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Why does my kitty lick itself when I pet it?
Many cat owners understand that their felines have their own personalities. Some may hide until their owners feed them while others might like to lick themselves while being petted.
According to VetStreet.com, if your kitty is in the latter category, there is no need to be alarmed by this behavior. In fact, many cats have this strange habit and some even try to lick the air as well.
It's hard for vets to understand exactly why felines enjoy this act, but according to the news outlet, all cats feel the same sensations when they are being petted or scratched. So if your kitty isn't licking itself while you pet it, it doesn't mean it isn't enjoying the affection, it just might have a more subtle ways of showing it.
If you have a dog as well, you might notice that if you scratch it behind its ears or on certain parts of its back, it will react by tilting its head into you or by shaking its leg. These are meant to show you that what you're doing feels good to the dog and that you should keep doing it. According to VetStreet.com, some specialists believe that cats who lick themselves while their owners pet them might be trying to show similar feelings. However, in some cases this behavior might also mean that felines are suffering from skin-related allergies or that they are infected with parasites.
If you notice your kitty is licking and scratching more frequently than before, it might be smart to take it to see a vet to check for skin issues. If the cat is infected with fleas, the vet might suggest you wash it in pet shampoo like Excel Hydrocortisone Shampoo with Aloe Vera and that you then start it on flea preventative pet drugs such as Frontline Plus Cats & Kittens. If the vet thinks the problem is a food allergy, he or she might suggest switching the feline to a simple pet food like Petcurean Go! Natural Grain Free Canned Cat Food to curb the itching.
In rare cases, the cat might also be responding negatively to your touch. The news source reports that a small percentage of felines find the stimulation they get from being pet unpleasant or uncomfortable. Cats that suffer from feline hyperesthesia syndrome, a disease that causes a cat's skin to become sensitive to the touch, might also dislike petting.