3 Reasons Why Your Cat Grooms and Licks Your Dog

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Does your cat have a strange fondness of grooming and licking your dog? There are a number of reasons that can explain this strange but cute behavior, and it is almost always a good thing as long as your dog doesn’t react negatively to the licking.

Your Cat is Showing Affection

Cats, by nature, like to stay clean by grooming themselves on a regular basis. Generally speaking, a cat licking a dog is a sign of affection. The dog is part of the cat’s peer group and the grooming is a way for the cat to create a social bond.

The Cat is Marking His Territory

The licking and grooming could also be a result of a cat marking his territory. The cat is licking the dog to show other potential cats who the dog belongs to. While this behavior is typically normal, you may start to come across problems if there are multiple animals in the house.

The Cat is Trying to Teach the Dog

While this might sound funny, a cat might also lick a dog if he is trying to ‘teach’ him how to groom. This is typically a memory your cat had when he was younger when his mother would have taught him to do the same thing.

Is it Safe for a Cat to Lick a Dog?

For the most part, there is no reason for concern, even if your cat is constantly licking your dog’s fur. The only occasions when you should be concerned would be if your dog is responding with aggressive signs (e.g. barred teeth), if your cat is starting to cough up more hairball than usual, or if your dog’s fur has some kind of substance that’s dangerous for cats. For example, the shampoo you use for your dog may be harmful for cats if ingested.


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