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Cat Licking: What Could It Mean?

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Cat Licking

Isn’t it sweet to look at your cat licking its paws during a sunny afternoon or merely enjoying it lie there on your porch.

Everything seems to be excellent apart from that one day it’s showing some signs of sickness you can’t just figure out where it came from or what exactly the causes are.

Well, many cat health difficulties start from simple routines that it has developed since birth or those usual activities you are not aware may be risky for its health.

But, there are steps that you can take if you want to help avoid those health problems in your feline.

Allergies: The First Cause of Compulsive Cat Licking

Allergies are the primary cause of compulsive licking. These are mostly due to… fleas! By biting the animal, the flea injects saliva that causes a reaction that causes itching.

Animals that are allergic to certain proteins contained in the insect’s saliva, will present important skin lesions.

Therefore, it is essential to treat the animal and its environment regularly. And of course, all year round!

Cats are very sensitive to food allergies. The fault lies with certain proteins or additives contained in its usual food or in the “extras” (homemade or industrial sweets).

The treatment consists on the one hand of removing the food or foodstuffs in question.

On the other hand, it may be necessary to resort to a hypoallergenic food available from the veterinarian.

Skin Diseases May Be Involved with Cat Licking

Fleas, scabies, lice, ringworm, allergies, skin infections… Many parasitic or dermatological diseases can trigger excessive licking in cats.

Dermatological discomfort will quickly affect your cat’s character: he becomes stressed, isolates himself, and makes you believe that it is his stress that causes his compulsive licking…

To avoid missing out on a skin disease, the first step is to consult your veterinarian for a dermatological examination.

Maybe He’s Anxious

The cat is an extremely sensitive animal; various events can destabilize it and trigger compulsive licking of anxious origin:

  • Change of territory: moving, change of furniture, small jobs, or simply a change in the owners’ schedule can trigger stress in the cat.
  • Changes in the family group: the arrival of a baby, a dog or a new cat, family reunification, death, are frequent causes of destabilization.
  • Insecurity: stray cats passing through the garden, deterioration of relations with owners (punishments), overly drastic diet, traumatic medical care can also be sources of anxiety.

A destabilized, stressed, or anxious cat is in an emotional discomfort that invades its daily life. Licking will provide temporary relief, just as some people bite their nails in case of anxiety.

But if the causes of stress do not disappear, the licking becomes compulsive, without the cat being able to soothe itself durably: depilated lesions then appear, and are maintained.

Excessive Licking of Certain Parts of the Body


The explanation why my cat licks his mouth a lot may be the fact that your cat has been in contact with a substance he wants to clean, but it may also mean that he has pain in his mouth.

For example, he may have gingivitis, or teeth in bad condition or even ulcers.

Less serious are hyper-salivation and bad smell.

Don’t forget to feed your cat a quality food and drink with adequate quantities.

If you examine his mouth a little, you may detect the problem (normally requiring treatment at the veterinarian).

Repeated licking of the lips may cause nausea or discomfort when swallowing.


Cat Licking his Paws – Source:

If you are wondering “Why does my cat lick her paw a lot”, it may be related to the presence of an injury, both on the leg and foot, between the toes or pads.

Careful examination may reveal the presence of an injury.

If it is a superficial wound, you can disinfect it and monitor its progress.

However, if the wound is deep, if there is an infection or if you find a foreign body embedded in it, you should go to the veterinarian.


The belly is prone to injury or damage from contact with various irritating substances.

Therefore, the explanation of why your cat licks itself all the time and many this area can be found in a lesion of this type.

If you carefully examine his belly, you may find injuries or irritations that you will need to show to your veterinarian.

If your cat suffers from dermatitis or allergy, you must find out the cause.

If your cat is licking his lower abdomen, it can be caused by cystitis, which is an inflammation of the bladder.


A urinary tract infection may explain why your cat licks her genitals all the time and a lot, as he will feel pain and itching and urinate repeatedly.

An injury to the penis is also responsible for excessive licking, as well as difficulty urinating.

The veterinarian will be better able to predict a diagnosis and treatment in these cases.

It is important, in the case of infections, to treat your cat soon enough to prevent the situation from becoming complicated if the infection rises to the kidneys.


In this case, we may be faced with an irritation that may be due to diarrhea or decomposition, which explains why the cat licks himself all the time when he has pain or itching in this area.

Go to the veterinarian to treat the main cause: taking care of your cat also means making regular visits to the veterinarian.


The base of the tail may show an absence of hair and injuries because your cat licks himself all the time a lot due to fleas.

In addition, if your cat is allergic to the bite of these parasites, the injuries will be enormous because of the intense itching they produce.

Even if you don’t see fleas, you may be able to see what’s left of them.

In addition to treatment with an appropriate anti-parasite, it will then be necessary to administer medication to heal the dermatitis.

Regular Visit with the Veterinarian

Taking this step may be a little costly but in the end will be much more beneficial and lesser costly than a one-time cure of a more complicated health problem.

You can also get a cat insurance to aid you with the expenses.

The key to your cat’s wellness is to prevent any possible complicated health defects or problems.

Do not wait until something worse is developed as prevention is better, and much cheaper, than cure.

Give Him a Healthy Diet

Like humans, cats also need a proper and healthy diet in order for them to be well and prevent any illnesses in their body.

Healthy lifestyle and diet both help ensure a great well being for you cat.

Though you can feed it from time to time some of your leftovers, it is always advisable to feed it with foods that are prescribed by the vet.

Be careful with what you are giving it as some food may not be easily digested especially by those older cats.

Yearly Vaccination

A distemper shot should be given every year and rabies shot in every two years.

Vaccination is very essential as some wild and homeless cats that wander round and may come into contact with your pet.

Those are just some of the safety precautions that every responsible cat owner should take to ensure the well-being of its feline.

In addition, you need to watch out for your cat licking habits that may also harm its health.

The veterinarian would be able to suggest as to what measures and activities to take in order to prevent your cat from constantly doing this habit.

If not, he could also suggest what medicines or vaccinations to take in order to prevent possible illnesses that may be caused by this habit.

Cat Licking Photo by Karin Laurila from Pixabay

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