What Causes Excessive Grooming In Cats?

In this article you’re going to learn what causes excessive grooming in cats

You’ll learn the different reasons a cat grooms themselves

This is important for every cat parent to know when it can become excessive

So if you want to make sure your cat is not over grooming then you’re going to love this article

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

Cats like to keep themselves well groomed.

If your cat seems to be licking himself more than usual, you may be worried and find yourself wondering –

What Causes Excessive Grooming In Cats?

Let’s explore the reasons why cats over groom themselves and why this might be a problem for them.

Why Do Cats Lick Themselves?

Have you ever watched your cat during his grooming sessions?

Cats usually have a very particular and thorough method of grooming.

I actually find it interesting!

I mean they’re so thorough and clean right?

Not only do adult cats groom themselves

But even young kittens too

You can even observe very young kittens being just a meticulous, and this is because they learn the techniques from their mother from birth.

Here are some interesting facts about why cats lick themselves:

  • It is normal for an adult cat to spend between 30 – 50% of their time grooming.
  • Cats have a natural instinct to lick away any scents of food or other odors, and you can always observe your cat cleaning himself thoroughly after mealtimes. This comes from an instinctive desire not to be detected by other predators in the wild
  • Cats lick themselves to cool down. They rely mostly on saliva evaporation for temperature moderation as they sweat minimally through their paws. Grooming actually controls around a third of their cooling process.
  • Licking also helps the cat to distribute their natural oils evenly around its coat, and this guards against dampness, helping the cat to stay warm.
  • Licking helps to keep wounds clean and guard against infection.The bristles on a cat’s tongue help to stimulate blood circulation.
  • Cats lick each other to show affection and trust. Licking also has a calming affect.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Over Grooming

Despite it being normal for adult cats to groom themselves for up to 30% of their time, there is such a thing as overdoing it, and of course reasons for doing so, and consequences.

Over grooming can be a problem because it can cause excessive hairballs which you cat will have to throw up and it’s not a pretty sight to see

The excessive licking may also indicate an underlying health problem.

If you think your cat has been licking more than usual check them all over for bald patches, as this is a sure sign that something is wrong with your cat.

Pay attention as to whether your cat’s licking behavior is accompanied by itching and scratching, or any other type of behavioral issue, as these may give a clue as to what is causing the behavior.

Why Is Your Cat Over Grooming?

Here is a list of potential explanations for your cat’s excessive grooming:

  • Your cat could be trying to relieve itself of an irritation caused by a food allergy, or by fleas or other parasites.
  • Your cat may be trying to relieve itself from pain. They say animals tend to lick their wounds, but just because the wound isn’t visible it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Your cat may be bruised or have fallen and damaged himself.
  • Your cat might be suffering from a neurological disease, especially if you have an older cat.
  • Your long-haired cat could have excessive fur matting that he finds uncomfortable or painful.
  • Stress can cause cats to lick themselves in order to relieve anxiety.


As we have seen, excessive grooming can be caused by a number of different things.

If you are concerned about your cat, and don’t know whether their grooming activity is normal, you should take them to be checked over by your vet.

I actually have a article on how you can stop over grooming

I go into much detail and it’s deffo worth a read

You can check it out by clicking the link below

How to stop your cat from over grooming 

Ultimately, it’s important to keep an eye out when your cat is over grooming

You’ll notice it when it becomes excessive

And like I mentioned before, take them to the vets to make sure everything is okay


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