Cats and dogs can either be the greatest of friends or the fiercest of enemies. If you catch your cat licking your dog, get excited! It is a good sign that your cat is being friendly and likes your dog’s company. So, why do cats lick dogs?
Cats lick dogs as a way to show their affection and trust in them. Cats also lick dogs to gather their scent or to to groom them. Occasionally a cat may mistake a dog for a cat and lick them as a result.
A cat licking your dog can be one of the cutest experiences you’ll ever witness. However, if your dog is not to keen on that sort of close behavior, it might be something you want to address with your cat. We’ll share a few key reasons why cats lick dogs, and what you can do to help manage that behavior so both pets can coexist peacefully.
Five Reasons That Cats Lick Dogs
1. Your cat licks your dog to show affection or love.
2. Cats love to groom others and are trying to groom the dog.
3. Your cat has mistaken your dog for another cat and thinks he or she is licking another feline.
4. Your cat is licking your dog to mark his or her scent on the dog.
5. If you have a tiny dog, your cat licks the dog similarly to how they would lick a newborn kitten. This is a motherly instinct in cats.
Is It Normal For A Cat To Lick A Dog
Yes, it is very normal for your cat to lick your dog. Cats are natural groomers and are continually licking themselves or those around them. Grooming is a way cats act socially and often will only lick those who they feel comfortable around.
If your cat continually licks your dog, you can feel confident that your cat and dog have a healthy rapport and are happy to be cohabiting together in your home. There is no reason for concern in this situation that anything out of the ordinary is taking place when you witness this exchange.
What Does It Mean When A Cat Licks A Dog
Seeing your cat lick your dog is a good indicator that the two animals are getting along nicely. Cats are not typically friendly towards other cats or dogs they do not like, so the licking is an excellent signal that your cat is in a good mood and feels like they are friends.
If a cat is licking a dog, it is a sign that the cat has accepted the dog’s presence and is trying to show a display of affection or love. While cats and dogs are often portrayed as mortal enemies, you will find that this is often not the case.
The relationship between your cat and dog will always be a unique situation, but if a cat and dog are introduced together healthily, they often grow to be very fond of each other. Many factors impact how well the two animals will get along, including their sizes, ages, and temperaments. If you see a cat licking a dog or the dog licking a cat in return, you can feel good knowing the animals like each other.
Why Does My Cat Lick Then Bite My Dog
It is a natural inclination for cats to lick than bite while grooming. While we don’t fully know the logic behind why cats do it, we can build a hypothesis around what cats are trying to convey. Cats will do this with their babies or while grooming a friend to signal that they are not done with their grooming process yet.
Additionally, sometimes cats will bite a dog or a human to signal that they need space and are done with an activity. Your cat may nip at your dog to tell them it is time for some space. Conversely, though, sometimes cats also nip as a way of expressing they want to play together. If you witness your cat doing this with your dog, you will have to go off additional context clues to piece together your cat’s mood.
Why Do Cats Lick Dog’s Faces
Cats love to lick, as the act of licking stimulates endorphins in their brain. When a cat licks a dog’s face, it may be trying to catch the particular scent of your dog. Licking and getting ascent is a way that cats can identify both people and other animals around them.
This may be a way for your cat to confirm your dog’s identity. It also could just be that your cat is trying to lick your dog as a show of affection and arbitrarily licked in the facial area.
Why Do Cats Lick Dog’s Ears
Cats have a very good sense of smell, and they lick dog’s ears because they can smell earwax. The smell of earwax is a pleasant one for cats, so they are drawn towards the smell when they sense it on a dog.
Earwax is just composed of dead skin cells from the ear canal and fatty acids. Cats can detect this smell and use their sense of smell to guide themselves towards food, so they often lick a dog’s ear because they think the earwax could be a food source.
While earwax is not harmful to your cat if they ingest it, your dog will likely not like having your cat licking in their ear. If you witness this interaction taking place, redirect your cat’s focus towards a toy or a new activity to spare your animals from getting into a skirmish.
Things To Consider
While we would all hope our animals can live together harmoniously, this sometimes is not the case right away. If you are introducing a cat or dog to each other for the first time, there are some essential things to keep in mind, such as which animal was in your home first and each of the pets’ personalities.
In general, cats and dogs are more receptive to outsiders when they are younger. The older and more set in their ways your animals become, it does become increasingly difficult to bring a new animal into the home. This is not always the situation, but it is essential to know if you are trying to bring home a new pet.
When staging the first introduction, carefully watch your animal’s body language to see how each pet is receiving the other. Sometimes it is best to start with a concise introduction and gradually increase the amount of time the animals spend together. This is a form of exposure therapy, where the animals become desensitized to each other and become accustomed to sharing their home with the other.
How To Make My Cat And Dog Get Along
If you are struggling with animals that constantly fight or growl at each other, it is time to stage an animal intervention. Ensure the cat and dog are meeting up in a neutral space that isn’t overtly one of their territories.
It also can help to bring along treats or toys as a distraction, to take some of the pressure off of the situation. Increase their daily exposure to each other slowly over time, and allow them to sniff each other and familiarize themselves with the other.
If you continue to have no success with getting your cat and dog to become friends, do not despair. Sometimes it can take years before the animals will grow to accept each other. If they never do, make a plan to keep them in different parts of your home where they won’t bother each other.
Ensure you are bringing home a rescue animal to inquire if the cat or dog does well with other pets before bringing it into your home. Ultimately your end goal should be for both of your pets to feel happy and safe in their living environment.