Sunday, May 26, 2024

Why Do Cats Lick When You Scratch Their Back

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Why Do Cats Act Weird When You Scratch Their Lower Back

Cats love to be scratched and stroked by their human companions. In fact, some cats have been known to look for their owners attention all throughout the day. And for humans, scratching a cat while she lays on your lap or in front of your desk is an indescribable feeling of bonding and quality time together. But have you ever wondered why your little furry friend starts spazzing out whenever you scratch her on her lower back? Some of the most common responses to this lower back scratch are licking themselves, meowing, or licking the air this looks almost comical in some cats, eliciting a chuckle from most cat parents!


Cats Who Love To Get Pets

Although its difficult to pinpoint exactly what a cat may be thinking and feeling as she licks herself, its important to note that not all felines experience the same sensation when they receive pets and scratches. Some genuinely seem to enjoy the attention, while others probably feel some measure of discomfort.

When you scratch a dog behind his ear, he may often respond to the pleasurable feeling by jiggling his hind limb in a self-scratching gesture. It’s almost as if youre attending to an itch that he’d forgotten to scratch.

Feline self-licking or air licking is believed to be the same kind of reaction, particularly among cats who suffer from skin-related allergies, external parasite infestations or other itchy conditions.

Other Solutions And Considerations

Veterinarians also urge you to make sure there is not a parasite issue causing your dog to look for extra scratches. If you have not checked him lately, your fur baby may be suffering from fleas and that is what is causing all of the excess itching. Fleas can be particularly troublesome if you live in a warm, damp climate. Some dogs have even been known to be particularly sensitive to flea saliva, causing an allergic reaction from just a single bite. Your vet can get your pup on the appropriate treatment if fleas are the problem. Once the flea problem has been taken care of keeping your dog on flea preventative is highly recommended.

An Itch You Cant Scratch

Another common reason for licking during petting is that youre triggering a reaction by petting or scratching an area they cant reach during self-grooming. Your cat has a deep desire to groom all over. Those areas they cant reach are generally the dirtiest and itchiest areas since they dont get cleaned regularly. When you touch one of those areas, your cat might simply lick at whatever part of its body can be reached since it cant get at the part youre touching.

Youre Hitting The Right Spot

Why does my cat lick whenever I scratch him right above ...

The first and most simple reason behind your cats elevated butt as you stroke their back is that they like it. Moreso, according to research, if your cat is ok with you touching them and especially stroking the base of their tail, then you must have a very close relationship and mutual trust.

For some cats, the base of the tail is also a spot they cant always easily reach so when we scratch them there, it may come as a great relief. Some cats may even raise their butts in response to it. Cats with long fur might find it a difficult place to keep clean and itch-free as well, and when we stroke them, they might see it as a form of assistance.

A great way to help them keep their whole coat polished, reduce hairballs and keep their fur away from your clothes while also turning it pleasurable, is getting a quality grooming brush. Weve recommended the Hertzko self-cleaning brush before when we discussed ways to reduce cat shedding and its a real game-changer! You can .

Common Culprits: Fleas And Food Allergies

Significant hair loss in one spot may indicate an external parasite mites, ticks or fleas, in particular or a fungal infection, such as ringworm. Once skin scrapes or blood samples are tested, a veterinarian can usually confirm the cause and treat the diagnosed condition with the right medication.

If it’s a diagnosed food allergy that’s causing the excessive grooming, the problem can be addressed with dietary adjustments, such as a veterinarian-prescribed hypoallergenic diet.

In some cases, a may also be trying to get at a source of pain caused by an internal problem, including kidney stones.

Home Remedies For Itching In Cats

As we have seen, if a cat scratches a lot it is necessary to go to the vet. We cannot diagnose the problem, nor are there any magic cures which will make them go away. When these are very serious underlying health problems, we will need to ensure a comprehensive treatment plan.

However, there are things we can do at home which will help prevent the problem of a cat scratching too much and making their skin raw. These include:

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to My Cat is Scratching Itself Raw, we recommend you visit our Skin problems category.

  • Bars, Juan. . Veterinary Clinical Dermatology .

Look For Medical Issues

First, your veterinarian will need to rule out medical problems.

Infections or allergies can be treated with the appropriate medications, which may include antibiotics, antihistamines, and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.

Keep your cat on flea medication year-round to help with flea allergies and ear mites.

If your cat is in pain, your vet can determine whats causing it and how to manage the pain.

Licking Is Okay But You Can Redirect Your Cat Too

Tired of all the licking? You might simply need to redirect your cats attention to other stimulating activities, including providing interactive cat furniture or toys such as a laser pointer.

