Cats are known for their quirky behaviors, and one of the more peculiar ones is their tendency to lick their owners’ armpits. While it might seem strange or even unpleasant, there’s actually a fascinating mix of science, nutrition, and affection behind this behavior. This article delves into the reasons why your feline friend might be so interested in your armpits and offers insights into whether this habit is something to be concerned about.

Key Takeaways

  • Cats are attracted to the salt in human sweat, which can be found in high concentrations in armpits.
  • Armpit licking can be a sign of affection and a way for cats to bond with their owners.
  • Your cat may find comfort in your scent, which is strong in areas like the armpits due to pheromones.
  • While generally harmless, it’s important to ensure your cat isn’t ingesting harmful substances like deodorant.
  • If the licking becomes bothersome, there are techniques to discourage this behavior, such as distraction and positive reinforcement.

The Purr-suit of Salt: Why Cats Love Your Sweaty Pits

Sweat: The Salty Cat Treat

Ever notice how your cat seems to have a sixth sense for when you’ve just finished a workout or come back from a hot day outside? That’s because your armpit sweat is like a gourmet treat for them! Cats are drawn to the salt in sweat. Many cats will sneak a lick if you come home covered in perspiration. Interestingly, salt is one of the few tastes that cats can detect. Felines don’t have taste receptors that pick up on sweet tastes, so when your kitty is after that piece of cake you’re eating, it’s not because they’re after the sweet taste of icing.

The Science Behind the Salt Craving

Here’s what science has to say. Humans secrete a fair amount of salt when sweating, and many animals, especially cats, are attracted to the taste of that for some reason. Your cat’s nose is fine-tuned to sniff out traces of animal proteins, and your armpit sweat is no exception. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their wild diet comprises at least 70% animal proteins. Armpit sweat contains higher than average concentrations of fats and proteins, making it a tantalizing treat for your feline friend.

Is It Safe for Your Cat?

So, is it safe for your cat to indulge in this salty behavior? Generally, there’s no danger in a cat doing this, although it’s sort of creepy. However, there could be a problem if you’re wearing deodorant, which wouldn’t be good for the cat to consume. If you’re concerned, it’s best to distract your cat with a safer, more appropriate treat or toy. And if the behavior becomes obsessive, it might be time to consult your vet.

Ever wonder why cats love sleeping on top of your dirty laundry? It’s because your scent permeates whatever you’ve worn, and under the right circumstances, this can be comforting to your cat. Armpits are full of scent-producing apocrine glands that produce pheromones. It’s no wonder that your cat finds your underarms interesting and can’t resist giving yours a lick now and then.

For more fascinating insights into your cat’s quirky behaviors, check out CatsLuvUs.

Feline Foodie: The Nutritional Value of Your Armpit

Protein-Packed Perspiration

Believe it or not, our armpit sweat is like a gourmet meal for our feline friends. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they thrive on a diet rich in animal proteins. And guess what? Our sweat contains higher-than-average concentrations of fats and proteins. It’s like a five-star restaurant for your kitty, right under your arm!

A Carnivore’s Delight

Cats have an incredible sense of smell, fine-tuned to detect even the faintest traces of animal proteins. When they catch a whiff of your armpit, it’s like they’re sniffing out a juicy steak. This is why your cat might be more interested in your post-gym aroma than you are. It’s their way of saying, "Hey, I smell something delicious!"

When Nutrition Gets Weird

While it might seem odd to us, our cats see our sweat as a nutritional goldmine. However, it’s essential to keep an eye on this behavior. If your cat’s licking becomes excessive, it might be time to consult a vet. After all, we want to make sure our furry friends are getting their nutrients from more conventional sources too.

Our cats have a unique way of showing their love, and sometimes, it involves licking our armpits. It’s just one of the many quirks that make them so endearing.

Scent-sational: Your Cat’s Nose Knows Best

Pheromones and Feline Fascination

Ever wondered why your cat seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out your armpits? Well, it turns out that cats are super smellers. While they might not be in the same league as dogs, they still outperform us humans in the sniffing department. Your cat’s fascination with your armpits could be due to the aromatic compounds they find appealing. Just like we get the warm fuzzies when we smell a t-shirt our loved one slept in, cats feel the same way about their favorite humans.

The Comforting Smell of You

Assuming your cat loves you (and we hope they do!), they’ll want to smell you. Your unique scent is strongest in your armpits—that’s why we put deodorant there! When your cat stuffs their face into your armpit, it might just mean they want to be close to you. It’s their way of saying, "I love you, human!" So, the next time your cat dives nose-first into your pit, take it as a compliment.

Why Your Cat Thinks You’re a Giant Cat

Cats are territorial creatures, and they use scent to mark their territory. When your cat licks your armpits, they might be trying to apply their scent to you. In their eyes, you’re just a giant cat that needs to be marked. This behavior is their way of making sure you carry their scent, reinforcing the bond between you two. So, while it might seem weird to us, it’s perfectly normal in the feline world.

"Your cat’s nose knows best, and sometimes that means getting up close and personal with your armpits."

