Do Cats Lick Themselves When Embarrassed

Do Cats Lick Themselves When Embarrassed?

Cats are known for their fastidious grooming habits, spending a significant portion of their day cleaning themselves. But have you ever wondered if cats also lick themselves when they feel embarrassed? Let’s delve into this intriguing question.

The simple answer is yes, cats do tend to lick themselves when they feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. Licking is a natural behavior that helps cats cope with stressful situations. When they are embarrassed, they may resort to grooming as a way to self-soothe and redirect their focus.

Why do cats lick themselves when embarrassed?

1. Self-soothing: Licking releases endorphins, providing a sense of comfort and relaxation.
2. Distracting from the embarrassment: By focusing on grooming, cats divert their attention from the embarrassing situation.
3. Cleaning off scent: Cats may lick themselves to remove unfamiliar or unpleasant smells associated with the embarrassment.


1. Can embarrassment cause excessive licking in cats?
Yes, embarrassment can trigger excessive grooming, leading to overlicking and potential skin issues.

2. What situations might embarrass a cat?
Cats can feel embarrassed if they accidentally fall or fail to complete a jump, or when they are scolded or laughed at by their owners.

3. How can I help my cat when it is embarrassed?
Provide a calm and safe environment, offer reassuring words, and avoid further embarrassing situations.

4. Are there any health risks of excessive licking?
Excessive licking can lead to hair loss, skin irritation, and the formation of hairballs if ingested.

5. Is licking always a sign of embarrassment?
No, licking can also indicate boredom, anxiety, or discomfort due to medical issues. Observe your cat’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

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6. Can I train my cat to stop licking when embarrassed?
Redirecting their attention with toys or treats can help distract them from grooming. However, it’s essential to address the underlying cause of embarrassment.

7. Are there any signs that indicate embarrassment in cats?
Look for flattened ears, a lowered tail, dilated pupils, or an attempt to hide. These may indicate that your cat is feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.

In summary, cats do lick themselves when they feel embarrassed. It’s their way of coping with the situation and finding comfort. However, if excessive licking occurs or if your cat displays signs of distress, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.