Why Do Cats Lick Their Lips When Angry?

Why Do Cats Lick Their Lips When Angry?

Felines showcase their feelings via body language and vocalizations, but how can a cat-lover better understand their feline friend?

How can you tell if your furry friend is angry, sad, happy, or just annoyed with you? Why do cats lick their lips so much?

Cats lick their lips when they’re angry because it helps them detect the scent of intruders and thus, danger. There are, however, other reasons why felines lick their lips, including to clean them or showcase anxiety, hunger, or nausea.

Observing your feline friend is critical to understanding them. Cats are complex creatures and their way of communication is different from that of dogs, especially when it comes to licking their lips.

Read on to learn why cats lick their lips when they’re angry, other signs of feline aggression, and other reasons they may lick their lips.

Do Cats Lick Their Lips Out of Anger?

Felines may lick their lips out of anger. When they’re are agitated, they lick their lips to help them detect danger and the scent of intruders. They have inherited a visceral response to stress from their cat ancestors. This innate cue encourages them to use their senses to gather more information.

Anger and worry are normal responses to predators or outside influences that aren’t welcome in their territory. Lip licking in felines is a scientific and automatic response that is beneficial in stressful conditions.

What Else Do Cats Do When Angry?

Felines show their anger in several ways, including growling, hiding, and avoiding people or situations. In addition, a cat may flatten his ears, twitch his tail, or claw at furniture. If the situation cannot be avoided, the animal may bite or scratch at the supposed threat.

Like humans, cats have a fight or flight response to fear. If a feline cannot withdraw from the threat, then he may assume a defensive stance and attempt to fight. In some cases, felines may stand completely still in an attempt to hide. Unlike our canine companions, felines very rarely choose to submit to a threat.

Some additional signs of an angry cat are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Raised hackles
  • Avoiding or not playing with their favorite toy.
  • Refusing their favorite meal.
  • Purring, which can be a sign of distress or happiness.

Once you’re able to detect the signs of an angry cat, you’ll want to know what you should do to avoid scaring your feline companion further and avoid injury caused by your feline companion.

What To Do When Your Cat Is Angry

Did you know that one of the most common feline behavioral issues is aggression? While many people think of cats as friendly and gentle creatures, they may also be distressed.

A furious feline can be extremely dangerous as its sharp claws and teeth can injure people, particularly children, and other pets. So, if your animal buddy has been acting irrationally or angry lately, there are several things you may do to help.Why Do Cats Lick Their Lips When Angry?

Before you try to soothe an angry feline, you should figure out what’s causing it to be so aggressive. Your furry friend may become angry for various causes, including:

  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Confrontation with another cat
  • Territorial aggression

You can help your furry companion once you’ve determined what’s causing the aggressive behavior. Let’s look at three methods for calming an angry cat.

1. Approach Slowly and Act Small

Fear can cause a cat to act irrationally. They may believe that something or someone is endangering their environment. You can assist them to relax by demonstrating that you are not a threat.

Make sure you approach them carefully and safely and that you leave them with a plan of escape.

One way to accomplish this is to lie on the floor or sit on the couch at a safe distance. This demonstrates that you are not a danger to them and have no intention of touching or upsetting them. It allows them to become accustomed to your presence gradually.

This can take a long time and multiple efforts, especially if the animal is unfamiliar with you.

You can try to approach your feline if it appears that his hostile behavior has subsided. Remember to proceed with caution. You can also hold a treat in your hand and wait for your feline companion to come to you.

Don’t try to catch it if it runs away.

Cats are creatures of habit, and once they feel safe, they will most likely return to that location. If they come close to you, they may sniff around or jump. To keep them comfortable, try to stay as still as possible and move slowly.

2. Interrupt That Behavior

It’s occasionally a good idea to ignore or back off from your furry friend’s antics. This will help to relieve tension and assure your cat that there is nothing to be concerned about.

However, a feline’s rage or aggression can be risky and should not be disregarded in some cases.

You can try to stop your feline from being aggressive by distracting him. You can spritz him with a small water cannon, shake a jar of money, or throw a small toy in his way. However, you should avoid shaking their food or treat pouches because this acts as a reward, and your cat will believe that acting naughty will earn them more treats in the future.

Punishing, picking up, or attempting to touch an angry animal may lead it to attack you. Instead, try to divert the feline from a safe distance to help it move away from its enraged state.

3. Offer a Safe Environment

An angry feline can be calmed by providing a safe area for them to discharge their aggression. Cat towers or condos are ideal places for your furry friend to hide, sleep, or have some privacy.

When your furry feline friend is unhappy, he or she may seek refuge in places where he or she is not normally found. Make sure your cat’s kennel, bed, or condo is in a quiet, undisturbed location. This will give your enraged feline some breathing room until they’re ready to come out again.

If none of these treatments have worked, it may be time to consult your veterinarian. A vet can examine your cat thoroughly to rule out any underlying illnesses or medical concerns.

High fevers, ear issues, wounds, and gingivitis are some of the conditions that might cause your cat to act violently.

What Are Some Other Reasons That Cats Lick Their Lips?

Cats use body language to communicate in a variety of ways and can transmit a variety of messages by licking their lips. Some of these symptoms are absolutely harmless, while others indicate the presence of more serious health problems. What are other reasons that cats lick their lips?

Besides aggression, a feline may lick its lips due to saliva buildup, dental issues, anxiety, hunger, or nausea. Excessive drooling is a sign of feline dental problems and may cause lip licking. In some cases, lip licking in cats is normal behavior, especially if it only happens every now and then.

Cats have papillae on their tongues, which are tiny backward-facing hook-like parts with a sandpaper-like texture.

These papillae are used for a variety of functions, including removing flesh from bones and grooming. So, loose hair, dirt, and debris accumulate on the tongue over time, finally resulting in hairballs in the stomach.

In the case of hairballs, lip licking is fairly normal.

Felines may cough up a hairball up to once every week, which is expected. However, if your furry friend begins to show additional medical signs such as excessive drooling, obsessive lip licking, constant retching, or a refusal to eat, reach out to your veterinarian.

On the other hand, do not get alarmed if your cat licks its lips every now and then – it’s normal feline behavior!


Although your feline companion may lick its lips when angry, it is crucial to remember that a cat licking its lips is a natural behavior. You shouldn’t be concerned unless there are other signs or symptoms involved.

Although it can occasionally be a symptom of more serious problems, it’s usually just something a feline performs on a daily basis as part of its natural hunter instincts.