Why Do Bengal Cats Lick You?

I love my fierce Bengal cat to bits.

But I am not particularly thrilled about being licked by it ever so often, especially when I am about to go to the office.

I wanted to know the reason, and now I am going to share what I have learned so far.

Why do Bengals lick you? They might be expressing love and affection; letting you know how comfortable they are with you; demanding your attention, grooming you or perhaps they simply like the taste of you.

One just cannot say no to a Bengal cat as you would not want to get on their wrong side.

Thus, when they want to lick you, you have to oblige.

Finding out more about the reasons behind their licking can perhaps prove to be of help to you.

Bengal cats licking

As much as your Bengal cat might love licking you:

It probably would not be a great experience for you.

The tongue of a Bengal cat feels similar to being rubbed by wet and warm sandpaper on the skin.

As is evident:

It is not very soothing.

Why does a Bengal cat’s tongue feel like sandpaper?

The tongues of Bengal cats are meant for aiding in grooming.

Therefore, papillae in the shape of backward-facing hooks cover the tongue. The papillae are made of keratin which also makes the claws of the cat.

The function of the papillae, apart from grooming, also includes assisting the cat in tearing off meat from bones.

Reasons behind licking

Let us elaborate on some of the reasons that might be prompting your affectionate cat to lick you all over your face.


Bengal cats lick themselves for grooming, so it is quite possible that they lick you for the same purpose.

Kittens learn to groom in the initial days of their lives by their parent cat.

They are taught at a young age that grooming is mandatory.

Learning this from their parent, the kitten starts to groom its siblings as well to show love.

It can be considered a way to bond socially for cats. Humans hug, cats lick.

You should, in fact, feel honored that your Bengal is licking you. It implies that the cat considers you a part of its family.

Showing comfort

Bengals are not ungrateful.

They notice you taking all the required measures to take care of them.


They feel a sense of security and safety with you.

They might be trying to tell you how comfortable they feel around you by licking.

Cats love being licked. Why would they think humans would not share this love with them?

Marking you

You must have seen jealous partners sniffing their significant others in movies to detect the perfume of someone else.

Well, your furry friend just might be doing the same.

These jealous creatures are likely to lick you when you come back after leaving them alone for some time.

They might think you have been betraying them by giving company to another animal.

By licking:

They are marking their territory through their scent.

This is a signal for other animals to stay away from you. Bengals do not share their human.

Showing affection

It could merely be a sign of affection. They love you, and they want you to know it.

Licking is their way of kissing you.


As incredulous as it might sound, perhaps they simply like the taste of you.

Maybe they love the taste of natural salt on the skin, or perhaps you use a lotion that they are partial to.


Bengals are quite an attention craving breed.

They might be licking you to get your attention. They want to be pampered, and they make no secret of this.

A sign of trouble

Excessive licking might be a sign of trouble.

If you notice a change in the behavior of your Bengal cat accompanied by excessive licking, you might want to take the opinion of a vet.

They might be suffering from anxiety, stress or boredom.

What to do if you do not like being licked by your Bengal cat?

Some people just don’t like being licked by their cats.

It’s not because they don’t love their little friends, they merely don’t appreciate the warm and wet feeling.

Though considering how difficult it is to get the affection of a Bengal cat, one should be proud of the cat finding them worthy of licking.

However, if you do not like it, you need to make sure that licking does not become your friend’s habit.

Understand the signs that tell you that the Bengal is about to start licking you. Before they begin, distract them by giving them some of their favorite toys to play with.

You can also start grooming them when they show signs of wanting to lick you.

Get a brush and start grooming the moment they approach you with their wet tongue.

They like being groomed, and they will consider it as a sign of love.

Bengals are not the cats to be messed with. They do not like being yelled at, and physical reactions make them very angry.

As annoying as you might find their licking, do not try to stop them by shouting or pushing them away. Be patient and gentle with them.

What is the temperament of Bengal cats?

Did you ever have a crush you had to work very hard to impress?

Trust me:

The crush would not have made you work half as hard as a Bengal cat would.

Characteristics Extent
Affection levelHigh
Energy levelHigh
Social needsHigh

Bengal cats can be quite a handful.

For those who don’t know much about them, it might be impossible to hold onto these fascinating and naughty creatures.

The Bengals expect you to take them seriously. They want to be pampered and showered with attention and affection.

Sounds similar?

These intelligent cats have quite a curious streak in them. They love to find out about stuff.

When you leave them alone at home, you might come back to find the house in a state like a tornado swept through it.

You did ask for it by leaving them alone, though.

They stop at nothing to get your attention.

If licking or purring does not do the trick, they can go to extreme lengths. For instance, if you stop them from doing something, they are likely to repeat it so that they will get your focus.

You can have a gala training them as long as you are patient. They are similar to dogs in this regard.

They can be taught interesting tricks and games like fetch.

Once you get your bearing with a Bengal cat, there is no stopping the fun you will have. They will keep you entertained and content throughout the day.

Are Bengal cats friendly?


They might take some time to open up:

But once they get comfortable with someone, they shed all inhibitions.

The primary need for Bengals is attention. They will get along with anyone who gives them attention.

Thus, you will find them to enjoy the company of older children to a great extent.

Furthermore, these active furballs love to play, and the older children are likely to indulge them more. They also enjoy the company of other animals.

Bengals are similar to dogs in more ways than one.

Thus, it is often seen that they enjoy the company of dogs more than other cats. They are highly adaptable and social, jelling with their surroundings quickly.

It might be a good idea to keep them away from toddlers, though.

Bengal cats, when angry, can be quite dangerous.

They might harm small children, and thus it is best to keep them at a distance. You never know what might annoy them.

Related Questions

Is it harmful if a Bengal cat licks you? You might love being licked by your Bengal cat.

But it might be a good idea to keep your face away.

Cat scratch fever, a bacterial infection can be transmitted to you by the cat saliva.

The bacteria can be dangerous if they find their way to your eyes or in an open sore. If you are sure that your cat is healthy, allow your cat to lick away.

Do Bengal cats cuddle? It depends on their mood.

They might like occasional cuddling or petting, but do not think of them as lap cats because they are not.

Bengals love to be as active as possible all the time.

Therefore, you cannot expect them to lie in your lap for long hours. They would instead head out to play.

Do not take that personally, though.

Are Bengal cats hypoallergenic? Yes, till a great extent.

It is nearly impossible to stay away from your pet cat.

However, some individuals are forced to bear the pain since they are allergic to cats.

Such people can shower their love on Bengal cats without any worries.

Bengals do not shed much. Thus, there is little chance of them causing allergic reactions in individuals.


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