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

Cats love licking their lips. It’s a natural behavior that comes from being a cat. They use their tongues to groom themselves and clean their teeth.

As a cat owner, you might want to find why they love lick their lips and swallow. It seems like they enjoy licking their lips even more than they wish eating 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 swallow, it is trying 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, he will try to relieve his 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 it after eating, it’s a sign that he still needs more food.

However, if he overeats again, he could become bloated. Bloating can cause your cat to lick his lips. To prevent this situation from occurring, feed your small cat meals throughout the day.

4. He’s Stressed

Stressful situations like moving house, traveling, new surroundings, loud noises, etc., can affect your cat. Stress triggers our bodies into releasing hormones called cortisol.

Cortisol affects how we behave by making us aggressive, fearful, and even depressed. When your cat experiences stress, he may constantly begin licking his lips and swallowing them.

5. Your Cat Has Been Sick

When your cat gets sick, she often starts licking herself because she feels uncomfortable. She wants to remove anything from her body that makes her feel unwell and tends to lick his lips out of fear.

Your cat may feel nauseous and have diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can both give rise to dehydration. Dehydration makes your cat uncomfortable and causes him to lick his lips.

6. His Teeth Have Grown Out of Control

Some cats grow teeth early than others. However, if your cat keeps growing new teeth without stopping, then this could mean that he is suffering from tooth decay.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria build up inside the gum line, causing tartar. Tartar buildup can irritate gums and eventually cause an infection that makes your cat often keep licking its lips

7. He Just Wants Attention

A lot of times, cats want attention. They love being petted and stroked. Sometimes, cats need companionship. A pet companion provides mental stimulation and helps relieve loneliness.

If your cat isn’t getting enough attention, he’ll try to find ways to attract human attention. He may do things like rubbing against furniture, meowing loudly, licking up its lips and swallowing uncontrollably, or trying 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 he may begin to lick his lips.

8. He’s 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 begins licking his lips frequently, then he may be scared about something happening.

9. He’s Anxious

Cats are very sensitive creatures, so they don’t always know what’s going on around them. That’s why they tend to get anxious quickly.

Anxiety can manifest as many different behaviors such as pacing back and forth, head shaking, pawing at themselves, etc. Cats who suffer from anxiety will most likely lick their lips for comfort.

10. Dry Mouth

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

Dry mouths occur when a cat lacks moisture in his mouth. As a result, his tongue becomes rough and irritated.

11. He Needs to Go Outside

When a cat goes outdoors, he must use the bathroom. Sometimes, however, he doesn’t realize that he should urinate or defecate until after he gets home. Because of this, he may start licking his lips.

12. He’s Bored

Boredom is another common source of stress. Bored cats usually resort to self-soothing techniques like grooming, playing, sleeping, and licking and swallowing.

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

13. He’s Scared

Scared animals act differently than calm ones. They’re afraid of everything, including other pets, strangers, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.

Cats who are frightened tend to be hyperactive and anxious. Licking their lips and swallowing is one way they cope with anxiety.

14. He’s Happy

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

Happy felines will rub themselves on objects, groom themselves by licking their lips, fur and paws, play fetch, roll around, jump, stretch, and generally 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.

There are several different solutions available depending upon 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 piece of 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, they will not want to lick their face and swallow.

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

When your cat licks their nose, they will feel as though there is something stuck between their 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 per day. 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 even 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 find out the reason for the licking to come up with a way to curb the vice.