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My Cat Won't Stop Licking Me!!!

Question:
About 3 months ago, my sister discovered a starving kitten in her back yard. We cleaned her and fattened her up and then I took her home and made her my baby. I took her to the vet and the vet said she was healthy, about 6 months old, and adorable.

Now she is about 9 months old. My only problem is that she licks incessantly. She cannot be on me without licking some part of me. She'll lick my feet, my face, my hands. It wouldn't be so bad if she'd just lick me and get it over with, but she does not stop.

I have noticed that she seems to have an oral fixation. If she's not licking me or herself, she's chewing on cardboard or paper, licking the walls, licking photos, or carrying toys around in her mouth. She's very much like a puppy.

She seems healthy, but I don't understand why she's so obsessed with licking. Should I worry? And is there ANYTHING I can do to break this?

Thanks,
Sweetness's Mommy

Answer:
I don't have a lot of advice for you, but I can relate as Smudge, one of my cats growing up, also licked incessently. She did this from the time she was a kitten until she died at age 13 in 2005. She was also a once homeless cat, maybe that has something to do with it? I always wondered why she licked constantly, so I will read this thread with great interest.

Answer:
My kitty Rusty (now 9 yrs old) came to me at about age 2, from the local shelter. She used to lick a lot of things, the carpet in particular. Don't ask me why. She does lick us as well, but only on the hands or arms (one of my other kitties licks my chin). I've moved twice since I got her, and she no longer licks the carpet, though she does still lick us now and then. I've grown up with cats, and never understood this, but what I've been told is that they lick us for mainly one reason; they like the taste of the salt on our skin (or perhaps it's skin oil). But in your case, I'd say that there's a possibility your kitty is missing something in her diet, as from your description, she seems to focus on paper products if not you. What are you feeding her?
I also found an article that suggests that licking excessively (people, furniture, towels, floor) can be a sign of displaced stress. Often cats will over-groom themselves when they are stressed, causing bald patches or worse (I have a kitty with this problem; he is on a diet), but when they lick other things, they may still be stressed. Has your kitty always licked things, or has something changed and she's only now doing it? Perhaps she's going through her first heat cycle and it's stressing her out--is she spayed?

This link may help you, but no guarantees; it looks like working with an animal behaviourist might be the answer. http://www.vetinfo.com/catchew.html

Also, check with a small animal supply store near you, if you have something like Happy Tails or Pet Planet. You're looking for a place that has "natural" foods, and informed staff; ask them about supplementing with essential oils. There may be something natural, non-harmful and effective that can help with the licking--without having to resort to veterinary drugs (with their long list of side effects).

Or you could just try behaviour modification; training her not to lick you. Give her things which are ok to lick (stuffed toys, perhaps get a big dog bone), and praise her for licking those, and correct when she licks things you don't like (you, photos, the TV, etc). Many cats are easier to train than you'd think, and there are lots of resources here and elsewhere on how to train cats.

Wish I could have been more help. Good luck,
Melissa

Answer:
Sweetness has been spayed since about a week after I got her. She has been licking since day one, as well. Nothing has changed other than coming to live with me 3 months ago.

I've been feeding her Purina Kitten Chow. I will look in to changing that to see if it helps.

You were more help than you know.

Thanks a bunch.

Answer:
Originally Posted by jensleydale
I've been feeding her Purina Kitten Chow. I will look in to changing that to see if it helps.
You were more help than you know.
Thanks a bunch.

You'll be able to find *lots* of information on this site about different kinds of foods, and other's recommendations. Please be aware that many people will criticize you for your choice of food, but when it comes right down to it, the final choice is up to you--don't let people make you feel bad if you choose not to (or can't afford to) feed the ultra-premium elite foods. My mom's cat is 19 years old and until he developed kidney disease (at about 15), he ate exclusively Iams food, which many members here will tell you is no better than Walmart-brand food, and he is, IMO, living proof that the food is only a *part* of what contributes to a long, happy life.

I'm glad I was helpful, and if you need anything else, or just want to talk, feel free to PM me.
Good luck with your kitty!
Melissa

Answer:
My cat Max never ever licks me. Except maybe once a month and I think that it is by accident. I would love it if he licked me! It would be like little kisses!

(unless of course it means he is not feeling well or something)

Answer:
Pawz sucks on my clothing....if I put a towel down ontop fo me or a sheet he'll stop (though he looks at me all offended like)....I don't mind the sucking except when its on my good shirts

Leo almost never licks me...

Dart...dart has this obsession with my fingers...I can't understand it! He loves my fingers like you wouldn't believe! Drives me screwy...and its not even MY cat!

Megan

Answer:
I don't know anything about pet food. I thought Purina was a good brand, so that's why I buy it. I'll happily feed her whatever is best for her. What should I look for in a cat food?

Answer:
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