Why Does My Cat Clean Herself on Me? (3 Reasons)

Why Does My Cat Clean Herself on Me

Does your cat clean herself on you?

Don’t worry, it’s not that strange a behavior and it’s nothing to worry about.

I’ll admit, it’s not the most comfortable thing to experience, and it can be a bit yucky.

But, it’s actually a sign that your cat is comfortable around you and trusts you – which is awesome.

Why Does My Cat Clean Herself on Me? (3 Things It Shows)

Having your cat clean herself while resting on you is actually quite the privilege – whether it feels like it or not!

Here are 5 things we know about why cats clean themselves while sitting on our laps or laying on us:

It Shows They Have a Strong Bond With You

Cats are very clean animals. They spend a large portion of their day licking and grooming themselves, but will only do so when they’re feeling secure.

So, when your cat cleans herself on you it’s actually a sign of how much she trusts and loves you.

It’s their way of showing you that they consider you part of their family. Similar to how only cats that know each other well will groom each other.

Related Here’s why cats have black boogers!

It Shows They’re Comfortable

Another reason your cat cleans herself on you is because she’s comfortable around you and on your lap or wherever she is sitting.

This is usually the case with cats that have grown up around humans from a young age and are used to being petted and handled.

They know that you’re not going to hurt them, so they feel safe enough to lay down and relax while indulging in a little grooming.

It’s a Sign of Affection

While it might not feel like the most affectionate gesture, your cat is actually just trying to show you how much she cares.

Cats have scent glands all over their bodies, and when they rub against you while grooming they’re leaving their scent behind.

It’s their way of marking you as theirs and claiming you as a member of their family.

So, the next time your cat cleans herself on you, just think of it as a sign of love. Even if they’re leaving dander, bits of broken nails, and fur all over you!

Should You Stop Your Cat Cleaning Herself on You?

Now that you know all the reasons behind why your cat cleans herself on you, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do to stop it.

Short of picking her up and moving her there’s really nothing you can do to prevent her from cleaning herself when she feels like it.

I’m sure if you do this over and over for a prolonged period of time she will get the hint and not feel comfortable grooming while on you.

Contrary to what you may have heard – or believe – cats do learn what they should and shouldn’t be doing if you make it clear.

The real question is whether or not you should be putting a stop to it.

I get that it’s a bit gross, especially if your cat is a messy groomer. But it’s such a high-level bonding sign that it’s almost a little unfair!

Either way, it’s up to you. If you don’t like your cat licking herself and grooming while relaxing on you, you’re entitled to put a stop to it.

Related content:
Here’s why your cat nibbles on your fingers and nose.
Reasons why your cat nuzzles on your hair.
More reasons why your cat licks you!

Why Does My Cat Clean Herself After I Pet Her

If you’ve noticed that your cat cleans herself only after you pet her while she’s on your lap, this is a little different.

It’s not necessarily a sign that she trusts or loves you, it’s just her way of dealing with your scent.

This is because when you pet your cat while she’s on your lap you’re leaving your scent all over her fur.

This will make her smell like you – which is something she may not be too keen on.

So, by giving herself a good clean she’s able to get rid of your scent and smell like her again.

Some cats are more prone to doing this than others, it really comes down to the individual cat.

A Tip – Invest in A Lint Roller!

If you’re a bit grossed out by the thought of your cat cleaning herself on you, you’re going to want to buy a lint roller.

These are great for getting rid of all the fur, dander, and bits of broken nails that your cat leaves behind.

Just give yourself a quick once over with the lint roller after your cat has finished grooming herself and you’re good to go!

Brushing your cat weekly is also going to help keep the amount of loose fur to a minimum.

In Summary

There are a few reasons behind why your cat cleans herself on you, and they’re all good.

It’s their way of showing you that they consider you part of their family, it shows they’re comfortable around you, and it’s a sign of affection.

So, the next time your cat starts cleaning herself on you, just think of it as a sign of love. Even if it is a bit messy!


Image credits – Photo by Remy Gieling on Unsplash


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