Why Is My Cat Making a Clicking Sound With His Mouth?

If you’re a cat owner, you may have noticed your furry friend making a clicking sound with their mouth. While this behavior might seem strange, it’s actually quite common among cats. There are several reasons why your cat might be making this clicking sound, ranging from normal behavior to potential health issues. In this article, we will explore the various causes of this peculiar behavior and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

Reasons for Clicking Sounds in Cats:

1. Hunting behavior: Cats are natural hunters, and the clicking sound they make with their mouth can mimic the noise they make when capturing prey. It’s their way of practicing their hunting skills, even if they’re playing with a toy or simply observing their surroundings.

2. Excitement or anticipation: Cats may make clicking sounds when they’re excited or anticipating something. For example, if they see a bird outside the window or are eagerly waiting for their mealtime, they might produce these sounds.

3. Communication: Clicking sounds can also be a form of communication. Cats may click their mouths to get your attention, express curiosity, or signal their desire for interaction.

4. Dental issues: Clicking sounds could indicate dental problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or misalignment. If your cat’s clicking sound is accompanied by other signs like bad breath or difficulty eating, it’s important to consult a veterinarian.

5. Respiratory issues: In some cases, clicking sounds can be a result of respiratory issues, such as an upper respiratory infection or allergies. If your cat is also experiencing coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge, a vet visit is necessary.

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6. Feline stomatitis: Feline stomatitis is a severe inflammation of the mouth and gums that can cause cats to make clicking sounds. This condition requires immediate veterinary attention and may necessitate dental extractions or other treatments.

7. Neurological disorders: Certain neurological disorders can cause cats to make clicking sounds. If you notice other abnormal behaviors, such as seizures or difficulty walking, consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

8. Stress or anxiety: Cats may make clicking sounds when they are stressed, anxious, or uncomfortable. Changes in the environment, such as moving to a new house or the introduction of a new pet, can trigger this behavior.

9. Kitty chattering: Cats sometimes make clicking sounds when they see prey but are unable to reach it. This behavior is known as “kitty chattering” and is thought to be an instinctual response to frustration.

10. Excitement during play: When cats are engaged in play or hunting games, they may make clicking sounds as a result of heightened excitement. It’s their way of expressing enthusiasm and anticipation.

11. Breed-specific behavior: Certain cat breeds, such as the Chausie or Bengal, are known for their vocal and chattering tendencies. Clicking sounds might be more common in these breeds due to their wild ancestry.

FAQs about Clicking Sounds in Cats:

1. Is it normal for cats to make clicking sounds?
Yes, it is relatively normal for cats to make clicking sounds, especially during hunting play or when excited.

2. Should I be concerned if my cat is making clicking sounds?
If the clicking sounds are accompanied by other concerning symptoms or behavioral changes, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

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3. Can dental issues cause clicking sounds in cats?
Yes, dental problems can lead to clicking sounds in cats. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining their oral health.

4. How can I differentiate between normal clicking sounds and abnormal ones?
Observe your cat’s behavior and look for any other signs of illness or discomfort. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult your vet for a professional opinion.

5. What should I do if my cat’s clicking sounds are due to dental issues?
Schedule a dental examination with your veterinarian, who can determine the best course of action, which may include dental cleanings, extractions, or other treatments.

6. Are there any home remedies to help with clicking sounds caused by stress or anxiety?
Creating a calm and secure environment for your cat, providing enrichment activities, and using pheromone diffusers may help reduce stress-related clicking sounds.

7. Can cats outgrow clicking sounds?
In most cases, cats do not outgrow clicking sounds as it is a natural behavior. However, if the clicking sounds are due to underlying health issues, addressing those problems may resolve the behavior.

8. Can clicking sounds be contagious to other cats?
No, clicking sounds are not contagious. However, if the underlying cause is a respiratory infection, proper precautions should be taken to prevent transmission.

9. How can I prevent dental issues in my cat?
Regular dental care, including teeth brushing, providing dental treats or toys, and scheduling professional cleanings, can help prevent dental problems.

10. Should I be concerned if my cat makes clicking sounds during sleep?
Clicking sounds during sleep are usually harmless and can be a result of dreams or muscle twitches.

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11. When should I consult a veterinarian about my cat’s clicking sounds?
If you’re unsure about the cause, if the behavior is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, or if your cat’s overall health and behavior seem abnormal, seeking veterinary advice is advisable.


While clicking sounds in cats can be intriguing, they are often just a normal part of their behavior. However, if you notice any accompanying symptoms or changes in behavior, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues. By understanding the different reasons for clicking sounds, you can ensure the well-being and happiness of your feline companion.