Why do cats lick themselves and people?
Cats lick themselves as a form of grooming. Mainly it is a way to clean themselves off. However, there have been a number of advantages that people have suggested it provides which might be a reason they do this. Some people think it is used as a way to control their temperature - it keeps their fur smooth, which in the winter traps heat. In the summer, it spreads saliva on the fur and cools them down and can also loosen fur so that they shed more easily. Others think it is a natural way of reducing parasites like fleas or ticks.
Why does my cat lick itself after I pet it?
This is to get rid of the scent, and also because you've ruffled their fur up. Part of the grooming process is to keep it smooth, so they will try to put it back into place if you pet them and get it mussed up.
Why does my cat lick me?
It's friendly and it likes you. That's about all there is to it - if you ever see kittens playing with each other and their mom, you will notice that the mom licks the kittens and the kittens will often lick each other. If a cat licks you, it just means it's treating you like it naturally would a member of its family. Many animals instinctively groom each other within social groups (chimps being an example of people-like animals that do the same thing). Cats will often lick and groom your face.
Why does my cat start licking itself suddenly after jumping or falling?
Cats also groom themselves when they are embarrassed. This can result in some very weird behavior. My current cat apparently is embarrassed to be seen playing with things, so when I do get her going with a piece of string she will jump at it and then suddenly start licking herself, pretending nothing happened. Then she jumps again, and repeats the process.
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