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Why Do Dogs Lick Cats? The Reason Behind This Odd Behavior

April 19, 2022

Why Do Dogs Lick Cats? The Reason Behind This Odd Behavior

Why does my dog lick my cat?

Most dogs love to lick objects and people for a range of reasons.

However, if you've ever seen a dog licking a cat, you may have been left wondering why on earth they're doing that. It certainly looks strange!

But as it turns out, there's actually a pretty logical reason behind this behavior.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasoning behind dogs licking cats and what it means for their relationship.

We'll also take a look at some of the potential benefits of this interaction. So read on to learn more about why dogs lick cats!

cat and dog under a furry blanket

Dogs lick cats to show affection

There are a few theories out there about why dogs might lick cats.

One of the most likely reasons why dogs lick cats is because they are trying to show affection. Dogs typically show affection by licking their owner's face.

So when they see a cat, they may automatically try to lick them in order to show that they care.

This is especially common in puppies who are still getting used to interacting with cats.

If your dog is constantly licking your cat, it may be time to have a talk with your veterinarian. They can help you figure out why your dog is doing this and how to stop it if it's becoming a problem.

golden retriever sniffing a cat held by a lady

Your dog wants to groom your cat

There are a few other reasons why your dog may lick your cat.

One possibility is that they are trying to groom them. This reciprocal behavior is a natural way for pack animals like dogs to interact with each other.

You may notice that your dog focuses on a spot on the cat's fur that is particularly dirty or matted.

beagle snuggling with a cat

Your dog likes the taste of your cat's fur

It might seem weird, but all dog owners know that dogs can enjoy some pretty strange flavors!

Some dogs will lick cats because they enjoy the taste of their fur.

Cats groom themselves regularly and often have a strong, distinct scent. This can be tempting for dogs who like to lick things!

dog and cat staring at something ahead while lying down

Your dog is trying to relieve stress

Another potential reason is that licking helps to relieve stress. If your dog is feeling anxious, licking may help them to feel better.

If this is the cause for your dog's persistent cat-licking, you will likely also notice that they have a habit of licking other objects, animals, or people too.

smiling Labrador with grey cat laid in front of him

Your dog wants to get your cat's attention

Of course, it's also possible that your dog is simply trying to get your cat's attention.

Dogs are very social creatures and often want nothing more than to be close to their loved ones.

If your dog starts licking your cat out of the blue, it's worth taking a closer look to see if there's anything else going on.

However, if your dog has been regularly licking your cat for some time and shows no other signs of distress or odd behavior, it may simply be because they want to develop their relationship with your cat.

Unfortunately for them, cats are not always as forthcoming when it comes to expressing affection as dogs are!

So next time you see your dog licking your cat, don't be too quick to scold them. There's a good chance that they're just trying to show their love.

cat and dog asleep

The benefits of your dog licking your cat

While it may seem gross or even dangerous, there's usually no need to worry if your dog licks your cat.

In fact, there are actually some benefits to this behavior! Take a look at some of the top ways your cat can actually benefit from being licked by your dog.

Improving the health of your cat's coat

Licking can help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on your cat's fur.

It can also help to distribute their natural oils, which can keep their coat healthy and looking shiny.

Reducing your cat's stress levels

As we mentioned before, licking can actually help to reduce stress levels.

The good news is it can have this effect on your cat as well as your dog.

This is because it releases endorphins, which have a calming effect. So if your cat is feeling anxious, letting your dog lick them may help to ease their worries.

Creating a bond between your cat and dog

Finally, licking can also help to create a strong bond between your cat and dog.

This is because it's a way for them to show their affection for each other.

So if you're looking for ways to help your cat and dog get along, this may be the answer!

While there are certainly some benefits to your dog licking your cat, it's important to keep an eye on their behavior.

If you notice that your dog is becoming obsessed with licking your cat or is doing it to the point of making them uncomfortable, it's best to consult with your veterinarian.

They can help you figure out what's causing the behavior and how to stop it if necessary. Otherwise, enjoy watching your cat and dog share a special moment together!

cat playing with dog

Help - my dog keeps licking my cat!

There's usually no need to stop this licking behavior unless your cat is becoming irritated or upset by it.

If you think your cat would prefer your dog to stop licking them (or at least to stop doing it so regularly!) then it might be time to use some redirecting strategies to discourage this behavior.

If you're finding that your dog is getting a little too enthusiastic with the licking, there are a few things you can do to stop it.

First of all, try to interrupt the behavior whenever you see it happening. Make a loud noise or give your dog a gentle tap on the shoulder to get their attention.

Then, redirect their focus to something else - like a chew toy or a game of fetch.

If you keep this up, your dog should eventually get the message that licking is not allowed.

Do you have any questions about why dogs lick cats? Let us know in the comments below! And if you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends and family who love their pets just as much as you do. :) Thanks for reading!

You might also enjoy Weird Things Your Dog Does and Why.

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