Is licking love or anxiety?

by Matthew Gardiner
(Bristol, England, United Kingdom )

Nap time after breakfast and zoomies

Nap time after breakfast and zoomies

Affection and anxiety. New cat dad wants to know if licking is love or anxiety.

I have a 10-week old female kitten. Very cuddly. Loves affection but plays hard with only me (male, 32), otherwise very settled and happy. Understandably still getting used to the new house but eating, litter trained and playful. I have a water fountain but also worried about not getting enough water so any advice with water would be appreciated.

My main question is that during the day it’s all sleep and play but late at night she will lay close to me and purr, accept kisses and then licks my nose, mouth, cheeks, etc. then will move to another spot or room almost like a bedtime kiss and then after a cuddle will move away completely.

This doesn’t happen to my wife at all but my wife usually gets the affection during the day. I’ve read that licking can be a sign of anxiety and I’m worried she doesn’t feel safe around me at night maybe because we play fight? I’m a new cat dad and just want to make sure she’s ok and comfortable with no anxiety.

I know with time she will become more and more comfortable and trusting but I’ve never had a pet love kisses so much and reply with lots of licks. I just want to make sure she isn’t anxious at night time and if I need to change bedtime or less affection?

Any thoughts, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated as Google isn’t always the best for answers!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


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That sounds pretty normal
by: Sally F.

Excessive licking can be a sign of anxiety, but this sounds like mutual grooming and affection to me. Perfectly normal.

Water fountains are great. A little distance between the food and water can be helpful, too. Many people put them very close together, but separating them a bit is a good idea. Good luck with your kitty!

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