Why do cats lick and groom each other?

If you live in a multi-cat household like me, you’ve probably seen some interesting and puzzling things. Things a cat owner probably won’t see, unless they get another furball at home.

One of them is that cats lick and groom each other .


Even pets that don’t get along can start licking at some point or another. But if the two cats are siblings, friends, or even companions, then they will groom each other quite frequently.

In fact, you might even see a dominance pattern between them. For example, one of the cats could be grooming the other more frequently , thus dominating the grooming routine. Such a hierarchy is not common for all kittens, but it is not an extreme rarity either.

You probably know how “weird” it can be when your cat licks you with that “barbed” tongue. So why do cats seem to enjoy it when other cats are grooming them? After all, that sandpaper tongue can’t be nice to the touch, can it?

Well, cats like to groom each other . They are quite used to the feel of their rough tongues. Plus, they actively crave that feeling, especially when they’re in stressful situations. In those cases, you may see cats compulsively licking themselves or each other.

But today we are going to focus on the reasons why cats lick and groom each other:

Why do cats lick and groom each other?

The main reason for these actions is, of course, preparation. Kittens are well known for their self-cleaning urges.


Despite the fact that cats are very enthusiastic about maintaining their hygiene through grooming every day, they cannot clean all areas of their bodies . Sure, they use their legs to reach some points on the face and they have flexible bodies. However, they still cannot clean everything.

Sometimes they need the help of a friend, brother, or parent. This is the most common reason why cats lick each other. Having another cat’s tongue and teeth to untangle matted fur, remove dust particles, and comb stray fur is helpful.

If you notice one of the most popular places in this practice is behind the ears.


Cats don’t have to ask their companions to groom each other. It’s just a natural innate instinct for them .

Even if the cats aren’t that close, you could still see them lick each other from time to time. It’s puzzling and definitely contradictory, but this is how cats are when it comes to personal hygiene.

However, you should not leave all that work to your feline. You still have to bathe him, brush him, and take care of his teeth, eyes, and ears.



One of the many ways that cats show their affection to someone or something is through licking , just like dogs. Think of it as a kind of kiss.

Furthermore, grooming between two cats is also a bonding experience. They exchange scents, help each other clean difficult areas, and express how happy they are with each other’s company.

If you see your cats licking each other, don’t disturb them. Just sit back and enjoy her cuteness to the fullest. And maybe take some photos and show your friends how adorable they are.

Maternal instincts

If your female cat ever had a litter, you know that as soon as kittens are born, their mother starts licking them . At first she is removing all those gross things from their bodies. Then it is warming and calming them.

Some cats can lick each other out of maternal instinct. They will do so as a way to offer protection, comfort and tranquility to their feline companions.


Don’t judge your pets for licking each other, even if they go to their genitals. This is how kittens are. However, if you suspect they might be compulsively licking themselves, consult your vet. It’s always better to be an overprotective pet parent rather than a negligent one.

And don’t leave the whole fix to the kittens . Regardless of how well they do, they still need you for grooming, affection, protection, and general medical care purposes. And if they lick you or the rest of the people in your household, don’t punish them for giving you a rough or painful sensation. They just want to show you how attached they are to you. ( Discover other ways cats show their love for you )


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *