A cat constantly licks itself - a natural reflex or a harbinger of illness

Have you ever wondered why your cat might smack its lips? "Cat smacking" can be a concern for cat owners, especially if it is a new behavior or is associated with other symptoms such as food refusal, vomiting, lethargy, weakness and/or diarrhea.

In general, some cats are more "smacking" than others. Some cats lick their lips the same way other cats do at home, on the floor, on countertops, etc.

On the other hand, some cats rarely smack. This can be an equally concerning symptom if your cat has always been a good licker or groomer and then suddenly stops. This may be a sign of illness. Here's a good article that explains normal cat licking behavior and when to worry: Everything you need to know about cat smacking.

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Possible causes of lip smacking

  1. Bias behavior . Cats sometimes smack when they are excited, which is called "displacement behavior." For example, a cat might end up at a veterinary hospital and end up on an examination table. In this case, many cats will determine whether they need to be aggressive or run. Some cats relieve stress through repression behavior, such as licking or grooming themselves for a few seconds or minutes.
  2. Compulsive disorders . Some cats may lick their lips excessively due to obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, cats with compulsive disorders are more likely to lick their fur.
  3. Nausea . Cats that are vomiting or dehydrated may lick or smack their lips excessively. Often cats will also drool and vomit after they smack their lips.
  4. Dental disease . Cats with dental disease and/or oral infections may also lick their lips or smack excessively. As dental disease progresses, plaque turns into tartar. The accumulation of tartar both above and below the gum line can gradually create an environment for the growth of bacteria that destroy periodontal tissue. Many cats also have trouble eating, losing weight, and/or not drooling.
  5. Mouth ulcers . Mouth ulcers may cause pain, lip licking, drooling, and/or excessive smacking. Ulcers can develop as a result of oral infections, dental disease, systemic infections such as kidney disease, or as a result of ingestion of caustic substances. Caustic foods that can cause mouth ulcers in cats include laundry or dishwasher detergent and liquid potpourri.
  6. Something tastes funny . Cats that lick floors that contain cleaning products, food, dirt, mold, soap, or other items that may taste strange will often react by smacking their lips.
  7. Wounds . Cats can lick wounds. They may smack their lips, but more often you will notice them licking the wound and/or pulling out fur.
  8. Uncontrollable licking of lips . Some cats may suffer from a seizure disorder that manifests itself as mouth chewing, air biting, or even excessive and uncontrollable lip licking. Most often this is a “focal seizure”.
  9. Foreign body . A common cause of lip smacking may be that something has gotten into the cat's mouth. Common items that can be caught in the mouth are small pieces of bone, sticks, or plant spines such as fox tail.
  10. Bites . Any type of biting on the face or area around the lips can cause lip smacking. Bites can be caused by other cats, spiders, horse flies, mosquitoes, and stings can be caused by bees or wasps. Snake bites can also occur around the face and mouth and cause pain, swelling, discharge, and/or licking of the lips.

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Symptomatic diet and procedures

Swallowing is often a completely harmless symptom. For example, if a cat is bothered by a lump of fur in its stomach, then it will swallow and lick itself until the lump comes out of it.

To prevent minor problems from developing into serious illnesses, you should carefully monitor what your cat eats, what she plays with, and what foods she may have an allergic reaction to.

It is necessary to remove from the area accessible to the cat all small objects that a curious beauty can taste.

To avoid allergic reactions, you should not prescribe medications yourself, much less treat your animal with medications for humans. All medical procedures must be carried out strictly after consultation with a specialist. By the way, allergies for cats are not as safe as they seem. Animals are also susceptible to attacks of suffocation and swelling of the ENT organs.

Do not forget that compulsive swallowing is one of the very first signs of problems in a cat’s body. Of course, you don’t need to run to the veterinary clinic for the slightest reason, but it is recommended to monitor your pet’s condition for 1-2 days.

Other signs to watch for and how to help

If you see your cat smacking its lips, we recommend the following:

  1. Look at your cat's general behavior and attitude and determine if there is an underlying health problem.
  2. Assess your cat's behavior. Is your cat nervous? Anxious? Scary? Try to determine whether lip smacking is a way of expressing anxiety. If your cat is in a situation that you think might make her uncomfortable, this could be a sign of displacement. You can help your cat by eliminating stressors and enriching the environment.
  3. Determine if it is a health problem. It is best to take your cat to a veterinarian. They may also want to know when lip smacking occurs? Is this permanent? Is this new? Only after eating? Does this happen when your cat is anxious or nervous? They will likely want to examine the skin around the face, lips, gums, teeth, and perform a full oral examination. Your veterinarian will also look for any foreign bodies in the mouth, dental disease, and mouth ulcers. Finally, they will need a detailed history of your cat's diet, food changes, exposure to debris or toxins, general appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and weight loss.

