The Cat Source

Why Do Cats Lick Themselves?

Since felines are usually caught licking almost every part of their bodies, some cat owners think that it is normal and natural for them to do so. They lick their paws and even their wounds. This cat licking behavior can reach up to the point of being a problem instead of a normal way of life among cats. However, caretakers and pet owners should pay more attention to their feline friends and observe if the licking behavior is more than what is useful. Carefully examine your cat for signs of skin loss, wounds and lesions, which are indicators that your cat‘s licking behavior has become too exessive.

There are numerous reasons for obsessive licking among felines. Generally, the action is brought about by pain or an itchy feeling in their bodies. It is better to get them checked by the veterinarian for any skin diseases, such as the disc disease or anal sac impaction, since even the most usual itchy disease can leave your cats licking themselves into harm. Flea infestation may also be one of the reasons behind cats’ licking behavior. Typically, cats with fleas lick their tails’ head. Allergies to pollens and certain foods, on the other hand, may trigger the licking of the back, abdomen and other parts of their bodies.

Cat licking is essentially all about your felines grooming themselves. However, too much of something isn‘t always a good thing. Excessive cat licking behavior falls under this category. As cat owners, you should know the time when the action is already not normal. Some felines even end up with bald spots due to their licking behavior. One good way to know this is when your feline comrade starts to get hairballs and throw them up. If that happens, then owners should get the cat to the veterinarians. They are the only ones who can give a good opinion behind the cat’s behavior. Furthermore, they are also the ones knowledgeable enough to give out some tips and recommendations to work on when dealing with this feline’s behavior.

It is possible that the natural cat licking behavior gets too extreme due to the lack of discipline given by their owners. Owners can discourage their feline comrades from licking their bodies, especially the wounds, by placing a small amount of a bitter agent on such spots. This helps prevent them from licking that body part. Eventually, they tend to avoid engaging in licking behaviors.

How do you stop your cats from licking?

Most cats enjoy licking themselves, objects or even people. However, it can become bothersome when this behavior becomes obsessive. It can even cause harm when your feline friend persistently licks a wound or a recent surgical incision — probably even removing stitches. Preventing your cat from habitual licking is not as easy as it sounds and might take extra effort for it to become successful. There are various methods and products specifically designed to stop your cat from licking. Here are some of those:

  • Prepare the following things that you’ll need. Here are some of those: torso t-shirt, chew guard, neck collar, cayenne pepper, bandages, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce.
  • Apply a topical product to the affected area. Several applications, such as “Chew Guard”, are intended to taste bitter to an animal and will dissuade licking.
  • Try household products such as cayenne pepper, lemon juice or Tabasco sauce only to the bandages. Some cats are sensitive to these strong tastes and it should prevent them from licking but it might not be safe to apply directly to a wound.
  • Spray furniture and household objects with a spray that smells bitter to a cat to keep them from licking. Such sprays can be found at most retail pet stores and most of these products are harmless to your furniture.
  • Cover the wound with bandages or gauze so your cat can’t have access to it if this is what he is licking. If your cat continues licking, try using a torso T-shirt, which can cover a wound on the body. These T-shirts are made to fit the small size of cats and are out in most retail pet stores.
  • Place a neck collar around your cat’s neck so your pet cannot reach the wound or the area he is attempting to lick. One type of neck collar resembles a lampshade and the other is similar to a neck brace a person would wear.

Aside from those matters, here are some tips if you are having difficulty dealing with your cat’s licking behavior.

  • Always consult your veterinarian before using any product on your cat in preventing them from licking.
  • Use a new product cautiously on a pet since this could cause further irritation and licking.
  • Consult a veterinarian if your cat keeps on licking his fur and is losing hair as a result. This could be a sign that an underlying problem exists. Your feline could have fleas and might need a flea treatment. This could also be an indication that your cat has a food allergy. Moreover, it might be a good idea to provide your cat with hypoallergenic foods or foods that don’t have artificial dyes.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Lick Themselves?”

  1. My cat is not cooperative at all! She needs to be both groomed and to the vet! She is a long hair tabby and her rectal area is in need of cleaning. She runs from me and hides in places that I cannot get her!i don’t know what to do, to capture her is almost impossible. I have had to cancel appointments because of this! Please, any advise?thanks

  2. Megan says:

    Cats lick or groom themselves because they don’t like water. the fact they fear water they rather bathe themselves and there kittens. They figure they can give themselves a bath to stay clean.

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