Licking - Repeated

All cats lick themselves a lot. This normal grooming behaviour should not be confused with excessive licking for other reasons. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to assess whether the cat is licking normally or excessively.

Repeated licking can be caused by several conditions. One is itchiness - see under itchiness for the different possible causes. Wounds can also be a reason for a cat to repeatedly lick an area. Other reasons for cats to lick repeatedly is skin allergy and even boredom.

If cats lick a certain part of the body incessantly this can cause further deterioration of the condition. It can also lead to secondary problems like for instance pyoderma (a deep skin infection), licking granuloma (a chronic thickening of the skin with hair loss), or hyper pigmentation (blackening of the skin). Some cats have got into the habit of licking and even if the initial cause for the licking has been resolved they can continue the behaviour.

If your cat licks more than you would expect, have him checked by your vet. Often treatment is straightforward and quickly resolves the problem.


This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.