Article author: Dr. Debra Primovic.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cat sleep

During the 12-14 hours of sleep, cats mostly just doze, often changing their position and not falling into deep sleep. Studies have shown that a cat's sleep has two phases that differ from each other in the level of brain activity.

The duration of each sleep phase can vary significantly between cats, and it also changes with age. Aging cats doze more than they sleep. And in young cats, during prolonged sleep, the first and second phases of sleep change several times.

Cats' sleep is different from human sleep and plays a significant role in its life. Thus, it has been established that growth hormone is synthesized in a kitten only when it is sleeping. But still, the meaning of sleep in the life of cats remains a mystery, since the cat’s brain remains fully active during sleep.

There is peace and quiet in the house, your pet ate deliciously, licked herself, and then lay down in her favorite place to take a light nap. I wonder if she dreams? First you need to carefully observe the pussy. After all, rest for her does not always mean sound sleep.

We can confidently say that a cat is not sleeping if, with its eyes closed and a relaxed posture, its ears move slightly in time with the sounds of its surroundings and its whiskers move. At the first loud and unexpected sound, the cat will immediately open its eyes. In the same situation, place your hand on a cat who appears to be sleeping, and he will immediately purr or say “Mrrr” questioningly, often without even opening his eyes.

But this behavior is more typical for adults; young and old behave a little differently. Cats doze much more and sleep much less than they seem at first glance. “Slumber” allows you to rest and, at the same time, quickly react to your surroundings, while in real sleep the reactions are much slower.

When a cat sleeps deeply, it is precisely by the disorganized movement of the pupils that we can say that the “REM” phase has begun.

The REM phase has been studied in humans. About 90 minutes after the onset of sleep, the pattern of brain activity changes dramatically. Body temperature rises, heart rate increases, and blood pressure rises slightly.

At the University of Lyon, they conducted neurophysiological studies and came to the conclusion that the most common cat dreams are: exploring the surrounding area, hunting, aggressive behavior, instant reactions to something, anger, personal toilet, and fear is also present. And although researchers have not found any evidence that cat dreams are also romantic.

There are, however, several symptoms that should alert an attentive cat owner. If during sleep the cat continuously moves its paws or there are cases in which the cat suddenly jumps up and begins to catch a non-existent mouse, then the cause of this may be an injury from a blow to the head or a fall from a height.

But, more often than not, pussies, just like people, just dream about something.


In what cases is it necessary to consult a veterinarian?

If there are some accompanying symptoms, an animal actively licking itself or licking its nose should be shown to a veterinarian. The following signs should not be ignored:

  • lethargy and lack of response to external stimuli;
  • decrease in physical activity;
  • increased body temperature;
  • complete or partial loss of interest in food and, accordingly, weight loss;
  • deterioration of the coat (thinning or hair loss);
  • the appearance of sores and scabs on the skin;
  • increased thirst;
  • disruption of the digestion process and bowel movements;
  • refusal of water;
  • signs of intoxication and dehydration of the body;
  • frequent vomiting.

You should not treat the animal yourself. Inept actions can aggravate the problem, so it is better to entrust the identification of the cause of the disease and the development of a treatment regimen to a veterinarian.

When to contact a veterinarian

You should contact a veterinary clinic after analyzing the cat’s behavior. If the owner notices unnaturally frequent licking, then a consultation with a veterinarian should not be postponed.

You will also need medical advice if:

  • The cat stopped drinking water . In this case, you should contact the clinic immediately, since dehydration will lead to serious consequences and death;
  • , partial or complete baldness occurs . This fact is a sign of many skin diseases, and is also present about skin and fur parasites in a pet;
  • Allergy symptoms appear , such as redness, burning and hypersalivation. Allergic irritations can lead to serious illnesses, asphyxia, suppuration, blood poisoning and other sad consequences;
  • The pet feels sick and vomits . Nausea is a sign of diseases varying in severity. These diseases can be poisoning of any nature, dysfunction of the kidneys, liver and genitourinary system;
  • The habits and habits of the animal have changed . A drastic change in a cat's behavior indicates the presence of serious nervous diseases.

Why does a healthy cat sniffle in its sleep?

For the same reason as a person. Just like us, cats have sleep cycles.

