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I've been catching my cat licking windows and recently some walls. The doubtful advantage is that the lower half of my windows don't fog any more, but why is she doing that? Is it unhealthy for the little creature? Should I discourage her doing so and if yes, how?

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  • I am wondering if your cat is lacking something in her diet.. perhaps you can give us some more info about what you are feeding her and some suggestions about this can perhaps be made?
    – user6796
    Dec 1 '13 at 8:34
  • Can't find it on the US site, but this is her main food: royalcanin.nl/…
    – jippie
    Dec 1 '13 at 9:37
  • Don't know the meaning of the '37' in 'Sterilised 37' on the bags I buy, but this one looks most similar: royalcanin.co.uk/products/products/cat-products/…
    – jippie
    Dec 1 '13 at 9:42
  • Thanks Jippie. I am wondering if there is a lack of something, it is important though that this isn't a substitute for a vet exam.. if needed :)
    – user6796
    Dec 1 '13 at 9:44
  • Is your cat prone to weight gain, what is the reason you chose this particular food?
    – user6796
    Dec 1 '13 at 9:46
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A cat licking glass should generally be unharmful depending on your window cleaning methods. If you use a commercial cleaner (which would be harmful if ingested), then I would recommend switching to something non-toxic. I usually use water and microfiber towels. I've also heard that folks have good results with a vinegar/water mix, and this may also have the added benefit of tasting terrible and discouraging her from doing it.

I am definitely concerned about her licking the walls. Cat tongues are rough and she may be able to get paint (or wall material, depending on your construction) off. If she licks in only certain areas, I would try cleaning those areas with an enzyme or CO2 cleaner - there may be something there that she's attracted to. You could also try breaking her of the habit by blocking the areas with furniture, sheets, or other objects.

Older homes have an added danger of the possibility of lead based paint. If your home could potentially have lead paint, you should immediately take her to the vet and ask for a lead screening. According to the EPA (in the USA):

Most homes built before 1960 contain heavily leaded paint. Some homes built as recently as 1978 may also contain lead paint. This paint could be on window frames, walls, the outside of homes, or other surfaces.

Indoor Air Quality: Lead-Based Paint

If she continues to lick walls/windows even after you've thoroughly cleaned the surfaces, I would suggest taking her to the vet and explaining her behavior. One of our boys chews on things because he had terrible mouth problems (we ended up pulling out all of his teeth), and one of the girls licks everything because she has some anxiety issues. If the behavior is the result of an underlying medical issue, there are medications and treatments that can help!

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