Joan: Whenever I pet our loving tabby cat, she
immediately cleans herself in the area where I petted
be offended because she doesnít like my scent and is
trying to remove it, or flattered because she likes my
scent and is enjoying it?
Rebecca: As with a lot of things involving those
wonderfully mysterious and perplexing felines, thereís
more than one answer.
first, frankly, is the most positive for our egos. Your
cat is not trying to rub away your strokes in the same
way a young child wipes away your kisses. Far from it.
regard us as other cats. Large, strange looking cats,
but catlike beings that are neither above nor below
themselves. When you pet your cat and she then licks the
same spot, it could be her way of performing mutual
grooming, an act that occurs between close and loving
scenario, you are another cat grooming your cat. Just be
thankful you donít have to use your tongue.
possibility is that you are petting her in a place that
isnít as easy for her to get at, and sheís trying to
help you reach the sweet spot. This happens most often
near the base of a catís tail, where she canít quite
reach. Itís akin to scratching a dog and having it
start gyrating its rear leg. The cat often will lick at
the air, as if she is licking the hard-to-reach spot.
reason could be that your cat has a sore or itchy spot
caused by a skin irritation, either from a food or
insect allergy. Your touching that area makes it itch or
tingle and your cat tries to sooth or quiet the itch. If
it happens in the same place every time, then you should
have your cat checked by a veterinarian.
reason experts have identified is called feline
hyperesthesia syndrome, a condition where your catís
skin becomes hypersensitive. Your stroke could be
causing discomfort and pain.
another instance when a trip to the vet is necessary,
but as you didnít mention any negative reaction from
your cat, I suspect thereís nothing wrong and nothing
for you to be offended by. Keep on petting.