Uncovering the Truth: Why Cats Groom Each Other’s Bums


Anyone who has owned a cat knows that they can have some odd behaviors. One of the most puzzling is when cats lick each other’s bums. This behavior may seem gross or even unsettling, but it actually serves a purpose for our feline friends. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind why cats engage in this seemingly strange behavior and how it is actually a sign of affection and grooming. So, why does your cat lick your other cat’s bum? Let’s find out.

Why Does My Cat Lick My Other Cat’s Bum?

Humans may find it a bit strange or even gross when they see cats licking each other’s bums, but it is actually a common behavior among feline friends. You may have caught your own cat in the act of licking another cat’s bum and wondered why they do it. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this seemingly odd behavior and shed some light on the importance of this action for cats.

The Significance of Grooming for Cats

To understand why cats lick each other’s bums, we must first understand the importance of grooming in feline behavior. Grooming is a natural and instinctive behavior for cats, and it serves multiple purposes. It helps to keep their fur clean and healthy, remove loose hair, and distribute oils from their skin, making their coat shiny and soft.

Grooming also has social benefits for cats as it helps to strengthen bonds between them. As social creatures, cats develop close relationships with their feline friends, and grooming is a way for them to show affection and care for one another.

Personal Hygiene Among Cats

Cats are known to be clean animals, and they take pride in keeping themselves well-groomed. If you have multiple cats in your household, you may notice them licking each other’s bodies, including their bums. While it may seem unusual, this behavior is actually an important part of a cat’s personal hygiene routine.

Cats have difficulty reaching certain areas of their body, such as their back and neck, which is where their feline friends come in to help. By licking each other’s bums, cats are able to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck or difficult to reach. It is a way for them to help each other and maintain their personal hygiene.

Bonding and Social Hierarchy

Licking each other’s bums is also a way for cats to strengthen their bonds with one another. When one cat licks another cat’s bum, it signifies a level of trust and closeness between them. Cats that groom each other are typically more closely bonded and have a stronger social hierarchy compared to cats that do not engage in this behavior.

This grooming behavior can also be seen as a sign of social hierarchy within a group of cats. The dominant cat in the group will often be the one doing most of the grooming, while the subordinate cats will be on the receiving end. This reinforces the hierarchy and helps to maintain peace and stability within the group.

Showing Affection and Care

Cats may also lick each other’s bums as a way to show affection and care. Grooming releases feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin, in cats, similar to how it does in humans. This helps to create a sense of bonding and pleasure, making cats feel closer to one another.

In addition, cats may also lick their friends’ bums as a way to comfort and soothe them. If a cat is feeling stressed or anxious, their feline friend may try to calm them down by grooming them. This nurturing behavior helps to create a sense of security and trust between cats.

Behavioral Issues and Medical Conditions

While licking each other’s bums is a common and natural behavior among cats, excessive or aggressive licking can indicate underlying issues. It is important to observe your cats’ behavior and take note of any changes or unusual behavior.

If you notice one cat constantly licking another’s bum to the point of irritation or hair loss, it may be a sign of a behavioral issue. This could be caused by stress, anxiety, or even a form of compulsive disorder. If you suspect this to be the case, consulting with your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause and provide solutions.

Sometimes, excessive bum licking can also be a sign of a medical issue, such as allergies, infections, or parasites. If you notice your cat’s bum is red, inflamed, or has a strong odor, it is best to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.


While it may seem strange to us humans, licking each other’s bums is a natural and important behavior for cats. It helps them maintain personal hygiene, strengthen social bonds, and show affection and care for one another. As responsible pet owners, it is important to understand and accept these behaviors as a part of a cat’s nature.

However, if you notice any excessive or aggressive licking, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues. With proper care and attention, your cats will continue to have a healthy and loving relationship with each other.

In conclusion, while it may seem strange to us, cats licking each other’s bums is a normal behavior that serves multiple purposes. It not only helps with grooming and cleanliness, but it can also be a sign of affection and social bonding between feline friends. As pet owners, it is important to understand and accept these behaviors as part of our cats’ natural instincts and social interactions. By learning more about our furry companions, we can create a stronger bond and provide them with the love and care they deserve. So the next time you see your cat licking another’s bum, know that it is just their way of showing love and taking care of each other.

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