Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?

cats licking

There are actually numerous reasons why cats groom each other. 

Some of these reasons are actually quite interesting and can provide you with insight into why your cat behaves how it does. If you’ve noticed this with your cats, you’ll definitely want to understand some of the reasons behind it.

The Importance of Grooming

Proper and regular grooming is essential for every cat. While most cats do a pretty good job of grooming themselves, you will still need to help them out.

There are a number of important grooming tips that you should follow to keep your cat clean and healthy over the years, including:

  • Brush them regularly: Cats are incapable of brushing themselves or each other, so you will need to do this form them. This will keep their fur from getting matted and tangled. The longer your cat’s coat, the more often you will need to do this.
  • Pick the right brush: You’ll want to use a brush that is gentle on your cat and doesn’t cause any discomfort. Make sure that you browse through some of the different brush options online or at your local pet supply store. Look for a brush with rounded teeth.
  • Give them a bath: The occasional bath is important for pretty much all cats. You shouldn’t need to bathe your cat more than once every week or two. If you notice that your cat’s fur is dirty or soiled, it’s time to get them in the bath.
  • Clean their ears: A lot of people with cats forget to clean their ears. You can do this with a piece of cotton. You should not go too deeply into their ears, as it can actually injure them. Cleaning out your cat’s ears on a regular basis can help prevent infections, which can be quite serious.
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1. It’s a Form of Bonding

Cats that live together in the same household often groom each other as a form of bonding. This is a sign that your cats trust each other, which is definitely a good thing. It helps them become closer to each other.

When cats lick or groom each other, they usually do so with areas that are difficult for a cat to reach itself, including the ears and neck. So this is basically your cats helping each other out because they trust and like each other quite a bit.

You will most likely notice a cat that is being groomed by another one move around to make it easier for the groomer. This is a healthy social behavior, and you should be glad about it. It means that you have two cats that get along well.

2. Maternal Instincts

It is fairly common for mothers to lick/groom their kittens while they are still young. The young cats don’t know to do this for themselves yet, so mom helps out. This is a natural maternal instinct that can be observed in just about every female cat with children.

Mother cats will lick their children to pass their scent onto them. This allows the mother to quickly identify her offspring. While this is something that was more useful before these animals were domesticated, it still serves an important purpose even today.

A young kitten that does not have a familiar scent may be rejected by its mother. This is why it is so important for them to be groomed by their parent. This improves the bond between a cat and its mother, which is crucial for healthy and normal development.

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When adult cats start to lick each other, it is often because they are mimicking what their mothers did for them when they were young.

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3. The Hierarchy of Cats

Animal researchers have found that cats that rank high in a social hierarchy tend to be the ones that groom cats, instead of the other way around. The cats that do the grooming usually stand up, while the ones receiving the grooming lie down, according to numerous studies.

You can get a much better understanding of your cat’s various behaviors by learning about how their hierarchies work. In any given household with multiple cats, there is usually one that is above the rest. This can explain a lot of your feline’s behaviors, including grooming.

4. They Are Getting to Know Each Other

If you just brought home a new cat, your old cat might start grooming them. This is basically a means of getting to know each other. It is an indication that your cat has accepted this new addition to the household.

This behavior is fairly common with cats that are extremely social and outgoing. It is a show of good faith, which is a sign that your cats will soon become best buddies.

5. One Cat has a Medical Problem

Sometimes a cat will lick another one if it sees that something isn’t right on them. This could be anything from fleas to a skin wound. It might also be an indication that one of your cats has kidney disease. You’ll want to take a good look at your cat all over to check for any outward signs of illness or injury.

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  • Regular grooming is a crucial part of keeping your cat healthy overall.
  • Make sure that you brush your cat on a regular or semi-regular basis with a brush that is designed for felines.
  • Mother cats often like their kittens as a way of putting their scent on them for identification purposes.
  • If a kitten has an unfamiliar scent, they may be rejected by their mother.
  • When your cats start grooming each other, they are likely exhibiting bonding behavior. This basically means they get along well.
  • Studies have shown that “high level” cats in a hierarchy tend to groom others more so than being groomed themselves.
  • It is possible that your cats are licking each other as a way of getting acquainted.
  • Your cat might be licking another cat because it senses some sort of medical issue, whether it is kidney disease or external parasites like fleas.