Why Does My Cat Lick Electrical Outlets?

Have you ever caught your feline friend licking electrical outlets and wondered what in the world they’re thinking? It may seem like a bizarre behavior, but it’s actually quite common among our furry companions. Pet owners all over the globe have reported similar experiences with their cats indulging in this odd activity. But why do cats do it?

At first glance, licking an electrical outlet seems like an unpleasant and even dangerous activity, yet cats appear to enjoy it. The reasons behind this strange behavior are multifaceted and intriguing. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive insight into the possible explanations for why your cat might be drawn to electrical outlets.

From the taste and texture of electrical cords to the relaxing sensation it provides, there are several factors to consider. But before we dive into these reasons, it’s important to understand the hazards of this behavior. While licking an electrical outlet might seem harmless, it could be fatal for your furry friend due to electrocution risks. So keep a close eye on your kitty to ensure their safety.

Now without any further ado, let’s explore the fascinating reasons behind why your cat licks electrical outlets.

What Is Electrical Outlet Licking?

This behavior, exhibited by some cats, involves licking or chewing on electrical outlets and can result in severe injuries such as electrocution, burns, and other dangerous outcomes.

There are several theories about why cats engage in this dangerous behavior. One theory suggests that cats may lick or chew on electrical outlets due to boredom or stress. Cats that lack stimulation or are left alone for extended periods may resort to this behavior as a way to alleviate their anxiety.

Another theory suggests that cats may be drawn to the warmth emitted by electrical outlets, particularly during colder seasons. Additionally, some experts suggest that cats may be trying to obtain minerals or other nutrients that they may be lacking in their diet. This theory is supported by the fact that some cats tend to lick walls and other surfaces that have been treated with mineral-based paints.

It’s crucial to note that electrical outlet licking can also be a sign of an underlying health condition. Cats suffering from dental problems or gastrointestinal issues may engage in this behavior as a way of alleviating their discomfort. Pica, a compulsive behavior characterized by the ingestion of non-food items, can also cause cats to lick electrical outlets.

To prevent electrical outlet licking, it’s important to keep all electrical outlets covered or inaccessible to your cat. Providing adequate stimulation and playtime can also help prevent boredom-related behaviors. Ensuring proper nutrition through a balanced diet and supplements may help prevent nutritional deficiencies and associated behaviors.

Reasons Why Cats Lick Electrical Outlets

Cats are curious creatures, and their inquisitive nature can lead them to explore their surroundings in ways that may put them in harm’s way. One such behavior is licking electrical outlets. As a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to understand the reasons why cats engage in this behavior and take necessary precautions to prevent injury.


Cats are naturally curious animals, and they may be drawn to electrical outlets because of their unique appearance and mysterious electrical currents. The smell of electricity emitted from the outlet may intrigue the cat, leading them to investigate by licking or chewing on it. However, this behavior can be dangerous as electrocution can result in severe injury or even death.

Boredom or Anxiety

Cats that lack stimulation or have little interaction with their owners may become bored or anxious, leading them to engage in destructive or abnormal behaviors such as licking electrical outlets. This behavior may provide sensory stimulation for some cats, especially if they enjoy the taste of metal or plastic. In some cases, they may also lick outlets as a form of self-soothing to relieve stress or anxiety caused by loud noises or other environmental factors.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Electrical outlets contain small amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which are essential for a cat’s overall health and well-being. If a cat is deficient in these minerals, they may seek out alternative sources, such as electrical outlets. This behavior can be dangerous as it puts the cat at risk of electrocution.

The Warmth Factor

During colder months, cats may seek out warm places to curl up. Electrical outlets can provide a cozy spot for them to rest, which may be appealing to some cats. However, it is important to note that this behavior can also be dangerous and result in serious injury.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Cats that feel neglected or bored may resort to licking or chewing on electrical outlets as a means of getting their owner’s attention. This behavior should not be encouraged as it can lead to serious injury or even death.


Curiosity is an innate trait in cats that drives them to explore their surroundings and investigate new objects. Electrical outlets, with their small amount of electrical current, may seem like just another object to us humans, but to cats, they are a source of endless fascination. It’s like a tiny little mystery that they can’t resist trying to solve.

But why are some cats drawn to lick electrical outlets? One reason could be the sensory experience it provides them. The unique texture and taste of electrical outlets can be appealing to some cats. Additionally, the sensation of licking an outlet may create a tingling or buzzing feeling in a cat’s mouth that can be pleasurable for them.

However, it’s crucial to note that licking electrical outlets can have serious consequences for cats. The electrical current from an outlet can cause burns or electrocution, which can be fatal for our furry friends. As responsible pet owners, it’s important to take preventive measures such as covering outlets with outlet covers or placing furniture in front of them to prevent access.

It’s also important to understand that while curiosity may drive cats to investigate electrical outlets, it’s up to us to keep them safe from harm. Discourage any attempts by your cat to lick outlets by redirecting their attention elsewhere and keeping a watchful eye on them.

Boredom or Stress

As an expert in cat behavior, I am here to share with you that boredom and stress could be the culprits behind this puzzling habit.

Cats are curious creatures that require both mental and physical stimulation to maintain their well-being. When they are not provided with enough activities or playtime, they can become bored and engage in unusual behaviors such as licking electrical outlets. This could be a sign that your furry friend is searching for ways to entertain themselves and liven up their routine.

