A calico tabby domestic shorthair kitten licking its lips.

What It Means When Your Cat Is Smacking Their Lips

Have you ever wondered why your cat may smack his or her lips? “Cat smacking lips” can be a cause of concern for cat owners, especially if it is a new behavior or associated with other symptoms such as not eating, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, and/or diarrhea.

In general, some cats are bigger “lickers” than others. Some cats lick their own lips as well as the other cats in the home, the floor, countertops, and more. Two other questions cat lovers commonly ask is “Why does my cat lick plastic?” or “Why does my cat lick me?” Check out these articles for answers to those questions: Why is My Cat Licking Plastic? and Why Do Cats Lick You?

On the other hand, some cats rarely lick. It can be an equally concerning symptom if your cat has always been a good licker or groomer and then suddenly stops. This can be a sign of illness. Here is a good article that explains the normal cat licking behavior and also when to worry: Everything You Need to Know About Cat Licking.

What Your Cat Is Telling You by Smacking Their Lips

Licking and lip licking can be normal in certain circumstances. The problem is when a cat smacking their lips turns into an excessive occurrence or is caused by a behavioral or medical problem.

The causes for cats smacking their lips vary from minor to serious. The most common problems are related to nausea or oral pain.

Potential Causes of Lip Smacking

Other Signs to Watch For & How to Help

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