Why Does My Cat Lick Walls?

Licking behavior in cats has several potential reasons. Most of these are related to hygiene and grooming. Sometimes, licking behavior can be a response to stress.

If your cat typically grooms himself and/or he usually licks himself, then the chances are that this licking behavior is not caused by anxiety. However, if your cat has never groomed himself or rarely does so, then it is possible that anxiety is the cause for the increased licking.

Sometimes, licking walls can be a territorial gesture. If your cat consistently licks one particular wall more than others, then this could be the reason. Territorial behaviors are most prevalent in feral cats and older cats that have been living in the same area for a while.

Unfortunately, there is no definite way to stop your cat from licking walls. There are ways to reduce or stop the behavior, however. This article will go into detail about some of these ways.

They like the taste

why does my cat lick walls

This is one of the most common reasons cats lick walls. They just like the taste. Cats have very discriminating palates and enjoy variety in their foods.

Most cats are finicky about what they eat. They prefer meat and tend to dislike carbs and fish. Because of this, many believe cats are carnivorous and have very strict diets.

So, why wouldn’t they also have strong tastes for walls? It’s likely because they enjoy the texture more than the taste, but either way, it freaks us out when we find scratches down the wall.

They are marking their territory

why does my cat lick walls

Although most cats restrict their toilet activities to the litter box, some cats will urinate outside the box.

Sometimes they’ll even spray, which is a forceful stream of urine. When cats spray, it’s usually because they feel threatened.

They might spray because of a change in the environment, like moving to a new house, or because of a change in their daily routine, like waking up late and having less time to play.

Unfortunately, this happens most often when the cat has been neutered. Neutering your cat can lead to behavior changes that make him or her more likely to spray.

Perhaps one of the weirdest reasons why cats lick walls is because they want to mark their territory. Just like we humans put up posters and pictures on our walls, so do cats. Sometimes they will even lick their own coat or fur before taking off for a trip.

They are trying to get your attention

why does my cat lick walls

Cats love attention and they love being talked to and talked about. If you have a cat, you have probably heard them meow and noticed them walking away with a furrowed brow.

This is because they want your attention and want to be acknowledged. When a cat licks a wall, it is trying to get your attention. It wants you to acknowledge that the wall is clean and safe to walk on.

This could be because the kitty feels territorial about the walls in your home or because it feels the need to protect you from danger. Maybe it just feels the need to keep checking in on you.

However, if your kitty only licks one wall then it may just feel more comfortable or secure on that one wall. It may just be trying to do its job as a protector in this case.

A sign of a medical issue

why does my cat lick walls

While licking walls may be considered normal behavior for cats, if your kitty licks walls frequently, it may be a sign of a medical issue.

If your cat suddenly starts licking walls, whether they are plastic, wood, or tile, it is worth taking them to the vet. Medical issues like liver disease or kidney disease can cause changes in behavior.

If you notice changes in eating or urinating, visit the vet to check for medical issues. While some are rare, they can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Medical issues can also affect a cat’s mental health which can lead to different behaviors. A sick kitty might feel uncomfortable or insecure which could cause them to lick walls or retreat from situations.

The vets will be able to determine if there is an underlying medical issue and treat them so they feel better.

They like the feel of the wall

why does my cat lick walls

Many cats like the feel of walls, and this is why they like to lick them. The wall is a source of comfort for them, so they want to enjoy it as much as possible.

Most cats don’t have a great sense of direction, so they can’t tell which side of the wall is the soft side. To make up for this, they lick the entire wall until it tastes good on all sides.

Some experts believe that cats have a special set of sensitive receptors in their mouths. This means that when your cat licks the wall, it feels nice to them because of this sensitivity.

In addition to having a soft mouth tissue, some cats also have sharp claws. When they scratch the wall, it feels nice to them, so they keep doing it. Eventually, they get tired and stop licking and scratching the wall.

Trying to get warmth

why does my cat lick walls

Although this may seem like an odd reason, cats may lick walls because they are trying to get warmth. If your cat curls up against a wall, this could mean that they want warmth from the wall.

Cats have been known to curl up in strange places, like on top of the fridge or in a corner. These places may be warm, so the cat wants to relax there.

Of course, if your cat licks the fridge or any other appliance, they may just like the taste of it. You can try replacing the plastic coating on appliances with paper to see if this changes their behavior.

However, if they continue to lick the wall after doing this, then you know it was not for the taste!

Another way your cat may seek warmth is if they sleep near an open window or exit during the day time. If this is the case, you can try putting a blanket out for them to snuggle in at night to help keep them warm.

A sign of a behavioral issue

why does my cat lick walls

While licking walls may seem like a harmless behavior, it can be a sign of a bigger problem. Sometimes cats will lick walls or objects when they are hungry.

If your cat is consistently looking for something to eat, then they are probably trying to tell you that they are hungry. If you provide them with food and water at appropriate times, then this is not the case.

Licking can also be a way for cats to mark their territory. If your cat is licking the wall, then they are possibly saying “this is mine” or expressing dominance over the area.

If your cat is exhibiting these behaviors, then it is important to address them. Having a healthy attitude toward territory and food can prevent potential fights with other cats and pets in the home.

Cats lick because they have an oil coating on their tongue that helps them keep their fur clean

why does my cat lick walls

Cats have a special coating on their tongue that helps them groom themselves. This coating is made up of sebaceous oils that come from the cat’s skin.

Cats have a very sensitive sense of touch due to thousands of sensitive hairs covering their skin.

When the cat licks its fur, the oily coating on its tongue helps pull off loose fur and dirt. This makes the fur look shiny and clean again.

Since cats typically only wash themselves by licking themselves clean, they may continue to lick walls or other surfaces if they do not have enough oil on their tongue. This can lead to them being less comfortable or feeling unsanitary.

If your cat is constantly licking surfaces, has flaky or dry fur, or seems itchy, it could be a sign of flea infestation. Treating your cat for fleas with prescription medication will help reduce this behavior.

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