Cats like to stay clean. They spend more than half of their walking time, licking and grooming themselves. They also lick other fellow cats. Ever wondered why do they so? There are many reasons that explain why cat lick themselves. It is part of their personality. This licking and grooming has more adverse effects than anyone might think. Here, I give you 7 reasons that will give you an intuition into why cats lick themselves.
Many find these grooming actions of cats to be cute and random. But there is a certain instinct to it. Cats lick themselves on purpose to remove food particles or their natural odor, so that they are sensed by other predators. They deliberately do this, to stay away from harmful animals.
To Stay Clean
Cats just love to groom themselves. Licking is a part of this process. They don’t want any dust or food particles on their body to stick around. This action also removes their characteristic smell. They might be a ferocious animal sometimes but they do know how to keep themselves clean.
Licking helps cats to remain calm to cool down. It helps them to cope with extreme conditions and survive. Cats don’t sweat like humans. They have to rely on their saliva. A research suggests that 33% of cooling process of cats, depends upon licking.
To maintain Fur
Another advantage of licking is that is spreads the natural oil evenly around the fur. This distribution provides an even coating of oil that helps in maintaining beautiful and healthy fur. It also helps on sealing the heat that also simulates the growth of fur and provides natural heat.
To treat wounds
Cat’s saliva acts as a natural antibiotic towards germs that attack the open wound. Don’t need to worry if the cat is licking its wounds. It is their natural protection against harmful bacteria. However, in some cases the wound maybe too deep that it may need further treatment.
A sign of Friendship
Also known as allogrooming, cats often lick and groom each other as a sign of friendship. They lick each other at places where they themselves can’t reach. This is a healthy activity among cats. It means that they are bonding together. This kind of behavior starts from an early age and continues through adulthood.
It’s a perfect for cats to relieve stress and anxiety. Whenever cats suffer from a sudden change in behavior occurring from panic attacks or the casual run between prey and predator, they start to lick themselves. Sometimes, the impact is severe which leads to over grooming. Cats also feel relaxed when they are clean which is a great habit. So, licking is way to get themselves relaxed.
All in all, licking is a complete healthy and welcome habit among cats. It provides them tons of benefits. Most of the times over-licking is not something to worry about. However, if cat is behaving oddly and it seems like it is licking itself too much, then it should be consulted with a veteran.