Why Is My Cat Licking His Lips?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionMy cat has been licking his lips as if he has dry mouth. He's been doing it for a couple of days. It is new behavior and I wonder if it is a sign that something is wrong. (Jessica Pappas - California)

Answer

Licking of lips can be an indicator of a range of different problems. It could be a sign of mild anxiety; an allergy of some sort (especially if they are licking another area of his body); or a sign of an obstruction somewhere in the digestive process (he may have swallowed an object or piece of string). In rare cases this could be a sign of something more serious such as CRI (Chronic Renal Insufficiency) where the kidneys aren't functioning properly. CRI also includes symptoms like increased thirst/urination and nausea so is unlikely to be the cause if the only symptom. It suggest you take your cat to the vet for a thorough examination, especially if the licking is accompanied by any of the other symptoms I have mentioned.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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