What Are The Pros Of Lick Mats For Cats?

As a cat owner, you know that keeping your feline friend entertained is crucial. After all, boredom can lead to some serious damage around the house – think shredded curtains and gnawed-on cords. But have you heard of lick mats? These textured mats are quickly becoming a must-have accessory for pet parents everywhere, and it’s not hard to see why.

Lick mats work by spreading your cat’s favorite treats or spreads onto their surface. Your kitty will then spend hours licking and slurping away, keeping them occupied for extended periods of time. But the benefits of lick mats go beyond just entertainment.

First off, they’re excellent for maintaining your cat’s oral hygiene. Lick mats help remove plaque and tartar buildup in your cat’s mouth, keeping their teeth healthy and clean. Additionally, they’re a fantastic way to slow down eating for cats who tend to scarf down their food too quickly. This reduces the risk of digestive issues and helps ensure that your furry friend is getting all the nutrients they need.

But perhaps most importantly, lick mats can have a calming effect on anxious cats. The act of licking and slurping can be soothing and provide a welcome distraction from stressful situations.

So if you want to keep your cat happy, healthy, and entertained (and let’s be real – who doesn’t?), investing in a lick mat is a no-brainer. In this post, we’ll explore some of the best products on the market and take a closer look at the pros of using lick mats for cats. Get ready to say goodbye to bored kitties forever.

Mental Stimulation

One effective way to achieve this is by providing mental stimulation through the use of lick mats. These innovative tools are designed to offer a slow and steady release of food or treats as cats lick them, encouraging them to use their tongues and jaws for a fun and interactive feeding experience.

Lick mats aren’t just an entertaining feeding solution; they also provide several benefits that can improve your cat’s overall wellbeing. Let’s explore some of these benefits:

  • Cognitive Development: Cats are naturally curious creatures who crave new challenges. Lick mats offer a novel task that stimulates their brains by requiring them to figure out how to extract their treats from the ridges or bumps on the mat.
  • Anxiety Reduction: Many cats experience anxiety, particularly when left alone for extended periods. Lick mats can help alleviate stress by providing a safe distraction that keeps them engaged and occupied. The act of licking itself is also calming for cats, which makes lick mats a perfect tool for reducing anxiety.
  • Oral Health Improvement: The act of licking helps improve oral health by promoting healthy tongue and jaw movement. When cats lick the mat, they’re exercising their facial muscles and teeth, which can help prevent dental issues.
  • Healthy Eating Habits: Overeating is a common issue among cats, especially those who eat too quickly. By spreading food out on a lick mat, you encourage your cat to eat more slowly and mindfully, promoting healthier eating habits and preventing digestive problems.
  • Bonding Opportunity: Using a lick mat is also an excellent bonding opportunity between you and your cat. You can fill the mat with your cat’s favorite treat and watch as they enjoy working for their reward, strengthening your bond and fostering affection.

Reducing Anxiety

That’s why finding ways to reduce anxiety in cats is crucial. Luckily, lick mats have been proven to be a simple and effective solution.

Lick mats work by providing a soothing and calming activity for cats. When cats lick their fur, it releases endorphins that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Lick mats provide a similar sensation by allowing cats to lick the food or treats that are spread on them. This promotes relaxation and distracts them from stressful situations.

But that’s not all. Lick mats can also help to slow down eating habits in cats. Eating too quickly can lead to digestive issues, vomiting, and even choking. By spreading food or treats on a lick mat, cats are forced to eat more slowly, improving their digestion and overall health.

Using a lick mat for your cat is easy. Simply spread your cat’s favorite wet food or treats onto the mat, and let them enjoy. You can even freeze the mat for an extra cooling and soothing experience.

Not only does using a lick mat reduce anxiety and improve eating habits, but it also provides cognitive development, oral health improvement, and bonding opportunities between you and your furry friend. It’s a win-win situation.

Slowing Down Eating Habits

One critical aspect of your cat’s health is their eating habits. If your cat has a tendency to scarf down their food rapidly, it can result in digestive problems or even weight gain. Luckily, there is a simple and effective solution: lick mats.

Lick mats are designed to provide a unique feeding experience for cats. They come in different shapes and sizes and are made of safe materials that your cat can lick and chew on comfortably. By placing wet food on the mat, the ridges and grooves force cats to slow down and use their tongues to retrieve the food, promoting better digestion.

