If your cat has been licking your pillow a lot, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat lick my pillow? A common reason why your cat will lick your pillow is that it likes the taste. It could also be that you have been inadvertently rewarding the behavior, it makes it feel more secure or that it is a compulsive behavior.
Your cat might actually lick your pillow for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why your cat licks your pillow
Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat licks your pillow and what would make each of them more likely.
It likes the taste
When you sleep, sweat and dead skin cells will gather on the pillow which taste salty. The reason why your cat licks your pillow could be that it likes the way that it tastes. This would be more likely if you can get quite sweaty during the night.
If it does seem to be doing it due to liking the taste, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with its diet. This would be more likely if it started doing it after a change in its diet.
It has some separation anxiety
The reason why it licks it might be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where being left alone makes your cat become anxious. This would be more likely to be the reason if your cat licks your pillow when you are not around and if it shows signs of being anxious when you are about to leave.
It could be the case that it is a compulsive behavior that it has developed. This is where your cat does a repetitive behavior a lot without seeming to be able to stop. It would be more likely that your cat does it compulsively if it has been licking it a lot for months.
If it does seem to be doing it compulsively then it would help to take it to a vet.
You have been inadvertently rewarding it
The reason why your cat licks the pillow could be that you have been inadvertently training it to do so. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it things that it wants such as attention, treats or toys when it licks your pillow.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.
When your cat first started licking your pillow
It would help to consider the timing of when your cat started licking your pillow. If it didn’t always do it then it could be that there was an event that triggered it to start doing it.
Some things that could have happened could be:
- You started using a different smelling laundry detergent
- You were very sweaty in the night
- You changed its diet
When your cat licks your pillow
The timing of when your cat does it would also be something to consider. If it starts doing it at certain times then it could be that there is a cause for that.
If you notice that your cat starts licking it when you are about to leave then it would make it more likely to be due to separation anxiety. Whereas, if your cat does it when you haven’t given it attention then it might do it because it knows it will get attention from you.
How to get your cat to stop licking your pillow
There are a number of things that you can do about your licking your pillow. The best option for your cat will largely depend on the cause of it doing it. Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Reduce its separation anxiety
As mentioned above, if your cat does it when you are not around, a part of the cause could be separation anxiety. In this case, it would help to limit reasons why it might get anxious without you such as by giving it access to a safe space to lie down, food, water and a quiet room.
Make sure that its diet is right
It might be the case that an issue with its diet has been contributing to the behavior. It would help to make sure that your cat has been getting the right diet and that it has access to water whenever it might need it.
Reduce its access to your pillows
It would also help to reduce its access to your pillows when getting it to stop doing it. Perhaps you could close the door to the room when you are not around and get it to stay elsewhere in the house.
If your cat has been licking your pillows excessively, it would help to take your cat to the vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out medical causes.