1. Social Bonding – If cats get along well, they will spend time grooming one another. They will help each other by grooming the hard-to-reach spots, such as inside the ears and the top of the head. Exchanging scents via grooming also increases the bond between two cats.
2. Safety – When your cat licks you, it is a sign that they feel comfortable and safe in your presence. They consider you a member of their family and reinforce this belief by cleaning you just like their own mother cleaned them when they were young.
3. Anxiety – Stress can cause some cats to lick compulsively. If your cat is licking himself or herself bald, that is a good indication that they are trying to find comfort and alleviate stress. Other compulsions may include licking fabric or plastic.
How to Stop Your Cat from Licking You:
1. Distract Them – Simple redirection can help stop your cat from licking your arm raw. When your cat is about to lick you, just distract them with a toy. Catnip-filled toys tend to work especially well as a distraction. Cat not a catnip fan? Try a treat-dispensing toy instead.
2. Interactive Play – Not only is playing with your cat great for bonding and slimming down, but the chemicals released during activity also help to alleviate stress.
3. Be Patient – Once your cat has developed a habitual habit like licking, retraining them can be a laborious and lengthy process. It is important to be patient with them as they adopt new behaviors and coping mechanisms for anxiety. But if you stay disciplined in your training, you can eventually cure your cat of their compulsive licking.