During the slow (low-wave, shallow) phase, the cat's muscles tense, breathing and pulse slow down. Metabolism, blood pressure and body temperature decrease. Such a dream is very sensitive, and you can notice how the cat reacts to all sounds by moving its ears.

The fast phase (deep) occurs on average twenty minutes after the slow one. The pulse and breathing become uneven, and the cat will no longer be able to wake up easily and quickly. The sleep here is deeper. It is in this cycle that you can hear snoring and snoring from your pet.

Purrs, smacking: The veterinarian explained why cats “suck” the blanket

How to help a kitten cope with the stress of being separated from its mother

Little kittens are unable to cope with their fears on their own. When a kitten is separated from its mother cat, the babies become vulnerable. Therefore, their future life depends on the care and affection of the owner. The most important reflex is sucking. Separation from mom becomes a test. The kitten begins to “suck” the tissues: soft and saturated with the smell of the owner. The veterinarian explained why this happens and how to help the pet.

Cats have their own quirks. But in order to understand the reasons for strange behavior in time, it is important not to miss the moment. From childhood, children experience stress after entering adulthood without their mother. From this moment on, they completely rely on their owner. Therefore, the lack of mother’s warmth is expressed in “sucking.” Blankets, rugs, sheets and robes - all this attracts kittens.

At the moment when the kitten begins to purr and grab a blanket or clothes with its mouth, you need to pick it up. Be sure to stroke the head and nose. Quietly pronounce his name and do not let go until the baby stops purring. In a few days, in this way you can wean your cat off the pronounced reflex.

The veterinarian calls this behavior a “need” that should be eliminated. Whether it's a kitten or an adult cat, licking fabric with a rough tongue is harmful. The particles enter the stomach and remain there. The solution to the problem lies in sufficient and timely attention to your pet.


Common diseases

The most common diseases in porridge are parasitic. Timely prevention is the best treatment for these diseases. In any pet store or veterinary pharmacy you can find many different anthelmintic drugs. In the end, you should always remember about skin parasites: fleas, ticks, lice eaters. It is enough to simply treat the cat with insecticidal shampoo in the same way as written in the instructions. Another option is to rub an antiparasitic agent into the skin, in the area of ​​the withers, of which there are many in veterinary pharmacies.

Another disease that a cat can get is otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear). This disease brings unbearable pain to your pet. The main cause of this disease is drafts, plus microorganisms such as streptococcus and staphylococcus.

Common symptoms of this disease are: loss or significant decrease in appetite, ear pain, fever, apathy, and sometimes vomiting.

For treatment, it is necessary to take a course of antibiotics. And, also, it is necessary to regularly wash the cat’s ears with hydrogen peroxide (3% solution), then you need to drip 2 drops of iodoform ether inside. And of course, be sure to take painkillers.

Cats are very susceptible to a disease such as purulent conjunctivitis; it is most often caused by pyogenic microorganisms. The main symptom of the disease is the appearance of a characteristic purulent sac on the animal’s eye. When treating this disease, it is imperative to use intramuscular antibiotics. Also, you need to regularly and methodically wash your cat’s eyes with a weak solution of furatsilin, and be sure to apply ointments such as tetracycline, oletethrin, erythromycin to the conjunctival sac every day. If necessary, give sulfonamide drugs orally.

Infectious diseases of cats and dogs

Why does my cat constantly lick his lips?

A kitten's active sleep is not a reason to worry

Most of the speculation surrounding the concern comes from kitten owners. We dare to assure you that if your cat twitches in his sleep, but he is not yet 12-15 months old, this is normal . Don't worry if the kitten sleeps in an unnatural position or if its eyes are slightly open. The first is explained by the fact that kittens are not so demanding of comfort, the second is due to the presence of a third eyelid, a transparent film that protects the eye during sleep, even if it is open.

The kitten may twitch violently, roll over, and even meow after stress or active play. If the baby is sleeping and you notice that his paws are twitching, it means that the four-legged animal is walking or running in its sleep. Until 1.5–2 years of age, activity in the REM phase is absolutely normal and is explained by an incompletely formed nervous system.

The REM phase of sleep in kittens up to 6 months takes up about 80% of all sleep time. If you notice that your cat doesn’t startle in its sleep as often as before, you can draw conclusions about the strengthening of the nervous system and the maturation of the animal as a whole. The period of formation of the nervous system is very individual and depends on many factors. In outbred so-called native cats, it lasts up to 10 months; some purebred cats “remain children” for up to two years.

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