Should you let your cat lick you?

  • Date: April 26, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Whether or not you should let your cat lick you is a hotly debated topic among cat owners. On one hand, cats groom themselves by licking, and it may be a sign of affection from your feline friend. On the other hand, cats’ tongues can carry germs and bacteria, which can be transferred to you if your cat is allowed to lick you. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of letting your cat lick you, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to allow your cat to lick you.

Introduction

Cat owners often wonder if it is safe to let their cat lick them. After all, cats can carry a variety of bacteria and viruses, and their paws and fur may be contaminated with germs from the environment. On the other hand, cats have been known to be incredibly affectionate, and some pet owners may enjoy the feeling of their cat’s tongue on their skin. While there are no clear-cut answers as to whether it is safe to let your cat lick you, there are a few things to consider before doing so.

Potential Health Risks

Cats can carry a variety of bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to humans. Some of these include salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and ringworm. Salmonella is a type of foodborne illness that is caused by the bacteria salmonella. It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that is commonly found in cats. It can cause mild flu-like symptoms but can be more severe in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is contagious and can be passed from cats to humans.

In addition to these illnesses, cats may also carry parasites such as fleas and ticks. These parasites can transmit other diseases to humans, such as Lyme disease. Cats can also carry cat scratch fever, which is caused by a bacteria found in their saliva. While it is rare, it is possible for a person to contract this disease if they are scratched or bitten by a cat.

Precautions to Take

Given these potential health risks, it is important to take certain precautions when letting your cat lick you. First, it is important to ensure that your cat is healthy. If you notice any signs of illness such as vomiting or diarrhea, have your cat seen by a veterinarian. Second, make sure your cat is up to date on its vaccines. This will help reduce the risk of your cat passing any diseases to you. Third, keep your cat’s nails trimmed and their fur clean. This will reduce the chances of any germs or parasites being passed on to you. Finally, if you do choose to let your cat lick you, wash your hands afterwards.

The Benefits of Cat Licking

Despite the potential risks, there are also some potential benefits to letting your cat lick you. Cats have been known to be very affectionate and giving animals, and some pet owners may enjoy the feeling of their cat’s tongue on their skin. In addition, licking is a way for cats to show their love and trust, so allowing your cat to lick you may be a way to further strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not it is safe to let your cat lick you is ultimately up to you. It is important to consider the potential health risks, as well as the potential benefits, before making a decision. If you do choose to let your cat lick you, be sure to take the necessary precautions to reduce the chances of getting an illness or parasite.

#### Common Myths About Letting Cats Lick You

Myth: Cats’ tongues are cleaner than a human’s.

Fact: Cats’ tongues are actually covered with small, sharp protrusions called papillae, which are designed to help them groom and capture prey. These papillae can carry bacteria and, like humans, cats can carry illnesses. Therefore, it is not recommended to let your cat lick you.

Myth: Cats’ saliva has healing properties.

Fact: While cats’ saliva does contain some proteins and enzymes that can help them heal their own wounds, there is no scientific evidence that these components have any healing effects when transferred to humans.

Myth: Cats always know what’s best for themselves.

Fact: Cats may know what’s best for them when it comes to grooming, but they may not know how to protect you from bacteria in their saliva. Therefore, it is best to avoid letting your cat lick you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can letting my cat lick me make me sick?

No, you are unlikely to get sick from your cat licking you. It is possible for cats to transmit certain diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, but this is generally only a risk for pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems.

Is it safe to let my cat lick my face?

It is generally not recommended to let your cat lick your face, as cats may carry bacteria in their saliva that could potentially cause an infection. It is better to stick to petting your cat around the head and neck area.

Conclusion

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Cat owners may be unsure if it is safe to let their cat lick them. Cats can carry bacteria and viruses, as well as fleas and ticks that can transmit other diseases. Taking certain precautions such as ensuring their cat is healthy, up to date on vaccines, and keeping their fur clean can help reduce the risk of getting an illness or parasite. There can also be benefits to letting your cat lick you, such as strengthening the bond between you and your pet. Ultimately, it is up to the cat owner to decide whether or not to let their cat lick them.

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