Slowing down your cat’s eating habits with lick mats can also benefit overweight cats. Rapid eating can lead to overeating, which results in weight gain. Lick mats encourage cats to eat smaller portions at a slower pace, aiding in weight loss over time.

Aside from promoting slower eating habits and weight loss, lick mats also offer mental stimulation for cats. Cats have a natural hunting instinct and enjoy interacting with their environment. Lick mats mimic the hunting experience by challenging cats to work for their food. They have to use their tongues and paws to remove the food from the grooves, providing mental stimulation and entertainment.

What Are The Pros Of Lick Mats For Cats-2

Strengthening the Bond Between Cat and Owner

Luckily, there’s a tool that can help – the lick mat. Not only does it promote good dental health, but it can also create a deeper connection between you and your pet.

When your cat licks the mat, it releases endorphins that give them a feeling of pleasure and relaxation. This can be compared to how humans feel when they eat their favorite food or have a massage. Moreover, the act of licking helps scrape off plaque and tartar from their teeth, promoting better dental health. So, by providing your cat with a lick mat, you’re not just giving them a treat but also promoting their well-being.

But that’s not all – lick mats can also be used as a treat dispenser to provide mental stimulation for your cat. As they try to lick off every last drop of their favorite treat from the mat, they will be occupied for longer periods. This can give you some much-needed rest or time to complete other tasks while your cat enjoys their treat.

Using lick mats during grooming sessions can also be helpful in bonding with your cat. By applying a small amount of wet food on the mat and allowing your cat to lick it off while you groom them, you create positive experiences associated with grooming. This can make grooming less stressful and more enjoyable for both you and your cat.

Additionally, lick mats can be used during stressful situations such as vet visits or car rides. The act of licking releases calming hormones that can ease anxiety and tension in cats. By providing your cat with a lick mat during these situations, you can help them feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Different Types of Materials Used in Lick Mats

Lick mats are a popular way to keep your cat entertained and promote healthy habits, but with so many different materials to choose from, it can be challenging to know which one is right for your feline friend. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of the most common materials used in lick mats.


Silicone is a popular choice for lick mats because of its flexibility, durability, and ease of cleaning. These mats are soft and pliable, which makes them easy to mold into different shapes and sizes. They are also dishwasher safe and can withstand high temperatures, making them incredibly easy to clean. Plus, silicone mats come in various fun designs that your cat will love.


Rubber lick mats are another popular option because they’re soft, lightweight, and easy to clean. The small ridges on rubber mats help stimulate your cat’s tongue, promoting healthy dental hygiene. However, they may not be as durable as other materials, so they may need to be replaced more frequently.


Plastic lick mats are affordable and come in a variety of colors and designs. They’re ideal for pet owners on a budget who want to keep their cats entertained without breaking the bank. However, plastic may not be as soft or flexible as other materials, and it may not last as long.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel lick mats provide a long-lasting, easy-to-clean option for pet owners. They’re perfect for aggressive chewers who like to scratch or chew on their lick mats. Stainless steel is also resistant to scratches and dents, making it an ideal choice for cats that like rough play.


Bamboo lick mats are eco-friendly and biodegradable, which makes them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious pet owners. However, they may not be as durable as other materials and may need to be replaced more frequently. Keep in mind that some cats may not be as interested in bamboo as they are in other materials.

Different Treats and Foods to Fill the Mat With

One great option is a lick mat, which not only provides stimulation but also tasty treats. But what are the best options for filling a lick mat?

There are several delicious choices that will depend on your cat’s dietary needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look:

Wet food is often a hit with many cats. It has a great taste and aroma that your feline friend won’t be able to resist. Spread a thin layer of wet food on the mat and watch as your cat happily licks it off.

If you’re looking for something different, peanut butter is a safe option for cats in small amounts. Be sure to use unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter to avoid any harmful ingredients.

Tuna is another popular choice for filling a lick mat. Whether you use canned or freshly cooked tuna that has been shredded, your cat will surely enjoy this fishy treat. Just be careful not to give too much tuna, as it can be high in mercury.

For a healthier option, plain and unsweetened yogurt can be a tasty choice to fill the mat with. However, keep in mind that some cats may be lactose intolerant, so monitor your cat for any signs of discomfort after consuming yogurt.

