Kittens are born with the instinct to lick and, in the very first days after birth, their mother will reinforce it, teaching them everything they need to know about looking after their coats.
Following her mother’s example, even the youngest kitten will devote a lot of time to grooming. Their sharp teeth work alongside their rough tongues like a comb, removing matted areas, parasites and loose fur, simply by nibbling.
But licking’s not just a question of keeping up appearances. While she's cleaning her coat, she's also massaging her skin and stimulating circulation. Licking also helps kittens develop their communication skills, not just with other cats but with human beings as well. If you feel that rough tongue gently licking your hand, it's her way of telling you how much she loves you.
Keep an eye on her licking habits though. If she licks herself all the time or not at all, she could have a problem. It could be fear, unhappiness, boredom or something more physical like a skin disease, so it’s definitely worth getting the vet to check her out, just in case.