You might think you know your feline friend super well, until they go and do something bizarre like lick your beard. What’s that all about? Cats are known for their meticulous grooming habits that extend to their owners. When they’re not cleaning themselves excessively, they’ll probably move over to you and give you a good wash – because according to your cat, you NEED it.
One of their funniest quirks, however, has got to be their fascination with beards. If you’re a female cat owner, you may not be familiar with this quirk, but if you’re a dude who favors facial fuzz over a clean shave, you’re probably wondering why your cat always grooms and nuzzles into your beard.
Here are some reasons why cats love beards.
#1: It’s Warm and Snuggly
Why do cats like beards? Probably because they’re warm and snuggly – much like their own fur. Cats love warmth – and they love to snuggle. Your beard provides both of those things to your furry friend, which is why they’ll regularly nuzzle in in a bid to get closer to you and share affection.
I love watching cats sleep. It’s one of the most satisfying things to watch, not only because cats are super cute, but because they always manage to look incredibly cozy, wherever they kip. They could curl up on top of a trash can and still manage to look enviably calm and cozy. But in their own bed or on yours is where they look coziest – in their element of ultimate peace and relaxation. It makes you want to curl up right beside them – and often, I do!
#2: Your Cat is Grooming You
A guy friend once said to me, “My cat cleans my beard. Almost every day.” I said to him, he’s grooming you. He thinks you need a bath. The friend laughed, but it’s the truth. Cats love to groom. Sometimes they do it out of love as a way to get closer to you and show you affection. Other times they do it out of necessity – because they think you’re a little dirty.
Kittens begin to groom themselves very early on in their lives. It’s an instinctive behavior that’s also influenced by their mother and their environment. If your cat licks your beard, you might think it’s strange, but it’s probably just their way of saying “I love you.” Alternatively, it could be because they smell or feel something in your beard that they think needs to be cleaned away.
#3: Your Cat is Stressed
Studies show that cats sometimes use grooming to relieve stress. Your cat – stressed?!? Yeah, it’s kinda hard to imagine, but cats really can get stressed and one of the ways they deal with it is by excessively grooming themselves or you.
If you’ve noticed your furry friend constantly licking your beard, or doing it more than usual, take some time out to help your kitty chill out. He might be stressed and in need of your attention. Let him outside to explore, play with him, and cuddle him more. He should feel better in no time!
#4: It Smells Interesting
Recently downed a tasty steak or fish salad? That could be why your cat’s hanging around your beard and showing it more attention than normal. Cats are drawn to interesting smells – especially those that smell like their favorite food. If you haven’t eaten recently, the sudden interest could be down to a skincare product you’re using.
Basically, any scent that could be interesting to your cat will have him hanging around your beard. Cats aren’t called curious for no reason!
#5: To Your Cat, It’s Like Snuggling Another Cat
Your beard might not feel like cat fur, but in your cat’s eyes, it’s still furry and reminiscent of their coat. If your cat’s alone and doesn’t have any companions, he may use your beard as a way of snuggling up to his own. Since cats are independent creatures, they won’t do this frequently, but they still like connection with other cats, which is probably the reason behind his interest in your beard.
If you suspect that’s the reason why, try showing your kitty a little extra love. Give him or her more cuddles, play with them more, and if they want to nuzzle into your beard, let them.
#6: Your Cat is Repelled By Facial Hair
According to a 2011 study, cats aren’t into beards at all. The study involved showing photos of various bearded men to cats to see what kind of reaction they’d have. Interestingly, cats disliked the photos of men with long, dark beards the most. But they still weren’t impressed with shorter-bearded men. As for men with partial beards…well, this left most of the cats perplexed.
So the question to ask might not be why do cats like beards, but why don’t they? Experts believe it could be because long beards change the shape of the face and appear more aggressive to felines. If only I could take my cat out for a coffee and ask!
#7: Your Cat Wants You to Shave it Off
Since cats don’t like beards much, his constant interest in your beard might not be interest but pure frustration. Secretly in his head he’s saying: “Shave it off, shave it off! This thing is gross!”
Every time he rubs against your beard, it might not be because he loves you or likes the feeling of your fuzz. It could be a little reminder for you: to shave! Don’t listen to your cat, though. If you wanna keep the beard, keep the beard. Kitty’s gotta deal with it!
#8: Your Cat Might Be a Little Possessive – and Jealous
Wondering why your cat keeps rubbing against your beard? Sometimes it’s a sign of affection. Other times, it could simply be your kitty marking you. Cats have special glands in their cheeks that they use to transfer their scent and warn others to stay away. Other times they lick their owners to mark them as a family member.
This may happen if you’ve introduced a new pet into your home. Your cat might end up marking you out of jealousy as a little message to the newbie to STAY AWAY. Without a doubt, cats can get extremely jealous, especially if they feel like they’re losing your attention to another animal – or in some cases, human.
#9: Your Cat Wants Something
Cats are crafty little creatures. While they certainly can exhibit some behaviors purely out of love and affection, there’s often an incentive behind a cat’s behavior. If your beloved feline has suddenly hopped onto your lap, climbed up your chest, and started nuzzling or licking your beard, there’s a chance he’s after something, and he wants to be in your good books so you’ll let him have it.
Perhaps he wants some dinner or a treat, or maybe he wants to go outside. Sometimes, he might do it simply to get your attention and affection. There could be multiple things he wants. As his guardian, it’s your responsibility to figure out what it is.
#10: Your Cat Might Be Unwell
If your cat is trying to chew or eat your facial hair, this could be a sign that something’s wrong. It could either be stress or a health condition that’s driving the strange behavior. Get him checked out by your local veterinarian to see what the problem could be. In most cases, he should be perfectly fine and healthy. However, it’s always worth getting checked if your cat suddenly starts behaving in an unusual way or adopting new, bizarre habits.
#11: Your Cat Adores You
Cats show affection in many ways – through snuggling, licking, and cuddling. If you’re curious as to why my cat cleans my beard, it’s probably just his way of expressing his love for you. Your cat wants to take care of you, hence the reason he’s licking you clean. He also wants to be around you, hence the reason he’s nuzzling into your beard.
Most of the time, there’s a good reason behind your cat’s beard licking or nuzzling behavior. And most of the time, it’s just him showing his affection for you. Awwww.