Anybody that says cats are unaffectionate has not experienced the simple pleasures of a feline kiss. Cats have been known to show their love by kissing. Sometimes, they even kiss you on the mouth.
Why does a cat kiss you on the lips? Usually, they are imitating human behavior. Cats pick up certain habits from their owners. If your cat has watched you kiss your partner, they may copy the action. Likewise, a cat may kiss you because you have kissed them in the past.
Allowing or encouraging your cat to kiss you on the lips is not always advisable. Vulnerable people may be leaving themselves at risk of disease. Thankfully, there are many ways that you and your cat can show each other reciprocal affection.
My Cat Kisses Me on the Lips
Cats kissing owners is more common behavior than you may realize. If your cat chooses to kiss you on the lips, they’ve learned the behavior from somewhere. This is usually through observing your interactions. As cats and humans do not speak a common language, we communicate with our bodies. This means that your cat is imitating what you do.
Your cat may have watched you kiss your partner hello or goodbye at the door. Maybe you have even kissed your cat, before offering a treat or a nice, long scratch. This will trigger endorphins in your cat’s brain, and they’ll associate kissing with love and affection. This makes it a behavior they will be keen to emulate, as it will result in a reward.
This limitation does not begin and end with kisses. You may find that your cat uses its litter tray whenever you head to the bathroom. If you fix yourself a drink, your cat may lap from their water bowl. Felines, especially young kittens, take their cues from their owners. As far as your pet is concerned, you are another cat. This means that it will behave the same way as you, assuming you have lessons to impart.
Do Cats Kiss With Their Nose?
Cats use their noses for communication. Sometimes this is a kiss, and on other occasions, it’s a more sedate greeting. Either way, cats can tell a great deal about each other by rubbing noses. This will tell another feline where their companion has been, and what mood they are in. It is essentially the same as when dogs sniff each other’s behinds.
This behavior may be dubbed a kiss for two reasons, It’s a simple humanization of animal behaviors. If we see a cat rubbing noses, we assume it’s an ‘Eskimo Kiss’. In addition, though, kittens often nose at their mothers. This is because cats are born wholly blind. Until their eyes open, they rely exclusively on their noses to make sense of the world. This could mean that a kitten nudges their mother with their nose to show love. Alternatively, they may just be looking for food and warmth.
If your cat rubs their nose against you or butts heads with you, it’s fair to assume that it’s an act of affection. However, resist the urge to do the same. Your cat may not understand why you are suddenly placing your face so close to theirs. This, in turn, could lead to your pet becoming frightened and intimidated.
How Else Do Cats Kiss You?
Arguably the most common form of cat kiss comes through the eyes. Put simply, a cat will keep their distance and slowly blink while maintaining eye contact. This is a comparatively rare behavior, and one that should be taken as a huge compliment! Your cat is telling you that they’re content, relaxed and happy. Perhaps more importantly, they’re explaining that they consider you responsible for this level of comfort.
Alas, it’s possible to mistake the narrowed eyes of a feline on high alert for kisses. Never approach your pet after they offer a cat kiss through their eyes. They are expressing their affection from a distance for a reason. If you think that they just kissed you, respond in kind. Hold eye contact, and slowly blink. If your cat was kissing you, they’ll do so again and again.
How Else Do Cats Show Affection?
It’s not just kissing that cats use to show affection. They also demonstrate love for their owner through other methods.
- Learn What Your Cat’s Tail is Saying. Cats communicate through their tails a considerable amount. If they curl their tail upward, they are usually saying it’s nice to see you. If they rest your tail on your while sleeping, it’s also a sign of affection. Catological has more information on tail body language.
- Head and Face Rubbing is a Sign of Love. When a cat rubs their cheek against you, they release pleasure pheromones. When they rub the top of their head against you, they’re marking you with their scent. This is a cat’s way of showing you that they love you – and warning other felines that you belong to them.
- Cats Talk to the People They Love. If your cat is very vocal with you, it’s because they are showing affection. Cats don’t meow to each other. It’s a form of communication they developed exclusively for humans. Every meow, chirp or trill is your cat conversing. Naturally, purring is also a sign of relaxation and contentment in your company.
- Grooming is a Prime Cat Love Language. Cats demonstrate their affection for each other through grooming. These animals love to be clean. If a cat is unable to bathe themselves, a friendly feline will indulge them. The same applies to humans. If your cat licks you, they are grooming you. This essentially means that they are accepting you as part of their family.
And then, of course, your cat sticks around. Felines do not need humans the way other animals do. They choose to live with us. A cat that is unhappy will likely go for a wander and never return. If your cat insists on sitting on your, or close, it’s a sign of endearment.
Do Cats Enjoy Being Kissed by Humans?
