Why Does My Cat Lick My Armpits?

Cat lovers know that their feline friends love to lick their owner’s body. Some might be surprised to learn that cats also enjoy licking their owner’s armpits!

Why Does My Cat Lick My Armpits?

Cats lick their owner’s arms for many reasons, but the main reason is that cats are attracted to the scent of sweat and body odor. The chemical compounds in these smells trigger a response in the cat’s brain that makes them feel safe and secure.

Here are some other possible reasons why your cat lick your armpits:

Cleaning Themselves

Cats are very good at cleaning themselves and often lick their fur to get rid of dirt and bacteria. When they lick their owner’s armpits, it helps to clean and disinfect them. 

This is especially important when the cat is sick or has an infection, as licking their owner’s armpits will help to prevent the spread of infection.

Show Affection

Most people would say that cats are creatures of pure affection. This is especially true when it comes to their owners. Cats often show their love for their owners in many different ways, including licking their arms and legs. 

This behavior may seem strange at first, but it is a sign of trust and reassurance between the cat and the owner. When cats rub against us, they’re sending a signal that they like us and want to be close.

Seeking Comfort

Some cats seek comfort from licking their owner’s armpits. This is done to help relieve stress and tension, and it has been proven very effective in doing so. 

Cats like to lick areas where they perceive heat or energy, such as their heads and necks. 

So it makes sense that they would also enjoy licking the skin on their owner’s arms because they are warm and provide a source of energy.

Marking Territory

Some people believe that cats licking their owner’s arms are a way of marking territory. The lick is usually preceded by a meow and followed by purring

Cats may also lick other body parts, such as the face or neck, in an attempt to communicate with their human. 

Territory marking can help protect the cat against other animals, and it can also help the cat attract mates.

Seeking Attention

Cats often lick people to seek attention and reaffirm close relationships. Cats who lick their owners’ arms have stronger affiliative bonds than cats who do not lick their owners’ arms. 

Also, licking a person’s arm conveys trust and provides physical comfort.

The Consequences

There are some potential consequences of a cat licking their owner’s arms.

  • Cats who lick their owner’s armpits may be picking up oils and other substances that could make them ill if ingested.
  • The saliva can contain bacteria and viruses, which could potentially cause an illness in the owner.
  • The licking can spread fleas and other parasites to the owner.
  • Cats may also groom themselves inappropriately when licking their owner’s arms – this can lead to infection and other skin problems.

What to Do When Your Cat Licks Your Armpits

When your cat licks your armpits, it may seem innocent enough, but there can be some serious implications. 

If the licking is persistent or excessive, it may signify that your cat is trying to groom you and is unsatisfied with the usual licking areas. 

In these cases, it’s important to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. However, in most cases, simply ignoring your cat’s licking will likely result in them eventually giving up and moving on.

How to Stop Your Cat From Licking Your Armpits

If you’re finding that your cat is licking your armpits excessively, there are a few things you can do to try and stop the behavior.

  1. Ensure that you provide your cat with appropriate indoor/outdoor playtime. This will help keep them entertained and distracted from licking areas they shouldn’t be.
  2. Try holding out food rewards for your cat when they haven’t licked you in a while. This may help to reinforce good behavior and make them more likely to stick to their own personal hygiene boundaries.
  3. If all else fails, consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist who can provide additional guidance on stopping your cat from licking your armpits.

How to Prevent Your Cat From Licking Your Armpits

If you’re not comfortable with your cat licking your armpits, there are some steps you can take to prevent it.

  1. Keep your arms clean. Make sure to keep your arms clean and free of sweat or dirt. This will help ensure that the licking does not become a habit.
  2. Keep a close eye on your cat. If you notice your cat starting to lick your arms frequently, immediately scold them or spank them. If necessary, get rid of the cat immediately.
  3. Keep your cat entertained and occupied by providing plenty of toys and playtime. If you work or live in a place where there’s a lot of activity, try setting up a playpen for your cat.
  4. If your cat constantly licks you, try using a deterrent like bitter apple or onion juice on their paw. This will make them stop what they’re doing and hopefully give you peace of mind!
  5. If all else fails, try keeping your arms covered at all times when you’re around your cat so they won’t have an opportunity to lick them.


Many possible reasons a cat might lick its owner’s armpits. Some common reasons include seeking comfort, enjoying the taste of sweat, cleaning themselves, or marking their territory. 

Regardless, it’s always important to keep an eye on your cat and ensure they’re getting the care they need. If you notice your cat licking your armpits excessively or if it starts to cause you harm, please don’t hesitate to get help from your veterinarian.

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