To add some excitement to the mix, sprinkle dried catnip on the lick mat. This herb is known to have a calming effect on cats and can provide an entertaining playtime activity.

Tips for Introducing Cats to Lick Mats

Lick mats are a great way to keep your cat entertained and engaged, but introducing them to this new item can be a bit daunting. Here are some tips and tricks for successfully introducing your cat to lick mats.

  • Start Slowly: Cats are creatures of habit and can be hesitant about new objects. Begin by placing a small amount of their favorite wet food or treat on the mat and let them explore it at their own pace. Encourage them with positive reinforcement, such as praise or treats, when they interact with the mat.
  • Use a Familiar Scent: Rubbing the mat with a towel or cloth that has your cat’s scent on it can help them feel more comfortable and familiar with the new object. This will also help reduce any anxiety your cat may have towards the unfamiliar object.
  • Monitor Your Cat: It’s important to watch your cat while they use the lick mat. Some cats may become overly excited and aggressive while licking, which can lead to accidentally hurting themselves. If you notice this behavior, it may be best to limit their time with the lick mat or supervise them closely while using it.
  • Choose the Right Type of Lick Mat: There are different types of lick mats available on the market, so choose one that is appropriate for your cat’s size and age and made of safe, non-toxic materials. Some mats have ridges or bumps that can help clean your cat’s teeth while they lick.
  • Be Patient: Don’t force your cat to use the lick mat. Some cats may take longer than others to get used to it, so don’t get discouraged if they don’t show interest right away. You can also try using a toy or playing with your cat near the mat to make it more appealing.
  • Clean Regularly: To prevent bacteria buildup and maintain its effectiveness, clean the lick mat regularly using warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly before allowing your cat to use it again.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Lick Mats

Cats are known for their impeccable cleanliness, but even they need a little help keeping their lick mats clean and well-maintained. Lick mats are great tools for keeping your feline friend entertained and mentally stimulated, but they can also harbor bacteria and germs if not cleaned regularly. Here’s why it’s crucial to keep your cat’s lick mat in pristine condition and some tips on how to do it.

First things first, let’s talk about the health risks associated with dirty lick mats. These mats are designed to hold your cat’s food or treats, which means they can quickly become covered in saliva and other bodily fluids. Over time, these fluids can attract harmful microorganisms that can put your cat’s health at risk. By cleaning your cat’s lick mat after every use, you can help prevent them from ingesting anything harmful.

Cleaning a lick mat is a breeze – simply use warm soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth to wipe down the surface of the mat. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies to remove any food debris or saliva. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, and allow the mat to air dry completely before using it again. Harsh chemicals or abrasive materials should be avoided as they could damage the surface of the lick mat.

For those stubborn stains or residue, you can try using a mixture of baking soda and water to gently scrub the surface. Some lick mats are even dishwasher safe, making for easy cleaning.

It’s essential to regularly inspect your cat’s lick mat for any signs of damage such as cracks or holes in the surface. If you notice any damage, replace the mat immediately to avoid any potential hazards.

Also Read: Do cats actually get clean by licking themselves?


Lick mats have become a must-have accessory for cat owners who want to keep their feline friends entertained, mentally stimulated, and healthy. These textured mats spread your cat’s favorite treats or spreads onto their surface, encouraging them to lick and slurp away for hours on end. But the benefits of lick mats go beyond just entertainment.

One major advantage of using lick mats is that they’re excellent for maintaining your cat’s oral hygiene. They help remove plaque and tartar buildup in your cat’s mouth, keeping their teeth healthy and clean. Plus, they can slow down eating for cats who tend to scarf down their food too quickly.

Another benefit of lick mats is that they can have a calming effect on anxious cats. The act of licking and slurping can be soothing and provide a welcome distraction from stressful situations. Lick mats also offer cognitive development, oral health improvement, healthy eating habits, bonding opportunities between you and your pet, and anxiety reduction.

But before introducing your cat to a lick mat, start slowly with familiar scents and monitor them closely while using it. Choose the right type of mat made of safe materials like silicone or stainless steel that are appropriate for your cat’s size and age. And make sure to regularly clean the mat after every use using warm soapy water or baking soda mixture to prevent bacteria buildup.

In conclusion, investing in a lick mat is an easy way to keep your furry friend happy, healthy, entertained while promoting mental stimulation and strengthening the bond between you two.