Why Does My Cat Lick My Dog?

Last updated on February 6th, 2023 at 02:21 am

Why does my cat lick my dog? Because cats are excellent groomers. They take great pleasure in grooming not only themselves but also other members of their family. The article also shows if it hurts your dog if your cat lick it and what it means when your cat does not lick your dog.
Image Credit: Krista Mangulsone/Unsplash

Scientific facts behind why your cat likes to lick your dog

It is always very rare to find a cat licking a dog, even though it is possible to see them do so. It may be a big surprise to you if you witness it for the first time. It is always a cute thing to notice, which may put a big smile on your face.  However, it is a scenario that raises many questions, especially regarding the cat’s behavior change. In normal circumstances, you might not see a cat move near a dog or even play together. The two pets may only learn to be friends after becoming comfortable with each other, which may take some time.

Cats are known to be excellent groomers who will always love to see themselves clean all the time. However, dogs are only sometimes much on grooming and may stay comfortable without grooming for a longer time. But the dog lives with a cat and becomes comfortable with each other; the kitten will like the dog to get groomed. 

The cat will therefore take pleasure in grooming the dog in an attempt to ensure every member of the family looks clean. In addition, when the cat licks my dog, it is a way in which the kitten may express devotion and appreciation to the dog.

This scenario always occurs if there are no other cats in the house. The available cat will therefore take the dog as part of the family after feeling comfortable with it. When the cat licks the dog frequently, it shows that the two pets are moving on comfortably well. Here are the surprising reasons why the cats may decide to start licking your dog at home;


Cats always love themselves being groomed all the time in their life. This makes them expert groomers who usually use their tongues to groom themselves. The tongue of the cats is also adapted for grooming purposes. The tongue has some tiny hooks in it, gripping and grasping objects when used to groom the body. 

It is also biologically safe for the cats to self-groom. Because the cats are adapted to self-grooming, they will not easily get sick when they do so. The tongue is adapted to handle the bacteria and other forms of dirt found in the fur. Apart from grooming to maintain their social behavior of being clean, they also do so to maintain good physical health.

The house-kept cats will continuously groom themselves more frequently than wild cats. When they form a family, they will consider grooming one another. For this reason, you may not easily find a cat ungroomed when they are living more than two. 

The cats always love to support each other to express their mutual affection. This makes it possible for the cat to groom a dog to show mutual affection when they are both comfortable. Remember, by grooming the dog, the cat considers the puppy a family member. The dog will, therefore, become part of their territory in the family.

Mothers’ affection

Female cats love caring for other animals to show their affection as part of their nature. This makes it possible for the mother cat to take care of your puppy. Including your puppy in the list of her kittens to care for the cat indicates a motherly love for the dog. The mother cat will, therefore, take responsibility for the puppy as a mother. This makes the cat more possessive of the puppy she cares for at home. 

Remember, it is not only about the cat showing a motherhood nature to the puppy. It is also about the mother cat’s affection for the young dog after feeling comfortable with the puppy. When showing great affection, the cats will maintain licking the dog frequently. The routine grooming of the cat to the puppy also increases the bond of love between the two animals. Remember, when the cat feels comfortable with everyone in the family, they may also consider licking their owners.

By licking humans, the cat shows the trust and affection they have for their owners. In addition, when the cat licks the young dog, it shows the cat is comfortable relaxing with the puppy. Because licking makes the cat feel relaxed, she will do so for the puppy. This will make the two animals comfortably relax together when having a rest.

The cat is trying to make friends with the dog

When the cat feels comfortable with the puppy as a family member, it will consider the young dog part of its territory. They will, therefore, try to make friends with the little dog and start loving each other. At first, the interaction between the two animals may result in negative behavior. This may include a fight or squabbling behavior. However, the behavior will change when they get to know each other well after staying together for some time. They consider killing the rivalry between them and start forming a friendship.

They will now begin staying close to each other and start relaxing together. At such a point, the cat will begin to show love to the puppy. The cat will, therefore, include the puppy on the list f kitten she is caring for. Because the cat loves groomed animals, she will start licking the puppy to ensure every family member is well groomed. 

When you witness such behavior, try to show more love to the animals. Treating them is a unique way to show your happiness about the behavior change. More so at the initial stages, you should show some love to the positive change in the conduct of the animals.

