Your cat has several habits that may make you think your cat is just downright strange. From licking blankets and rolling in the dirt, you may see your feline lick the concrete outside.
Licking is a habit that is not always common, but there are reasons for it.
Cats lick concrete to figure out texture, temperature, and taste using the barbs on their tongues.
However, if your cat licks concrete, it can also mean your cat has a health condition. If your cat has Feline Pica or a nutritional deficiency, you may see them licking the concrete more than you like.
Cats try to sense and feel their environment using all the nerve receptors all over their bodies. Their tongue is one of those receptors.
They learn about their environment and determine what is good or bad by using their tongue to taste things.
Concrete And Cats
You may even see your cat lick the concrete and roll on it. Cats use concrete for lots of reasons. They move on it to scratch their backs, mark their territory, or even balance their temperature.
Concrete is a rough, coarse patch of ground that stimulates specific nerves of your cat. Cats instinctively look for flat services to lay across.
The flat, gritty texture of concrete is something your cat enjoys, and they show it by rolling and licking.
Cats Enjoy The Texture Of Concrete
You may not find it very relaxing if you have sat or laid down on your concrete driveway. This same feeling is not the case with your cat because concrete’s different texture satisfies your pet.
Felines, of course, not only like the feel of concrete, but they lick it because of the surface.
Cat’s tongues have barbs on them that have the means to grip and pull, mainly through their hair. However, even though their tongue is for grooming, they love the feel of the rough concrete.
Licking the ground is like a massage for their tongue.
Cats enjoy this stimulation, and it can help your cat to relax. When your cat feels safe and secure, licking its surroundings signifies its contentment.
Your feline may be licking the concrete as they lay their bellies on the ground because they feel relaxed.
Concrete Helps Cats Control Their Temperature
Cats naturally have a higher body temperature. They can run from 101 to 102.5 degrees, and it can be hard to maintain their body temperature.
Depending on the time of year, concrete is either warmer or colder than the outside temperature.
If it is a hot day outside, concrete can tend to run a bit cooler as long as it is not directly in the sun. Your cat may lick it to help control the temperature in their mouth.
Licking can be a natural cooling system, along with sprawling their bodies out across the cold concrete.
If it is a cold day and there is a sunny spot of warm concrete, you may see your cat licking it. This behavior is again because they like the warmth and feel of the heat.
Since cats thrive and look for warmth, licking a spot on the concrete is their way of warming up.
The Taste Of Concrete Is Satisfying For Your Cat
Even though we do not see concrete as a delicious treat, your cat may like the taste of concrete. Whether it’s a patio slab or a driveway, it entices your cat to lick off the rough ground.
Plus, many people, things, and foods may drop on the concrete, and your cat is looking to taste it all.
Your friendly feline can smell the ground to find an exciting scent they wish to taste. Licking the ground can result in a rewarding taste that cats find intriguing.
Certain scents and tastes your cat seeks out may not be healthy for them.
Cats and most animals look for ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze. You can find this sweet-smelling chemical on your driveway from your cars and entices your cat.
This chemical can poison and kill your cat, watch out for spots on your driveway and protect your feline friend.
Licking Concrete Can Be A Sign Of Feline Pica
Feline Pica is a rare and unusual disease that causes your cat to lick non-food items. Only a few known causes exist for Feline Pica, and not all licking is associated.
One of the causes of Pica can be anemia.
When your cat may have anemia, this means they have a decrease in red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both. Signs of anemia are lethargy, weakness, and decreased appetite.
Anemia can cause your cat to crave things that are not common, like licking cement or rocks.
A proper diet is essential for your cat to be as healthy as possible. If they have anemia, their body is not using all the nutrients to help regenerate their red blood cells.
If you notice your cat not eating much and acting off, seek a vet’s care.
Licking Concrete And Nutritional Deficiencies
It’s not always clear why your cat might lick rocks and concrete; something may be missing in their diet. If cats lack something in their diet, specific vitamins or nutrients, they will seek it out.
Licking cement can be a way for them to find and fulfill their dietary needs.
Therefore, if your cat licks the concrete daily or excessively, you may need to reevaluate its diet. Certain cat foods have more fillers than nutrients and can cause an imbalance in your kitty.
Many vets say that licking rocks and concrete indicates calcium deficiency.
Too little calcium in their diet can cause significant health issues, and they need a vet’s help. Ensuring your cat has enough vitamins and calcium can also prevent kidney disease.
Just make sure not to give them too much because this can cause more problems than solve them.
What Are Other Reasons Cats Lick Concrete?
Cats sometimes crave and love attention and will seek it out in a variety of ways. If you see them rolling on the driveway or at your feet outside, they may be craving interaction.
If you try to laugh at or talk to your cat, they know how to get you hooked.
When they see you respond positively to something they do, they will repeat the same behavior. Cats want to please and love their owners, and licking the concrete may get you to respond.
Your cat might be licking the concrete because of the taste, but if you interact with them, it’s a bonus.
How To Stop Your Cat From Licking The Concrete
A simple solution to excessive licking of concrete is to keep your cat inside. If a cat is an indoor/outdoor pet, that may be easier than a pure outdoor feline.
Removing the outdoors can help reduce the licking, but it may not fix the problem.
If your cat has an underlying issue, removing the temptation to lick cement does not fix the entire problem.
As stated before, seeking a vet’s help may be necessary to resolve the issue. Your cat may find other things to lick in your home, so be prepared to take any advice your vet gives.
If the vet finds nothing wrong with your cat, then looking for external reasons may be next. Licking concrete can be your cat’s way of expressing joy and comfort.
But if you wish to stop the benign behavior, have something to direct their attention elsewhere.
Should you worry about your cat licking too much?
Most of the time, your cat licking your clothes or the ground is not concerning. Licking can be a sign of love and affection. Your furry friend may also be marking their territory.
The only time to be concerned is if your cat licks up antifreeze or is suffering from being lethargic. These are all signs of a medical condition that needs help and a vet’s treatment.
Making adjustments for your cat may be necessary.
Why do cats lick their paws?
You often see your cat licking their paws, then rubbing their heads. Licking their paws is a way for them to spread saliva for grooming.
Because saliva helps to cool and clean their bodies, licking their feet is the only way to apply it efficiently.
Cats may also lick their paws after eating to clean their feet of debris and food. It can also be a sign of allergies or that something is bothering their feet.
Since their paws are sensitive, slight dirt can irritate them, and licking ensues.
Why do cats like milk?
Milk carries various fats, proteins, and, of course, calcium. Cats drink their mother’s milk from birth with the exact fats and proteins they need.
Cats are often drawn to dairy products, such as yogurt and milk, to fulfill their dietary needs.
Ensuring your cat gets what they need and not in large amounts is essential for its health. Preventing kidney disease and Feline Pica comes with balancing their diet.
Since felines are drawn to calcium, your cat may love a bowl of milk now and then.
Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.