Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? [Explained]

Cats act weirdly, but why do they act in these ways? Every cat owner has observed their feline approaching them randomly and starting to lick their face. But cat owners get confused about this weird feline behaviour and question why their felines love to lick their faces.

There are lots of reasons behind your feline’s face licking face. Like your feline may lick your face to seek your attention, show his love, clean your face, and taste your face’s saltiness. Moreover, another probable reason is that they may consider you as their family and licks your face just like a mama cat licks its kitten’s face.

Unless you deeply understand these reasons, you can react or respond to your cat’s licking behaviour. So, continue reading this article as we’ve explained all these reasons, their benefits and dangers, how to respond to your cat’s licking, and much more! 

why does my cat lick my face while i sleep

Reasons Why Does My Cat Lick My Face

1. To Show Love

Cats use licking as a technique to groom themselves and express their love for their owners. Your feline develops a social connection by licking people, neighbouring cats, or other animals.

This affectionate behaviour was developed when your feline was a kitten, and its mom licked her to express love and care. Most cats continue this habit into adulthood, licking their owners to convey the same emotion.

2. For Getting Attention

Your cat may also lick you because they need your attention, which is another explanation. Your cat could lick you to get your interest, whether they desire to be petted, fed, or picked up.

In this situation, meowing or any additional attention-seeking feline activity, like scratching at you, might be coupled with licking.

3. To Indicate their Territory

Regardless of the number of behaviours cats may engage in to define their territory, such as face rubbing, clawing, and, regrettably, spitting, licking is yet another action they could do.

In this instance, if a pet cat is trying to lick you, it’s to let other kittens or pets understand that you are actually special to them.

4. To Groom you

Your cat may not be aware that it isn’t assisting you “get cleaned,” but this behaviour is quite normal to them. As previously indicated, mother felines groom their young to educate them on how to do it, demonstrate their love, and form a link.

Your cat may be attempting to perform its duties by cleansing your face just like a mother cat licks its kitty’s face to clean it.

Also Read: Do Cats Get More Affectionate With Age?

5. To Experience an Interesting Flavor

Your cat may be licking you since it detects something intriguing about your body. Your cat could prefer the taste of whatever you spilt on yourself or came into touch with since it left a trace on your body.

If you’re working out or the weather is warm, it seems to be possible that your perspiration might leave a saline residue that which cat is attempting to taste.

Check Out: Why Is My Cat Licking My Other Cats Bum?

6. To Deal with Stress

Finally, if your cat is nervous or worried, it may lick you. Cats frequently lick their owners or themselves as more than a coping method for stress or worry, even though extensive licking or cleaning might signify a typical cat behavioural problem or a medical condition.

 If you move into a new house or your feline experiences a shift in its surroundings, you could notice that they are licking you. Until your pet cat grooms herself to the point that her skin gets sore or they develop bald patches, this type of licking is usually nothing to worry about and is normal.

In this situation, you should discuss this problem with your vet and ask how to address this cat’s behaviour.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me at Night?

Although a feline licking our cheek during sleep typically indicates a strong attachment, the situation must always be considered. Various cats have various requirements.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me at Night

These requirements may change depending on factors like breed, health, living circumstances, and many more. These considerations may lead us to believe that such a cat may lick our faces at nighttime for the aforementioned reasons:

  • Illness: A feline may not necessarily exhibit symptoms when they’re suffering from any disease or a specific pathology. Cats are very adept at concealing their suffering. They could wish to alert you toward an issue if they eventually start licking your cheeks at night when they don’t usually.
  • Hunger: Cats are creatures of habit. They’ll anticipate eating at the exact time each day. If you wake up late and your cat approaches you to kiss your cheeks, it’s possible that they were waiting for you to refill their food dish.
  • Boredom: Each cat is different in how much attention they require. Your cat may approach to lick cheeks to start a conversation if it requires a lot of excitement. Cats are crepuscular creatures and frequently do this at nighttime when you are asleep or getting ready for bed.

Find Out: Why Does My Cat Lick Me When I Pet Him?

Why Do Some Cats Lick Then Bite Your Face?

