Cats Excessive Licking

by catfood

The Cat Who Licked Too Much

Li’l Bit at the ASPCA shelter drew Evelyn in because she was friendly and enjoyed being petted. Evelyn had lost her two senior cats the previous year, but she had recovered and was ready to adopt another cat.


Li’l Bit’s owners had abandoned her since she didn’t get along with the other cat in the house. Evelyn adopted the sweet two-year-old tortoiseshell because she didn’t have any cats.

Evelyn gave the cat the name Samantha. Samantha kept her litterbox clean, fed her the best cat food, bought her exciting toys, and played with her every day. Samantha, on the other hand, pretended that all of this wasn’t enough.

Samantha had developed an annoying habit. Evelyn’s arms, legs, and face, as well as the wood furniture, were all licked. Evelyn pushed her away since a cat’s rough tongue can irritate human skin and damage wood furnishings. Samantha, on the other hand, bit her repeatedly, occasionally hard enough to draw blood. Evelyn assumed the licking and biting would stop with time, but six months later, Evelyn and Samantha came to see me at the ASPCA. Samantha had not been seen in public since Evelyn adopted her from the “A’s” shelter.


Samantha’s Characteristics

Following that, I proposed strategies to keep Samantha engaged and her mind off grooming. Observing Samantha engage with Evelyn in the Behavior Room and taking a behavioral history indicated that Samantha was grooming Evelyn as if she were another cat and biting her when she didn’t get her way.

Samantha, in my opinion, would benefit from a feline companion with whom she could groom, get attention from, and play. Samantha had not gotten along with the other cat at her last home, so Evelyn was hesitant. I suggested Evelyn that the two cats she had recently purchased were incompatible and that getting a cat with a similar, strong personality could be a good idea, but Evelyn refused.


Samantha appeared to be overweight but otherwise in decent shape. Evelyn was meant to spend more time with Samantha, providing her with food-containing toys and showing her cat videos. I also advised

Evelyn to spray lemon juice on her arms to halt the licking. By the end of the appointment, Evelyn had changed her mind.

She did, after all, wish to try to introduce a new cat. She’d had a fantastic time living with two cats, so why not try again?

Evelyn and I went downstairs to the cat section. After some hissing and snarling, the two accepted each other. Charlie was active enough to engage Samantha in play while staying quiet enough to tolerate grooming. (I had hoped to find a female because spraying is less common in same-sex households, but none were available with the appropriate manner.) Charlie was transported to the Behavior Room in a small cage. Charlie, a calm, neutered one-year-old male, was our decision. What a stroke of luck! Evelyn brought Charlie home.


To be safe, Evelyn introduced the two cats gradually in her apartment: first in separate rooms, then with the door cracked a crack, and finally face-to-face. Samantha quickly began grooming Charlie…and he enjoyed it! The cats both purred. Samantha completely ceased grooming Evelyn and biting her. A month later, Evelyn texted me a picture of her two happy children. In the shot, Samantha was grooming Charlie.

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