So, what does it mean when a cat licks you? Now you know theres a variety of reasons for this behavior, many of which are positive. If your cats licking becomes irritating, try to handle it with grace and let your cat down easy. If it becomes compulsive, talk to your vet. 


How To Stop Your Cat From Licking You

Why does it hurt when my cat licks me? 

Remember those tiny tongue barbs we talked about? After a short while, the sandpaper feel of your cats tongue can become irritating to the skin, if not downright painful. If youre looking for ways to stop your cat from licking you, just keep in mind that this may be a bonding experience for your cat. Therefore, you shouldnt push your cat away aggressively or otherwise punish your cat for licking you. Instead, gently disengage from your cat and walk away. Eventually, your cat should begin to associate this disappearing act with his lickingand hopefully cease the behavior. 

Why Do Dogs Act Weird When You Scratch Their Back

Most pet owners will agree that their pets love being scratched. They all have their favorite spots. For most, the belly is a favorite – from the smallest to the largest dogs, it’s true. And what happens when you scratchsometimes your dog’s back leg starts to shake or kick. These kicks, caused by the belly scratch, look like a running. Why your cat claws and bites when you rub its tummy. A guide to help cat owners understand what their pets are thinking from their body language has been released by a cat charity Dogs licking their owners or other people is often seen as a sign of affection and that the pet is comfortable with you. While that may be true in many cases, in some instances there may be other. The use of complete oil. In your cat’s diet you can add a complete oil such as corn, peanut, safflower, and sunflower oils to lessen the itchiness of the scabs. You can give the cat 1.5 teaspoon during each meal in a day. Use a clean towel to wipe off the allergens from your cat’s neck and back. This is the simplest process which you can do.

The Root Of The Behavior

Ask any expert and the majority will agree that there is no deep hidden meaning behind your dog acting weird when you scratch his or her back. In fact, the answer most often given is that it simply feels good. This is especially true when you scratch the area of their backs closest to the base of their tails. And just like those hard to reach places on our backs, dogs love having that spot scratched as well.

There may, however, be a bit more of a medical explanation behind the euphoria expressed by your pooch when the ‘rump’ area is scratched. This area at the base of your dog’s tail is full of sensitive nerve endings. As such, the scratching sensation in this area is quite pleasurable to our canine companions. This is not to say that every dog you meet will enjoy you walking up and scratching their backs or rumps, so use caution if it is a dog other than your own fur baby.

Aside from just the relief of having an itchy spot scratched, there is also the possibility that your pup has an allergy or some type of skin condition. Skin allergies can be caused by a variety of factors that include food, pollen, and even mold. If it doesn’t seem to be an allergy issue, you may want to consider a skin condition such as dry skin. Cold weather, soaps, and some nutrient deficiencies can all contribute to your dog having dry and itchy skin. If you are concerned that your dog may have a skin condition or allergy, the safest option is to contact your vet.

When A Cat Says No

Why Do Cats Scratch? 3 Reasons, and How To Stop It

Some cats dislike being scratched or petted by the tail. Sadly there have been too many great cats who were re-housed because their people thought they were clawing for no reason. However, a cat rarely goes off on you without warning first.

Sometimes during play, they may attack you as a playmate, and that can come without warning. The idea of a surprise attack is very familiar to your cat. Its how theyd catch prey in the wild, and their play is designed to teach and hone that skill.

Regardless of playtime, a cat will warn you when they arent enjoying your attention. Watch for these warning signs.

Why Are Cat Tongues So Rough And Spiky

Cats and kittens have rough-looking tongues. They seem to have lots of spikes on them, much like the bristles of a boar bristle brush. This bristly structure of the cat tongue is made up of backward-facing taste buds that are actually a tool for survival. They are used to deep clean the coat, while also helping them to eat. They help the cat to remove flesh from bones and help them to remove food and debris from their coats. These papillae on the cats’ tongues also help cats to drink. Believe it or not, they don’t just dunk their tongues into the water and swallow whatever water is absorbed. Instead, their tongues are capable of yanking water upwards into a miniature column of water, and then they close their mouths quickly around the water. How cool is that!?

Is Your Pet Driving You Crazy With Excessive Licking And/or Itching Now To Be Fair All Dogs And Cats Will Lick And/or Itch Themselves As A Normal Behavior Its When They Are Persistently Performing This Behavior That Would Raise Concern Here Are The Top Reasons Behind Their Behavior And What You Can Do About


Reason # 1: I am itchy!

