My Cat Is Licking Her Lips
And Not Eating Much

My cat is licking her lips and not eating much why is she doing this?

I had two Siamese mix, about 7 years old, Mocha and Frisco. They're brother and sister and have been together their entire lives.

Frisco recently died due to kidney disease. I took Mocha to the vet shortly after to make sure the same wouldn't happen to her, and her blood work came back fine and healthy.

At first she seemed fine, after Frisco died. But she's been acting differently so I'm scared she might be depressed. She also might be sick, however, because my roommate brought home a sick kitten, so Mocha might have picked up what the kitten had.

Her symptoms are this:

  • She doesn't seem to be eating much. She barely has touched her dry food (she's always been primarily on dry food, with canned food only as a now-and-again treat), but she has eaten some of canned food twice, though I tried to give it to her today and she won't eat it either.

  • She's licking her lips a lot randomly, even if she's not smelling or eating anything. I looked at her gums and they don't seem to be an off color or anything, but of course I am no vet.

  • Her previously healthy coat is becoming matted and clumped a bit on her legs and underside.
My Cat Frisco
  • Her personality has dimmed down. She used to sprint around and roll on the floor and 'meow' frequently. Now she spends most of her time sleeping.

  • She usually likes to come up and snuggle me in my sleep, usually curling up on my chest, purring loudly and kneading her paws, and licking and love-biting my face nonstop. She did snuggle me this morning, but it was toned down; she was only lightly purring and she didn't even try to lick me. 

    She was lightly purring again as I brushed her not too long ago, but she still seems a little stand-offish.

I got her cat grass that she hasn't touched, but she did eat two cat treats.

She's never liked other animals, so I'm thinking the new kitten might have something to do with this too. They remain mostly separated, but the few times they have run into each other, Mocha has hissed and run away to hide under my bed.

I'm seriously lacking on the funds since her brother's medical bills got very high in the days before his death, but I will of course take her to the vet if I need to. If she is only depressed, I have no idea what they'd be able to do for her though.

by Jessica (Florida)

Answer To The Question
My Cat Is Licking Her Lips And Not Eating Much


When a cat licks their lips a lot it is often a sign that they feel sick and want to vomit so i am wondering that combining that with not eating that this is more than simple depression.

Also if the kitten is sick then it is quite possible that she has picked something up from them too. Has the kitten seen a vet?

I’m not sure how long this has been going on for, if it is only a few days then give her another day to see if she picks up if not then i’m afraid if it were me i would want to take them to see a vet. Their can be some nasty viruses out there related to cat flu which i have recently encountered myself and so as i say if she is not eating still in another day i would take her to see a vet.

I am also worries about the fact that she is not grooming herself and thats why she is looking a little shabby. When a cat stops grooming it is a definite sign that they are not feeling happy or well.

Yes it could be grief that has caused some of the upset but it wouldn't stop a cat from eating. Their behavior may change a bit for awhile and they may be a little quieter than normal but this normally does not last for more than a few weeks. See my page about this here.

I think the best option will be to have them checked out again by the vet if she continues not to eat.

I hope she is better soon.

Comments for My Cat Is Licking Her Lips And Not Eating Much

Update on your cat by: Celia 


Sorry to hear about your cat. I hope she's doing better. My cat has the exact same symptoms. I took him to the vet, had x-rays done, blood work & even surgery! He's exhibiting the same symptoms 3 days after his surgery & I am really worry about him. 

I wanted to know how your cat is doing? 

Thank you!!

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