I had a couple of human questions I have decided to address this month. Not that I really have any answers. But it’s the humans’ fault for asking silly things.
I have two awesome cats. Floppy has been with me since he rescued me nine years ago and about a year ago my wife and I adopted a kitten, Lady Grey from a local rescue. She loves to play, as we would expect from a kitten, but she does have one strange habit; she loves to lick our fingers and noses. If your hand gets near her head for any length of time she will start licking and won’t stop until you take it away. I can find nothing on the internet to let me know if this is normal or a problem of some sort, and Floppy has never done this. Our vet says Lady Grey is in great health, so it wouldn’t appear to be a problem but any advice on this would be most appreciated.
Honestly, I would pass this question along to Binga because she does the same thing but she does not see anything unusual about it. And while there are a lot of human-created theories, there is no real answer. Some so-called “experts” believe that cats develop this habit if they were weaned too early as kittens, which does not explain the cats who do this who after many years, still live with their feline moms (I ran across this scenario when I was searching for an answer for your question). Binga does it because she gets positive reinforcement from the humans for doing so. She used to accompany her incessant licking with a good, solid bite now and again, but since she did not get positive reinforcement for that, she does not bite as often… although I notice that the humans tend to keep her away from their noses. The licking thing, I would say (at least in Binga’s case, and in the case of many other cats who lick) is 50% affection, 40% compulsion and 10% because you just finished eating something tasty. As long as Lady Grey seems happy with her routine and has not gravitated towards any bad habits such as sucking on fabric or eating strange things (which could indicate a medical problem), I don’t see a problem here.
For the record, I do not lick my human. She tastes icky.
Do you know why after my cats poop, they run around the house like insane cats — flattening themselves out, crazy eyes, circle jumps… they don’t do that when they pee. Thank you for any insight into this funny but strange mystery.
You mean humans don’t do this? I think that is a more curious habit — not dashing around exuberantly after using the facilities. A little uptight, are you? No sense of fun? I don’t get human bathroom habits at all — the whole shutting the bathroom door thing, not using litter, the flushing in lieu of proper covering up… it’s all so quirky and does not seem at all natural. I think you humans should look into your own bathroom habits before judging ours!
Seriously, there is no answer for your question. At least none that would be understandable to humans. It is perfectly natural behavior for a lot of kitties and something we never thought of questioning ourselves. As long as your cat has normal bowel movements (not too soft or too hard), does not seem in pain, does not stop to lick himself frequently in between mad dashes (which indicates either pain or perhaps one of those annoying cling-ons), and uses his litter box and not some random spot, then he is just being himself. If you ever do suspect anything is amiss, ask a vet.
Yup, licking is a form of grooming – which is a form of bonding – and it is a form of scent mingling – aka making you smell like the clowder. The licker loves you. Not to say the non-licker doesn’t.. some cats just don’t feel the need to do it.
as for the nibble – it is a grooming thing. If a kitty licks a friend and feels something unusual they’ll nibble it off.. good for ticks on your feline brother, not so much for a knuckle on your human’s hand..
Hahaha! I was laughing at the “poop run” question! We refer to that as “ass burn” in our house. I’m not sure why or how that started, but I think we have always said that when the cats go nuts after pooping.
Emma and Buster says
Very clever answer kittehs. Enlightening.
Buster used to lick catpapa when we first got him, but it went away quickly. As you said, humans taste icky 🙂
The Island Cats says
Haha! I run like my pants are on fire after I use the facilities. And my mom just doesn’t understand why. Well, I’ll tell you why….because it feels good! That’s it!!
Of the seven, the only one who does “zoomies” after using the litterbox is my senior kitty Bean. Being a senior citizen myself, I can only dream of “zooming” after using the porcelain fixture. Frankly, I would like to be able to “zoom”, period. I think we humans are just jealous of the “joie de vivre” that cats exhibit over the simplest things and for no reason at all–just because it feels good! Sparkle, we can learn a great deal from kitties. I know that my napping skills have really ramped up from observing feline somnolence.
Humans get obsessed by some very strange things!!
I am one of those cats that like to run around with my pants on fire after using the box! 🙂
Random Felines says
Ivy is a mad licker….and she was with her mom until she was 10 weeks old (we know – her mom was a foster here too). Of course, if you REALLY want Ivy to lick, put on lotion….does it every time. Maybe it is a weird girl thing.
~the boys of Random Felines
Cats of wildcat woods says
We loved the comment you left today. Our kitties do both of your issues – run like a maniac after using the litterbox and lick all the time – just crazy quirks.
