons you need to stop your cat licking, such as boredom. They have nothing to do, so they overgroom. Be sure to reserve playtime every day with your cat and have an abundance of favorite playtoys available in addition to a daily dose of catnip. Can we compare this to humans biting fingernails or twitting thumbs? You must monitor your cat to ensure they do not create skin sores or start an inflammatory process, much like us monitoring Sophia.
The professionals tell us that stopping a cat from licking is frustrating because cats will do what they want to do, and it is never a matter of training. Some of your tactics for deferring their attention away from their licking obsession may work short-term, but they soon return to licking.
Recommendations are to apply a harmless bitter-tasting product to the area of licking. At the same time, we have thought about this tactic for Sophia; we never followed through because we saw no reason to do so. We felt she was better off leaving her to her obsession. On another note, some of these products can cause additional irritation, which means increased licking, and thus a vicious cycle continues.
Sometimes, neck collars are utilized when a cat is healing from a wound and will not stop licking the area. I always thought that this was a cruel approach. However, this may be necessary for the health of your cat. You can remove these collars to give your cat a reprieve when eating or during litter pan use, but you must supervise them. As long as your cat is not licking the area of concern, it would be best if you left the collar off.
Most cats hate these collars and work hard to remove them. Never make this a reason to tie the collar tighter, which is a bad, bad thing to do. Be sure to get your vet’s opinion and recommendations.