Anyone that owns a cat knows that they are loving, independent, and intelligent creatures. Cats can bring love, peace, and joy into your home – they can also bring funny moments and some not so funny moments.
For instance, does your cat like to jump up on counters and lick the butter? Or jump into your clean laundry basket and sleep on all of your clean clothes? Cats have a way of getting themselves into some tricky and funny situations. I think that is why so many people own cats, and usually, more than one!
Cats can be such fun and silly companions – for me, I love when my cat comes to bed with me and falls asleep, purring, on my chest. It makes me feel so warm and protected.
Another thing my cat loves to do is lick my hair – why? I have no idea why my cat licks my hair, but for some reason, she does it often. I decided to do some investigating to try and figure out why cats like to lick peoples’ hair and here is what I found out!
Why Do Cats Groom Their Owners
If you own a cat, then you have probably noticed that they have a daily routine.
Cats like predictability, and if you pay attention, you will notice that they like to do similar things day in and day out.
Cats spend their day sleeping, eating, playing, and cleaning. They often have a fairly complex cleaning process that they like to stick to.
When cats or born and raised with their mother, the mama cat spends a great deal of time making sure each one of them is clean at all times.
This behavior imprints on to the kitten, and when they leave mom, they start to do that for themselves. If they see you as part of their family, they may start to groom you for several reasons.
To Show You Affection
Cats show affection by purring, rubbing up against you, and also by cleaning your hands, face, and even your hair.
Since their mom cleaned them and it felt comforting, they want to clean you for the same reason. Some people really enjoy this process, even if it can feel a bit weird. If you start to move away, your cat may grab you and pull you back so they can finish what they started – they don’t want their human to go away until they are finished with you!
They Like and Don’t Like Your Smell
Cats have an amazing sense of smell, so if they love it, or hate it, that may be the reason that they want to lick you. Either way, you are destined to get a lot of attention from your cat when they feel the need to check in on you.
As I said earlier, cats learn very early that to be clean is to be loved. When they learn that you are part of their family, they instinctually want to take care of you. For them, licking and cleaning equate to love for their owner.
It Could Be Stress
Some cats lick when they are comfortable, and other cats lick when they are worried, scared, or stressed.
If your cat was not one to lick your hair, and then all of a sudden starts to lick, assess your living situation or any big changes that have occurred in the cats’ life.
If you have moved recently, added more people to your home, or had any other upheaval, this could be the reason that your cat has started licking your hair.
How to Stop Cat Licking Your Hair
If your cat is spending time licking your hair, and you don’t like it, there are a few things that you can do to stop this behavior.
The easiest way to stop licking behavior is to gently move away. If you gently move your hand, leg, or head away from the cat and still talk nicely to them, they may stop at that moment. If you continue to do this when they lick, they may eventually stop.
Another way to distract your cat from licking your hair is to start petting them. Many cats love to be petted and this may stop them from licking and start paying attention to getting attention.
As a cat owner, it is your job to set the tone of your relationship – some people love the attention they get from their furry friend, and other cat owners want to set some boundaries. If you do not want your cat to lick you, gently redirect them and you may be able to stop them from this habit.
Just remember how independent cats are, and no matter what you do, they may still choose to do just what they want. We love our cats both for their loving nature and independence, and sometimes, what we want from them may not be what your cat thinks you need.