Why does my cat keep chewing air?

Have you ever caught your feline friend gnawing on thin air? It’s a strange sight to witness, but it’s not uncommon for cat owners to see their pets chewing on nothing. While it may seem harmless at first glance, some pet owners find this behavior worrisome and wonder why their cat keeps chewing air. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this odd habit and offer solutions to help your furry companion.

Firstly, cats are natural-born hunters who possess an inherent urge to catch prey. Even when domesticated and free from the need to hunt, that instinct persists within them. Chewing on air could be your cat’s way of practicing hunting skills or engaging in their instincts – which can benefit their mental and physical well-being.

Another possibility is that your cat has something stuck in its mouth or throat, such as a hairball or foreign object. If this behavior continues, visiting the vet may be necessary to ensure your cat’s health. Lastly, dental problems and stress can also cause cats to chew on air as a coping mechanism.

If you’re curious about why your cat keeps chewing air, then stick around. We’ll dive deeper into the reasons behind this peculiar habit and provide tips on what you can do about it. So sit tight and let’s get started on solving the mystery of why your fur baby loves chomping that invisible prey.

Dental Issues as a Cause for Air Chewing

However, if you’ve noticed them frequently engaging in air chewing, it might be time to investigate further. Dental problems are one of the most common causes of air chewing in cats, and there are a few specific issues that could be at play.

Periodontal disease is a common dental issue that can lead to air chewing in cats. This condition occurs when bacteria build up on the teeth and gums, causing inflammation and infection. As the disease progresses, the gums can recede, and the teeth may become loose or fall out altogether. In addition to air chewing, other signs of periodontal disease in cats include bad breath, drooling, and difficulty eating.

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Another dental problem that could cause your cat to engage in air chewing is tooth resorption. This occurs when the structures holding a tooth in place begin to break down, causing the tooth to become loose or fall out. Tooth resorption is an incredibly painful condition that can cause your cat to chew on objects in an attempt to relieve their discomfort.

Finally, oral tumors can also be a culprit behind air chewing in cats. These growths can occur anywhere in the mouth and cause pain and discomfort for your kitty. In addition to air chewing, other signs of oral tumors include drooling, difficulty eating or swallowing, and bad breath.

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If you notice your cat engaging in air chewing frequently, it’s essential to schedule a visit with your veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination of your cat’s mouth and teeth to determine if there is an underlying dental issue that needs to be addressed. By identifying and treating these issues early on, you can help ensure your cat stays healthy and comfortable for years to come.

It’s worth noting that stress and anxiety can also cause cats to engage in air chewing. If you suspect that your cat’s behavior is related to stress or anxiety, there are several strategies you can use to help calm them down. Providing plenty of playtime, creating a safe space for them to retreat to, and using calming pheromone sprays or diffusers are all effective options.

Stress and Anxiety as a Cause for Air Chewing

Although dental issues might be the first thing that comes to mind, stress and anxiety could also be the reason for this peculiar behavior. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how stress and anxiety can affect cats, leading to air chewing.

Cats thrive on routine, so any changes to their environment or schedule can trigger stress and anxiety. Whether it’s moving to a new home or introducing a new pet into the household, these changes can cause your cat to feel anxious. When cats are stressed or anxious, they may exhibit various behaviors, such as over-grooming, hiding, refusing to eat, or even air chewing.

Air chewing is when a cat opens its mouth and appears to chew on something invisible in the air. It’s crucial for owners to identify the source of their cat’s stress or anxiety and take steps to alleviate it. Providing a secure environment for your cat, offering plenty of opportunities for exercise and play, and maintaining a consistent routine are all ways to help reduce stress and anxiety.

In some cases, medication may be necessary to help alleviate your cat’s stress or anxiety. However, it’s essential to seek veterinary advice before administering any medication. Leaving stress and anxiety untreated can lead to negative impacts on your cat’s health and well-being. Chronic stress weakens the immune system and can cause various illnesses such as urinary tract infections and digestive problems.

Neurological Disorders as a Cause for Air Chewing

While stress and anxiety are often the culprits, it’s important to consider the possibility of neurological disorders as well. As an expert in this field, I’ve delved into the research and discovered that several neurological disorders can cause your cat’s air chewing behavior.

One neurological disorder that can lead to air chewing is a seizure disorder like epilepsy or focal seizures. Seizures can disrupt the brain’s function and cause unusual behaviors, including air chewing. Another possible cause is trigeminal neuralgia, which affects the nerves controlling your cat’s face and mouth, causing pain and discomfort that they try to alleviate by chewing on air or objects.

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Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is another neurological disorder that’s common in senior cats. It affects the brain’s function, leading to behavioral changes like disorientation, confusion, changes in sleep patterns, and air chewing. Additionally, some cats may develop compulsive disorders that cause repetitive behaviors like air chewing, which are often related to anxiety or stress.

If you suspect your cat’s air chewing behavior is due to a neurological disorder, it’s essential to seek veterinary attention immediately. Your vet will perform diagnostic tests like blood work, imaging, or neurological exams to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s behavior. The treatment options will depend on the diagnosis and may include medication or behavior modification techniques.

Other Possible Causes of Air Chewing

While it might seem like a harmless quirk, air chewing can actually be a sign of an underlying issue that requires attention. In this article, we’ll dive into other possible causes of air chewing in cats.

