Why Does My Cat Lick My Nose?
Your cat is going to communicate and express themselves in a variety of ways. One of the primary ways they do this is with various forms of licking and grooming. I’m sure you already knew that though, but why on Earth do they like to lick our noses?
Cats will lick humans’ noses for a variety of reasons ranging from love and affection all the way down to the fact that you might just taste nice and salty to them. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an adult purebred Bengal or if you’ve got yourself one of those fancy Craigslist Kittens, all cats seem to do this.
From the day they’re born, mother cats lick their kittens primarily to clean them but to also bond with them. Kittens pick up on this behavior and, as they grow up, learn to show affection partly by licking.
Lets go ahead and dive right in to see if we can’t break down the reasons why your cat licks your nose. Whenever you’re done here, you might also want to read how cats choose who to sleep with or maybe even why cats like earwax.
Your Nose and Face Taste Good
Your body produces a ‘natural’ form of salt through your pores and sweat glands. In fact, your nose (along with your entire T-Zone) can produce a very thin, albeit shiny, layer of salt as the day goes on. Well, it just so happens that cats happen to like salty things!
Cats are also VERY big on protein, it’s something their body craves to survive and, well, different little bits of microscopic proteins live in your face. Mix that with a cat’s amazing sense of smell, as well as the salty flavor, and you’ve got yourself a tasty little treat for cats.
They Lick Your Nose Because They Care About You
Despite being pretty territorial, cats are actually very social creatures. However, because they lack the facial muscles to show emotions like humans do, and because they can’t exactly form words to say “Hey, will do be my friend?” they have to find other ways to bond.
As we mentioned above, cats pick up A LOT of socializing and bonding habits when they’re kittens. They learn these habits from both their mother and their littermates. Cats will often touch each others noses as a way to greet one another, proving that noses are important for cats to communicate in various ways.
Licking your nose is them saying “Hi, thank you so much for taking care of me and playing with me. I’m going to lick your nose right now to show you how much I care about you and want to strengthen the bond I have with you.”
Your Cat Is Trying To Clean You
Those of you with multi-cat households have likely noticed that one of your cats licks and cleans the other cats more. Sometimes in a group of cats, there is one cat who takes the primary position of cleaning and grooming the other cats.
When a cat feels you’re part of their family they want to make sure you’re clean and healthy. Sometimes your cat is just so happy to be with you that licking you is almost an involuntary response to them.
Licking Your Nose Is A Great Bonding Experience
This kind of goes hand in hand with the point above about cats licking your nose because they like you. With cats being so territorial they need a way to communicate to the cats they live with in order to say “hey, I’m a friend, we can live peacefully together” and they do this with various forms of bonding.
One way that cats bond is by grooming or licking each other. They picked up this habit from their mothers at an early age. Their mothers made them feel comfortable and safe by licking them. They want you to feel comfortable and safe and they do this by licking you.
They're Marking You As Their Territory
Cats use scents as a form of communication more so than the average human realizes. Their strong sense of smell and their ability to detect even the tiniest of scents is what has helped them adapt and survive for thousands of years.
We’ve mentioned multiple times just how territorial cats are. We don’t just mean they’re territorial about the areas they live in. They’re also territorial about their humans, their favorite places to sleep, their favorite toys, etc..
Your cat licking your nose might simply be them marking you as part of their territory. Licking your nose allows them to get their scent on you which tells other cats “Hey, this human is mine!”