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Why My Cat Keeps Licking His Private Area

Cat licking its nose

Cats are fussy when it comes to their personal hygiene. They keep using their tongue to clean their body throughout the day. As a way to clean their genitals from debris, urine, and excretion, they use their tongue.

It is a part of their grooming ritual. However, if you see your cat licking down there more than usual, know that it could be an indicator of a behavioral disorder or another underlying condition. There could be a few causes, and we will go through them in this guide.

Excessive Genital Licking in Cats: What Could Be Causing It?

Generally, there is no discrimination regarding cats’ age and gender. Both male and female cats can experience the condition of excessive licking on their anal regions. However, there are some reasons for excessive licking that differ in both sexes. Here are some of the potential causes of this problem:

1. Urinary Blockage

Urinary Blockage is a condition where your cat struggles to urinate. It is a painful medical disorder that typically affects male cats. It could be the number one reason your cat is involved in licking his privates due to discomfort.


The best solution is immediately admitting your cat to the hospital for professional treatment. The veterinary staff may insert an intravenous catheter into your cat to deliver medicine and essential fluids. Then, the obstruction will be treated by sedating your cat and inserting a urinary catheter.

Cat licking paw

2. Urinary Tract Infection

Cats who habitually hold on to their urine are most likely to get a UTI. This infection is commonly found in middle-aged to senior cats. If you see your cat straining and unable to produce little to no urine at all, he might be suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

Your cat may feel the urge to urinate frequently but come back without passing urine. Other symptoms may include blood in urine, urinating out of the litterbox, licking private parts, crying, and whining.


Today, we have multiple oral antibiotics available in the market in liquid and pill form to treat bacterial infections. Moreover, try your best to increase your cat’s water intake and make sure they always have clean, little trays around them.

If your cat has an unchallenging UTI, you may be advised to take antibiotics for three to four days. However, your cat must take medication for seven to ten days or more if the situation is alarmingly painful. You also have the option of injectable antibiotics if you can admit your cat to the hospital.

3. Constipation

Another possible cause could be constipation, AKA, infrequent bowel movements, and difficulty with feces passage. The reason for constipation is pretty much the same as humans. Lack of a high fiber diet, dehydration, holding stool unnecessarily for an extended time, and metabolic disorders can lead to hard and painful bowel movements.

Common symptoms may include difficulty pooping, blood in poop, passing small stools, pain, vomiting, crying, discomfort, etc. Consequently, you may find your cat licking and itching down there restlessly.


Keep an eye on your cat’s water consumption as soon as you notice these symptoms. Make clean and fresh water accessible 24/7 and ensure that he drinks enough of it. Furthermore, re-evaluate your cat’s diet and see what he eats the entire day. High-fiber meals are imperative for cats’ health, especially if they stay indoors.

There are multiple cat meal plans available in the market. Do your thorough research and get your hands on the product with natural ingredients and high-fiber content. If you sense your cat has severe difficulty passing stool, get a good stool softener after consulting with a veterinarian.

4. Anal Sac Impaction

Cats have two anal sacs, and both are located on either side of the anus. These sacs are filled with a musty and foul-smelling fluid. They empty themselves when the rectal muscles put pressure during defecation.

Surprisingly, as a cat owner, you may not even feel discomfort from this smelly substance because sacs are barely noticeable. However, sometimes this substance becomes thicker and anal sacs get overfilled. It is a condition called anal sac impaction. Impacted sacs exude an obnoxious odor. As a result, cats get their anal region swollen. They start licking and rubbing their rectal area and anal to soothe discomfort and irritation.


It is imperative not to overlook any unusual change, no matter how minor it may seem. Untreated impaction can lead to a bigger problem like infection. If you notice the condition before it worsens, antibiotics can help you big time in treating this condition. The doctor will recommend an oral, injectable, or topical antibiotic solution based on the severity.

Cat licking its nose

5. Anxiety or Boredom

Unfortunately, humans are not the only creatures dealing with stress disorders and excessive boredom. Some cats can also develop anxiety and stress, especially those who stay all day indoors with zero activities. Consequently, they build the habit of overgrooming as a coping mechanism.

It is considered that licking can boost endorphins and reduce stress levels. Therefore, cats strengthen this unhealthy habit of them.


The best treatment for this specific problem is to bring some new activities into your cat’s daily routine. You can start by teaching them a game or bringing a new pet. Cats love routine, and you can benefit from it. Take your kitty out or play with it at a specific time every day. Moreover, bring food for your cat at the same time every day.

These daily activities can bring a fresh change for them. Your cat will start waiting for you at the scheduled time instead of doing something else.

6. Physical Trauma

Bacterial infection may always result in an irritating, itchy sensation. However, your cat might be uncomfortably licking down there due to other issues like injury or bodily harm.

If you feel none of the above factors are the reason for your cat’s overgrooming, check out if there is a wound or scratch in his genitals possibly hurting him. 


Physical trauma can also irritate their private parts, resulting in bleeding and swelling. If you find a bump or wound, immediately get professional treatment for your cat.

7. Abnormal Genital Discharge

Another reason for this problem could be an abnormal discharge coming from your cat’s genitals. Sometimes, there could be an underlying medical condition behind this discharge.

Genital discharge is not very common in male cats. However, if there is a whitish or yellow-toned discharge flowing from the cat’s prepuce, it might be a preputial discharge. Abnormal preputial discharge consists of urine, puss, and blood, resulting in excessive uneasiness and licking. 

Similarly, female cats can also become obsessed with licking their privates due to vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is pretty common after childbirth, lasting for approximately two months. However, excessive licking might cause this discharge as well, which might be abnormal.

Wrap Up

Cats are generally very particular about their hygiene and spend around fifty percent of their waking hours in self-grooming. However, frequent licking, itching, or scratching indicates that your cat is going overboard with it.

You can handle this situation with a few techniques. Firstly, be gentle and patient with your cat. Create a calm environment so that your pet can enjoy his surroundings. Further, try to involve them in your daily activities. For instance, you can take your cat on a walk with you, brings toys for him, or keep bringing variations to meals. All of it can help in distracting his mind from overgrooming. However, if your cat acts obsessively due to an underlying condition, the best thing you can do is to give them medical treatment or therapy.

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