Well for silly human questions those were great cat answers!
Texas, a cat in New York says
Well, at least the humans thought about asking you, even if there’s little hope they will ever understand us.
Sparkle, you have very good points about human’s bathroom habit. LOL!
My Goro ofter dashes after poop time. He becomes insane kitty 🙂
“Big Bad Baby Twinkle Ass-Tootlee sez “Kats run arownd like krazee after they use da littah bokks becuz their rear ends have been lightened CONSIDERABLY!!! Um.. Meowmie, can yoo kleen dat up pleez? Thankyew..!””
She also sez, in answer to Kewschun #1 – “NOOOTHING dat Kats do iz normal!!!”
Riverfront Cats says
We get the same questions. Your answers are great and entertaining. We let callers and readers know licking isn’t bad. Dogs lick too right? So take it as sign of affection.
Glogirly & Katie says
Sparkle your *poop* answer is FABULOUS!!! Spot-on. I bet they humans would have WAY more fun doing it our way.
I just have one thing to add for Glogirly’s benefit. â€“Get your OWN litter.
; ) Katie
9 licks me! It’s how he first convinced me to adopt him. Not that I needed a lot of convincing, but he did. I found it adorable. And he never bites me when licking me 😆
Layla Morgan Wilde says
How about asking Binga? Licking is about scent-bonding unless the human just made a tuna fish sandwich 😉
My late brofur, Feisal, used to do the “Mad Litter Box Dash” after he pooped quite a bit. DadKatt would do his voice, yelling, “I’M FREE!” or “I’M FREE OF ****!” and he & MomKatt would just laugh. Maybe some kitties like being “lighter” so much they can’t help themselves? MOL!
Licking. Ohhhh yes. MomKatt was interested in reading that. My sisfur, Sasha, will lick the skin off my hoomans’ arms if they let her. Then again, she’s Siamese & she does the wool-sucking thing too. Purr-sonally, I think she’s just got a simple oral fixation. Like smokers.
Ohh BB, the orange boy, does the licking and biting thing. Usually if he is sitting in a lap he will grab the nearest hand, take a bite and then lick, lick, lick until the nhand finally goes away – he’ll keep at it as long as the hand is there. I don’t mind the licking, it’s the biting that’s a problem – he’s a bitey boy!
Fuzzy Tales says
#2 made our human laugh! We do that, and she figures it’s because we just feel better, feel lighter. LOL. But Nicki does use the area rugs for toilet paper quite often, as he will have those pesky cling-ons. Gross.
Small Town Mommy says
Our cat is a big licker. Since he is also a big purrer I always figured it was just affection (although he does like when someone eats something tasty).
Katie Bella says
YOu know, mom said I have done this on occasion. She wondered about it and too, I scatter litter like mad as I leap out of the box.
#2 is hysterical. We especially liked your answer. Some of us do that little trick every now and then but there is usually a reason and we won’t go into details. Have a great day.
Cherry City Kitties says
We don’t zoom yet, but we imagine it’s because of some kind of “release” MOL!
Harry, Dexter and Tipp
Madi and Mom says
Sparkle what excellent questions!!
#2 cracked us up!!! I think the kitties are trying to escape the smell!!
Thanks for the MOL
Hugs Madi your BFFF
As for #2 Lucy runs around like crazy before and after…. I have to say it looks like fun… Maybe us humans are missing out on something…
The Kitties of Purring Pines says
Great advice Sparkle. Sometimes we zoomie after we poop … It’s just fun!
Hannah and Lucy says
Hannah covers up in her box too well – she scatters the litter all over the floor which is ouchie for Mum when she has nothing on her feet. We have an outside sand latrine which Lucy prefers to use – Mum just rakes it over and picks up any solids and flushes away and the rain takes care of any pee. Mum doesn’t use either of these which we find rather strange!!
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx
Fur Everywhere says
Carmine has anal gland problems, and one of the things the vet has told me to watch for in between his regular gland expressions is if he licks his bum or scoots it on the floor. That can often mean the glands are too full and need expressed sooner.
I have noticed sometimes the kitties will use the box and then run around like maniacs. I just figure they feel lighter, LOL!
Andrea and the Celestial Kitties says
MOL, that running around like a mad cat after using the box.. That’s my Star all over! She has always done this. Leo does not. Star is getting up there in age and will walk up the stairs at a slower rate, careful of every step. Until after she’s been in the box, then she ZOOMS! We always tease that it’s because she feels lighter! Or that she’s trying to escape the smell, hee hee. Honestly, it’s just kitty silliness! Lots of cats do that!