Why Does My Cat Like To Lick My Ears?

Cats are enigmatic creatures that can leave us scratching our heads with their unpredictable behavior. But one thing that has left many cat owners befuddled is their feline friend’s love for licking ears. Yes, you heard it right. Those furry little creatures have a penchant for nibbling on your earlobes and leaving you wondering, “Why does my cat do that?”

While it may seem like a bizarre habit at first, there are several reasons why cats lick ears. It could be a sign of affection, grooming, or simply seeking attention from their human companion. So don’t worry; it’s not necessarily an indication of an underlying health issue.

In this blog post, we dive deep into the fascinating behavior of ear-licking in cats. We explore the possible motivations behind this peculiar habit and provide insight into the feline psyche. So if you’re curious to know more about why your cat likes to lick your ears, grab a cup of coffee and read on.

Why Do Cats Lick Their Owners’ Ears?

It may seem strange, but there are several reasons why cats engage in this behavior. Let’s explore the fascinating world of feline behavior and understand why our furry friends enjoy licking our ears.

Firstly, cats are natural groomers, and licking is an instinctive behavior for them. When they lick their owners’ ears, it’s a sign of affection and bonding. In the wild, cats lick each other’s ears as a way to establish connections and show trust. So, when your cat licks your ear, it’s a clear indication that they view you as family.

Furthermore, cats enjoy the salty taste of human skin. Our skin contains salt, which can be appealing to cats. Additionally, with their highly developed sense of smell, they may be attracted to the scent of their owner’s ears. It’s no wonder cats love to give our ears a good lick.

However, it’s essential to keep an eye on your cat’s ear-licking behavior. Excessive licking may indicate an underlying health issue. If your cat suddenly starts licking your ears more frequently than usual and exhibits unusual behaviors like lethargy or loss of appetite, consult a veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.

In conclusion, ear licking is a common behavior among cats and can be seen as a sign of love and affection. Understanding why your cat engages in this behavior can strengthen your bond with them. So the next time your furry friend decides to give your ear a lick, embrace it as a display of their affection.

Cats Viewing Their Owners as Part of the Family

Though it may seem odd, this behavior is actually a sign of affection and trust. Scientific research shows that cats view their owners as part of their family and form attachment bonds similar to those seen in infants and dogs.

But why do cats show their love through grooming? Grooming is essential for a cat’s hygiene, but it also plays a crucial social role. When a cat grooms another cat or human, they are showing that they trust and care for them. By licking their owner’s ear or face, a cat is bonding with them on a deeper level and expressing their love.

But grooming isn’t the only way cats show affection. They also demonstrate their love through physical contact such as rubbing against their owner or sitting on their lap. This behavior marks the owner as part of the cat’s territory and helps them bond more closely.

The Taste of Salt Attracts Cats to Ears

One moment you’re minding your own business, and the next, your furry feline friend is giving you an ear bath. But have you ever stopped to wonder why cats are so attracted to licking their owner’s ears?

Firstly, cats have an exceptional sense of taste. Their taste buds are highly sensitive to salty flavors, which is why they are often drawn to the taste of salt on human skin. And if you’re sweating a little after a workout or a run, your cat may find your salty skin irresistible – especially around the ears.

But it’s not just about the taste. Cats also have a natural instinct to groom themselves and others. Licking is a form of grooming for cats, and they may lick their owners as a way to show affection or as a form of social bonding. So, when your cat gives you an ear bath, it’s not only showing its love but also trying to clean your ears or remove any dirt or debris.

However, it’s important to remember that excessive ear licking by a cat can be a sign of an underlying health issue. Ear mites or an ear infection can cause your cat to excessively lick your ears or exhibit other unusual behavior. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, take them to the vet for a checkup.

Hair Products and Perfumes May Also Attract Cats to Ears

As it turns out, the answer may lie in your hair products and perfumes.

Cats have an incredibly keen sense of smell, which means that even the slightest scent can pique their interest. Many hair products and perfumes contain ingredients that cats find appealing, such as oils and extracts from plants like lavender and mint. These scents may remind them of something pleasurable or even food, causing them to investigate further by licking your ears.

However, if your cat becomes obsessed with a particular scent, ear licking can become a problem. Not only can it be annoying for the owner, but a cat’s rough tongue can also cause discomfort or irritation. To prevent this behavior, try switching to unscented products or those with scents that are less appealing to cats.

Aside from the scent, cats may also be drawn to the warmth and moisture around your ears. Cats love cozy spots, and the crevices around ears provide the perfect snuggle spot. Additionally, the skin around your ears produces more oils and sweat than other parts of your body, making it an attractive place for cats to lick.

To ensure a happy and healthy relationship with your feline friend, it’s important to understand why they’re exhibiting this behavior. If you notice excessive ear licking, try distracting your cat with toys or treats when they start showing interest in your ears. By taking steps to limit their exposure to certain scents or providing alternative forms of entertainment, you can prevent this behavior from becoming a problem.

Excessive Ear Licking Could Be a Sign of an Underlying Issue

While it may seem like a harmless behavior, excessive ear licking in cats could be a sign of an underlying issue that demands attention. Understanding the potential causes of this behavior is essential to identify and address any health or behavioral issues that your cat may be experiencing.

