Why Do Cats Lick Themselves So Much?

It's true; cats are one of the cleanest animals on the earth. It's not because they are self-consumed and vain, though. In the same way chameleons try to blend in with their environment, cats keep themselves clean to eliminate all smell so they are "invisible" to potential predators. It's all about survival!


Well, how much time do cats spend bathing? It has been estimated that cats spend up to half of their waking hours cleaning themselves! That's a lot of time to spend bathing, and cats value every second of it. Through countless years of evolution, a cat's predisposition towards grooming has even emerged through certain body parts.

How Do Cats Groom Themselves?

The cat's tongue acts as the ultimate scrubber.
Today, cats have been blessed with all of the proper tools to groom themselves:
  • The Tongue- The most important tool a cat has is the tongue. Cats' tongues are rough and barbed, which helps them to scrape their fur of any nasty debris.
  • The Forepaw- The padded part of a cat's paw acts as a washcloth for a cat. This smooth, padded surface becomes wet with saliva and allows the cat to wash over the rest of his body.
  • The Teeth- For tougher problems, cats use their teeth to rustle out foreign debris. Between these three tools, cats are fully equipped to keep themselves clean.



Cats' licking habits have been passed down from generation to generation.
Grooming Has Been Passed Down Through the Generations
When a baby kitten is born, the mother will lick her child in an attempt to soothe, clean, stimulate, and indicate feeding time. Also, anytime a kitten leaves and comes back to the nest, the mother will lick him to reapply the scent of home on him. From the very beginning cats learn that licking is a very important form of communication and action inside of the feline world. By 4 weeks old, kittens are grooming themselves, and by adulthood, they are spending up to half of their waking hours licking!


Some cats who are especially fond of their owners may even take to licking people. This is just a sign of affection.

Should You Groom Your Cat?
In certain circumstances, cat owners should take control and help their cat get clean. Mostly, this applies to cats that don't particularly like to groom, especially stinky cat, cats that are having problems with fleas. For cats, fleas can often be a very harmful problem. This is because cats that do have problems with fleas can't get in control by themselves; they need your help.

One of the most important tools for getting rid of fleas is Bayer. Bayer Flea and Tick Control is proven to be 98-100% effective within 12 hours of application! For these cats, there are a number of products that will help keep a feline clean, happy, and healthy.

By: Tim Snyder