It is also possible for you to speed up the process of forming a friendship between the two pets. This involves providing the two animals with some interpersonal skills and training. The dog may sometimes not show a positive response at the beginning. However, when you give the little dog some time, the puppy will start showing up and love the cat. The puppy will only need a little time to settle down and feel comfortable with the cat. When the young dog starts showing positive behavior with the cat, ensure you reward the puppy. This will motivate the puppy to love the cat and react positively to the licks from the cat. Therefore, these associations will make the puppy accept the friendship and start loving the cat.

Enticing fragrances

When the cat feels attracted to the dog’s scent and flavor, it may consider licking the puppy to taste it. For instance, when the fur in the dog’s body contains oil that smells nice for the cat, she might like to taste it by licking it. The cat may also be interested in the tasty traces of food that might have remained in the dog’s fur. In addition, the cat can also get interested in the puppy’s coat. All these pleasant scents and flavors may make the cat lick the dog to taste them.


Cats are examples of animals that are always hypersensitive to the protein aroma of other animals. In this case, the cat will particularly lick the ears of the dog, which shows that the specific smell comes from the ear. This is called earwax which always comes from the ears of the puppy.

Unconditional love

When the cat falls in love with the puppy, she will feel comfortable licking the little dog to show love and care. When you witness such a case, you should feel happy to have the two animals in your home as companions. When the cat kisses and lick the dog, she shows great affection for the dog after falling in love with the puppy. The cat will therefore take the dog as an excellent companion to them. It would help if you did not worry about leaving the two animals alone at this stage. They cannot easily fight each other at this stage.

At this stage, the affection between the cat and the dog is strong, and the two pets are getting along perfectly well. Remember, the fights between the cats and the dogs always start to form the cat’s side. Cats do have a lower body temperature as compared to dogs. 

When the cats fall in love with the dog, they will likely trust each other. The cat will, therefore, reduce the fighting cases and begin loving the puppy. When the two animals form a spiritual love, they will build a nurturing attachment with each other.

What makes the cat lick and bite a dog?

When the cat usually licks the dog for grooming purposes, she might not include a bite as part of the exercise. However, when the cat bites the dog in the licking exercise, it may be a means of communication between the two animals. The cat may bite the dog when licking to pass a message to the puppy. She might be trying to show the puppy that she is still going through with the grooming exercise. In addition, the cat can bite the puppy to show that she is done with the grooming exercise and therefore needs some space. When the cats want to play with the puppy, she might bite the young dog to pass the message. When the puppy responds positively, they will start playing together.

Is it right for your cat to groom your dog?

Even though it is unusual to witness a cat lick a dog, it is suitable for the two animals to behave so. By licking your dog, the cut feels more comfortable with the puppy. When the dog accepts the cat to lick the body, it shows the puppy’s trust in the cat. The dog will show love as they get along and start licking and kissing the cat. It also indicates that the two animals love each other and do not fear one another anymore. When you allow the cat to lick the dog, you build a strong friendship, affection, and communication between the two animals.

Does it hurt when a cat licks my dog?

Because the cats are adapted to self-grooming, they may not feel pain grooming themselves. The same happens when the cat licks your dog. The tongue of the cat always contains tiny hooks that make them rough. This makes them able to penetrate the skin when grooming but may not cause any pain to the skin. Because the dog’s skin is hairy, it will not easily get hurt when the cat licks their skin.

What does it mean when the cat refuses to lick your dog?

When your cat is not interested in licking your dog, it means the two animals are uncomfortable with each other. Many reasons may make this happen. First, the cat may not be interested in the scent coming from the dog. She will, therefore, avoid coming close to the dog. The cat may also need to be in the mood to groom or lick the dog. When the cat arrives in her mood, she will lick the dog in such a case.

When should you not allow your cat to lick your dog?

It is not always good to let your cat lick your dog all the time. Furry animas have tick and flea occasionally and your dog might carry them. The tick and the flea that attack most puppies may cause different cat infections when they consume them. In addition, the cat may absorb too many furs from the puppy’s skin. This may make the cat suffer from hairballs which will cost you another headache.


It can sometimes be challenging to manage and control different pets at home. For instance, when you own cats and dogs, you might find it very unusual to find a cat licking a dog. However, when the two animals feel comfortable with each other, they will form a tendency to love each other. This will make the cat start caring for the dog as part of the family. 

The dog and the cat will lick each other to show their affection for one another. However, the two pets’ lifestyles differ greatly, making socialization challenging. But when you see the cat lick the dog, it signifies that the two animals can get along perfectly well. It is a sign to show that the two animals trust each other and are in unconditional love. You should, therefore, not panic seeing them together licking and kissing one another at home.