General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Why do cats awkwardly lick their necks beneath their chins, and what is it called?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10003points) 1 month ago

If you’ve spent any time around a domestic cat you might have noticed it tidy up after a meal by licking itself clean.

Well the instinctual MO is to lick your paw to scrub your face and ears with. You know basically they have a set of programmed/hardwired cleaning routines. One of which is to try to lick the spot at the very spot where the neck meets the head beneath their chins!

It is an amazing manoeuvre to witness, and once does not seem to be enough to get the area just right…

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5 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think they are programmed to clean anything they can reach, with emphasis on places where food items might drip or splatter.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Just normal grooming behavior. It looks awkward, but cats are extremely flexible.

A good sign of an unhealthy cat ,is one that’s not grooming.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, just them trying to groom the hard to reach parts.
You should see my giant, almost 18 lb. tuxedo Ragdoll pussy “Myles” do this. His fur is so long that he ends up sneezing because it poofs up into his nose. haha
I groom him daily too but he is quite fastidious about keeping himself spiffy.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yup. It’s their instinct. They’ll groom others if part of a group.

My cat Megatron used to “clean” my he’d with his mouth. It was odd,and uncomfortable. But I didn’t want to admonish him. He thought he was grooming the alpha male. Which, I guess I was.

Sometimes he would like my head for like 4–5 minutes . After that he would have liked through to my skull. I loved him and didn’t want to take away this nurturing behavior. He ended up living around sick animals a lot. He had an excellent personality. He made my days better, despite destroying many of my prized possessions.

What an odd species we are…As far as our relationships with animals that we share our planet with.

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