Cat Keeps Licking Lips and Swallowing – Causes and How to Stop It

You might see your cat keeps licking its lips and swallowing, which is normal for a cat.

They use their tongues to groom themselves and clean their teeth.

As a cat owner, you might want to find out why they love to lick their lips and swallow.

They seem to enjoy licking their lips even more than they wish to eat food.

My cat licks its lips and swallows

Why do cats lick their lips? Is it because they are thirsty? Or maybe they are just bored? Let’s find out together.

Reasons Why Cats Lick Their Lips and Swallow

1. They Are Trying to Clean Themselves

When a cat licks its lips and swallows, it simply means it tries to clean itself, especially if something is stuck on the tongue or gums.

2. Ptyalism

This condition happens when a cat constantly drools saliva onto its paws.

Ptyalism usually develops due to stress or anxiety.

When a cat suffers from ptyalism, it will try to relieve its discomfort through excessive grooming by licking its lips and then swallowing the saliva.

3. The Cat Is Hungry

Your cat loves eating.

And sometimes, he just wants to eat all day long.

If your cat licks its lips and swallows after eating all its food, it’s a sign that it still needs more food.

However, if your cat overeats again, it could become bloated.

Bloating can cause your cat to lick its lips.

To prevent this situation from occurring, feed your cat small meals throughout the day.

4. Your Cat Is Stressed

Stressful situations like moving house, traveling, new surroundings, and loud noises can affect your cat.

Stress triggers our bodies to release cortisol hormones; the same is true for cats.

Cortisol affects their behavior by making them aggressive, fearful, and even depressed.

When your cat experiences stress, it may constantly begin licking its lips and swallows.

5. Your Cat Has Been Sick

When your cat gets sick, it often starts licking itself because it feels uncomfortable.

Your cat wants to remove anything from its body that makes it feel unwell and tends to lick its lips out of fear.

Your cat may feel nauseous and have diarrhea.

Vomiting and diarrhea can both give rise to dehydration, making your cat uncomfortable and causing it to lick its lips.

Does Your Cat Have Difficulties in Swallowing?

When your cat experiences difficulty swallowing, it could be due to oral reasons like dental disease, mouth trauma, or tongue paralysis.

And going through these could make your cat lick its lips and swallow because it couldn’t properly close its mouth.

If this happens, you need to consult immediate help from your closes vet clinic.

6. Its Teeth Have Grown Out of Control

Some cats grow teeth early than others.

However, if your cat keeps growing new teeth without stopping, this could mean he is suffering from tooth decay.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria build up inside the gum line, causing tartar.

And tartar buildup can irritate gums and eventually cause an infection making your cat keep licking its lips and swallowing.

7. Your Cat Just Wants Attention

A lot of times, cats want attention.

They love being petted and stroked.

Sometimes, cats need companionship.

Did you know that a pet companion provides mental stimulation and helps relieve loneliness?

If your cat isn’t getting enough attention, it will try to find ways to attract human attention.

Your cat may rub against furniture, meowing loudly, lick up its lips and swallow uncontrollably, or try to climb up high places.

All of these actions are signs that your cat is feeling alone.

So, if your cat isn’t getting enough affection, then it may begin to lick its lips.

8. Your Cat Is Afraid

Another reason why cats lick their lips and swallow is that they’re afraid.

They’ll do whatever they can to avoid danger.

If your cat licks its lips frequently, it may be scared about something happening in its environment.

9. Your Cat Is Anxious

Cats are very sensitive creatures, so they always want to know what’s happening around them.

That’s why they tend to get anxious quickly.

Anxiety can manifest as many different behaviors, such as pacing back and forth, shaking their head, and pawing at themselves.

Cats who suffer from anxiety will most likely lick their lips for comfort.

10. Dry Mouth

If you notice that your cat licks its lips and swallows often, then there’s probably a problem with its mouth.

Dry mouths occur when a cat lacks moisture in its mouth.

As a result, your cat’s tongue becomes rough and irritated.

11. Your Cat Needs to Go Outside

When a cat goes outdoors, it must use the bathroom.

Sometimes, however, your cat may not realize that it should urinate or defecate until after it gets home.

Because of this, your cat may start licking its lips.

12. Bored

Boredom is another common source of stress.

Bored cats usually use self-soothing techniques like grooming, playing, sleeping, licking, and swallowing.

Boredom is the number one reason why cats lick their lips and paws.

13. Scared

Scared animals act differently than calm ones.

They’re afraid of everything, including other pets, strangers, thunderstorms, and fireworks.

Cats who are frightened tend to be hyperactive and anxious.

Licking their lips and swallowing is one way they cope with anxiety.

14. Happy

Happy cats don’t always show it through body language but through vocalizations such as purring, chirping, meowing, growling, and yowling.

At the same time, happy felines will rub on objects, groom themselves by licking their lips, fur and paws, play fetch, roll around, jump, stretch, and enjoy life.

How to Stop Your Cat from Licking Its Lips?

Now let’s talk about how to prevent your cat from licking its lips.

If you notice that your cat is constantly trying to lick their lips and swallow, you should immediately take action.

Several different solutions are available depending on whether your cat is male or female.

Why does my cat lick its lips and swallows

1. Make Sure That Your Cat isn’t Suffering from Any Illness

If your cat appears to be sick, contact your veterinarian immediately.

They can determine exactly why your cat is behaving in this manner.

2. Consider Giving Your Cat a Treat

You can do this by placing a small kibble next to them.

Or, you can place canned tuna fish under the couch cushion.

Once your cat eats the treats, it won’t need to lick its lips anymore.

3. You can Spray Your Cat with a Solution Containing Vinegar

It will cause your cat to have an intense taste sensation.

Your cat will no longer want to lick themselves because they will find the smell unpleasant.

4. You can Try Spraying Your Cat with Water Mixed with Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has been shown to reduce anxiety levels among animals.

Therefore, when your cat smells of minty-fresh air, it will not want to lick its face and swallow.

5. You can Put Some Peanut Butter on Your Cat’s Nose

When your cat licks their nose, it will feel like something is stuck between its teeth.

Because of this, your cat will avoid licking their face again.

6. Oral Medications

Oral medications are usually used when your cat licks their lip and swallows more than once daily.

They typically contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like cortisone.

7. Surgery

Finally, surgical procedures can be performed to correct problems associated with excessive licking behavior.

It includes removing excess tissue, cutting off nerves, or creating new ones.

However, before performing any procedure, make sure that you consult with a veterinarian because each situation requires a unique approach.

My Cat Keeps Licking Lips and Swallowing – Conclusion

A lot of cats lick their lips for many different reasons. Some of these reasons are entirely harmless.

But licking their lips excessively and swallowing can indicate underlying health issues and should not be ignored and treated as usual.

You need to determine why your cat keeps licking and swallowing so you can devise a way to curb the vice.