Are you here because your cat likes to lick your ear too? Well, you’ll be glad to know that your cat isn’t the only one who does this. Many cat owners constantly find their cats licking their ears, even while they’re asleep. So why exactly does your cat lick your ear? Is it just an unusual fetish, or is there actually reasoning behind it?
This article will clear all your doubts about your cat licking your ear, and possibly improve the bond between you and your furry friend!
Why does my cat lick my ear?
While there are different reasons as to why cats may lick your ear, most of them share the same ground. So if you see your kitty licking your ear quite often, it is most likely one of these reasons:
That’s right. Just like your thumb prints are different from every other person out there, your earwax smells different too.
Cats can taste well, but they can smell even better. It usually approaches your ear through your earwax’s smell, after which it will start licking.
This is comforting for them, because your earwax odor can let them know you are around them.
Let other cats know you are theirs
Cats are possessive. As a cat owner, there is no surprise there.
So when they lick your ears, they will also stay close to you and cuddle, maybe even purr while licking.
These actions pass their body scent to your body, letting the other cats know that you are theirs.
For this reason, cats think that ears are a good spot for licking. And of course, for the earwax too.
Why the ear?
Out of all the other places your cat could lick you, why does it choose the ear?
It’s the earwax. Cats apparently go crazy for the smell and taste of earwax. This is unusual to us humans, especially when you see that earwax smells like nothing to us.
Earwax is mostly made up of ear excretions, dead cells, fatty acids, and hair. Cats can mostly smell the fatty acids, so they may lick your ear to have the fatty acids.
They may even lightly nibble your ear in the process of licking, which is normal.
If you have more than one cat, then maybe you’ve noticed the cats licking and grooming each other’s ears, just like they do with the human’s ears. They are trying to get those proteins and fats!
Also, your feline friends can smell anything slightly covered with earwax, so it’s best to keep your earphones away from their reach!
Besides this, don’t forget to keep the trash covered if you just used a q-tip to clean your ears, or your cats may go after those as well.
What does your cat mean when it licks your ear?
Cats love their owners very much. They can’t say anything in our language though, which is why they find alternative ways to show their love.
This can be in different forms, like licking the earwax from your ears, licking your face, licking your hand, or even your feet.
So if your cat does this to you, that just means they love you and trust you!
But if your cat doesn’t do this, that does not mean it doesn’t love you, rather it may just not be as interested in licking earwax like other cats.
After all, every cat is different and has its ways of showing affection to its owner.
How to stop my cat from licking my ear
Your cat licking your ear should be a big compliment for you since cats are very rarely vulnerable and trusting around others.
But it can be an uncomfortable feeling if you don’t like the feeling of licking on your ears, and let’s be honest, it’s annoying when you’re ticklish or when you wake up in the middle of the night because your cat licked inside your ear.
Here are a few ways you can try to reduce the ear licking:
Train your cat
Training your cat to avoid licking altogether is a great option if you are uncomfortable. Especially if your cat is still young because they can learn and adapt to training easily.
If you want to establish strong boundaries with your cat about ear-licking, you should start by showing your cat that you are uncomfortable.
It can be hard not to give in looking at those big innocent eyes, but you can’t train it if you are not firm enough.
Express your dismay verbally but very gently, and when it attempts to lick your ear again, simply move or turn away.
It doesn’t take an extreme level of smartness for your cat to understand that you don’t like this gesture.
Dispose of your q-tips appropriately
If you’re training your cat to avoid licking your ear, then it also makes sense to keep them away from earwax.
This means that you have to be a bit more careful while discarding your q-tips, wax candles, or other earwax-removal materials. You can either toss them in a bin with a lid, so your cat can’t reach it, or you can just wrap it up in a tissue or plastic bag and throw it away.
This small step can help your cat avoid the earwax licking habit, as well as keep it safe from ingesting inedible materials like cotton or other garbage in the can.
Keep your ear products out of reach
As mentioned above, you need to keep your things out of your cat’s reach. This includes anything from your AirPods to wired headphones, or anything you use for your ears.
It is a good habit to keep your ear products clean and earwax-free. Not only will this avoid temptation in your cat to lick them, but also avoid misplacement, as the small parts gadget could end up in your feline friend’s stomach.
If something like this happens, take your pet to the vet immediately.
Risk of ear infection
Cats are animals that are so clean that they even use their tongue and saliva to groom themselves clean. But sometimes, a cat can have bacteria in the saliva due to some infection.
This means that if it licks your ear, the bacteria will go into your ear, and spread, causing infections if it gets through to your bloodstream.
In such cases, a consultation with your vet will be needed, and during this time it’s best to keep your cat away from your ear or any other external organs.
Also, cats can have stinky breath from the cat food or something else they could have ingested.
This will force you to keep your cat away from yourself, right? I hope so.
Reduce its habit by introducing it to something else
While establishing boundaries, you must show your cat there are alternative ways of showing affection besides licking your ears.
Spend more quality time with your cat by simply sitting on the couch doing your own thing, or cuddling together.
You can show it other places you are comfortable with licking, like your fingers or hand.
You can even get some new treats for it to try out whenever it feels like licking your ear again.
Do remember, there will be instances where your cat will try to return to lick your ear, but you can always divert its attention towards other activities, and it will most likely forget it was about to lick your ear.
So, why exactly does your cat lick your ear?
Your cat doesn’t mean any harm by licking or even lightly nibbling your ear. It is simply a unique gesture to show its affection for you.
While it’s mostly the earwax that attracts your cat to come to lick your ear, it’s also because of their possessiveness and your unique scent.
While you should be flattered that your cat shows its love to you, it’s perfectly fine to establish boundaries, especially if you don’t like it licking your ear.
You can do this by training your cat, reducing its temptation to lick earwax off of your belongings, and showing it other alternative things to do instead.
Lastly, you should be gentle while training your cat. If it senses that you do not appreciate its love and affection, it will stop giving you any kind of attention, and this will drastically affect your relationship.