The most common reason for your pet to be excessively itching, scratching, and licking themselves is due to an allergy.  There are different types of allergies with the top 4 being reactions to fleas, environmental allergens, food, and contact allergies.  It can be challenging to diagnose the exact cause of the allergy. Based upon the age of your pet, the areas your pets body that is affected, evidence for fleas, and any seasonality to the displayed behavior are all used by your trusted veterinarian to help determine what is the cause of the itchy-scratchies.  Bee stings resulting in hives and allergic reactions to vaccines are other causes for itchiness and would be noted within a few hours of the sting or vaccine.

My favorite allergy from the list is flea allergies !  I knowcrazy right? Here me out though. Flea allergy is the only allergy that can be easily controlled with monthly flea prevention!  Food allergies and Atopy are tough to control without major medical efforts and lengthy strict hypoallergenic food trials. Below is a classical picture of a dog with FAD.  Note, the focalized hair loss over the rump aka filet mignon for the flea. 

Image courtesy 

Reason # 2: I am in pain!

Image courtesy of 

Reason # 3: I am really anxious!

Image courtesy of 


Carrie Vigeant D.V.M., mother of 3 boys, entrepreneur, wife, and foodie.


So Should You Scratch The Base Of Their Tail If They Like It

Everything is fine in moderation. I wouldnt overdo it. I can appreciate its a cool thing to show people, and its fun seeing cats enjoying themselves- but there is too much of a good thing.

If you over fuss them at the base of their tail youre going to overstimulate their supracaudal gland and probably end up irritating them.

But its a great way to bond with your cat and its fun seeing them enjoying themselves, so give them a little fuss on the front of their tail and watch them lick whatever is in front of them from time-to-time.

Why Do Cats Like Being Scratched At The Base Of Their Tail

I dont think I know another animal out there that can literally enjoy hours of petting as cats do. I mean Ive seen bears on TV enjoy a good back scratch by a sturdy tree trunk, but I doubt Id get away alive if I tried rubbing a bears back. My cats on the other hand cant get enough of it and the base of their tail is their petting highlight!

Knowing what our cats like is essential but knowing why they like it could also help you get a better understanding of their needs.

Fungal And Yeast Infections

Fungi, such as those which cause ringworm, do not usually cause itching at first. It is only over time once the infection has developed that the picture becomes more complicated. Ringworm is one which causes redness of the skin in particular. The cat will develop round lesions which are typical of the condition. The skin will often become red and flaky. Other fungal infections can cause this problem.

Yeast bacteria such as Malassezia can also lead to itching, as well as lesions, redness, peeling, scabs, bad odor and thickening of the skin. In these cases, injuries can appear anywhere on the body. It is necessary to see the veterinarian to identify the specific pathogens and prescribe the correct course of treatment. We cannot treat this on our own.

Is It Elevator Butt If Your Kitty Hasnt Been Fixed

Before you get too excited and head over to give your feline more butt scratches, it is important to mention this caveat: if your cat is female and has not been spayed, then you may actually be seeing your cat going into heat and sending out mating signals.

As VCA Animal Hospitals explains, most female cats will start entering into their first estrous or heat cycle around the age of six months.

So if you are seeing elevator butt in your young female cat, and that comes with other similar well-known heat signals such as discharge, persistent vocalizing, clingy behavior with you, and, of course, sticking their butt in the air.

However, this isnt the case if your cat is male and not yet neutered. The tail-raising behavior is more typically associated with female cats in heat.

Back Scratching And Cat Licking

I have a cat named Orion who loves to have his back scratched. He loves it so much, he licks stuff insanely when you scratch. Hell lick or gnaw on things that are close to him, like your arm, the couch, whatever. If theres nothing convenient, hell lick the air or himself. Ive had cats in the past that exhibited similar behavior and never thought anything of it. I just figured its the cat equivalent of the dog kicking his leg when you scratch his back or belly.

Master Control, however, is convinced that this is abnormal and that Orion must be suffering from some terrible skin condition if his back is so itchy that he responds so violently. There are no scabs on his back, though, no fleas that I can see, and no bald or scaly patches. He gets a little dandruffy, but hes a black cat so any dandruff he has really shows. I mean, I dont know that hes any more dandruffy than my lighter colored cat Squeaky, i just think it shows up better against his darker fur.

So the cat seems otherwise healthy and happy, he just licks stuff like crazy when you scratch him. Do you think this is weird? Have you ever had a cat that did the same thing? Am I a bad mommy because I dont want to take him to the vet for licking aggressively?

Yes, licking a cat is abnormal. Stop it.

QED: good point! So far as Ive ever seen, Orion doesnt make an effort to scratch his back on other objects, or roll around excessively.

