Why Your Cat Is Excessively Licking Themselves and How Cat Litter Can Contribute


Cats are known for their meticulous grooming habits, but when they begin excessively licking themselves, it can be a cause for concern. This behaviour can stem from several reasons, including allergies, stress, or even issues related to the cat litter you're using. Let's explore why your cat might be excessively licking themselves and how cat litter can be a factor.

Possible Reasons for Excessive Licking

There are a few potential reasons why your cat might be grooming excessively:

1. Allergies
Allergies are a common cause of excessive licking. Your cat could be allergic to something in their environment, such as pollen, dust, or certain foods.

2. Stress or Anxiety
Stress can manifest in cats as excessive grooming. Changes in the home, such as new pets or people, can trigger anxiety in your cat.

3. Parasites or Skin Conditions
Fleas, mites, or other skin irritations can cause your cat to lick more than usual. Checking your cat's skin for signs of parasites is a good idea.

How Cat Litter Can Play a Role

The cat litter you're using might be contributing to your cat's excessive grooming. Here's how:

  • Litter Dust: Some litters produce a lot of dust, which can settle on your cat's fur and skin, causing irritation and prompting them to lick more often.
  • Scented Litter: Scented litters may contain fragrances that irritate your cat's skin or respiratory system, leading to excessive grooming.
  • Litter Type: The texture of some litters may be uncomfortable for your cat, leading to discomfort and increased grooming.

What to Do

If you suspect your cat's litter is causing the excessive licking, here are some steps you can take:

  • Switch Litter Types: Try using a low-dust, unscented, and natural cat litter to see if it helps reduce your cat's grooming. We recommend our 100% Recycled Paper Cat litter which is low dust and no tracking.
  • Observe Your Cat's Behaviour: Pay attention to when and where your cat is licking themselves. This can help identify specific triggers.
  • Regular Vet Visits: A vet can help determine if there are any underlying health issues causing the excessive licking.

Prevention Tips

To prevent excessive grooming in the future, consider these tips:

  • Maintain a Clean Litter Tray: Keep the litter tray clean to minimise dust and maintain a comfortable environment for your cat.
  • Provide Enrichment: Keeping your cat engaged with toys and playtime can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Monitor for Changes: Keep an eye on your cat's behaviour and the environment to spot any potential triggers.

Excessive licking can be a sign that something is bothering your cat. By considering the potential causes and making adjustments to the litter you use, you can help your cat feel more comfortable and keep their grooming habits in check.

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