What Do Your Pet’s Kisses Mean?

The Reasons for Pet Kisses

Cat and dog kisses are the best!  But, are they doing it because they love us?

Happily, yes! But there are other reasons too. 

Cats and dogs get lots of œlickings when they are young.  So licking us can mean they’re secure with us as a part of their family”they’re keeping us clean and claiming us as their own!  For dogs, it might also be a gesture of submission, saying we’re the leaders of the pack.

They’re marking us by adding their scent.  Cats in particular lick each other as a form of social bonding.  Licking is their way of petting, so the next time you’re covered in dog slime or roughed up by a cat’s sandpaper tongue, consider yourself  loved.

Some other reasons that you might not have considered:

  • Cats who were orphaned at a young age or weaned too early will often develop the habit of licking you to approximate the soothing comfort that nursing would have provided.
  • Dogs and cats may also lick obsessively when anxious.  At those times, some extra affection on your part can go along way to calming your pet’s nerves.
  • Dogs get a release of endorphins in their brains from licking you, so they literally feel comfort and pleasure.
  • To a dog,  your sweaty, salty skin tastes pretty yummy.
  • Licking can also be a dog’s invitation to play.

It’s important to note though that excessive licking of themselves by either a dog or cat can be an indication of a medical/ behavioral issue.  If your pet is losing fur in the area being licked, seek assistance from your veterinarian.

—can we set this off maybe somehow—like a fun fact?


Did you know?

A cat’s tongue is constructed of little backward facing hooks (called papillae) that’re made of the same material as their claws and are designed for removal of loose fur dirt?  No wonder it feels like sandpaper when they lick us!




Why Do Cat’s Lick You?
Why Does My Cat Lick Me?
Why Do Dogs Lick?