11 Reasons Your Cat Is Chewing On Nothing

Cats exhibit some strange, unpredictable behaviors to convey their feelings. When your cat struggles with discomfort or pain, it’ll probably start doing some unusual activities that might seem odd to you.

Cat Chewing on Nothing

They may get more aggressive when you pet them, stop eating, grind their teeth, produce strange noises, chew on nothing, and the list goes on.

In the case of chewing on nothing, it probably means your cat is trying to convey its discomfort. Still, chewing on nothing can be caused by more than one reason.

Read on the article to know in detail what causes cats to chew on air.

All Possible Reasons Behind Why A Cat Chews On Nothing:

Cats have unique body language to convey their moods, happiness, irritation, discomfort, and anger. So, a little attention is all it takes to understand what they want.

Down below, we’ve put together all of the possible reasons to have you find the main cause why your cat is chewing on nothing.

1. Periodontal Disease

The foremost reason your cat is chewing on nothing may be a cue that it’s suffering from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an oral cavity disease (primarily including gums, teeth, etc.).

Periodontal disease in cats mainly occurs due to some bacteria. This is a severe disease that can cause inflammation and infection along with pain in the mouth. If not treated on time, the condition can badly affect the teeth and surrounding areas around the cat’s mouth.

2. Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis

Periodontal disease can lead to feline chronic gingivostomatitis (FCGS). During this disease, the cat gums become swollen. Moreover, ulcers occur inside the mouth and lips.

This is a very painful disease during which the cat is not able to close its mouth properly. Other symptoms may include not being able to eat and chewing on air because of discomfort.

3. Abscessed Tooth

Another common reason behind this strange chewing behavior could be an abscessed tooth. Similar to other oral infections, it can also be a painful experience for your cats.

If any certain bacteria gets into the cat’s mouth, it may accumulate in the teeth and can cause infection. This infection, later on, fills the gums and teeth with pus.

This pus is formed in the gums to fight against infection. White blood cells are present in this pus to prevent any further infection. Because of the disease, your cat may not be able to eat its food and may eventually become weak.

4. Broken Tooth

A broken tooth can also be a significant cause of chewing an empty mouth. As the cats grow, their teeth become weak, especially the canine ones. The teeth become so fragile that they fall or a part breaks while biting to the slightest hard thing, e.g., food.

When a tooth breaks or falls off, the blood vessels and nerves inside the tooth pulp out, which is very painful.

5. Something Caught/Stuck In The Mouth

It is also a possibility that something is stuck in your cat’s mouth while playing or eating. Your cat is chewing on nothing just to ingest the thing caught or stuck in its mouth.

Make sure that your cat didn’t ingest any lump of food or any playing material. Take a flashlight and open the mouth of the cat; look carefully. If anything is stuck in the throat, take it out immediately.

6. New Oral Growth

Sometimes, the teeth of cats do not grow in proper shape and order. This happens in mostly younger cats. Due to such malfunctioning in teeth, malocclusion occurs.

During this disease, the cats are not able to ingest or chew their food properly. In such cases, chewing on nothing could be a symptom of discomfort or pain. This is a rare case and occurs in some breeds, including Persian and flatters.

7. A Sign Of Nausea

If your cat has eaten a lot of food or the food was not of good quality, or you just changed your cat’s diet, this can cause nausea in your cat. In the worst situations of nausea, your cat may suffer from gastrointestinal problems, heatstroke, etc. The cat’s chewing on nothing can be an early symptom of nausea.

Cat Chewing on Nothing – Reasons Explained

Furthermore, sometimes without knowing, the cats may ingest things that are not good for their health, which later becomes a cause of sickness. Pay more attention to your cat’s health and visit a vet as soon as possible.

8. A Form Of Seizure

In some rare cases, chewing on an empty mouth could also be considered a form of seizure. Convulsions in the cat are characterized by an abrupt movement in muscles due to any toxin introduced to the cat.

The leading cause of seizures in cats is the chemical known as pyrethrin. This chemical is present in many cat sprays and shampoos, tick or flea medicines, etc. So in short. Cats may chew on nothing because of exposure to pyrethrin directly or indirectly.

9. Feline Calicivirus

This highly epidemic virus can cause several serious problems like oral diseases or respiratory diseases to your pets, including cats.

However, it can be treated, but the effect remains for a long time. Due to this virus, the cat feels suffocated and cannot close its mouth properly, and often does the activity of chewing on nothing.

10. Tonsillitis

Although very rare, chewing on nothing can also be a symptom of tonsillitis.

There are two oval-shaped tonsils present in cats, the same as humans at the back of the throat. Tonsillitis is the swallowing of the throat and rarely occurs in cats due to nausea or some other gastrointestinal problems.

Basically, no symptoms of tonsillitis are seen, but your cat can do some odd activities like chewing on nothing, and you can also see the loss of appetite in your cat.

If not treated on time, this tonsillitis will turn into tumors, which can create severe problems for your cat and you as well.

11. Lymphoma

Lymphoma or feline lymphoma is a malignant disease of the lymphatic system (specific white blood cells). In cats, this can occur at any site of cells, but most of these tumor cells frequently occur at lymph nodes, mediastinum, etc.

If your cat is suffering from lymphoma, you may notice symptoms like losing weight, chewing empty mouth, etc. Lymphoma in cats is of various types. It can be in the digestible form, multicentric form, or either mediastinal form.

Your vet can better tell you which lymphoma is present in your cat if it is suffering from this disease by performing different tests from your cat’s blood.

Cat Chewing On Nothing – The Bottom Line

Cats chew on nothing for many reasons. The reason can be as simple as something caught/stuck in the mouth or an alarming symptom of dangerous diseases like Tonsillitis or Lymphoma. Be more mindful of your cat’s unusual behaviors and consult a trusted vet as soon as possible.

Hopefully, you have already found the main cause behind your cat’s strange chewing behavior.

We wish your little furry friend the best of health!