As we have established, cats generally show their affection from a distance. This means that some cats may not enjoy such physical contact. It’s possible that a cat will be afraid if you try to kiss them. They may not recognize your behavior as an act of affection. In a worst-case scenario, they may fear that you are attacking them. That could end with bites and scratches. A light peck on the top of the head may be safer, at least to start with!
As always, it really depends on the temperament of the individual cat. Where feline affection is concerned, it’s always advisable to let the cat make the first move. Cats are very independent, and do not being crowded or coerced. Let your pet bond with you at their own pace. They will soon start demonstrating their love for you in a variety of ways.
Is it Unhygienic to Let Me Cat Kiss Me?
There are certain risks to allowing a cat to kiss you, especially on the lips. Whether you decide to encourage this behavior is at your discretion. However, you should be aware of the dangers.
Allowing your cat to kiss you on the lips could expose you to the following health problems:
- Bacteria. Remember, cats explore the world through their mouths. They also hunt rodents, who may be carrying all manner of disease. These bacteria could live within your cat’s mouth, and be passed onto a human. Serious bacterial infections passed between cats and humans include Bartonella (aka Cat Scratch Fever) and Salmonella.
- Toxoplasmosis. This parasite sometimes lives within cat bodies, and can cause blindness in vulnerable humans. It’s usually found in cat feces, meaning that regularly cleaning their litter tray minimizes the risk. However, cats may roll around in their litter, or even eat it.
- Ringworm. Despite the name, this condition is not a parasitic worm. Instead, it’s a fungus named after the spiral shapes it leaves on the body. Ringworm can be passed between cats and humans.
With all of this in mind, very young or older adults should avoid such contact. In addition, pregnant women or those with lower immune systems may also be at risk. The odds of catching something from your cat are relatively low. All the same, it always pays to be at least a little cautious.
Does Being Kissed by a Cat Have Any Health Benefits?
There are no direct health perks to being kissed by a cat. However, sharing a home with a feline pet can have substantial emotional and physical benefits. These include:
- Cats reduce stress. The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology claims that the presence of a cat in the family reduces stress levels in humans. As well as making your home happier, this also reduces the risk of heart problems.
- Cats help children develop stronger immune systems. The National Institute of Health confirms that babies raised alongside animals are less likely to develop allergies.
- Cats can help you sleep better. That’s according to some owners, who claim to sleep better with their pets in the bed. This is down to personal preference. Some people draw comfort from a cat’s body heat at night. Others find that felines, being nocturnal, disturb their sleep. You can judge for yourself.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need to kiss your cat to benefit from their presence. Sometimes, just having a feline companion in your life can be enough! If your cat enjoys kisses, however, and you’re safe about it, they can be a bonus.
I Don’t Like it When My Cat Kisses Me
If your cat kisses you on the mouth but you’d rather they didn’t, don’t scold them. Your pet is showing affection. Telling them off for this will confuse them, and potentially harm your bond.
If you wish to deter your cat from kissing your lips, consider these steps.
- Don’t kiss them. What is good for the goose must be good for the gander. Your cat will wonder why affection is a one-way street.
- Try wearing a different perfume or cologne. Cats have an incredible sense of smell, and this may deter them. Just remember that cats identify humans by scent. This means that the smell of our skin far overpowers any artificial aroma.
- Walk away when your cat starts to kiss you. Don’t rude about it. Gently place them down, walk away, and return after a moment or two. Your cat will quickly get the message and find another way to show you love.
- Distract your cat with a noise when they try to kiss you. Avoid using toys or treats as a distraction. If your cat associates attempted kisses with a reward, they’d do it all the more.
You know your cat the best, so you’ll find the best way to share emotion. Just don’t tolerate something that you do not feel comfortable with. Your cat will sense your discomfort, and wonder what is wrong. This could lead to more kisses, as they try to comfort and reassure you!
I Like it When My Cat Kisses Me
You don’t have to do anything. How you interact with your cat is entirely your decision. However, if you are going to let your cat kiss your lips you should follow some basic health and safety protocols.
- Ensure that your cat’s flea and worm treatments are up-to-date. Also, make sure that any vet-appointed vaccinations are updated.
- Brush your cat’s teeth regularly. This will help keep parasites and gum disease at bay.
- Keep an eye on your cat’s fur, brushing it regularly. This includes the fur around their mouths. If your cat has cat litter in its fur, do not let it kiss you.
- Don’t let your cat near your mouth if they have recently presented you with a dead mouse.
- Wash your face thoroughly after your cat has kissed you.
The easiest way of avoiding any pitfalls is to prevent your cat from kissing your lips. If you decide to let them, however, the advice above reduces much of the risk.
Cat kisses can feel like a rare treat, and it’s always a pleasure to receive them. If your cat decides to kiss you on the lips, react in whichever way you see fit! Just act with the appropriate caution, and never force your cat to express affection physically. Your cat will tell you that they love you in a variety of different ways. Sometimes you need to learn how to understand what they are telling you.