Why Does My Dog Lick My Cat’s Ears? – The Truth Revealed

Dogs love to lick and sniff because that’s how they explore the world. While we may reach out with our fingers to feel and use our eyes to examine something new, dogs rely on their olfactory senses, namely, the sense of smell paired with taste. Why does my dog lick my cat’s ears? It’s a funny sight to see, but if it’s something your dog does a lot, it could signify something is amiss. 

Let’s decrypt this amusing behavior to find out why your dog licks your cat’s ears all the time.

Is it Love?

Do dog licks mean love? There is a pretty good chance it does! Dog licks are oftentimes associated with human kisses, and it’s the way canines display affection. Sometimes your dog is so busy kissing you or your cat he licks all over your face and ears as well.

You will know it’s a loving kiss if your dog licks your cat’s ears in an excited manner. However, it’s worth it to note that dog kisses can also be an indicator of stress, which is usually caused by your dog’s surroundings. 

If you’re in the middle of a thunderstorm and your dog has started to lick your cat’s ears like crazy, then it could mean that he is emotionally in distress. 

Why Does My Dog Lick My Cat’s Ears All the Time?

If it’s not love, then what are some other reasons why your dog licks your cat’s ears?

It’s Grooming Time 

Dogs and cats self-groom from time to time, with cats being expert groomers. They may groom themselves and extend this courtesy to others in your home. Dogs don’t have opposable thumbs and can’t grab a back scratcher like we can reach those hard-to-get places. What dogs can do is help each other out in a time of need, which is what he may do for your cat as well.

If you notice your dog licking your cat’s ears as if he’s on a mission, then it could just simply be because he is doing your cat a favor by cleaning the ears.  

Grooming can also signify other emotions such as:


Licking ears in general for a dog could be a sign of submission. Sometimes grooming is done under a social hierarchy. Take your dog’s ancestors for example – the wolf. Wolves of a lower ranking in the pack hierarchy would groom one of a higher stature. The same could be happening in your home. 

We have seen our fair share of dogs being dominated by cats, so it’s not a far-fetched idea that your pooch is submitting to your feline. 


Grooming can also happen when your dog is feeling content, comforted and secure. This ties into our section above about showing love. Your dog could be licking your cat’s ears because he feels safe in your cat’s presence and wants to show it. 

Your Dog is Exploring

As said, dogs get to know the world around them by sniffing and licking. Unfortunately, it makes it easier for them to get into dangerous things, which is why we should always keep an eye on our fur babies. Luckily, the contents of your cat’s ears do not pose much of a hazard.

Your dog could also be going at your cat’s ears because he’s curious about them – so no need to be alarmed. What are these small things? I wonder what’s inside? These are questions that could be going through your dog’s mind as he explores the crevices within your cat’s ears. 

Is Something Awry?

Don’t panic, but there could be a chance that something is wrong – not with your dog, but with your cat. Dogs are attracted to strong smells, even if the odor is unpleasant by our standards. Ear infections can cause the scent of your cat’s ears to change, which will attract your dog’s undivided attention. 

If you notice your dog is obsessed with your cat’s ears, licking them nonstop to the point where it’s annoying your cat, then we would suggest examining them. 

Give the ears a sniff and if the smell is off, then you’ll know something is wrong. We would suggest scheduling a vet appointment just to make sure everything is okay. 

Your Dog Just Likes Ears

It’s also possible that your dog just likes ears. He may think they are very interesting and have had a fascination with them since early on. It’s no secret that dogs do things that are, well, kind of gross. This includes licking and sniffing strong, offending odors that we would steer clear from. 

Other than finding your cat’s ears interesting, your dog may just like the taste of them. Gross, right? But not to your dog! Dogs like salty tastes, which is why they lick our skin, our fingers, and now, your cat’s ears. 


Should I Let My Dog Lick My Cat’s Ears?

No, you shouldn’t let your dog lick your cat’s ears if you suspect something is wrong. If your dog does it excessively, then we would suggest examining your cat’s ears because this could be a sign of infection. Your dog’s incessant licking of infected ears could exacerbate the problem.

Why Do Dogs and Cats Lick Each Other’s Ears?

Dogs and cats lick each other’s ears for many reasons, such as grooming and showing affection. The ear is a mystery to your animals and it’s a difficult place to groom, which is why their furry buddies come in to help out. Dogs and cats that groom each other generally feel very comfortable in one another’s presence.

Final Thoughts

Your dog licking your cat’s ears is mostly a positive gesture, but keep in mind that it could indicate an underlying health condition. If you see this behavior often, make sure to give your cat’s ears a quick look-see to make sure everything is normal. Licking ears could be your dog showing affection, comfort, security, and love, so don’t be taken aback if he starts doing it to you too! 

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