Why Does My Cat Lick My Eye – Is It Normal Behavior?

It’s always adorable to receive a kiss from your cat, but there are a few places you would probably rather not be licked. Your eye area or eyelids is probably high on that list due to the sensitive nature of the skin there. Some cats have a habit of licking in this spot. So let’s answer the question, why does my cat lick my eye?

Cats lick your eye area because they are verifying that you are their owner. Licking your eye is a way for cats to let you know they know who you are and that they recognize your scent. You should discourage this as cats can transmit diseases to humans through the eyes.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few reasons behind cats licking your eyes, what it means, and how you should handle the situation moving forward.

Reasons Cats Lick Your Eyes

Although eye licking may seem cute, it’s definitely a behavior you want to stop as it can be painful for you long term. Here are a few reasons to keep in mind why cats do this.

Your Cat Licks Your Eye To Say Hello

Cats know that licking their owner is a sure way to get their attention. The rough texture of a cat’s tongue is distinct enough it is difficult not to notice when a cat is licking you. Cats are wise creatures, so they use licking as a way to communicate with humans.

They Are Trying To Show You Their Satisfaction

Often cats will lick their owners to let you know they are pleased with something. You may notice they come over to lick you more frequently in the hours following their mealtime or when you spend time playing with them. Licking is one of their nonverbal cues to let you know they care about you.

They Are Trying To Keep You Clean

It is common for mother cats to lick their infants all over, including the eye area. The mother cats do this to help clean their infants and prevent eye infections. Your cat may have the natural tendency to do the same to you.

They Smell Salt On Your Eye Area

It sounds strange, but it is entirely true! Cats can smell the salt from our sweat and tears on our skin, and they may get close to your face to lick your eye region after you have just had a long crying session.

They Have An Anxiety Tick And Compulsively Lick

Some cats really cannot help themselves when it comes to compulsive licking. It may be licked to underlying anxiety your cat has or a compulsive habit they have developed over time. Usually, if this is the root cause behind their licking, you can pinpoint what the stressor is in your cat’s life, causing them to be compulsively lickers.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Licks Your Eyes

There are many different motivations behind why your cat may lick your eyes, but there is often no deep meaning behind why they do this. Cats love to lick themselves and their favorite people, and usually, all licking comes from a place of affection. 

What Does It Mean When A Cat Licks Your Eyelids

Cats may be drawn to lick your eyelids because humans secrete salt from their eyes when we cry or tear up, and they enjoy the salty taste. If you just finished a workout or came inside from a hot day, chances are you also were sweating, which also leaves behind a salty residue.

Cats can smell the salt and often lick in that area due to their attraction to the taste. Some cat owners who have a significant problem recommend giving your cat a salt lick to redirect them from licking your eyelids instead.

Why Does My Cat Lick My Eyes When I’m Sleeping

Your cat might lick your eyes while you are sleeping because they notice your eyes twitching while you are asleep. When you enter into the deepest part of your REM sleep cycle, it is common for people to have eyes or feet that involuntarily twitch.

If your cat is near you while you are sleeping, they may this change in your body language and come over 

and lick you to investigate the situation. 

Why Does My Cat Lick My Eyebrows

Cats are often drawn to lick eyebrows because the hair on our eyebrows reminds them of their fur. Cats recognize that their owners are not very similar to themselves, but the hair on eyebrows resembles fur, which feels familiar to them.

Cats love to rub their face and lick fur or other soft textures. It is an act of comfort for them, as it reminds them of their early days as a kitten when their mother would similarly lick them and their siblings.

Why Does My Cat Try To Bite My Eye

Your cat may try to bite your eye as a sign of their affection. They express their feelings very differently than humans do, and while it may be painful to you, they do not mean to hurt you with this bite. Often cats do this while you are cuddling or curled up together, and it is a goodwill gesture.

Why Does My Cat Bite My Eyelids

Cats that act out and bite your eyelids usually do so because they are in a playful mood and have too much pent-up energy. It is very typical for cats to pounce or give gentle nips while they are playing. However, it’s better when this behavior is directed at another cat or a toy and not at you.

Can You Go Blind If A Cat Licks Your Eye

It is improbable, but you could go blind if a cat licks your eye and they are infected with dangerous pathogens. This happened to one woman several years ago when she was infected with Bartonella henselae, a bacteria that can be transmitted through the saliva of cats.

Over 40 percent of cats will carry the Bartonella bacteria at some point in their life, so this is something to be mindful of when you let you cat lick you. However, it’s not typical for this to result in someone going blind.

If the infection is caught early on, a human will be put on antibiotics, which should relieve all symptoms. A person can only go blind from this if they are never put on antibiotics and the disease is caught much too late in the process.

You will tell if you are infected by this quickly, as symptoms appear reasonably quickly after exposure. You may notice lymph node swelling, fever, and local swelling.

Is It Ok To Let Your Cat Lick Your Face

It is better if your cat does not lick your face, but if they do, make sure to take action to clean yourself afterward. Cats are fond of licking their owners, so it isn’t easy to get them to stop doing this entirely, but cats can pass the disease on to their owners from their saliva, so you should discourage this behavior.

You want to make sure you and your cat are staying healthy if they are doing this. Letting your cat excessively lick your face is never a great idea, as cats can carry germs they can transmit to humans.

To ensure you and your cat both stay healthy, make sure you are taking preventative measures with their hygiene to keep them safe. As a human, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after playing with your cat. If your cat also licks your face, make sure to wash it afterward, as the germs are spread through a cat’s saliva.

For your cat, the best thing you can do is make sure they are regularly treated with their flea medication. Additionally, if you have an open wound or broken skin spot on your body, do not let your cat lick near there. Any open wound gives bacteria easy access to get inside your body.

Final Thoughts

While you may not hear about it frequently, cat scratch fever is an actual condition that can happen when an infected cat’s saliva gets in your eyes or into an open wound. While it might be rare, if a human does get this infection, it can become severe and result in severe bacterial infection or even brain damage.

To keep your cat from licking you, distract your cat by encouraging them to groom themselves instead. If they continue to try and lick you while sitting near them, stand up and remove yourself from the room until they move on to another activity.


Welcome to FAQCats! We are a team of cat owners and writers who love to write about everything related to cats. We strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about cats through extensive research and caring for our own fur-pals!

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