Cat Licking the Roof of Mouth- Reasons and Solutions

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Cat Licking the Roof of Mouth

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Cats are like babies who love a little more attention. And as a cat parent, it is usual to be concerned about them. Especially when they show new behaviors like licking the roof of their mouths.

But why do we sometimes see a cat licking the roof of its mouth? The most probable cause is that they smelled something new. Aside from this, they may lick the roof of their mouth due to the following reasons.

  • Poisoning
  • Food residual on the roof
  • Oral Health issues
  • New Pheromone and Flehmen responses

I have a cat called Muezza. A few days ago, she was seen licking the roof of her mouth. At first, I could not figure out what was wrong. So, I went to the vet and did some research. Here, I will share everything I have found.

Why Does A Cat Lick The Roof of Its Mouth? Reasons Explained

Licking or grooming is just a normal habit of a cat until they do it excessively. Moreover, it can be something to worry about if you notice it is licking in odd places. Also, do not ignore any changes in its usual habitation.

Hearing some smacking noises is the first indicator that your cat is licking the roof of its mouth. A lot of different factors could initiate this behavior, like stuck foods, changes in their habitat, inflammatory diseases, etc.

However, most of the time, the elements are not lethal or health-related. Still, it must be addressed properly and timely to avoid more significant problems.

Here, I have elaborated on six reasons why a cat may lick the roof of its mouth.

Poisoning

House cats usually groom themselves for 30 to 50 percent of the day. Grooming has two categories: oral grooming and scratching. However, most of the time, they groom orally.

Among all the places of oral grooming, a cat applies saliva around its head and hind leg the most, accounting for 31% and 21%, respectively.

Thus, residuals of bleach or other toxic chemicals in its fur, especially around the head and hind legs, could affect its tongue. So, for temporary relief, it might lick the roof of its mouth.

Food residual

Sometimes, while eating something sticky, the food gets attached to the roof of a cat’s mouth. If it does not come out after the feeding, you can see some weird movements in its mouth.

Eventually, it will lick the roof of its mouth to get rid of the residual food. They could lick the roof of their mouth to keep themselves clean. Occasionally, we give our cat some jelly treats. However, a few days ago, she started to ask for more. It got stuck on the roof of Muezza. Thus, she kept licking the roof of her mouth.

New Sensory Activity

The tongue of a cat is pretty sensitive, so any new sensory activity would make it busier. When it senses a change of smell or gets a new smell, it habitually sticks out its tongue. Sometimes, for a detailed exploration, it would kick the roof of its mouth.

Oral Health Issue

When a cat develops an inflammatory mouth disease such as stomatitis, oral ulcers, or lesions, it is very sensitive around the mouth. This will make it very uncomfortable, and you may see your pet crying in pain while licking its mouth to soothe the pain.

New Pheromone and Flehmen responses

Cats are very sensitive to new pheromones, according to the Flehmen response. They would curl their lips and inhale through their noses. This action will expose the vomeronasal organ (Jacobson’s organ), located in the roof of their mouth. This action also helps to analyze certain scents or pheromones.

When they pick up the scent of a new pheromone, they would lick the roof of their mouths. This activity will help them to transfer the smell to the vomeronasal organ located on the roof of their mouth.

Hence, they could gather more insights into the new fragrance. Also, it would help them to analyze the nature of the new pheromone.

Solution of Cat Licking Roof of Its Mouth

As I discussed before, there are numerous reasons behind a cat licking the roof of its mouth. Different causes need different solutions based on the type of problems. To get the proper remedy, follow the steps below:

Step 1

Removing Stuck Food

Check inside Muezza's mouth for Stuck Food
Check inside Muezza’s mouth for Stuck Food

Check inside its mouth to see if there is any food or foreign object stuck there. After that, dampen a clean towel or gauze with water. Remove the meal residues from her mouth roof using that cloth. If you are unable to do so, take your cat to the veterinarian.

Step 2

Replace A New Toy Or Furniture

Giving a New Toy to Muezza
Giving A New Toy to Muezza

If you don’t find any food residue inside its mouth, consider whether you have made any changes in your house. It could be either a new playing item or furniture.

Wait for a few days, and if the cat still licks the roof of its mouth, replace that toy or furniture.

Step 3

Change Its Washing Products

Check whether your cat is licking the roof of its mouth after showering. It can be caused by some leftover wash or a harsh bleaching agent on its body or fur. Take her to a vet, and do not use that wash again.

Step 4

Take to A Vet

If your pet is vomiting or has a fever, it is most probably an oral disease or digestive problem. You should never try to solve this on your own. Take her immediately to a vet, or if it is far, call the vet and ask for help according to the symptoms.

FAQ

Let’s discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about the gesture of a cat licking the roof of its mouth.

Does a cat lick the roof of its mouth when in heat?

No, a cat never licks the roof of its mouth when in heat. It would show many changes in habits, like rolling, yowling, rubbing, etc., but it would never lick the roof of its mouth.

Why does my cat lick the roof of its mouth while sleeping?

If your cat was having a nightmare, it would sometimes lick the roof of its mouth during sleep. However, you should also look for any flies or other insects that could disturb the sleeping pet.

Can dehydration make a cat lick the roof of its mouth?

Yes, extreme dehydration could make a cat lick the roof of its mouth to moisten the inside of its mouth. However, before this, it will show many obvious signs of dehydration, like licking its lips, smacking its lips, lessening or stopping drooling, etc.

Final Words

A cat licking the roof of its mouth usually depends on the change of its habitat. Any particular changes to the house could affect it. Also, some chemicals, like sulfate, parabens, etc., are very toxic to them. So, before buying any products for them, make sure they are cat-friendly.

Nevertheless, we have shared what to do if you notice your cat is licking the roof of its mouth. So, instead of panicking, follow the discussed methods to give your pet some relief.

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