If you never asked yourself “Why is my cat licking the floor?“, you probably aren’t a cat owner. It’s just one of the weird things our fluffy friends like to surprise us with every day. But it’s also one of the things that make us worried.
At first, we think it’s funny, but after a few seconds our brain shifts to panic mode. “Why is she doing it? Is she okay? Do I need to take her to the vet? How can I make her stop?” These are just some of the questions all cat owners ask themselves regularly.
Today is the day when you’ll finally get the answer to why is your kitty so obsessed with floor, and I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer.
“Why is my cat licking the floor?”: 10 answers to this weird question
The first thing you need to understand is that cats are very complicated animals. Maybe you realized that because they surprise you with some unusual actions every day.
It’s impossible to find a single answer for a single action. So here you are, looking at the 10 most common reasons your cat is licking the floor. Enjoy getting to know your fluffball even better.
1) You spilled something
Did you recently have guests? Or have you decided to make some special dinner for your beloved partner? Maybe you had a night for yourself so you bought snacks and watched movies the whole night? If the answer is yes, then it’s possible that at some point in the night you spilled something on your floor.
We know how fast ants travel from God knows where to our spilled drop of Coca-Cola. Then imagine how easy it is for our cats to notice the smell of it when they’re so close to it. And when they come to it, of course, they will be tempted to lick it so that’s what they do. They are just curious cute animals.
2) There’s water on it!
As I said, our fluffy friends are very curious and adventurous. So they like to discover new things and places, such as new water sources. That’s why we sometimes see them drinking from a faucet, licking water out of our sink, or trying to drink from a tall glass.
However, if your cat is licking the floor, it might also mean that she found a special water source she has never seen before. It’s usually some spilled or condensated water. And even if your cat has the most beautiful bowl of fresh water next to her, she might prefer the water on the floor.
Why? Simply because it’s more interesting. However, if you notice that she’s doing it more than usual, it might be a sign of dehydration. So make sure to always put new, fresh water in her bowl.
3) The texture and the temperature are perfect
It’s a fact that cats enjoy different textures and temperatures of some materials and surfaces. Your cat’s favorite activities probably include licking smooth surfaces, like tables, wardrobes, and floors!
Tile flooring is usually colder than the rest of the places in our home, so those unique temperatures might be especially interesting for our fluffballs.
It’s also possible that your cats started licking it because something was spilled, but then she figured out how much she likes the texture and the temperature. So she just continued doing it even after the smell and taste were gone from the floor.
4) It’s yummy!
A floor is a place full of different flavors. Every day when we walk on it, we bring something new. And no matter how many times we clean it, there’s always some smell or taste left on it. (It sounds gross but bear with me.)
So cats see it as their own free candy shop. As they are very adventurous and also always hungry, they might do weird things. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you see your cat happily licking the floor.
Even if there’s no fallen food on the floor, our fluffy buddies could be attracted to the actual material that the floor is made of. And it’s especially true if it’s made of plastic. That’s because many types of plastics contain gelatin or other animal-type derivates.
5) Your cat is just bored and it’s fun
Since we love our pets so much, we sometimes worry too much. And some situations really don’t require us to stay up all night wondering what’s the reason behind their certain behavior.
Licking is an important part of a cat’s life, and even though she usually does it to clean herself, she might also lick other surfaces like floors. Sometimes, our kitties just get bored so they decide to explore their surroundings with all their senses.
That’s why you might see your fluffy buddy doing some weird things you wouldn’t usually expect her to do. Licking the floor might not look like a super fun activity to us, but felines might look at it differently. Just like they probably aren’t impressed by us scrolling on our phones for a few hours.
I guess that we all have our vices!
6) She is anxious
If your cat is often licking the floor, then something might be making her feel a bit anxious. Cats are very good at reading the room. They feel the energy that surrounds them so if you’re constantly arguing with your housemates or you always seem very sad, your fluffy buddy might start worrying about you.
Or maybe you recently moved to a new place, and the change is stressing her out just like it’s giving you some anxiety too. We are not the only beings with feelings, but we all express them differently.
While we might stay in the room, eat, and listen to sad music or endlessly go out to forget about our worries, our cats can have their own coping mechanisms. And some of them might look weird to us, but we don’t need to worry about them. Instead, we need to find a way to help our fluffballs feel better.
7) Your fluffy friend wants your attention
How often do you play with your furbaby? I know it’s sometimes difficult to find free time, but we shouldn’t forget to pay attention to our pets. While we’re out there working, going out with friends, or studying, our cats are waiting for us to come back home.
They are truly happy when they see us after a few hours, and we should show them that we’re happy to see them too. Sometimes when they feel like we don’t pay much attention to them, cats might start doing some things they usually don’t in order to make us notice them.
They are smart animals, but they can’t tell us they miss us. So they need to do something else, and a change in their behavior is something that usually works well, and they know it.
8) She has behavioral problems
Did you know that humans are not the only ones who can suffer from an obsessive-compulsive disorder? Sadly, our pets can too. If you noticed that your cat has been licking the floor for weeks and nothing you do can seem to stop her from doing it, then she might be dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It probably started out as her habit, but now your fluffball just can’t resist it anymore. Don’t worry; it’s nothing dangerous for her. But you should still visit a vet, to talk about treatment options. Her vet will help you try to change her routine and possibly prescribe medication that might help.
9) She smells chemicals
Let’s talk more about taste and smell because that’s the most common reason for the change in our pets’ behavior. Your cat might enjoy the scent of some of your cleaning products and that might be the reason she does what she does.
