Why do cats lick their lips?

Obviously cats may lick their lips after finishing a good ole meal that they were just eating but also cats licking their lips can mean a number of other different things. Some of these things are completely normal and harmless but other are telling signs of more serious health related problems. It’s important what things to look for to ensure your cat remain perfectly healthy.


Here are some reasons why do cats lick their lips:

Dry mouth

Cats can have a dry mouth occasionally and that may be the reason why this happens. To ensure that they still have plenty of clean water might be a fast fix to this. Just place and clean a bawl, or use one of the water fountains that will clean your water.

You may want to see your vet for a check-up if it happens too frequently. Xerostomia is the other name for this disorder. This simply means that the cat is suffering from a lack of saliva. If your cat moves her tongue while licking her lips, then this disease is probably associated with it. This is generally followed by kidney failure and gum dryness. Typically, this disorder comes with older cats. So if your cat is 10 years or older, consider considering this as well.


Your cat will lick her lips after it vomits. If your cat often vomits, then this could be due to an irritated stomach. Be sure that you determine what could cause an upset stomach so that you can remove it from your diet. Cats can also vomit due to hairballs. There are several items focused on catnip that will help your cat cope with the fur that is swallowed. If you feel too much salivation and swallowing this could also be a source of vomiting. A vet visit would be recommended in this instance.

Travelling Illness

If you catch a kitty licking his or her lips a lot while traveling it may be due to motion sickness.

Cats have an incredibly responsive balance system that’s located in the inner ear. The sense of movement creates disruption and dizziness when they’re in a moving car.

Cat Licking Lips Could Have Anxiety

Constant lip licking can be a sign that nervousness is felt in your pet. If you note any body language, such as the tail wrapped around their body or crouching, then the case of anxiety will be further backed up by this.

There are a lot of distinct things that can cause anxiety in cats, such as:

  • Changes of routine
  • Environmental Shift
  • Moving to home
  • A new person, such as a child, in the family
  • A new product, like a dog or even a different cat
  • Anxiety of separation


Ptyalism is a disease of saliva that can cause your cat to lick her lips too much. She could be generating too much saliva to be managed by her body. This can trigger excessive mouth licking. Ptyalism may have other symptoms, as well. They can include nausea, smacking of the mouth, vomiting, loss of appetite, and swallowing difficulties.

Dental complications

Dental issues may be the reason why your cat is so frequently licking her lips. More than normal, a broken or abscessed tooth may cause your cat to lick her lips. You will want to check your mouth from time to time, as cats like to chew on anything and everything. This is only helpful to see if a piece of object is stuck between your teeth.

Oral Disorder

After eating a meal, one of the most common reasons why cats lick their lips is to clean them. This could be due to a problem with their gums or teeth if you note that they also do this even though food is not involved.

Older cats are typically more susceptible to problems with oral health, but depending on how well the teeth are looked after, it can occur at any age. Let’s look at some of the problems:

Oral Sores

Ulcers are caused by dental disorders, oral infections, and systemic infections, such as caustic drug ingestion or kidney disease. They can be unpleasant and cause chewing, drooling, and lip licking to be excessive.

Tartar and Plaque

The cat can grow a build-up of plaque and tartar over time that can irritate the cat and cause irritation that can lead to lip licking. It begins as a plaque that, due to food particles, bacteria, and saliva, is a thin film over the teeth that builds up.

If the plaque is not periodically removed, it may inevitably turn into hard tartar. This is why it is important to professionally brush your cat’s teeth and that you also have a daily dental hygiene routine at home.


Compulsive Disorder

Cats may have obsessive-compulsive disorder, believe it or not (OCD). This can lead your cat to engage in repetitive rituals that, for no reason, serve no function, such as constantly licking their lips.

There may be some other symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder:

  • Overwhelming hygiene
  • Chewing and sucking
  • Hunting and pouncing on unknown prey
  • Chasing tails
  • Constant Meowing

Upper Respiratory Infection of Cat

The upper respiratory infection of felines is similar to a cold but may be more severe. Either bacteria or viruses that attack the throat, nose, and sinuses cause it. It can be distracting and can cause excessive lip licking due to this targeting of the upper airway.

The following are the signs of upper respiratory symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Sneezing about
  • fluid nose
  • fever
  • Congestion the Congestion
  • Drooling Eventually
  • Appetite Loss
  • Ulcers Over
  • The Depression
  • Lethargy in Lethargy


She could lick her lips if your cat comes to you and she is hungry for her tasty treat or wet food. If she still links you to food, then seeing you will cause her appetite to wake up. This is not necessary and it is only natural that, when thinking about food, she licks her lips.

I’m the one in our household who generally provides wet food in the morning. This is also regularly repeated in the afternoon if the cat asks for it. She’s going to come to me and start to meow. She’ll meow once more if I mention the word “saucy” and maybe leap a little with her entire body. Then I’ll tell her to take me to the drawer where you keep the wet food. The other way she’d be calling for wet food would be to place her paw and meow in the cup. In their cups, they still have cat crackers and fresh water in a tub or fountain beside them. The wet food, of course, tastes better and is their favorite meal of the day.

Digestive Issue

The licking reaction in some cats can cause nausea and digestive problems.

Over-eating, eating too quickly, hair-balls, eating something sour, stomach bugs, gas, etc. can cause it. Digestive Problem

The licking reaction in some cats can cause nausea and digestive problems.

Over-eating, eating too quickly, hair-balls, eating something sour, stomach bugs, gas, etc. can cause it.

It can grow into diarrhea or it may not, but in cats, gastrointestinal problems are very normal. If not immediately attended to, this may lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, etc.

Any of the other causes for digestive problems and nausea that occur in lip-licking habits are age, food aversion, allergy to certain foods, deficiency of digestive enzymes, colitis in cats below age 5, constipation due to lack of exercise, irritable bowel syndrome.


Your cat may be allergic to some things, causing her to lick her lips. Try to recall if your environment has given you any new stuff. If you did, the licking began at the same time as the change happened. Seasonal allergens such as pollen that could cause an allergy are also available. Dust, mold, cigarette smoke, and chemical fumes can be the source of your pet’s allergies.

If they have a health problem cats are just like humans, can display different signs. It’s up to us to keep a close eye on our valuable furry mates. Since cats are professionals at concealing their health concerns. This reality can often make it difficult to decide what the exact reason for their actions is. Fortunately, vets have all the tests that we need. So visit them as they can do multiple screenings if you think your cat needs medical treatment.

Unpleasant Tastes

A cat may continuously lick their lips because they have licked a surface or something in the home that may contain dirt, soap, or cleaning chemicals. Licking something that has a funny taste can cause your cat to slap its lips constantly.

Final Thoughts

In most situations, after eating their favorite meals, a cat licking their lips is harmless and something they do regularly. Only be mindful of unnecessary licking that could also be caused by underlying health problems.

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