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post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My cat licks EVERYTHING! Why would she do that? She is a rescue from a shelter, so I don't know much about her behavior history.
post #2 of 6
What do you mean by everything? When they lick, they are usually cleaning weather it's a person or another cat. They also lick things that taste good. If this cat is licking everything in sight, it may just be that it's a stress outlet. It may make her way of dealing with things. As long as she is not licking anything dangerous, I would give her time to settle in and see if the licking stops.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
We've had her about 2 weeks. She's a 2 and 1/2 yr old Russian Blue rescue kitty. She licks the curtains, the floor registers, the walls, the doors, an uncut watermelon sitting on the kitchen floor (from the field, not the store, so it wasn't sprayed with anything), just about anything. I don't know if she's tasting or if she likes the textures.
post #4 of 6
You haven't had her very long and I am sure she has been stressed out in her young life. Her licking could be psychologically induced from that stress, or it could be neurological as well. It could also be what you said and she just likes textures. The safest thing to do is to take her to your vet for him to take a look at her and give you his opinion. Her propensity to lick things could get her in trouble should she find something unhealthy to lick and become sick. Good luck.
post #5 of 6
While Hissy's opinion is respected, I disagree with bringing your pet to a vet just because the cat is licking stuff.

Bringing your cat to a vet involves putting him/her through a great deal of stress, and potentially exposes him/her to feline ailments, which can be deadly, such as the mutant virus that struck Los Angeles a few months ago at vet clinics and infected and killed something like 24 cats who just went for routine checkups, but contracted the virus there.

I don't feel licking everything is a sign that a major physical problem exists, and would suggest PHONING a few vets and asking for opinions verbally. If they (and you) then feel it's necessary to see the cat, proceed accordingly.

This is what I spoke of earlier, how people subject their cats to possibly more harm by overacting to every little thing and bringing them to the vets, where FAR worse things can happen.

Again...cats are very strong creatures, even though domesticated. Give their bodies a fair chance to deal/adjust with/to situations. BUT...talking and asking for advice is ALWAYS a must thing.

I happened to be at a cat clinic today, and the girl who was taking care of sick cats (visible through a window in the lobby area) suddenly came out without washing her hands and started playing with cats in the lobby who were waiting to see the vet. That kind of carelessness is exactly how diseases are innocently and quickly passed from one animal to another, and the very reason I am VERY cautious when placing my cats in the care of others, even temporarily. My cat never leaves my sight, and I always remind everyone to wash their hands before touching me or my cat (when at the vets.)

Just food for thought.
post #6 of 6
I would take the cat to the vet for a complete exam. She might be suffering from nutritional deficiencies, neurological problems or obessive-compulsive disorder, and maybe some other thing I don't know about.

I do not think taking a cat to the vet is an overly stressful thing that causes more harm than good. Rare mutant viruses are rare. One would of course, find a vet where good hygiene is practiced and where one knows the staff washes their hands, or one can insist on watching the vet or techs wash their hands before touching one's cat.

One of my cats had taken to licking bricks and cement, and when we finally took him to the vet as it just was too odd, he was ALMOST DEAD of anemia. If I followed the advise on another forum to just add supplemental vitamins, he would be dead. He had the kind of anemia where his body had stopped making red blood cells, not a diet related anemia. He was treated and did recover, but if we waited just one more day, he would have been dead, his RBC was so low. So, I believe strongly in getting any cat acting in an usual manner to the vet. Licking everything is very abnormal and should be investigated. You can check your cats gums to see if they are pale, which would indicate anemia.

In the meantime, I would confine the cat to just one cat-safe room where there is nothing that could be toxic if licked. Being confined to a "safe room" can be comforting to a cat plunked into a new territory. Once she feels very secure in her little room, open the door to let her explore the rest of the home at her own pace. If she was confined to a cage for a long time, she might feel overwhelmed by the sudden space of the whole home.
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