Cats Lick Things for a Variety of Reasons
It’s no secret that cats enjoy licking things. Perhaps they’re tasting something new or maybe they simply enjoy the feeling of warmth and moisture on their tongue.
Cats exhibit various grooming behaviors, and licking is one of their primary means of self-care.
While there can be multiple reasons why your cat licks your pillow, here are a few possibilities:
- Familiar scent: Your cat may lick your pillow because it carries your scent. Cats have scent glands in their tongues, and by licking your pillow, they are essentially marking it with their own scent. This behavior is a way for them to establish a sense of familiarity and ownership over their surroundings.
- Comfort and security: Cats often find comfort and security in objects that have your scent. Your pillow, being a frequently used item that carries your scent, can provide reassurance and a sense of safety to your cat. Licking it may help them relax and feel more at ease.
- Seeking attention: Cats may lick objects, including pillows, as a way of seeking attention from their owners. If your cat notices that licking the pillow gets your attention or elicits a response, they may repeat the behavior to gain your focus or engage in interactive play.
- Taste or texture: Some cats may simply enjoy the taste or texture of your pillow. The fabric, filling, or any residue on the pillow could be appealing to them, prompting them to lick it.
- Stress relief: Licking can also serve as a self-soothing behavior for cats. If your cat is experiencing stress or anxiety, they may turn to licking objects, including your pillow, as a way to calm themselves down and alleviate their tension.
Occasionally, cats will lick your bedding to help control their pheromones. Cats have scent glands called vomeronsals on the roof of their mouths. These vomeronasal glands are used for communication and picking up scents from other animals and humans.
When a cat licks your pillow, he is trying to control his scent by removing any pheromones that you may have left behind. This can be an effective and practical way for him to communicate with you.
One Reason is Because They are Grooming Themselves
There are many reasons why cats might lick a pillow. Some cats simply enjoy the texture and feel of a plush pillow, while others may be licking out any leftover food or moisture from their owner’s face. Additionally, some cats may be grooming themselves by licking the pillow to remove loose hair. In some cases, cats may be licking the pillow to mark their territory.
In order to establish who the owner is and that they are not another cat, cats will often lick their own scent onto a pillow or blanket. The cat’s scent glands may be stimulated by licking, which will cause the release of pheromones into the air. These pheromones are used to communicate with other cats.
The cat will usually stop licking a pillow if the owner gets up. Sometimes, if the owner returns to bed and the cat is unable to lick the pillow clean, it will urinate on it. This is a normal behavior, especially if the pillow has been washed. If the owner leaves the room and then returns, the cat may continue to lick until it is satisfied that the owner is no longer around. At times of stress, cats will rub their bellies on the furniture, people’s legs and other places.
This is a form of scent marking in which they are attempting to communicate with others of their kind. Cats will sometimes lick their fur to remove loose hair.
This is quite common in cats that are in the ‘snowball’ phase of shedding. It is also a sign of boredom with very little to do. Cats lick fluffy things to express affection.
If a cat licks a person or another cat, it is usually because they feel safe in the company of that individual. It is also an act of affection and reassurance that the other animal is not a threat.
Cats may also exhibit this behavior when they are sick or in pain.
Many cat owners are familiar with their cats licking their fur or paws, but what about the occasional lick on the pillow?
A recent study published in The Feline Journal found that around one third of cats engage in pillow licking. Researchers believe this behavior may have originated from a need to clean themselves after sleeping on surfaces that were moist and warm.
Babies and kittens have a very limited ability to move their tongues, so they use them to hang on to objects. This is why they often grab onto mom’s hair or clothing while she is nursing them. Cats are extremely fastidious animals, they will lick their paws, fur and even their genitals.
Some cats may lick pillows because they enjoy the taste or texture
When you walk into a room and see a cat licking a pillow, it may seem strange. However, there are some possible explanations for this behavior. One possibility is that the cat enjoys the taste or texture of the pillow. Cats may also lick pillows as a way to groom themselves. Some cat licking fabric pillows because she is bored or sleepy. Whatever the reason, it is clear that some cats enjoy licking pillows!