Thank you very much for the opinions! Ill be sharing this with MC

Reasons Cats Like Their Butt Scratched

Why Do Some Cats Lick When You Scratch Their Backs?

Did you know that cats raise their butt in the air when you scratch it because it is a natural behavior?

When your cat was still a kitten, she was groomed by her mother. Of course, your cat was groomed in every single part of their body.

To put it simply, kittens will naturally lift their butt into the air so their mother can clean them underneath their tail.

This is still a reflexive movement for them even when they are older.

Now, female cats will also do this when they are in heat. This is called Lordosis and raising their butt in the air like this tells males that they are ready to be mated.

If your cat is not spayed and you notice her doing this, you should keep her inside and away from unsterilized male cats.

If you do not, you may end up with a pregnant cat.

Try Cat Calming Medications And Products

Cats with persistent anxiety may benefit from anti-anxiety medications and/or supplements. You will need a vets prescription for medications, and calming supplements are available over the counter in the form of treats.

You can also try sprays and plug-in diffusers that disperse synthetic cat pheromones. Talk to your vet about the best course of treatment.

Marking You As Their Territory

Cats practice territorial marking on a regular basis by activating the scent glands located in their mouths, chins, the sides of the face, and even the pads of their paws! Similar to your cat rubbing against you as a form of scent marking, he may also lick you to mark his territory. 

Do cats have a favorite person? Well, that depends entirely on the catbut one way you might confirm this theory is if your cat licks you and not the other household members. Certain cat breeds are more prone to singling out a favorite person, including Russian Blues and Oriental Shorthairs.

Kitty Mothers & Surrogates

When cats are babies, their mothers pay a lot of attention to them. The simple act of cleaning stimulates the nerves at the base of their tails, among other areas of the kittens body. Young felines enjoy this attention, and when we pet them, its a similar feeling.

Whether youre male or female, cat ownership is a lot like being the surrogate mom. Petting your cat and giving them scratches at the base of the tail reminds them of how it felt to be little and protected.

Its A Female Cat Behavior

Some cat parents believe that the base of the tail action is more favorable with female cats and not so much with males. Specifically, in intact female cats, its associated with mating behavior.

If your kitty is old enough to mate, then during estrus you may notice her behavior change. She may be more affectionate and seeking your attention more frequently by demanding pets and being extra vocal. When stroked your cat may also arch their back, knead the ground with their front paws and stomp their hind legs.

For an inexperienced owner, this might be a sign of affection, or pain, and not actually realizing that petting her at the back may be stimulating the instinctive mating response. Your female cat will also crouch down on her front legs and hold her rear end up, a sign that shes ready to mate a characteristic position called lordosis.

If your cat is spayed, then this arching of the back might still be part of their inner instinct. On the other hand, both of my cats are male and neutered and they love having their backs stroked, and while intact female cats will definitely go crazy about the back rub, it can still be a part of each cats individual personality.

Why Do Some Cats Lick Themselves When You Pet Them

Cats will sometimes lick their human friends, displaying affection while mingling their scents. 7. Cats show affection by hanging out on and around you. Even if your cat isn’t a lap cat, hanging. Unlike dogs, who roll onto their back as a sign of submissiveness and literally beg for a rub, cats have totally different reasons for going tummy-up. In the wild, big cats go onto their backs. Many cats show at least some kneading behavior throughout their lives, but some take it to a real art form-pawing, purring, and drooling combined. 6. Purring. via Giphy. Speaking of purring. This is a most-recognizable cat behavior, and many folks would not categorize it as weird behavior

LOL.. i don’t know why some do it..probably because it just feels so good they can’t help it. my dog doesn’t lick the air but he does love getting his butt scratched. He makes this face that just says ohhhhhhhh yeah that feels so good, don’t stop! lol and if you stop before hes ready he’ll hit you with his nose and point his butt at you The more the cat scratches, licks or bites, the more likely it is that you will see scabs on the affected area, such as their back. So, you know why the cat has scabs on their back, but you still do not know the cause of There are many different things to which a cat can have an allergic reaction

When To Involve The Vet

Of course, if youre just scratching your dogs back and he licks the air, this is no cause at all for concern.

Your dog may have an issue worth seeing the vet over, though, if he is constantly licking the air with no real reason for doing so.

This may be a sign that he has come kind of compulsive disorder, or perhaps an underlying health issue you need to address.

It may be helpful to provide your vet with a journal wherein you note the dates and times of your dogs licking.

From there, your vet may be able to determine if there is a pattern or some sort of catalyst causing the behavior.

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