One possible cause of excessive ear licking is an ear infection. Cats with an ear infection may experience intense pain and itchiness in their ears, leading them to lick or scratch at them in an attempt to find relief. If you observe your cat engaging in excessive ear licking, it’s important to check for signs of infection, such as redness, discharge, or a foul smell. In case of any signs, seek the advice of a veterinarian who will recommend the appropriate treatment.

Another possible cause of excessive ear licking is allergies. Cats can be allergic to several things, including food, pollen, and dust. Allergic reactions can cause itching and irritation in the ears, which can lead cats to lick or scratch at them trying to find relief. Identifying and addressing the underlying allergy trigger is critical to prevent further discomfort and potential complications. A veterinarian can conduct tests to determine the specific allergen causing the reaction.

In some cases, excessive ear licking may also be a behavioral issue. Cats may lick their own or their human’s ears as a form of affection or attention-seeking behavior. While this behavior is generally harmless, it can become problematic if it becomes obsessive or interferes with daily activities. Seeking guidance from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist can help redirect the cat’s attention and address any underlying behavioral issues.

Consulting With a Veterinarian is Important

This seemingly innocent behavior could be indicative of a deeper health or behavioral issue. That’s why it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian to ensure your cat’s optimal health and well-being.

One compelling reason for consulting with a veterinarian is that excessive ear licking could indicate an ear infection or other medical issues. Ear infections can cause significant discomfort and pain for your furry friend, and if left untreated, they can lead to more severe health problems. A skilled veterinarian can examine your cat’s ears and provide the necessary treatment to alleviate any pain or discomfort.

Additionally, while your cat’s ear licking behavior could be a form of affection or attention-seeking behavior, it could also be a sign of an underlying behavioral issue. In some cases, this behavior can become obsessive or even aggressive, necessitating professional intervention from a veterinarian. Consulting with an expert will enable them to identify any underlying behavioral issues and provide you with guidance on how to manage them.

How Can Cat Owners Feel More Comfortable with Ear Licking?

It’s important to understand that ear licking is a natural behavior for cats and is their way of showing affection. To feel more comfortable with this form of feline affection, try these tips:

Firstly, view ear licking as a positive behavior. Your cat loves you and is showing it in their own unique way. By changing your perspective, you may find yourself enjoying the sweet gesture from your furry friend.

Secondly, provide alternative forms of affection for your cat. Petting, cuddling, and playing are all great ways to bond with your cat without resorting to ear licking. By offering these options, you can redirect your cat’s attention away from their ears.

Thirdly, ensure proper hygiene during ear licking. Keep your cat’s ears clean and free from wax buildup, and teach them not to use their claws or teeth during the grooming process. You can also use pet wipes or a damp cloth to clean your ears after your cat has licked them.

Lastly, if ear licking still makes you uncomfortable despite these measures, it’s okay to gently discourage the behavior. Offer a toy or treat as a distraction whenever your cat begins to lick your ears, or simply move away until they stop.

Strengthening the Bond Between Owner and Cat

One of the most common ways cats show their affection is through grooming, and ear-licking is a particularly significant form of this behavior. But what does it signify, and how can you use it to strengthen your bond with your cat?

Firstly, it’s crucial to recognize that when your cat licks your ears, it’s a sign of trust and love. It demonstrates their desire to care for you like they would another feline, as well as their need for comfort and security, particularly if they’ve experienced trauma or stress.

So how can you respond positively to this behavior? Rather than discouraging it, embrace it as a symbol of your cat’s love. Keep their ears clean, so they can groom you without any issues, and avoid using claws or teeth during grooming to help your cat feel more at ease.

In addition to responding positively to ear-licking, there are other ways to strengthen the bond between yourself and your cat. Spending quality time with them through petting, playing, and providing plenty of toys and stimulation will help build trust and deepen your relationship. Remember that cats are social creatures who crave attention and affection just like we do.

To further enhance the bond between you and your furry friend, here are some additional tips:

  • Practice active listening: Watch for subtle signals from your cat such as purring or body language which indicate their contentment or discomfort.
  • Provide a comfortable environment: Ensure that your cat has access to cozy beds, ample food and water, scratching posts, litter boxes and toys.
  • Establish routines: Regular feeding times and play sessions can help create structure in your cat’s life.
  • Engage in playtime: Playtime is an excellent way for you to bond with your cat while also providing them with physical exercise.


In conclusion, while it may seem peculiar to humans, ear-licking is a natural behavior for cats that serves multiple purposes. As natural groomers, cats use licking as a means of showing affection and bonding with their owners. Additionally, the salty taste of human skin and the scent of their owner’s ears are irresistible to cats.

However, excessive ear-licking can indicate an underlying health issue or behavioral problem that requires attention from a veterinarian. It’s crucial for cat owners to recognize the difference between normal grooming behavior and excessive licking to ensure their pet’s well-being.

Fortunately, there are ways for cat owners to embrace this behavior positively. Providing alternative forms of affection, maintaining proper hygiene during grooming sessions, and gently discouraging excessive ear-licking if necessary can help strengthen the bond between owner and cat.

Building a strong relationship with your feline friend involves spending quality time together through playtime, establishing routines, providing a comfortable environment, and practicing active listening.