The Sphynx cat is famous for its hairless appearance, affectionate nature, and a tendency for goofy behavior. If you own a Sphynx, you are well aware that these cats do many silly things including licking their people.
If this happens a lot, you have probably wondered why your cat feels the need to lick you raw!
So, why does your Sphynx cat licks you? There are several reasons why your Sphynx licks you. In most cases, it’s your cat’s way of showing affection. It might also be that you taste so good that your cat is compelled to lick you. Licking can also be a sign that your Sphynx is anxious, stressed out, or has an underlying medical problem.
This is a rather short answer, but it will help you get an idea of what is causing your Sphynx cat to lick you. Continue reading if you want to understand why does your Sphinx licks you and how to discourage this behavior without offending your kitty.
1. Bonding Time
Social grooming by licking is a common behavior between cats who are familiar and friendly towards one another. Known as “allogrooming” this behavior strengthens their bond and it helps create a familiar scent that identifies the group.
All cats, including your Sphynx, depend on scent as a means for identification. So when your cat licks you it means that she is bonding with you and that you are now a part of her inner circle.
2. You Smell And Taste Nice
It may seem a bit weird at first, but some Sphynx cats like to lick their owners because they taste nice.
The natural ingredients found in human perspiration and the salty flavor can be appetizing to some cats. Thus, making your Sphynx addicted to the taste of your skin and compel her to lick you all the time.
Keep in mind that Sphynx cats can also be attracted to the smell of a skin lotion or medical ointments that you are currently using.
However, most of these products can be harmful and topical medications that use corticosteroids are toxic to cats if ingested. If you regularly use skin lotions or topical medication talk with your vet to ensure there is no risk for your Sphynx if she licks some.
3. Your Sphynx Is Marking You As Her Territory
Sphynx cats like all other felines use pheromones to mark their territory. But what most people don’t know, is that cats have other means besides urinating and spraying to mark things.
Head rubs and licking are more affectionate and less smelly ways for your Sphynx to mark you as her property.
When your Sphynx licks you, she is showing you and other cats how important you are to her.
You have probably noticed that other cats don’t find you interesting and keep their distance after your Sphynx licked you. This is because they smell that you belong to another cat and that you are already a claimed territory.
4. It’s Time For A Bath
Cats are exceptionally clean animals and are notorious for being meticulous about their grooming routine. Sleeping and grooming are two things most cats are obsessed about, and your Sphynx can spend a better part of her day licking her suede skin until is completely clean.
But sometimes, your cat will use her superior grooming skills to make you look and feel clean. This doesn’t mean that your Sphynx thinks you are dirty, so don’t take it the wrong way!
Since cats are social groomers they love to lick members of their family and your Sphynx wants you to stay healthy and clean.
Note that most cats have the need to lick off any sign of imperfection and your cat may confuse a mole for a piece of dirt. Hence, stay vigilant and ready to stop the licking routine at any time if it’s hurting you in any way.
5. Cry For Attention
The Sphynx is an attention-seeking cat and will use every trick in the book just to make people look and admire her antics. They are also extremely affectionate and will think of creative ways to spend more time with their people.
As far as your Sphynx is concerned, licking and sometimes biting is a great way to get your attention. Sometimes this might mean that your Sphynx wants to play or be petted, or she just wanted you to bear witness to her silly antics.
6. Anxiety And Stress
Some Sphynx cats start to lick and groom themselves to relieve stress and anxiety which can result in skin irritation. While most cats lick themselves in stressful situations, your cat may also lick you as a way to comfort herself and relieve anxiety.
In these situations, it is very important to figure out what is causing your cat’s anxiety and remove the stressor as soon as possible. But if your cat continues to lick excessively, you should consult your vet to rule out any underlying medical problems.
7. Sign Of Affection
This one is pretty obvious, don’t you think? While we tend to stick with cuddles and kisses to show affection, cats like to lick people they love!
Although being licked by a Sphynx isn’t a pleasant experience due to the scratchy tongue, this is the way your cat shows affection. And at the end of the day, knowing that your cat loves you is all that matters!
How Much Licking Is Too Much Licking?
Sometimes, Sphynx cats can start to lick way more than it’s normal. However, figuring out that your cat is going overboard may be tricky.
However, there is a point when licking becomes excessive and unhealthy. Thus, it is very important that you pay attention to how much time your Sphynx is spending licking you or herself.
If your cat spends 30 minutes or more per session licking you or herself, you should be concerned! Excessive licking can result in bald patches and since Sphynx cats don’t have a coat their skin can easily become irritated.
In the worst-case scenario, your cat can create wounds on her skin, which can bleed or get infected!
So, if you notice that your Sphynx is licking more than usual you should try to stop her and take her to the vet to be checked out.
How To Get Your Sphynx Cat To Stop Licking You?
Since licking is most often a sign of affection and love, it can be difficult to teach your Sphynx to stop without jeopardizing your relationship!
Here are a couple of things you can try:
- Applying a bitter spray to your skin can discourage your Sphynx from licking you. However, your cat may start to associate the unpleasant experience with you, which can be problematic.
- You can try to redirect your cat’s actions if you are uncomfortable with being licked. So if your cat likes to lick your hand, move it and start petting or cuddling your cat so she enjoys petting and forgets about licking.
- When nothing works, it is best that you simply walk away once the licking becomes excessive. In time your Sphynx will associate licking with you disappearing and will stop doing it.
Note, you should never punish your cat in any way to get her to stop licking you! This will make your Sphynx scared of you and can lead to behavioral problems.
Why are Sphynx cats so affectionate? The Sphynx is one of the most affectionate cat breeds due to its loving and playful nature and people-oriented personality. Besides, this hairless cat is always in pursuit of warmth and loves to be close to its people.
Do Sphynx cats smell? While you will hardly find a cat that smells bad, the Sphynx is an exception due to the lack of coat. Being a hairless cat, the Sphynx is prone to oily build-up which may result in an unpleasant odor. However, regular bathing will keep your Sphynx clean and smelling great.
Do Sphynx cats like to cuddle? Sphynx cats are one of the most lovable felines and they especially like to be petted and cuddled. The Sphynx will jump in any empty lap, curl, and expect to be cuddled for hours on end. If you are looking for a cuddly lap cat, the Sphynx is the best choice.