Some of them love bleach. Weird, right? Well, it turns out that certain compounds in bleach smell exactly like the pheromones that we can find in cat pee. This is what attracts your pet to lick the floor after you’ve cleaned it.
Have you ever heard of feline pica? It’s a condition where a cat has the urge to eat things that are inedible. Since they can’t really digest those things, they might lick and chew on them instead. So the reason your cat has been licking the floor might be pica.
Usually, the cause is a lack of nutrients in your cat’s diet. However, there are some other factors that may also cause pica, like anxiety, stress, boredom, compulsive genetic disorders, or other medical problems.
If you see your cat trying to chew or eat inedible items for a longer period of time, it’s best you contact your vet and check what’s going on.
What to consider when determining the cause of it?
Now we know the reasons our cats randomly start licking the floor. But that’s not everything we need to learn about our fluffy friends.
I assume you aren’t really happy when you see her doing it and you’re looking for a way to stop her. Well before we talk about that we need to consider some things that will help us figure out the main reason our cats have for doing such an action.
1) When did your cat start licking the floor?
Try to remember the first time you saw your cat doing it. Is that her newest weird action or do you feel like she’s been doing it forever?
Maybe it could be helpful to think about whether something changed right before your fluffy friend found her new favorite activity. Maybe you recently moved so she’s doing it out of stress?
Did you just start using some new cleaning products, or a new fabric softener? Or maybe you decided to try some new tea flavors? Those are all some scents that our cats easily notice and this change might cause some weird behaviors.
2) When does she do it?
Now it’s time for you to think about the period of the day when your cat is usually licking the floor. Did you find some specific part of the day when she does it?
If you did, then it might mean that it’s a part of the day when she needs something. It could be food, water, or even some attention from you.
3) And how often?
If your feline has been doing it more than you think is normal for her. And you feel like it has become more than something she does when she wants to tell you something or she’s bored, then it’s definitely a good idea to go see a vet.
It’s possible that the reason for it is the behavioral issue we’ve talked about.
How to stop your cat from licking the floor?
And now it’s time for our final part. There’s only one more thing left for you to learn, and that’s how to stop your cat from licking the floor.
Here are the top five ideas I’ve prepared for you. They always work for me and most other cat owners I talked to. So you should definitely remember these tips!
1) Pay more attention to your feline
The first thing you can do is pay more attention to her. I know we all have our own obligations, but your cat might need you right now, more than ever. If you pay more attention to her you might figure out which one of the reasons I’ve mentioned applies to your fluffy friend.
If she stops doing it when you give her more attention, then it’s likely she was doing it only because she missed you. Or if you notice that she isn’t stopping, you might figure out that she is dehydrated or dealing with a lot of stress. Spending more time with her will definitely give you the right answer.
2) Keep the floor clean
Many people think that putting something your cat doesn’t like on the floor will help. But the truth is that it won’t. It might make them even more interested because it’s another new change in their life and as I said, they are very adventurous animals.
If your cat is constantly licking the floor, and you can’t make her stop try cleaning the floor more than you do now. I know it’s an additional obligation, but you can try it to see whether she’s licking it because of things that fall on it, or it’s something else.
3) Put more water bowls
I mentioned the problem of dehydration. Of course, your cat has her own bowl of fresh water. But sometimes she’s just not satisfied with the way it looks or doesn’t really like tap water. Yes, our cats can also be picky like little kids. Not drinking water from their bowl is their way of throwing a tantrum.
It’s also possible that your feline avoids drinking water from her bowl since it’s causing her whisker fatigue. If that’s the case, then you should get her something more shallow like this bowl from CatGuru.
It’s not deep as regular cat bowls plus it’s shallow enough so her whiskers won’t end up touching it.
Also, try placing more water bowls around your house. If you see that she’s using them, but still deciding to lick the floor, then dehydration might not be the real problem. And you’ll be ready to search for the real reason behind this issue.
4) Redirect her
If you’re pretty sure that she’s only licking the floor because she’s bored, you can try redirecting her. Whenever your kitty decides to do her new favorite hobby, do something you know will attract her attention. It can be a favorite meal, a new puzzle toy, or a squeaky mouse.
She’ll definitely react to it and stop focusing on licking the floor or any other surface around her. However, every cat stays interested in something for a different period of time, so she might go back to her old hobby if she gets bored of the new toys or when she’s no longer hungry.
So if you want to use the tactic of redirecting her, you should prepare many ideas for keeping your fluffball busy. I advise you to search for more interactive ones because they can usually keep cats busy for a longer period of time.
5) Take your cat to see the vet
If you still want to find only one answer to “Why is my cat licking the floor?” then you should probably call your vet and schedule an appointment. That way you’ll be certain about the problem hiding behind your cat’s behavior.
You’ll get the treatment and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’ve done everything you could. Don’t worry, licking the floor isn’t really one of the signs that your kitten is dealing with some serious problems.
However, anxiety or pica should still be checked out and your fluffy friend will definitely be happier. Then you will be too.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully become even a better cat owner than you were before. You noticed something strange and you searched for the answer. Now you can help yourself, your fluffball, but also other people who might ask themselves “Why is my cat licking the floor?“
I hope learning about it was fun, and that you’re ready to apply your knowledge. I just have one more question for you. Are you looking forward to going to bed without worrying about something that bothered you for some time? I bet you are, so enjoy!