If your feline licks you and then suddenly bites your face, then it’s a sign of a love bite. Your feline is trying to express its affection for you if it behaves like this.

Although a cat’s tongue’s roughness may irritate you, it’s still a perfectly natural quality of cat conversation. Furthermore, this love bite may also show that your cat requests your love or attention.

Is it Okay if My Cat Licks My Face (Benefits and Dangers)?


The antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities of cats’ saliva aid in the recovery of superficial wounds.

When cat saliva encounters the epidermis, nitric oxide is produced, eventually preventing bacterial development and guarding against infection.

Is it Okay if My Cat Licks My Face


Although it’s generally safe to receive a bath from your pet cat, several potential hazards exist. Cats have germs in their saliva that, if they lick an infected wound, can cause systemic infections.

People with weakened immune systems are especially in danger. Even though it’s extremely unlikely, avoid letting your feline lick any wounds on your body or your cheeks. Your pet cat may become harmed by several medicinal ointments if it licks them.

Contact your veterinary doctor if you use any products on your hair or body so they can check if they may be harmful to your cat.

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face with Her Paw?

Cats may brush their paw across your face to catch your interest or designate you for defence. Much of the time, this could be done with kindness, even without malice.

Cats are creatures of comfort; therefore, it seems to sense that they would snuggle up next to or on your face because it is among the hottest regions of your body.

Cats will scratch at their owner’s face to indicate affection, gain compassion, or even let people know they are annoyed.

Why Does My Cat Lick Me so Much at Night?

Our face is the hottest area of the body; that’s why felines are obsessed with our face. Especially at night, they love to touch your face because it doesn’t move, unlike your legs or arms.

That’s why it’s advised that you must keep your feline out of the room at night as it may scratch your face due to frustration.

Intresting Reading: Why Do Cats Get In Your Face While You Sleep?

Should You Lick Your Cat Back?

You shouldn’t lick your pet cat, ever. They will be perplexed whenever you do it since your saliva contains proteins and molecules distinct from those in their mouth. Additionally, they won’t enjoy it because you’ll spoil their fur.

How Do I Stop My Cat From Licking My Face?

Whatever the reason for your feline licking, you could find it upsetting or even irritating. But don’t try to punish your cat, as it can scare them or weaken your relationship with it, making them lick more. To reduce the licking, try these suggestions:

How Do I Stop My Cat From Licking My Face
  • When you engage with your pet cat, wear long sleeves and use a small sheet to protect your skin.
  • Attempt throwing a cat snack or toy your way. You can stand up and leave whenever your cat chases the treat or toy.
  • Reinforce the habit by praising your pet cat whenever it engages with you instead of licking with praising, stroking, or playing.

Your veterinary doctor must examine your cat to see if it licks frequently or excessively to ensure no physical or psychological condition underlying it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Cat Lick My Fingers?

Affiliative or helpful behaviour is what your cat might be doing when your pet cat licks your fingers.

What does it mean when a cat licks your face?

For felines, licking serves both as a means of grooming and showing love. Your pet cat is forming a social connection with you and other animals by licking them.

Why does my kitten lick my face at night?

Kittens may lick your face show express their affection, grab your attention, show their stress, taste the flavour of spilt food on your face, or mark their territory.

Why do cats purr and lick your face?

When your feline purr while licking your face, it indicates she’s petting you like a mother petting their kittens. This behaviour also shows felines affection and love for you.

Do cats like it when you kiss their face?

Yes, cats enjoy having their heads kissed. A kiss on the head will indeed be appreciated by cats, strengthening your bond.


If your feline is constantly licking you, she might be deeply in love with you, wish to claim you as his territory or ask for affection. Even if it might be cute, we should generally aim to avoid this behaviour. If you allow your cat to love you, rinse your face afterwards to prevent health hazards like infectious diseases.

Your cat might be viewing you as though you were another large cat. This is a privilege. They make a strong bond with their owners and blindly trust you. Give your little feline a comfortable pet or cuddle them in return for their love.

However, stress could also be the reason for your cat’s licking your face. If this is the case, you must speak with your veterinarian.

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LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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