Why Do Cats Like Vaseline | Is It Safe To Cats?

Have you ever caught your feline friend curiously sniffing around a jar of Vaseline, or even worse? Have you found them with traces of the gooey substance on their fur? 

It seems like an odd attraction, but it’s not uncommon for cats to be inexplicably drawn to Vaseline. Whether they secretly groom themselves with it or find its texture fascinating, one thing is clear. 

This peculiar behavior has left many cat owners wondering why their furry companions are fascinated with this slippery product. 

But what exactly is it about Vaseline that captivates our furry friends? More importantly, is it safe for cats to indulge in this oily delight? 

In this article, I’ll explore why cats like Vaseline. And whether it poses any risks to our beloved feline companions. 

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. 

It was first discovered by Robert Chesebrough in the 1860s when he noticed oil workers using a residue found on oil rigs to heal their wounds and burns. 

Chesbrough refined this substance and named it Vaseline, derived from the German word for water – “Wasser” and the Greek word for oil – “elation.”

One possible explanation for why cats like Vaseline is its texture. Another reason could be the smell of Vaseline. 

Cats have a highly developed sense of smell; certain scents can strongly attract or repel them. Although Vaseline doesn’t have a distinct scent, it can absorb its surroundings’ odors, which might appeal to cats. 

Why Cats Are Attracted to Vaseline

Cats are known for their curious behaviors, but what is it about this petroleum jelly that piques their interest? 

In this blog post, I’ll explore why cats are attracted to Vaseline and the possible explanations behind this peculiar behavior.

1. Texture and Sensations

One possible reason why cats are attracted to Vaseline is its unique texture. Vaseline has a smooth and slippery consistency that can be intriguing to felines. 

Thus, cats enjoy exploring different textures with their paws, and the greasy feel of Vaseline might offer a new and exciting sensation for them.

2. Scent and Taste

Another factor that could contribute to a cat’s fascination with Vaseline is its scent and taste. So, Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and Vaseline’s scent might appeal to them. 

Moreover, Vaseline is often flavored or scented, which could make it even more enticing for our feline friends.

3. Grooming and Self-Care

Cats are meticulous groomers and spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves. When ingested in small quantities, Vaseline can act as a laxative and help cats with hairballs, a common issue among cats. 

Moreover, some cats might be instinctively attracted to Vaseline to aid their grooming process and alleviate discomfort caused by hairballs.

4. Attention and Playfulness

Cats are known for seeking attention and engaging in playful behaviors. If a cat notices that their owner reacts or pays attention to it when interacting with Vaseline, it might be more inclined to repeat the behavior. This attention-seeking behavior could be another reason why cats are attracted to Vaseline.

5. The Unknown Factor

While there are various theories about why cats are attracted to Vaseline, it’s important to note that not all cats exhibit this behavior. 

Every cat is unique, and their preferences may vary. The exact reason behind this attraction remains a mystery, and it could be a quirk specific to certain cats.

Safety Considerations:

While witnessing your cat’s fascination with Vaseline may be intriguing, ensuring their safety is important. Vaseline is made from petroleum jelly and is generally considered safe for external use. However, ingesting large amounts of Vaseline can lead to digestive issues in cats, so keeping it out of their reach is essential.

So, the next time you catch your feline companion exploring a jar of Vaseline, remember that it’s just another example of our beloved cats’ mysterious and fascinating behaviors.

Is Vaseline toxic to cats?

Cat owners are often puzzled by their feline friends‘ fascination with Vaseline. But is it safe to let cats indulge in this curiosity? 

Is Vaseline toxic to cats?
Is Vaseline toxic to cats?

While Vaseline is not considered toxic to cats, caution should still be exercised. Cats tend to groom themselves meticulously. 

As a result, ingesting large amounts of Vaseline can potentially cause digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting. 

The tasteless nature of Vaseline might make it an appealing treat for some cats who enjoy exploring different textures and flavors. 

Lastly, while Vaseline is not poisonous to cats, it can still pose risks if ingested in large quantities or applied excessively on their fur. 

So, Cat owners must balance allowing their pets’ curious explorations and safeguarding their well-being. 

Exploring the Pros and Cons

Vaseline, synonymous with petroleum jelly, has been a staple in many households for years. While primarily used for skincare and beauty purposes, our feline friends have also been interested in this versatile product. 

But why do cats like Vaseline? In this blog post, I’ll delve into the intriguing behavior of cats and explore the pros and cons of their fascination with Vaseline.

