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Cat Licking her mouth

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My cat has been licking her lips very often (looks like she just got done eating and is cleaning her lips but she has been doing this all the time). She is a 13yr old female cat diagnosed with asthma last year and also had a urinary problem (bloood and crystals) that has been treated with special cat food (CD). She has never licked like this before these problems. I took her to the vet and they said they see no reason for it. I've read that it could be a sign of CRF and the vet said they never heard that before. I just want to make sure that this isn't a symptom of something. She was given a steriod shot for the asthma - could this be a side effect or could it be from the new cat food? If anyone has a cat that licks there own lips - has this been a problem/symptom that you know of?

post #2 of 27
Has she had her teeth checked? That would be my first concern...maybe a loose tooth or an infected one.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, the Vet checked her mouth and came up with no reason for the licking.
post #4 of 27
I've seen cats do this in cases where they licked something and got a reaction in their mouth from it, i.e. a chemical burn from a cleaning product, but usually it is accompanied by drooling.
post #5 of 27
Originally Posted by missK View Post
I've read that it could be a sign of CRF and the vet said they never heard that before.
... do you mean your vet never heard of CRF or of the licking being a symptom???
post #6 of 27
How long have you been feeding the new cat food? It’s not impossible that there is a connection. Can you possibly go back to what you were feeding before (or just try a different food) to see if that puts an end to the lip licking?
My Amy was licking her lips when she had a dry mouth from medication. But none of my cats ever did any lip licking after a steroid shot.
They can also lick their lips when they are nauseated, but that kind of lip licking is very different from what you describe.
By the way, I also have info that says that lip licking can be a symptom of CRF.
However, this article
explains that lip licking is usually not the only symptom if a cat has CRF.

Is the lip licking the only problem you are aware of? Nothing else is going on? More drinking for instance, etc.
How long ago did she have a complete chemistry profile?
post #7 of 27
chloe does that before she throws up. maybe shes nauseous?
post #8 of 27
My cat will do this when he is nauseated. My vet told me I could give him 1/2 tablet of Pepcid AC to settle his stomach. It seems to work...
post #9 of 27
I've only seen it when my cats were nauseous..which can happen with or without having crf. The only reason it's listed on the crf site is because of how often crf kitties do have nausea related to their crf.

Hope you can figure out why she might be nauseated soon...poor girl!
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
I hope she's not nauseous. She does it often, like every couple minutes.
The vet i've taken her to has given no reason and seems not to be concerned.
The vet said:
Bloodwork great
Kidneys perfect
**urine looks ok except 1 small urate which could be an early
indicator of liver disease, but usually there would be more.
Liver enzymes ok
thryoid great
mouth looks good

Perhaps this is just a new "habit"? Unless the steriod shot for asthma causes nausea, i see no reason for her to be.

thanks for all the repsonses
post #11 of 27
You could try the Pepcid A/C and see if that helps at all. My vet recommends giving 1/2 tablet every 12 hours until symptoms subside. It's just the regular Pepcid like humans take. It is perfectly safe to give cats. Actually, if you get it from a vet, they will charge you quite a bit more, there will be a fancy medical name on the bottle, when in fact it is just Pepcid! Learned my lesson on that one!
post #12 of 27
Just a word of caution...I realize the above member said this was her vet's recommended dose, but you should really check with your own vet, and you should realize that pepcid ac is not harmless. The folks on my crf support list were cautious with pepcid - usually began with 1/4 tab and not on a daily basis. Here is a great crf site's specific information on pepcid (famotidine):
post #13 of 27
id never heard you could give them pepcid but id heard you could give them a teeny tiny piece of tums if you could actually get them to eat it lol
post #14 of 27
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
Just a word of caution...I realize the above member said this was her vet's recommended dose, but you should really check with your own vet, and you should realize that pepcid ac is not harmless. The folks on my crf support list were cautious with pepcid - usually began with 1/4 tab and not on a daily basis. Here is a great crf site's specific information on pepcid (famotidine):

There are also different forms of Pepcid so you have to check the box carefully to make sure to get the correct one - my vet prescribed the Pepcid AC, 1/4 of a 10mg famotidine tablet. 1/2 tab 2 times per day is a pretty strong amount - usually that wouldn't be prescribed unless the cat was often very nauseated. As Pat said, it's important to clear this with your vet. Don't start any meds without a vet's advice.
post #15 of 27
are tums or rolaids safe for cats?
post #16 of 27
No. I mean, nobody should use Tums and other antacids without careful research and veterinary supervision. Important information in this article:

Since Tums, besides being an antacid is also a calcium based phosphorus binder, you’ll want to be aware of this information as well:
Please scroll down to Calcium Based Phosphorus Binders
post #17 of 27
And while we’re talking about medications I’d also like to mention that the tablet form of Periactin (Cyproheptadine), which is often used as an appetite stimulant, can cause dry mouth (and dry eyes) in cats.
You realize that a cat has a dry mouth when it’s constantly licking its lips without signs of nausea and other digestive discomfort. Lowering the dose is tremendously helpful with a dry mouth. The transdermal form of Periactin is a lot gentler on the system and I personally haven’t seen signs of a dry mouth from it.
Info that mentions dry mouth as one of the side effects:
post #18 of 27
Hi MissK,

I am just wondering if you found a reason to why your cat was licking his/her mouth excessively in the end. The reason why I am asking is because it sounds very similar to our cat who is doing the same and we've been told that he's allergic to something but we don't know what it is exactly. I wonder if it could be pollen or something else which is irritating his throat.

