Are Loving Kitty Kisses Safe For Us Hoomans?

By Jo Singer, MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)



I am wondering if it truly safe for humans to be covered in cat spit.  Although I am aware that their saliva is one of the main ingredients in dander and people with allergies to cats must be careful; but lately, for some reason or other, I have been obsessing about it. No matter how much time I have spent online seeking an answer; I have been unable to find a sensible explanation for what seems like an unusual topic.

Since I am completely frustrated and at the end of my rope, I decided that it was time to take the bull by the horns, (so to speak) and ask an expert to help me with my burning question.   Fortunately, the perfect opportunity arose last week, when my feline-savvy veterinarian dropped by to check up on one of our kitties. After taking a deep breath, I asked her if she was aware of any health benefits that we may derive from being liberally doused with cat spit.

Initially she appeared put- off by my question. She gave me a very strange look; a look that I could only interpret that she believed I had finally lost my marbles. But at the same time I guessed that her internal computer- data base system was madly churning away as she was searching for a logical answer to an unusual question.  She became quiet, scratched her head, sighed -and what seemed like an interminable pause, she replied, “I don’t have a clue!”

Now you’re probably wondering what has been responsible for my compulsive interest in this rather bizarre subject. The fact of the matter is that our white Oriental Shorthair kitty, Sir Hubble Pinkerton appears to be fixated on giving me scalp massages and sloppy, sticky wet shampoos.

I am fairly positive there are folks who wouldn’t welcome such “devotion”. However, I must confess that his ministrations are both quite pleasant and relaxing; especially when he simultaneously starts kneading on my sore shoulders.  The best part of all is that he doesn’t even charge a fee for his tender services.

Although my hair gets sticky and soggy and my coif get somewhat skewed, I put up with these minor inconveniences mainly because it is truly enjoyable. I also suspect that his fascination with my curly locks probably stems from considering me to be his furless, two legged family member and his behavior is cementing our bonds.

Apparently You Tube user I don’t know yet and I may have something in common. As far as I am concerned, her delightful video definitely proves that I am not alone. I bet there are many other like-minded people who also enjoy being groomed by their cats.

Do take a few moments to watch a kitty who is totally determined to “groom” her guardian.

However, even though I realize that my enjoyment isn’t unique, it still doesn’t answer my question. Can you? Please tell me in a comment.

  • jmuhj

    She must have covered her face in tuna juice or something! I’ve never had this kind of experience. Some cats have licked my hand/fingers if I have some residue of cat food, margarine, etc. on them, but my face? Never, that I can remember. As far as it being “safe”, I don’t see why not. All living beings’ mouths do contain germs, but I have never experienced any adverse effects from letting my cats lick as described above, and I am careful to wash my hands before dealing with food, just as I would normally. Common sense would seem to be key here, as in all of life. It may be lacking in this society and these times, but that doesn’t make it wrong — that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

    • Yikes jmuhj I will have to check my facial soap to make sure that there is no tuna juice in it. Don’t want that to be the reason Sir Hubble shampoos me and washes my face:)

  • Connie KittyBlog

    Cat saliva is acidic and their tongue is like sand paper.. I believe it is just like a facial. I let them lick me when they want, but not on the lips and not on the eyes. 🙂

  • Annie

    i really like this article – one of your best.

    gooie [the maine coon] thinks that mommie’s hair needs to be groomed on a regular basis.

    teddy [part maine coon] thinks that mommie’s face needs to be licked for hours each day.

    lena [teddy’s brother] thinks that presenting his back side to mommie’s nose is acceptable each day.