It's natural for dogs to chase after cats but what does it mean when a dog licks a cat? Find the answer to the question through this article.


What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks A Cat

Generally speaking, people come up with the phrase "fight like cats and dogs" for a reason: these animals are well known for their intense rivalry. Nonetheless, depending on the personalities of the pets and the patience of pet owners, it's still possible for cats and dogs to get along. Actually, once the pets accept the presence of each other, they could become quite close. But what does it mean when a dog licks a cat? Your puppy must have its reason to lick your kitten, right? In addition, do the felines feel bothered while being licked by the canines?


So you have similar questions in mind but unable to find satisfying answers for them? If that is the case, this article is for you. The information down below contains everything that pet owners have to know about the intimate relationship between cats and dogs.


Potential Motivations Behind The Behavior

What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks A Cat

Overall, when cats and dogs face each other in the same space, things may be a bit awkward at first. In fact, it's highly likely that the pets would turn aggressive so people have to keep watch over them. With that said, as time passes by, it seems that your puppy has taken a liking to your kitten which brings peace to the house. On occasions, the canine casually licks all over the face of the feline without reservation.  What does it mean when a dog licks a cat? Well, experts have a couple of theories about that behavior.


  • Positive Reinforcement

Most dogs lick as a response to positive reinforcements (treats, praises and so on) from humans as well as animals. Hence, if you call your dog a good boy when it licks you, the canine is going to lick you again and again and again. The same rule applies to cats: if the feline reacts positively while being licked by your dog, the canine shall repeat it in the future. If puppies frequently lick kittens, the canines must have a good impression of the felines. Through the act of licking, your dog wants to show its affection toward your cat.


  • Smell

Compared to humans, dogs have a superior sense of smell which lets them detect scents from a distance without difficulty. When the nose of dogs picks up a smell that piques their interest, they would attempt to taste the thing that emits it as well. As a result, in the case your puppy licks your kitten repeatedly, smells might be responsible for such behavior. Furthermore, assuming that the canine is truly fond of the feline, your dog could decide to lick everything that carries the scents of your cat. 


  • Pack Behavior

In the wild, cats and dogs live in packs so it's understandable that the pets retain certain pack behaviors even after going through domestication. To dogs, licking is a way to show submission toward ones that they consider to be their superiors including fellow dogs, humans and other animals. Because of that, if you notice your dog licking your cat, the canine may want to say that it sees the feline as its superior. Of course, it's also possible the dog needs something that the cat currently possesses.


  • Grooming

Similar to cats, dogs also groom their bodies in addition to ones that they hold dear from humans to animals. Therefore, if your puppy licks your kitten, the canine must consider the feline to be a member of its family. Considering the fact that cats happen to be avid groomers, they usually return the favor by licking the dog back. Generally speaking, submissive pets tend to be at the receiving end in a grooming session but it's worth noting that different houses have different situations.


Is The Feline Annoyed By The Licking: Maybe, Maybe not

What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks A Cat

Besides the question of "what does it mean when a dog licks a cat", many pet owners also wonder about the feeling of their cat. The licking looks cute from the outside but as the felines love personal space, would they get fed up by the dogs invading their privacy?


Well, most of the time, it's impossible for people to say what is going through the mind of the pets at the moment. As a result, observation plays a central role in preventing conflicts between dogs and cats.  To be more specific, if your kitten hisses when your puppy approaches, separate them immediately. On the other hand, if your cat let out relaxing purrs while being licked by the dog, leave them be. Overall, if you pay attention to the interactions of your pets, you should be able to put an end to fights before they even begin.    


Overall, as cats and dogs mingle, the pets shall eventually come to understand the limits of each other which keeps things from getting too extreme. Because of that, if you are certain that the canine is licking out of love and feline accept it, you really have nothing to worry about.


Maintaining The Peace Between Cats And Dogs: Tips And Tricks

What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks A Cat

Using the above information, pet owners around the globe could answer the question of "what does it mean when a dog licks a cat" without trouble. It's safe to say that if a dog licks cat, the relationship between the pets is in great shape. However, conflicts would flare up again if you get careless. Here are a few recommendations from veterinarians you must consider:


  • Prepare Sufficient Foods And Waters: Though close-knitted pets prove willing to share resources with each other on multiple occasions, some may resort to violence just to satisfy their needs. Hence, it's essential that you provide your puppy and kitten with enough foods and waters every day so they don't get into fights.


  • Play With The Pets Equally: Jealousy is an emotion that affects every animal on the planet including dogs and cats. Therefore, spare times to play with the canine as well as the feline so none of them feel left out.


  • Set Up Periodic Vet Checks: Sick pets obviously don't have a good mood which makes it necessary that you get your dog and cat checked around once a year.


Looking for more interesting Cat Tips & Facts? Visit Cattybox! 

Cattybox team.

Write a comment
Back to top