Why does my cat lick radiators?

by Annette
(Coalville, UK)

I have a 6 year old, black domestic short haired cat who's been showing some odd cat behavior. He is usually well behaved, though over the past 3 months he has taken to biting me - for no reason, then this morning I noticed that he was sitting in front of a radiator licking it.

He has been wormed, he is well fed, innoculated. He goes out as and when he wants. He has his own space.

Just now concerned that he is having some sort of mid life crisis.

Reply from Liz (Editor): Some cats lick odd things just because they like the feel of them - plastic bags is another common one.

Your cat may be licking the radiator because he's tried it and decided for whatever reason he likes it. However, licking metal (and walls) can sometimes be indicative of medical problems. These problems can include (but aren't just limited to) gut, kidney, liver or hormone related illnesses.

Because he's also started biting recently aswell, if this radiator licking (or licking of other metal objects) continues, I think it would be worth having him checked over by a vet. It may be that there's nothing wrong, and he's just developed a strange habit for reasons known best to himself, but at least if he's checked you'll have peace of mind if he's OK and will be able to get him treated if he isn't.

Best of luck and thank you for your question.

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