A couple of weeks ago we had to take him down to the vets for a throat examination and he had a very inflamed throat which was covered with little nodules on the inside and he was given both antibiotic and steroids for it. Since then his asthma cough has gone away but he still sort of breathes out suddenly sometimes and licks his mouth quite frequently when he's awake. He also licks his fur afterwards. (Anyone who might know if this could be related to allergy?)

It's little things which I've noticed that he never used to do and I am wondering how your cat is doing now and if it has settled?

Many thanks!
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Mjolkbud - I hope your cat is fine by now. What did the vet say? Does your cat have asthma.

As for my 14 yr old girl I just took her to the vet because I found a small pinky nail size flesh colored lump on her chest under her arm. More about that below.

I got a full blood test and it came back overall normal aside from slight dehydration + elevated red blood (which the vet said could be from dehydration and both aren't alarming) plus slightly high cholesterol. The vet said not to worry and that the test is overall good resluts and that I should feed her wet cat food.

As for the licking again they could not say for sure. Perhaps nausea. But her tests were fine so I think it's safe to rule out CRF. Are there other symptoms of nausea besides the licking/swallowing? My cat acts normal besides this.

The lump - the vet looked an could not say if it was a cyst or something worse without doing a costly surgery or biopsy. I'm hoping it's just a harmless cyst and i'm going to watch it. The vet gave Animax cream (anti inflammatory) but could not say it would not harm the bump. Has anyone used this cream before or had a bump on a cat that can give me some hope/info?

Phew, thanks for reading!
post #20 of 27

My cat does that same thing all the time. Everywhere i go she will lick me. I have no clue why just affection maybe.But my cat has or ever had anything wrong with it. She has been fixed but she did it before that.Its been going on a long time.Hope it helps.

post #21 of 27

my cat has recently been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. she is on 2 different heart meds and was on a diuretic but was taken off that due to he kidney enzyme levels being high. she keeps licking her lips.. she never did that before.. is this maybe a kidney problem or heart .. she drinks lots of water anyway.. always has as she prefers to eat dried food although does eat wet food now and then.. does anyone have the same situation?

post #22 of 27

My girlfriends cat has been licking her lips lately as well and I have yet to make the ultimate decision to take her to a vet. However i do recall just the other day before she started licking her lips me spraying alot of roach spray to kill one roach in our apartment. Thats the only thing i can think of. Just being honest. She is curled up in a ball most of the day however still enjoys going outdoors for some fresh air. I think it will pass its probably just a strong stomach ache from the roach spray...



post #23 of 27
Lip licking is a sign of nausea and or acid reflux!
post #24 of 27

I agree... It is most likely a sign of either acid reflux or nausea... I had a cat before with CRF that did this, I also have a cat now with Inflammatory Bowel Disease that when his IBD flairs up will do this.


Without going back to your post if your cat is on Prednisone or has been on it recently this can upset the stomach and create acid reflux. I know when my cats have ever been on steroids (including my husband ) pepcid is prescribed along with it .


Anytime a cat continiously licks it's lips , except for right after eating I would say there is a medical reason .


When the cat is doing this take notice do you see any slobber , wetness around the mouth ? If so I would bet it's stomach is upset from something.


Contact your vet (or get a second opinion ) about giving pepcid a try .

post #25 of 27
We took her to the vet and found out it's her cat herpes flaring up again. She was prescribed a pill by mouth called famciclovir for her blisters in her mouth she hasn't ate in going on 2 days and I'm going to buy her a broth. She started to throw up recently from another liquid medicine prescribed so I'm not going to give it to her unless this pool doesn't work .

post #26 of 27

MissK : I agree with others who have replied, it's likely due to nausea.  I also had a cat with CRF who was doing this and when I asked our vet about it---he indicated that it was a sign of nausea and prescribed Pepcid AC (NOT Pepcid Complete) 1/4 (of a 10 mg) tab in the morning and 1/4 tab at night.  This did stop the mouth licking.  In this case, we knew the reason for the nausea (the chronic renal failure), but if your cat is nauseated your vet needs to find out why.    


KatMann:   It's highly likely that the roach spray is what is causing your girlfriend's cat to lick it's lips (nauseated) since roach sprays and other pesticides are highly toxic (can be deadly) to cats.  You might want to have your girlfriend use "roach motels"  instead of a spray to take care of the problem---they work better than sprays (the bugs take the pesticide back to their nest so that the entire nest is destroyed) and are less harmful to cats (just be sure to place them in areas the cat can't get to).  These are made by a number of companies, are available in most stores where the sprays are sold, work quickly and are inexpensive.   We've had this problem, too---so I speak from experience.  Hope this helps. 

post #27 of 27

If other changes don't work, you might want to get a second opinion on the teeth.  My friend had a terrible experience when TWICE the vet told her that her diabetic cat's teeth were fine.  Then one day she stopped eating and went into shock. Mystified, my friend was told that Kitty's teeth were rotting in her head.  It was horrible. Not all vets know everything.

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