For more fascinating insights into your cat’s quirky behaviors, check out CatsLuvUs.

Grooming Guru: Cats and Their Cleaning Habits

Mutual Grooming: A Sign of Affection

Cats enjoy grooming each other. It’s an instinctive behavior seen even in big cats like lions and tigers. It builds bonds and indicates deep affection. Mother cats groom their kittens until they’re around 4 weeks old to encourage their babies to eat and provide comfort. After kitties reach about 1 month old, they begin returning the favor by grooming their mom and siblings.

The Sandpaper Tongue Experience

A feline’s method of washing using its tongue is known as grooming. A cat licking itself several times over the course of the day to maintain a clean and shiny coat and help prevent knots is perfectly normal but its important to pay attention to the frequency of this gesture. If our cat licks itself constantly, it could have an underlying physical issue or be suffering from anxiety.

When Grooming Gets Personal

Not only does a cat groom itself it may also groom other cats, this is known as ‘allogrooming’. This behaviour starts from the first days of life: a mother cat cleans her kittens’ genital areas to provoke a natural reflex to urinate and defecate. Mutual licking between cats is a signal of strong friendship usually associated with relaxed postures and purrs and can also serve as a peace offering after a small quarrel. But, what does a cat want to tell us when it licks us? The act of licking our hair or areas like our armpits is a sign of affection and an attempt to groom us as they would another cat.

Grooming is an affectionate action for cats. They will groom other cats that they care deeply for and love, and it’s well known in science that cats view their owners as some big, bipedal cat that’s terrible at doing cat things. So, they groom you—including your armpits—to try and show you how to groom yourself and keep you clean!

Kittenhood Memories: The Suckling Instinct

kitten lying on red and white quatrefoil textile

Why Cats Suckle

Some cats that were weaned too early have a tendency to suck on things. Favorite targets often include blankets on their owner’s lap, clothing their human family wears, and even skin. Necks, inner elbows, and armpits are particularly popular, and armpits provide an extra bit of comfort through those pheromones. Interestingly enough, female cats have scent glands around their nipples, so it’s not surprising that your kitty instinctively connects your gland-filled armpits with comfort and sucking.

The Comfort of Nostalgia

If the cat in question is a young kitten, they may have been removed from their mother too young. Cats removed from their mothers too early may tuck their head into your armpit because it reminds them of suckling from their mother, and it comforts them. The warmth of your arm, along with your special scent, apparently is attractive to her and therefore she resists being removed. By all means, you should stop her from doing that, but don’t leave her out in the cold. Offer her something else that she can cuddle with such as a stuffed toy scented with catnip.

Is It a Problem?

Just because your kitty enjoys licking your armpits doesn’t necessarily mean they were weaned too early. Many cats simply find sucking and licking to be deeply comforting. And as long as your cat isn’t ingesting anything problematic such as antiperspirant, the behavior isn’t really something you need to worry about.

Pro Tip: If your cat’s suckling behavior becomes excessive or problematic, consider consulting a vet for advice on how to manage it. For more tips on cat behavior, visit CatsLuvUs.

How to Paws-itively Stop the Licking

So, your cat has developed a peculiar taste for your armpits, and while it might be endearing at first, it can quickly become a bit too much. It’s possible to train your cat to stop licking your armpits. Let’s dive into some paws-itively effective techniques to help you reclaim your personal space without hurting your feline friend’s feelings.

Is your cat constantly licking and you don’t know how to stop it? Discover effective tips and tricks to curb this behavior in our latest article, "How to Paws-itively Stop the Licking." For more expert advice and to book our top-notch cat grooming services, visit our website today!


In the grand tapestry of feline quirks, armpit licking might just be the purrfect blend of bizarre and endearing. Whether your kitty is after a salty snack, a grooming session, or simply trying to bond with their favorite human, it’s clear that our armpits hold a special place in their hearts (and taste buds). So, next time your cat dives into your underarm, just remember: it’s their way of saying, "You’re the cat’s pajamas!" Just be cautious with that antiperspirant, and you’ll both be feline fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my cat lick my armpits?

Cats may lick your armpits because they are attracted to the salty taste of your sweat, find comfort in your scent, or view it as a form of grooming and affection.

Is it safe for my cat to lick my armpits?

Generally, it is safe for your cat to lick your armpits, but ensure you are not wearing deodorant or antiperspirant, as these can be harmful if ingested.

How can I stop my cat from licking my armpits?

You can try distraction techniques, positive reinforcement, or consult a vet if the behavior becomes problematic.

Is armpit sweat nutritious for cats?

Yes, armpit sweat can contain proteins and fats that are somewhat nutritious for cats, although it is not a significant source of nutrition.

Why does my cat find my scent comforting?

Cats have a strong sense of smell and find comfort in their owner’s scent, which can be especially strong in areas like the armpits due to the presence of pheromones.

Is it a problem if my cat frequently licks my armpits?

Frequent licking can be a sign of behavioral issues or nutritional deficiencies. If it becomes excessive, consult a vet for advice.