Cats can have the weirdest fetishes. If you have had a cat for a while, you would have probably noticed their unusual behavior with certain things. One of them is your cat liking your toes. There must be some sort of science behind this, because some cats seem to do this more often than others. So why does your cat lick your toes so often?
In this article, we will discover the mysterious reasons why your cat may find your toes so interesting to lick. We will also give you a few tips to stop it from doing so if you do not enjoy this action.
Why does my cat lick my toes?
It is time to solve this mystery. Cats actually lick all sorts of body parts, such as earlobes, hands, face and well, even toes quite fondly.
Experts have different opinions on this, many of them think cats do it for affectionate reasons, while others think that your cat is trying to show you signs of it being unwell.
They are not wrong: when a cat is unwell, it can behave in a very unusual manner. They are really good at hiding sicknesses though, but if you observe well enough, you will find signs of sickness.
If you suspect that your cat is licking your toes because it is not well, then you must take your cat to the vet at once.
As for the 99% of cases of toe-licking by cats, let’s take a look at the reasons it may happen to you.
Reasons your cat may lick your toes
Here are the various reasons your cat may be addicted to licking your toes, and some of them may not be as pleasing to hear.. Just saying.
They are harmless, however, unless you find out that your cat is sick, for which you should get medical attention.
This seems to be every cat’s strong suit. They can fight with each other on the smallest of things, simply because they want their ‘own thing’.
If you have more than one cat in your house, be ready to face territorial issues by constantly licikng of your toes.
But why does it lick the toes specifically?
Well, If they lick the toes, the saliva will spread on the area, and even though it dries almost instantly, it is a way for the cat to mark its territory on you.
It is their way of saying ‘This person is now mine’. Your cat does not want to share with you.
Showing affection to you
You may be wondering, what an unusual method of showing affection, right?
But that is just what the cats are programmed to do. Why would they try to mark their territory over you if they did not like you?
Your feet are the first thing your cats see about you before they tilt their head up and look at your face.
So in short, licking is not just associated with canines, but cats can lick their owners’ toes if they are feeling too affectionate.
This will also help your bond improve, and what cat owners do not want that?
Have you ever seen 2 cats licking each other’s fur? They do this to keep each other’s fur clean and to help when one can not reach a certain area to groom.
If you just have one cat at home, then it may lick your toes when it comes near you, especially if there is some dirt on them.
Cats, being super clean themselves, think that keeping their owner clean is a good thing, which is also an explanation for them licking other parts of your body sometimes.
Young cats also attempt to groom their owners’ feet and toes to learn how to groom themselves.
While grooming is a trait that is passed on from the mother to the kitten, it is only done to someone a cat considers itself close to.
And if that is you, you just got a great compliment from your feline!
Feeling anxious or stressed
One reason for your cat licking your toes excessively could be the feeling of stress or anxiety.
Licking actually releases hormones of happiness, which causes the depletion of cortisol which handles stress and anxiety.
So the more cats lick, the more they feel at peace and happy, especially when they are in their safe space.
If you find your cat licking your toes too much because of stress, then you should get it checked by the vet.
There are also a few ways you can try to minimize the licking from stress.
There are certain sprays and non-toxic chemicals which you can spray around the house. These will make your cat feel the same way as licking your toes does, only through smells.
Your feet taste different
This is unusual for us humans, but cats like to lick skin that has dried sweat on it. In fact, even if you have anything unusual on them, your cat may be tempted to lick it off them.
The reason for this is that cats sometimes enjoy the different and interesting flavors. Dried sweat has a salty flavor, so your cat may want to lick the whole flavor off of your foot.
However, it is not always the different ‘flavors’. Every person has their own unique scent, so if your cat loves you, it will try to take in your scent and enjoy it.
Brings out their hunting capabilities
Have you ever woken up during the night and seen your cat trying to lick and bite your feet at the same time?
Cat owners say that their cats tend to bite their feet at night all while licking because of their instincts.
It is similar to when you bring their favorite toy in front of them, and you watch them pounce and try to grab it with their mouth.
So if you move your feet a lot at night, then your cat can mistake it for a living thing and try to pounce, play and lick it.
It may also scratch unintentionally, but this does not mean it is trying to harm you!
How to stop your cat from licking your toes?
Now that we are well aware of all the possible reasons your cat may lick your toes, we understand that this cute but unusual action may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
In that case, here are some ways you can stop your cat from licking your toes.
The first thing you can do is apply something on your feet to discourage your cat from licking your toes.
This could be anything sour, salty, etc, but make sure it does not contain harsh chemicals and is not toxic.
A good example of such a substance is lemon juice, fruity scents, or any other citrus smells, as cats are not a big fan of them.
But this may not work great if your cat likes to experiment with different flavors like we mentioned the saltiness from the sweat.
So in this case, you can try to be verbally discouraging whenever it approaches your foot to lick your toes.
Instead, show it an alternate spot that you are okay with having licked, or try to introduce it to a different habit altogether.
But keep in mind that your cat is only licking your toes out of goodness and trust. With such an intimate gesture (for the cat) it only opens up with a few people in its lifetime.
In conclusion, why exactly does your cat lick your toes? For a weird habit like this, many reasons cause it.
Your cat may lick your toes because of its affection for you, it may be feeling anxious or stressed during that time, or if it is a kitten it could be testing its grooming capabilities.
Cats are also protective of their territory with other cats, and if they lick your toes, then they count you as their territory.
This action is done solely out of love for their owner and because they trust you, they do not want to share you with other cats at home.
Moreover, cats have natural hunting instincts, so when you are someone who moves their toes a lot while sleeping, they may be tempted to lick and sometimes even bite, so do not be surprised!
Lastly, if you do not like the constant licking, you can train your cat to not lick your toes and develop an alternate habit instead.
You can also deter it from licking by applying an unpleasant substance on your feet so your cat is discouraged from approaching you.
Finally, your cat licking your toes is nothing to worry about! But in 1% of the cases, it can be a hidden disease waiting to be diagnosed. So if you are worried about this, take your cat to the vet for a routine check up.
Cats show strange behaviour such as sleeping between legs, moving its kittens, scratching mirrors, tail hitting, bedroom door waiting, eye sniffing, chin biting, black boogers, foot standing, back jumping, sighing, peeing in the bathtub and toe licking may actually have solid reasons behind. Its important we educate ourselves about possible reasons and then act timely for any fix.