Here's Why Your Cat Licks Your Face

Furry friends are truly like part of the family, as 67 percent of homes in America have pets, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey from the American Pet Products Association, Inc. Over 40 million of these households specifically own cats.

Felines are known for their purring and pouncing, as well as for their papillae. Their tongues are covered in these backward-facing spines, and Cats Protection states that this is good for basic needs such as pulling meat from bones when eating and when drinking water, since cats stay hydrated by lifting their drinks up and down quickly with their tongues.

These unique tongues are also very rough, with a feeling like sandpaper. Due to how much pets are loved and adored, owners tend to put up with the roughness pretty well, if or when their fur babies are licking all over them! Why do cats lick us at all, though?

The sandpaper-like licking may hurt a bit, but it is happening for a good reason

The Spruce Pets, which offers up tips and training advice for animals, lists out several reasons for why felines like to lick people. The first and main reason is affection. Just as we hug our friends and pet our cats, these creatures return the love in a sandpaper-like way.

Since cats usually don't hop into the shower or tub, they stay clean through licking, as well. Grooming is very important to them, and they learn it at a young age from their mothers. That being said, they may also mimic this memory, teaching humans how to stay hygienic and passing on this motherly action. also suggests that these licks can be a way for pets to claim us as their property or calm themselves down. They leave their mark on us to demonstrate importance, and to let other cats know their humans are taken. They may also increase the licking when they are anxious, letting us know they need more attention and affection!