Evidence that cats see us as cats!

Cat allogrooms baby
Cat allogrooms baby
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I have always said the obvious, that cats see us as giant cats. All the signs are there: kneading us for milk, licking us, then we stroking them back, scent exchanging and so on.

John Bradshaw who wrote Cat Senses agrees with me (I am pleased to say). This little, cute video supports that view:

In the video the cat is allogrooming another cat in her/his mind. Allogrooming means grooming a cat friend. What makes it more like a cat-to-cat encounter and friendship is the baby-to-cat size ratio. The baby is not vastly larger than the cat so it looks more like a cat grooming a cat.

What is interesting is that the baby gets up from time to time to stop it. Why is that? My answer is that a cat’s tongue is quite harsh. The keratin papillae are hard and the cat licks in the same place over and over. As the baby has thin “fur” (hair) the cat is licking the skin rather than what should be fur. The baby feels that and it becomes uncomfortable so she gets up.

I think the baby likes it, though, as she readily lies down again for more. What the baby could have done with her mother’s encouragement was to stroke the cat in return to make it a session of mutual allogrooming. This would have further bonded the two species (human+cat).

Cats are good for babies. They teach baby to respect animals provided mother instils that in her baby and it can help with developing a better immune system and prevent allergies in the future when adult. It also desensitises baby to the cat allergen.

32 thoughts on “Evidence that cats see us as cats!”

  1. Marvin is the kneader of all kneaders. I have to keep an extra garment or towel handy so I don’t have to stop him. His claws are monstrously long. I wouldn’t dream of trimming them. He needs them for battle. Both out in the real world, and battling his rug! I have a video of that somewhere. He is not much of a licker. Though he can head butt you into tomorrow.

  2. Michael- I LOVED this piece. It is so true. Sir Hubble Pinkerton LOVES to groom my hair.. he must think that he is solely responsible for the hygiene of my tresses.. (wish I had tresses). But seriously, it feels so good and so relaxing, actually. When he is grooming my hair I am often lulled off to dreamland.

    And he purrs and purrs and kneads my scalp. I love it..

    I think I have to agree with you that our kitties must view us as very large “two-legged” felines.

    • I’ve promised Michael a new article on cat lickers. I hope to have it by Monday. I even have videos of my cats grooming each other.

  3. Yuppers, we’re cats. I might be lowest in the order, but I get plenty of grooming and kneading. If I purse my lips and make kissy sounds, I get mouth after mouth to kiss. If I stick out my tongue, I get ears to my mouth.
    I loved the video.

  4. Firstly how lovely to see that the baby’s mother is happy to let baby and cat snuggle up together, that little girl is a cat lady in the making. I loved watching the cat licking the baby’s head, but every time she lifted her head and looked at the cat I was waiting for her right arm to rise up and whack the cat one, I was relieved when it ended. The tongue must have felt rough on her head, I think she liked it mostly but maybe after a while it rasped a bit much. I love it when one of the boys gives me a lick with his tongue, and when they’ve been washing and they suddenly look up at you with their tongue still out.


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