While it may seem like very peculiar behavior, cats sometimes lick their owners’ hair to remove any unwanted scents from the area.
In other words, this is often a territorial issue in which your cat might be trying to cleanse their surroundings and remove any scent that does not belong in its own territory.
But that’s just one reason…
You see, Grooming is a bonding exercise for cats and it’s likely that your cat thinks of you as part of their family.
On the other hand, maybe your hair just smells good all the time and your cat enjoys the taste.
In this article, we consider the importance of grooming and why your cat might be licking your hair.
The Importance of Grooming and Why Your Cat Licks Your Hair
In order to better understand why your cat is licking your hair, we can look at reasons why cats enjoy grooming in the first place.
As a rule, there are three reasons why cats like to groom one another.
- Health – Cats groom so often in order to keep their fur and skin healthy. Just so you know, cats spend at least half of their waking hours grooming in one form or another.
- Instinct – It’s natural for cats to clean. From the beginning, kittens are shown the importance of grooming by their mother. What’s more, some cats are more social than others and hence, groom more often.
- Stress – Grooming is believed to reduce stress for cats in the same way that some humans find the process of cleaning to be therapeutic.
Now, let’s consider why your cat might be licking your hair.
Cats have a tendency to groom other cats when they have a bond with them.
As you know, cleanliness is very important to cats, and they know that other cats appreciate the act of grooming.
It’s also a common sight, for how often have you noticed a cat licking the neck or head of another?
On the other hand, this grooming is often extended to humans when cats consider them “family”.
That’s right, your cat is most likely licking your hair because they see you as a close member of their family.
If you wanted to attach some meaning to the exercise, you might say that your cat is licking your hair because they want to clean you as a means of demonstrating how much they care about you.
Grooming is not a bad thing.
However, you might not necessarily enjoy this kind of attention and wondering how to stop your cat from licking your hair.
How to Stop Your Cat from Licking Your Hair
You see, a gentle push is more likely to communicate affection rather than annoyance.
Moreover, almost any attention is considered affection to cats and unlikely to stop them from licking your hair.
For this reason, it’s important not to touch or talk to your cat while this is happening and simply pull your head away any time he/she tries to lick your hair.
Instead of sending “mixed” signals, moving away will communicate clearly that you do not wish to interact in this way.
You should know that cats are very quick to leave a situation in which they do not feel comfortable or satisfied.
That is to say, if they feel ignored, they are much more likely to walk away.
But what if your cat continues to lick your hair?
Believe it or not, some owners choose to dissuade their cats by using citrus-based hair products – an ingredient that cats do not like.
It’s true, cats really detest the smell of citrus and this is often enough to stop them from licking your hair.
At the same time, that’s not to say there must be a higher meaning of some sort.
In other words, your cat might just enjoy the faint taste of whatever hair products might be in your hair.
What’s more, cats enjoy affection from time to time and if they receive affection in return for licking your hair, this can potentially encourage them to continue or repeat this process in the future.
Every cat is different and some are just downright strange.
Unless this behavior is really starting to bother you, it’s best to ignore the issue and feel grateful to be considered part of the family.