One of the most common reasons for air chewing in cats is dental problems. If your cat has dental issues, they may chew on air to relieve pain or discomfort in their mouths. Other signs of dental problems include excessive drooling or pawing at their mouths. To ensure your cat’s health and comfort, don’t hesitate to take them to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.

Anxiety or stress can also cause cats to chew on air. If your furry friend is feeling anxious or stressed, they may exhibit unusual behavior such as air chewing. Be on the lookout for other signs of anxiety like hiding, excessive grooming, or aggression.

Certain medical conditions can also lead to air chewing in cats. For instance, cats with digestive issues like acid reflux or GERD may chew on air as a way to soothe their stomachs. Additionally, some neurological disorders can cause cats to chew on air as a symptom.

Lastly, some cats may develop a habit of chewing on air for no apparent reason. While this behavior might not be harmful, it’s still important to monitor your cat’s behavior and seek veterinary care if any unusual symptoms arise.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Experiencing Dental Issues

Cats are known for their quirky behaviors, but if you notice your furry friend chewing on air, it could be a sign of dental issues. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to understand the symptoms of dental problems in cats and how to prevent them.

Bad Breath: A Common Indicator

One of the most obvious signs of dental issues in cats is bad breath. If your cat has persistent halitosis, it could be due to dental decay or gum disease. Although many cats have bad breath from time to time, if your cat’s breath smells bad all the time, it’s time to take notice.

Difficulty Eating: A Serious Symptom

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If your cat is avoiding hard food or taking longer than usual to eat, it may be due to dental issues. This symptom should not be taken lightly as lack of nutrition can lead to various health problems in cats.

Excessive Drooling and Pawing

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When cats experience dental problems, they may drool excessively or paw at their mouth. These actions indicate discomfort or pain caused by dental issues and should prompt you to take action immediately.

Changes in Behavior or Mood

Another sign that your cat may be experiencing dental issues is changes in behavior or mood. They may avoid grooming themselves or show signs of agitation when you touch their face or mouth.

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Regular Veterinary Check-Ups and Preventive Measures

It’s important to note that some cats may not show any signs of dental issues until the problem has progressed to an advanced stage. That’s why regular veterinary check-ups are crucial in ensuring your cat’s oral health. Your veterinarian can perform a thorough examination and recommend any necessary treatment, including cleaning, extractions, or other interventions.

Preventive measures like regular teeth brushing and providing chew toys or treats that promote dental health can also help reduce the risk of dental issues in cats.

Ways to Reduce Your Cat’s Stress and Anxiety Levels

It might be a sign of stress or anxiety. Just like humans, cats can feel overwhelmed and exhibit compulsive behaviors when they experience too much stress. But don’t worry, there are ways to help reduce your cat’s stress and anxiety levels and prevent air chewing.

Understanding the Link Between Stress and Air Chewing

Stress and anxiety can be major factors that contribute to why your cat keeps chewing air. Changes in their environment, illness, or even boredom can cause stress for cats. When it becomes too much, cats may turn to compulsive behaviors like chewing air. To reduce this behavior, it’s important to understand what’s causing your cat’s stress levels.

Providing Mental and Physical Stimulation

Cats need both physical exercise and mental stimulation. Providing puzzle toys or interactive toys that require your cat to use their brain can help reduce stress levels and prevent compulsive behaviors like air chewing. Additionally, setting aside time for play and exercise each day can help your cat feel more relaxed.

Creating a Calm Environment

Creating a peaceful and calm environment for your cat is essential in reducing stress and anxiety levels. Make sure your cat has a quiet spot to retreat to when they need some alone time. Providing comfortable bedding and plenty of hiding spots can help your cat feel more secure and calm.

Using Pheromone Sprays or Diffusers

Cats release natural pheromones when they feel safe and happy. Pheromone sprays or diffusers mimic these scents, creating a calming atmosphere in your home and reducing stress levels in your cat. This is an easy and effective way to help calm down your anxious kitty.

Seeking Veterinary Care

In severe cases, it may be worth consulting with your veterinarian to identify the source of your cat’s stress and anxiety levels. They can recommend appropriate treatment options, such as medication or behavior modification techniques. It’s also important to note that chewing air could be a sign of dental issues or other health problems. If your cat is exhibiting this behavior, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

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Also Read: Why Do Cats Chew on Cardboard?


In conclusion, rest assured that if you’ve ever caught your cat chomping on thin air, it’s not a cause for alarm. This behavior is quite common among feline friends and can be attributed to various reasons. Your kitty could be honing their hunting skills or simply indulging in their natural instincts. However, chewing on air can also be a sign of dental problems, stress, anxiety, or neurological disorders.

It’s crucial to keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms and take necessary steps to ensure your cat’s well-being. If you suspect that your furry friend is experiencing dental issues or high-stress levels, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care immediately. Regular check-ups and preventive measures such as teeth brushing and providing chew toys can help reduce the risk of dental problems in cats.

To combat stress and anxiety levels in cats, create a calm environment for them by providing mental and physical stimulation. You can also use pheromone sprays or diffusers to soothe your pet’s nerves effectively. As responsible pet owners, we must always monitor our cats’ behavior for any unusual signs and take appropriate action when necessary.

By understanding why our feline friends chew on air and taking proactive measures to address any underlying issues, we can ensure they lead happy and healthy lives.