Is Vaseline safe to eat?

Is Vaseline safe to eat?
Is Vaseline safe to eat?

1. Hairball Relief: 

Cats are meticulous groomers who may ingest much fur. Unfortunately, this can lead to the formation of hairballs in their digestive tract. 

Vaseline can also act as a lubricant, helping to ease the passage of hairballs through their system, reducing discomfort, and aiding digestion.

2. Dry Skin Soother: 

Cats can experience dry, flaky skin like humans. Applying a small amount of Vaseline to dry patches can help moisturize and soothe their skin, relieving itching and irritation.

3. Paw Protection: 

Cats’ paws can dry and crack, especially during harsh weather conditions. Applying a thin layer of Vaseline to their paw pads can act as a protective barrier, preventing further damage and promoting healing.

Is Vaseline bad for cats?

1. Ingestion Risks: 

While Vaseline is generally considered safe for external use, ingestion can pose potential cat risks. 

Consuming large amounts may lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or upset stomach. 

Moreover, some Vaseline products contain additional ingredients like fragrance or preservatives that could be harmful if ingested.

2. Dependency and Overuse: 

Cats are creatures of habit, and if they develop a liking for Vaseline, they may depend on it for relief. However, excessive use may lead to an imbalance in their natural grooming routine, potentially causing other health issues.

3. Non-Edible Nature: 

Vaseline is not intended for consumption, and its greasy texture may pose a choking hazard. It is important to keep Vaseline products out of the reach of curious cats to avoid accidents.

However, exercising caution and using it sparingly is crucial, as ingestion can adversely affect cats’ health. 

If you notice any abnormal behavior or adverse reactions, it is always best to consult a veterinarian. 

Remember, understanding the pros and cons of cats liking Vaseline can help you make informed decisions regarding your pet’s well-being.

Can I use Vaseline on my cat?

Many cat owners have asked me if they wondered whether using Vaseline on their beloved feline friend is safe. 

Can I use Vaseline on my cat?
Can I use Vaseline on my cat?

First and foremost, cats are known for licking themselves clean, which means that anything you put on their fur will likely end up in their mouths. 

For example, if your furry companion has dry or cracked paw pads due to environmental conditions or excessive grooming habits, a thin layer of a pet-safe moisturizer recommended by a veterinarian could help soothe those areas. 

However, consulting a professional before applying products to your cat is crucial because not all human remedies suit our feline friends. 

It’s also worth considering alternative options, such as using specific pet-friendly balms or creams designed to address specific cat skin issues.

Applying a thin layer of Vaseline on your cat’s paws can help moisturize and protect them from dryness, especially during harsh weather conditions.

Frequently Asked Question

Why does my cat seem interested in Vaseline?

Cats might be attracted to the texture and scent of Vaseline, as it can pique their curiosity due to its unusual feel and smell.

Is it safe for my cat to lick Vaseline?
No, it’s not safe for cats to lick or ingest Vaseline. Vaseline is not formulated for consumption by cats and can lead to potential health risks.

Can Vaseline be harmful to my cat if ingested in small amounts?


Ingesting a small amount of Vaseline might not cause immediate harm, but it’s best to avoid deliberate consumption as it can lead to digestive discomfort and potential toxicity over time.

How can I prevent my cat from coming into contact with Vaseline?


Answer: Keep Vaseline and similar products out of your cat’s reach, store them securely, and maintain a cat-friendly environment to reduce the risk of ingestion.

What should I do if my cat has ingested Vaseline?

If you suspect your cat has ingested a lot of Vaseline, contact a veterinarian for guidance. They can advise on monitoring your cat’s health and recommend steps to ensure their well-being.

Final Verdicts

In conclusion, cats’ fascination with Vaseline, a petroleum jelly product, is driven by its texture and scent, which might attract their curiosity. 

However, It’s important to acknowledge that cats should not consume Vaseline, as ingesting it can pose potential health risks..

If you suspect your cat has ingested a lot of Vaseline or displays unusual symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for proper guidance and care.

So, it’s crucial to provide them with a suitable environment and ensure they don’t come into contact with substances that could harm them.

About The Author

Jeremy D. Bissell

I've been researching and writing about cat food for over ten years, and I've learned a lot about the different types of food available and the nutritional needs of cats. I want to use this blog to help cat owners make informed decisions about their cats' diets

Leave a Comment