Why Do Cats Groom Each Other

icon May 31, 2023

If you've ever had the pleasure of observing a group of cats, you might have noticed them engaging in a peculiar behavior: grooming each other. Cats spend a significant amount of time meticulously cleaning their fur, but what prompts them to extend their grooming habits to their feline companions? In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of cat grooming and explore the reasons behind why cats groom each other.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other?

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? A Social Bonding

Cats are social animals, and grooming plays a vital role in strengthening their social bonds. By grooming each other, cats establish trust and reinforce their relationships. Mutual grooming allows them to create a sense of camaraderie and cooperation within their social groups, which can include family members or even unrelated cats that share a close bond.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? A Means of Mutual Hygiene

Cats are known for their impeccable cleanliness. Grooming is not only essential for maintaining a healthy and well-groomed appearance but also serves as a means of mutual hygiene. Cats groom each other to help remove dirt, debris, and pests that might be present in their fur. This behavior ensures that their coats remain clean and free from any potential irritants.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? Establish a Common Scent Profile

Cats have scent glands all over their bodies, particularly in the areas around their face, chin, and paws. Grooming serves as a means of depositing their scent onto their companions, marking them as part of their social group. This scent exchange helps cats recognize each other, reinforce their bond, and establish a common scent profile, which is essential for maintaining a harmonious group dynamic.

Why Do Cats Lick Each Other? Experts Explain This Common Behavior

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? Stress Relief

Grooming has a soothing effect on cats and can serve as a stress-relieving activity. Engaging in grooming behaviors, whether it's self-grooming or grooming others, helps cats relax and reduce anxiety. When cats groom each other, they not only engage in a calming activity but also offer comfort and reassurance to their companions, further strengthening their bond.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? Social Hierarchy and Altruism

Cats living in multi-cat households or feral colonies often display a hierarchy within their group. Grooming can be a way for dominant cats to assert their authority and reinforce their position. On the other hand, subordinate cats may groom their dominant counterparts as a gesture of submission and respect. Additionally, cats can display altruistic behavior by grooming others who are unable to groom themselves due to illness, injury, or age, demonstrating empathy within their social circle.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? Mutual Grooming Benefits

Grooming sessions can be mutually beneficial for cats. It allows them to reach areas that may be difficult to groom themselves, such as the back of the head or neck. Additionally, grooming can stimulate blood circulation and provide a relaxing sensation for both cats involved.

Cats May Sometimes Play Fight After Grooming

Why Do Cats Lick Each Other?

Cat relationships are complicated - much like human relationships. Cats also have moments of cuddling and then fighting. Sometimes two cats groom each other, and one may in fact like to groom while the other does not. This can cause the latter cat to become upset very quickly, leading to a fight. Fighting may be the cat's way of getting the other cat to back off.

This is nothing to worry about, as long as your cat is not very combative or always fighting.

Grooming is a positive behavior, but excessive grooming can cause health problems. If your cat is over-grooming, remember to give your cat chemotherapy creams to assist in successful spitting, these may include probiotics for your cat's diet to help lubricate the digestive tract and promote elimination.

Why is My Cat Over Grooming?

There can be several reasons why a cat may engage in over-grooming or excessive grooming behaviors. Here are some possible causes:

To address the issue, it's important to observe your cat's behavior and consult with a veterinarian. They can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate interventions. These might include providing environmental enrichment, addressing any medical conditions, using anti-anxiety measures, or modifying the cat's diet.

How to Stop a Cat From Over Grooming?

Determine if your cat has health related issues such as allergies, parasites, etc. as described above that can lead to excessive grooming.

If it is a symptom of allergies, you can check this article, Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Cats

and if your cat is infected with parasites, this article is recommended: Flea in Cats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Environmental enrichment

Ensure your cat's environment is enriched with toys, scratching posts, climbing structures, and interactive play sessions. Mental and physical stimulation can help reduce boredom and redirect your cat's focus away from excessive grooming.

Regular grooming sessions

Establish a regular grooming routine for your cat. This can include brushing to remove excess hair, prevent matting, and distribute natural oils. Regular grooming can reduce the need for excessive self-grooming.

Cat Bites Other Cats Neck While Grooming?

If your cat is biting another cat's neck while grooming, it could be a sign of various behaviors or underlying issues.

Play aggression

Cats engage in play behaviors that sometimes involve biting. While grooming, some cats may get carried away and bite too hard, causing discomfort or annoyance to the other cat.

Dominance or territorial behavior

Cats have a natural instinct to establish dominance or assert their territory. Biting the neck of another cat during grooming could be a sign of asserting dominance or displaying territorial behavior.


Cats have sensitive skin, and excessive grooming or petting in certain areas can lead to overstimulation. This can cause a cat to respond by biting to stop the grooming or seek personal space.


As cat owners and enthusiasts, we can appreciate the significance of grooming in a cat's life. If you see your cats grooming each other, be glad. This means your cats are bonded and have an e-meow-emotionally healthy relationship. Cats grooming each other is a remarkable behavior that serves multiple purposes in their social dynamics. By engaging in this mutual grooming behavior, cats establish and strengthen their relationships, creating a harmonious and cohesive social group.



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