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Why Do Cats Like Beards? 7 Interesting Reasons

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bearded man cuddling a cat close up

Why Do Cats Like Beards? 7 Interesting Reasons

You may have noticed that your cat is fond of your beard, often snuggling up to it while you sleep and maybe even licking or biting it. But what causes this behavior? The most likely reason cats like beards is that they resemble fur. Keep reading as we list several reasons that cats like beards, as well as a few other interesting facts to help you understand your pet better.


The 7 Reasons Why Cats Like Beards

1. The Beard Is Similar to Fur

Your cat is interested in your beard because it is similar to fur and helps your face look more like theirs. Since your cat is fond of you, they may try to groom you, hence the licking and biting.

cats paw on mans face
Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

2. They Want Something

Cats are routine-based animals, and if you gave them a treat yesterday after they played with your beard, they likely want another treat.

3. They’re Showing Affection by Grooming

Since cats cannot show affection the way we do, they often rely on other methods, like grooming, to show that they care. Grooming your beard can be a clear sign of love, especially since it’s on your face.

4. The Beard Is Warm

If you like to keep your house cool at night while you sleep, your cat might be looking for somewhere warm to snuggle up. Your beard will likely attract the cat and provide them with the warm, soft, comfortable spot they want.

bearded man kissing a Devon Rex cat
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

5. The Beard Smells Interesting

Cats have extremely sensitive noses, and interesting or unusual fragrances can attract them. If your cat detects food or something else that smells good, they will likely come sniffing around your face and might even start to lick your beard.

6. They’re Stressed Out

Grooming is frequently a sign of stress in cats, and if they mistake your beard for fur, they might be coming to you to relax. Licking and biting your beard will help your pet reduce their stress and get much-needed attention.

7. They’re Lonely

While most cats are solitary animals, some can get lonely, and snuggling up with your beard might remind them of snuggling up with another cat.

cat looking man's chin
Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

3 cat face divider

Can My Cat Hate My Beard?

If your cat is constantly interested in your beard and is pawing at it or biting it, it could be a sign that your cat does not like it and wants you to shave it off. Your cat might not like how the beard changes your appearance, and the hair can make it harder for them to identify your facial expressions.

If your cat mistakes the beard for another animal, they might feel jealous or even threatened. This idea is especially possible if you have a long, dark beard. One study in 2011 demonstrated that when shown a photo of a man with a long, dark beard, 79% of cats attacked the image, while 19% ran away. However, when they saw a photo of a man with a short beard, they were not affected, neither attacking nor running away. Interestingly, men with incomplete beards, like a goatee, were also slightly more likely to cause the cats to attack or run away.

man playing with cat in bed_Anna Kraynova_shutterstock
Image Credit: Anna Kraynova, Shutterstock

When Does Liking My Beard Become a Problem?


If your cat is scratching or biting your face, it will likely hurt and might even leave a mark. Another downside is that the keratin papillae on a cat’s tongue are rough and can damage the hair, especially if your cat frequently licks it and you are trying to grow it long.

Health Issues

Cats under extreme stress due to a health issue can exhibit strange behavior, including attacking or grooming their owner’s beard. If your cat suddenly begins grooming you, it can be a good idea to let a vet check them out to rule out any problems.


Most cats like to stick to a routine, and once your cat starts to play with or groom your beard, it can become a daily event. This is fine if you are free to spend this time with your pet, but it can be a problem if you have other things to do.

cat paw divider


Cats probably like beards because they resemble fur, making the human face look more like theirs. If they groom your beard by licking or biting it, they are likely trying to show affection. Snuggling up to your beard is also likely a sign of love. However, if they are attacking it, it could indicate that they don’t like it, possibly because it changes your appearance or frightens them, especially if it’s getting long. If you have always had a beard and now your cat is acting strangely about it, it might be a good idea to take them to the vet to rule out an underlying health condition.

Featured Image Credit: I Wei Huang, Shutterstock

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