Cat Keeps Licking Lips

After having quite a long, hard day, you’ll probably open your Facebook to get a glimpse of what the world is up to. As you scroll through your news feed, it is highly likely that you will see at least one cat photo or video.

You know, those ones that have a cat putting its tongue out. Ah, what did we ever do to deserve such cuteness from these furballs? Talk about stress relief by just looking at their tiny little tongue stuck out at you. But did you know that this adorable antic could mean something more serious? Let us have a closer look.

What could be the reason behind the lip-smacking?

There could be a number of reasons as to why your cat is excessively licking its lips. Some reasons can be a cause of alarm while some reasons are well because they are just being the cats that they are.

I did a bit of research and I found a number of reasons. You can easily classify them into two categories: first, something that has got to do with the mouth; and second, there might be something going on in your cat’s internal organs

1. Look into some dental problems

The culprit could have something to do with your cat’s teeth. Cats can also get that annoying toothache pretty much like us.

Perhaps they have broken tooth or a number of them. They might be licking their lips to soothe aching and swollen gums. In addition, you might also want to check if your cat has developed bad breath. Perhaps something got dislodged between their gums or teeth and they are trying to get rid of the blockade because of the discomfort.

2. Xerosto-what?

Cats might be licking their lips too much if they have developed a condition called xerostomia, also known as dry mouth syndrome. As what the layman’s term suggests, xerostomia is a condition where a cat’s mouth becomes desiccated.

The usual culprit for this condition is a possible renal failure, which is connected to our next category. Older cats are more vulnerable to developing this dry mouth syndrome. Here are some of the signs that will tell you if your cat could possibly have xerostomia: you will see your cat pushing their tongue out while they are licking their lips, or perhaps your cat’s gums will become severely dry.

3. From lack of hydration to excess of it

Now, maybe we can better understand this situation if we look at it as the opposite of the condition we have previously discussed. If we were talking about dry mouth syndrome a few sentences ago, then the matter at hand now is all about the excess of saliva in your cat's mouth.

Perhaps your cat is simply trying to collect the saliva that’s starting to pool from their mouths to prevent them from drooling instead. This condition is scientifically known as Pytalism.

4. Your cat threw up or is going to

Seeing a cat throw up is quite unsightly. I believe you would say the same if you have seen one. A cat licking its lips too much might be preparing to throw up a few moments after. The same could also be said after vomiting, to clean up after themselves. Usually, you will also find your cat salivating excessively and swallowing more than usual.

5. Stomach problems

If your cat loves to wander around and is quite a muncher, the culprit could be something that your cat has eaten. Whatever it is may have upset your cat’s stomach and is probably about to throw up.

There is also a possibility that your cat may have developed an ulcer, which is a serious matter and requires proper medical help.

6. Other internal organs

There may be problems with your cat’s pancreas, liver, or kidneys. There is a probability that your cat may have developed conditions such as pancreatitis, liver disease or renal insufficiency due to kidney malfunction.

Usually, second category factors will cause your cat to experience heartburn, and may simultaneously lose its appetite as well as become a bit lethargic.

Round Up 

Make yourself aware of how often do your cats lick their lips. Make sure that you know what is usual and unusual with your cat’s behavior, knowing so will help you find out if your cat is in pain or not. If you are still unsure, you better not hesitate to set up an appointment with your vet!

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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