I have a cat that's almost 2. He was found alone at 2 weeks old and was bottle fed up to 4-5 weeks. He bites his food and can strangley drink water but can't figure out how to lick other cats or me. He tries but ends up using his teeth in the end. Any ideas on how to teach him to be able to lick?


First, I assume you're aware that cats don't lick socially as much as dogs do. They may groom each other if they're especially friendly/trusting, but outside of that they're more likely to rub against something/someone they like, or push their faces against it -- basically, scent-marking it as "I like this, it's mine". If a cat licks you, you should either feel flattered or wonder what flavor or scent caught it's attention,

So for most cats, not licking is really not surprising.

In addition, some cats are just a bit confused about the whole grooming thing. One of mine will start her tongue going, then take a surprisingly long time to figure out that she should probably apply it to something. Another I've known would sometimes thoroughly dampen his paw, then scrub his face with the other paw. Repeatedly.

Nipping/grabbing is probably just play wrestling, unless he's biting hard enough to cause pain. If you don't like it, make annoyed noises and push the cat away or snub him for a while and he'll figure out that this is something you don't want him to do. My other cat likes this game, and since he's careful not to actually bite I haven't felt any need to discourage it. (As it happens, he's also the one who will sometimes decide I've been petting him long enough and it's time for him to wash my fingers.)

Basically, it sounds like there isn't anything that needs fixing here. If you really, really want to train your cat to lick your fingers, try dipping them in tuna water or some other treat.

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