Kisses, Hug, Lick, peck, and cuddle have a different meaning depending on where it's coming from, the circumstances around and the communication being made. Pets are a serious consideration of relationships.
Many people, I included, consider pets to be an integral part of the family. If you and your significant other disagree on the issue of pets, it will cause problems. Having pets affects many aspects of daily living, and for many people, their pets are "non-negotiable."
If you're a cat owner, you'll sometimes be puzzled by your cat’s behaviour, especially when they give you a nip or bite and then lick you straight afterwards.
This kind of behaviour is very usual among cats as it's regarded as a sign of affection and not aggression. What your feline friend is trying to tell you is, they Love You, and it's their way of kissing you!
Cats show affection to you as an owner in many ways. Some cats will show a lot of love, while other cats will show less.
They have body language that you can pick up on that tells you how they are feeling. Licking your hand is one of the ways cats show affection for you.
However, cats licking your hand has meaning aside showing affection which is the general meaning given by some pet owners, I’ll be revealing to you more
reasons why cat licks your hands:
Some cats enjoy licking
The first thing that comes to most pet owner's minds when they hear people complaining about that cat licking is “Cats enjoy licking” because it's so obvious.
However, some cat owners won’t think of it at all because their cat doesn’t often lick and only licks hand based on circumstances like;
When a cat owner hand smells of good flavour.
It’s well known that the cat possesses a high sense of smelling and can perceive the smell of food or any flavour from a far distance. You’ll catch your cat licking your finger because this will surely attract him, but most cats are obsessed with what they eat and not just anyhow smell or taste.
So, when you see your cat licking your hand after your meal, drink or kitchen works, know he wants a taste.
Soap or Body Cream Attraction
Soaps and lotions smell nice and once your cat finds any of these two attractive, don’t be surprised at seeing her every day coming for finger-licking.
I discovered this from my new pet who always comes standing by the bathroom door when I’m bathing. Once I open the door, he starts jumping and licks all around. I guess cats are obsessed with soap and lotion because they are animal fat extracts.
Cat Bored or need attention
Generally, pets want you to treat them as part of the family.
Take for example during this festive season you and your family are hanging out, strolling, seeing a movie, familiarising and so many things abandoning your cat who’s companion year-round. Once you see your cat coming around and licking your hand, know that he needs your attention.
Another case is when pets notice you’re going out leaving them behind; they try getting along with you to get your attention.
Trying to communicate
Pets cannot speak, but their gesture means more than opening mouth to talk. Kitten are used to licking their parents when they’re hungry. Plus, taking a human baby as an example, he licks the mothers’ hand or sucks his fingers to communicate hunger.
Therefore, sometimes when your cat licks your hand, it might be due to hunger. Although I haven’t observed this in my cat, I’ve heard a friend say this.
Socialising or Showing Affection
As discussed earlier, the general belief of the cat's licking hand is a show of affection. However, I also thought of this as a possible motion.
When your cat got the attention needed, not hungry then technically there’s no reason to continue licking the hand if any of the aforementioned is the reason for licking.
Wicky is my cat, I’ve noticed even after having everything he still comes meet me at the couch licking my hands. So convincingly, I’ll say that he’s socialising and being affectionate for finger-licking.
Grooming and Cleaning you.
Once cats get addicted to you, they see you as their feline friend or family. Licking and grooming (allogrooming) are in cats nature when a cat gives birth; the mother usually licks the water from the kitten fur to get her clean.
Also, cats clean their fellow felines by licking them when they’re together, and as a result, it might interest your cat to lick hand when they start seeing you like a feline friend or family.
Just imagine when you see a friend in the neighbourhood who’s so caring and loving to you, hugging and spending quality time with them will always interest you.
Cats are kind of jealous. They tend to keep a mark to prove they’re in charge or possess a particular friend with their scent.
Licking your hand is a type of protection that exist in a cat when a cat grooms a feline friend there’s always a scent which is perceived by other cats as a message that the person is theirs.
So your cat may be signing you as his or hers while licking your hand.
Form of Dominance
In Cats family, grooming and licking is a way to show dominance over each other. The dominant cat begins licking the less dominant when in some case, the less dominant reciprocate.
Reasoning from this perspective, cat licking your hand sometimes is not showing affection but his dominance over you as a feline friend of the family.
Cats may enjoy Taste of your Skin
Concerning soap or lotion attraction, cats can fall in love with licking your hands. If your cat gets attracted easily to soap or body cream, the trace oil on the human hand and the lotion deposit will leave him with no choice than to be licking your hand.
Plus, not in all cases is about soap or cream but also the environment you work, if you’re a chef and your body always smell good, I strongly believe this can attract your cat to lick your hand often
The texture of your skin
Smooth, Glossy, or shiny objects attract some cats. If you noticed your cat loves chewing and licking objects of this texture, your smooth glossy skin texture on hand could be appealing to her.
When you notice your cat chewing, biting or licking objects like a plastic shopping bag, polythene bags or anything of such texture, be rest assured that sometimes he licks your hand due to the love he has for such texture.
Pets sometimes need a hug after a long walk or training session. That’s why you see them at times kneading or licking each other; an act that seems to be self-soothing and stress-reducing.
An example close to this scenario are kids sucking on a thumb; it’s self-soothing and relaxing. So, it's likely for your cat to feel safe and relax while licking your hand.
Pet lovers find them interesting in their day to day activities and are always willing to make them happy. Although, sometimes frustrating when you don’t understand your cat because they can’t speak to you but only give gestures.
Hopefully, I hope this helps you to understand more about this gesture of “Hand Licking”, and in case you’ve noticed more in your cat than we listed here, kindly drop the information in the comment box.