Besides boredom, stress can also be a significant factor in causing cats to lick electrical outlets. Loud noises, new family members or pets, and changes in their environment can all trigger anxiety and stress in cats. Licking electrical outlets may provide them with a sense of comfort or distraction from these stressors.

As responsible pet owners, it is our duty to ensure that our cats are provided with a safe and engaging environment to thrive in. To alleviate boredom and stress, we can offer them plenty of toys, scratching posts, and playtime. Creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere can also help reduce their stress levels.

Here are some ways to alleviate boredom and stress in cats:

  • Provide them with interactive toys that stimulate their minds.
  • Set up scratching posts or cat trees for them to climb.
  • Create a designated play area where they can run around and explore.
  • Establish a routine for feeding, playtime, and sleep.
  • Use calming products such as Feliway diffusers or pheromone sprays to reduce anxiety.

Remember to keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and environment. If you suspect that your feline friend is experiencing boredom or stress, take action promptly by implementing these tips or consulting with your veterinarian.

Nutritional Deficiencies

They love to explore their surroundings, play with toys, and sometimes even lick electrical outlets. However, before you panic at the sight of your kitty indulging in such behavior, it’s important to understand that this could indicate nutritional deficiencies.

Nutritional deficiencies can arise when cats don’t receive enough vitamins and minerals from their diet. Taurine, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and calcium are vital nutrients that your cat needs. Taurine is crucial for maintaining the health of your cat’s heart and eyes, while vitamin A is important for vision and maintaining healthy skin. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the production of red blood cells and proper nerve function. Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth.

If your cat’s diet is deficient in any of these nutrients, it may start craving non-food items like wool, plastic bags, and electrical cords to supplement its diet. This condition is called pica and can be dangerous as electrical cords can cause burns or even electrocution if your cat bites through a live wire.

To ensure that your cat is healthy and happy, you must provide it with a well-balanced diet that includes high-quality protein sources like meat, fish, or poultry. You may also consider adding supplements to their food if you suspect they’re not getting enough of certain nutrients.

If you’ve already caught your cat licking electrical outlets, don’t worry. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if changes to your cat’s diet or supplements are necessary to address the issue.

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Prevention Tips for Cat Owners

Fortunately, there are several prevention tips you can follow to ensure your feline friend stays safe.

The first step in preventing your cat from accessing electrical outlets is to cover them up. Outlet covers or plug-in caps can be easily purchased at most pet stores or online retailers. These products will prevent your curious cat from poking their nose or tongue into the outlet and experiencing an electric shock.

It’s also crucial to keep cords out of reach. Cats love to play with cords, but this can be a recipe for disaster if the cord is plugged into an outlet. The best way to prevent this danger is by using cord covers or tying cords together neatly and hiding them behind furniture.

If your cat persists in showing interest in electrical outlets or cords, try using bitter sprays as a deterrent. These sprays make the cords or outlets taste bad, discouraging your cat from licking them. However, make sure to test the spray on a small area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the cords or outlets.

Another prevention tip is to provide an alternative outlet for your cat’s curiosity. Cats are naturally drawn to small holes like those found in electrical outlets. By providing your cat with a designated exploration area, such as a cardboard box with holes, they may satisfy their curiosity and stay away from dangerous outlets.

Finally, keeping a close eye on your cat is always important. Cats are unpredictable creatures, and you never know when they might decide to start licking something they shouldn’t. If you notice your cat showing interest in electrical outlets or cords, redirect their attention with toys or treats.

Consulting a Veterinarian

It’s tough to watch them engage in odd behaviors, such as licking electrical outlets. Not only is it alarming, but it can also be dangerous for our furry companions. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian if you notice your cat exhibiting this behavior.

Licking electrical outlets is not a normal behavior for cats, and it could be indicative of a larger issue that needs to be addressed. So, what are some possible explanations for this behavior?

Firstly, it could be a mineral deficiency. Cats tend to chew on non-food items when they lack certain minerals or vitamins in their diet. A veterinarian can help determine if your cat needs a dietary adjustment or supplement to prevent further issues.

Another possibility is oral pain or discomfort. Licking electrical outlets may provide a sensation that helps alleviate their discomfort. A thorough dental exam can identify any issues in your cat’s mouth that may be causing them pain. Don’t neglect dental care for your furry friend.

Lastly, anxiety or boredom could also be a contributing factor. Licking electrical outlets may provide an outlet for pent-up energy or stress. A veterinarian can help identify any underlying behavioral issues and recommend appropriate treatment, such as environmental enrichment or medication.


In conclusion, don’t be surprised if you catch your cat licking electrical outlets. While it may seem strange and potentially hazardous, this behavior is quite common among felines. The reasons behind this peculiar habit are varied and fascinating, including curiosity, boredom, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and even the warmth emanating from the outlet.

As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to take preventative measures to ensure your cat’s safety. Simple steps like covering outlets or keeping cords out of reach can go a long way in preventing accidents. Additionally, providing sufficient stimulation and playtime can help alleviate boredom-related behaviors.

However, it’s important to note that this behavior could also indicate underlying health issues such as dental problems or gastrointestinal troubles. Pica is another condition characterized by the ingestion of non-food items that could cause cats to lick electrical outlets. If you notice your cat engaging in this behavior regularly, consulting with a veterinarian is essential.

In summary, understanding why cats lick electrical outlets is vital for their well-being. By creating a safe environment for them and addressing any health concerns or behavioral issues promptly, we can ensure that our furry friends lead happy and healthy lives.