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7 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Lick Your Eyelid

7 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Lick Your Eyelid

You’re likely to notice your cat loves to lick all kinds of things.

This can be your floors, furniture, the leftovers of your meal, and so on. Felines have a very intense sense of smell and licking and sniffing on things in their surroundings is something they enjoy.

It’s also possible for you to become the main object of your cat’s licking. Therefore, you could notice your cat licking your hands. This can be understood as their attempt to taste the food you’re making or something delicious you just ate.

However, you may also observe that your cat likes to lick your face. Your eyelid, to be more precise.

What is this about? Why does my cat lick my eyelid?

This certainly can be surprising to see. It’s challenging to figure out why your pet would find your eyelid so interesting.

Don’t worry, because there are seven explanations for this behavior in your cat. Let’s look at them and see whether this is something you should prevent.

1. Taking Care Of You

Newborn kittens are unable to take care of themselves. This is why the role of a mother cat is irreplaceable for them in their first couple of weeks.

Their mother feeds them and protects them from predators and other threats. Aso, she grooms them and licks their eyes to keep them clean, since they can’t do this on their own.

This is something kittens probably learn from their mothers. They could lick their owners’ eyelids in an attempt to take care of them, just like their mother used to do for them.

Considering this, I find it hard to believe that some people are still convinced that cats are aloof and indifferent towards humans. They certainly aren’t, especially when they form deep bonds with their owners.

2. Expressing Their Affection

cat licking woman's eye

Licking your eyelid can also be your cat’s way of saying I love you.

As PetMD explains, cats licking their humans can be understood as friendly, altruistic behavior. This gesture strengthens their social bond and nurtures their relationship.

Some cats will focus on their owners’ hands, while others will prefer their noses or eyelids.

The point here is that your cat’s licking behavior could simply be its way to express its affection towards you.

3. A Wake-Up Call

You were just enjoying a nice nap, only to be awakened by your cat licking your eyelids?

This is your cat’s way to tell you: It’s time to wake up and focus on me!

Actually, this is a very clever move. Your cat is aware that the fastest way to wake you up is by concentrating on your eyes.

It could just want to spend some time with you, and it feels like you’ve been sleeping for too long.

Furthermore, it’s possible your cat needs something, like food, water, to go outside, or to have its litter box cleaned.

Or, perhaps it feels bored and it wants to get some attention from you. It looks like it’s time to get up and engage in some playtime with your kitty.

4. The Taste Of Makeup

cat licking woman's face

Female cat owners could encounter their cats licking their eyelids due to them liking the taste of the makeup on their eyes.

This is quite unusual, but cats can be strange, too, and we still love them!

Of course, your cat shouldn’t be licking your makeup. Make sure you don’t let it go near your face while you have makeup on it.

Also, ensure your makeup is out of reach for your cat. You know cats are very skillful and could easily find a way to knock them off your table or shelf and try to lick it.

5. Liking The Salty Taste

Another possibility is that your cat likes the salty taste of your eyelids. Your eyes can feel salty when you cry.

Also, if you have just been working out or it’s really hot outside, you’re probably sweating. This can lead your cat to want to lick your eyelids and enjoy that salty taste.

According to Pet Cosset, anything salty is very tempting to cats. They have a preference for this flavor and may perceive anything salty as a potential food source.

Felines need salt for maintaining healthy organ function, since salt helps the movement of nutrients in their body cells. 

However, too much salt can be dangerous for a cat’s well-being. Bear in mind that a cat needs only about 21 mg of salt daily.

6. Your Cat Is Imitating You

cat licking man's eye

Sharing a home with a cat is a never-ending adventure. You’ll sometimes encounter something your cat is doing and later you’ll wish you’d captured that moment so you could enjoy it again!

Some cats will try to imitate what their owners are doing. Licking your eyelid can be their attempt to return you the favor for what you’re normally doing for it.

You probably wipe your cat’s face and eyes to keep it clean. Also, if your cat has ever had an eye infection, you were probably instructed by a veterinarian on how to take care of its eyes.

Your cat observes this and might try to lick your eyelid to show it cares for you, too.

There are many other ways a cat may imitate its owners. For instance, some cats could find sitting like a human as their favorite sitting position.

Take a look at the video below showing an adorable cat mimicking its owner’s hair brushing.

7. Compulsive Licking

Has your cat suddenly started licking your eyelid excessively, and is strictly focused on this area only?

If your answer is yes, then this could be a compulsive licking problem in your cat.

As WebMD points out, compulsive licking behavior often occurs in cats who are stressed or anxious.

Numerous factors in your cat’s environment can trigger these emotions. For instance, this could be about some change in their lives, like a new family member, or moving house.

Veterinary visits are extremely stressful for most cats. Loud noises like thunderstorms or construction work could also cause stress in cats.

Some cats dislike being left alone, so, when their owners are away from home for too long, they are likely to become anxious.

Should You Stop Your Cat From Licking Your Eyelid?

woman holding up a cat

Is your cat licking your eyelid a reason to be worried? In most cases, it isn’t. Most likely, this is its way of showing affection and caring for you.

Or, it could be your cat’s attempt to get your attention. Although this isn’t worrying, it doesn’t mean you should let your cat do it.

We all know how clean cats are and how much time they spend on their grooming. However, they’re still animals and predators as well. 

This means that your cat’s tongue has probably been everywhere, from small prey in your backyard, to all possible surfaces inside your home.

I recommend you still set some boundaries and prevent your cat from licking your eyelids and your face in general. This isn’t hygienic at all, since there are potentially so many bacteria in your cat’s mouth and on its tongue.

You should try discouraging it by distracting it with its favorite toy or starting a play session when you notice its attempt to lick you.

Finally, if you have a reason to believe your cat is anxious, try to figure out what is causing it to feel like this.

If possible, the best would be to eliminate this trigger from your cat’s surroundings. Make your home feel entirely safe for your furry friend.


Why does my cat lick my eyelid?

Many cats will lick their owners on some occasions, but your eyelids are probably something you least expected to be attractive for your cat.

As we have seen, there are a couple of possible explanations behind this behavior. Although it’s possible that your cat is simply showing its love and caring for you, you should still try to prevent this.

Also, observe your cat’s behavior to make sure that it isn’t experiencing a compulsive licking problem.

You may also want to learn why cats like to lick their owners’ toes. Hope to catch you there!