Why Does My Cat Stick His Tongue Out?

Q: Sometimes, my male cat sits around with his tongue sticking out of his mouth. What is the reason for this? I have not noticed my female cats doing it.

Oral tumors can cause misalignment of the teeth and/or jaw, leading to improper closing of the mouth and protrusion of the tongue. Broken teeth with resultant nerve exposure, a fractured jaw and temporomandibular joint disorders are traumatic injuries that could lead to pain, inability to close the mouth properly and tongue protrusion.

Sometimes, when cats or other animals find themselves in a hopeless situation, they shut down, seemingly expecting very little out of life and lacking joie de vivre. In order to expand her horizons, it is important that you dont try to coerce her into new situations, but rather make the circumstances conducive to her becoming a little more adventurous.

Do cats stick their tongue out when they're happy?

If you happen to catch your kitty asleep and notice its tongue is hanging out, there’s no need to worry. It probably means your cat is very relaxed and happy. Like humans, felines sometimes sleep with their mouths open…it’s just that their tongues have more of a tendency to stick out than ours.

Why does my cat BLEP?

As animal behaviour consultant and cat expert Amy Shojai explains to Inverse, blepping is the way cats investigate their surroundings, using their sense of taste to understand what’s going on around them. … A cat will blep when they’re investigating a new scent, such as pheremones from other nearby cats.

Why do cats put their butt in your face?

Believe it or not, sometimes cats stick their butts in your face to show you just how much they love you! This stems from biological instincts, according to Dr. Sievert. … “When your cat receives lot of attention from you, it’s the natural way of asking for more,” she said.

Cats do a lot of adorably bizarre things that simultaneously enrich our lives and wreak havoc upon them. But perhaps their strangest behavior is a phenomenon the internet has correctly described as blepping. An animal behavior consultant tells Inverse theres actual science behind it.

So forgetting to retract the tongue in these instances might be due to fascination or distraction while deciphering these kitty Post-It notes!

Cats tend to do all sorts of strange things, which are both cute and puzzling at the same time. One such thing is sticking their tongues out without an obvious reason.

Your feline pal could be sticking out its tongue (and not retracting it immediately) because its fiddling with the taste or texture of something stuck in its mouth. As Pam Johnson-Bennet , cat behaviorist, points out felines have a strong preference not only to taste, but also to texture .

Apart from stuck food particles, other dental issues could make a cat stick its tongue out. The nasty taste and sores from gum disease, abscess, caries, tooth decay and so forth can trigger this behavior. Whether its caused by periodontitis, lesions or something else, inflammation and infections can make your cat stick out its tongue.

And it can often make the cat stick out its tongue, drool, lose appetite and pant painfully. The sooner your doctor catches an undiagnosed health issue, the better chances your pet will have for successful treatment.

We take an in depth look at the reasons cats stick their tongues out, to help you decide whether it is something to chat to your veterinarian about, or no big deal. Why do cats stick their tongue out? Lets find out!

Your cats tongue is the perfect tool to aid in eating, grooming and maintaining general health. These are stiff spines that curve backwards to snare hair and bits of food.

Cats are particular about grooming because in the wild, any trace of scent from their food is an invitation to other predators. Once something such as a bit of food or hair is snagged on the barbs, it is difficult for a cat to release it from his mouth. You can use your lips (or your hands) to remove it, but a cats paws dont help much in this department.

A cats tongue is designed to pull food and hair back into the mouth. The Flehmen response happens when your kitty is curious about something shes busy analysing some interesting scent shes picked up. When your cat is completely relaxed, he may loosen his jaw just enough for a little tip of the tongue to stick out.

In the same way you might see involuntary twitching while your cat sleeps, you might see the little tongue fall out of his mouth while hes enjoying his shut eye. When your cat is sticking his tongue out repeatedly, he may be trying to get a bad taste or food that doesnt agree with him out of his mouth. If you suspect that your cats tongue is sticking out because of problems in her mouth or teeth its time to visit your vet.

To aid kittys dental health, you can switch to a specially formulated dry food such as Hills Science Diet Adult Oral Care, which is designed to reduce plaque and tartar. If your cat is going for a car ride you might catch him sticking his tongue out, drooling and panting. The reasons for motion sickness in cats can include fear of the unfamiliar surroundings, an inner ear imbalance which makes your cat feel dizzy when the car is in motion, or even an upsetting memory of a past bad experience.

For instance, your cat may drool excessively and stick his tongue out to rid the mouth of the irritant. Your cat is also susceptible to infections of the nose, throat and sinuses, all of which can make him drool excessively and stick out his tongue. If you suspect a respiratory infection, look for other signs such as a fever, tearing eyes, shortness of breath, poor balance or lack of interest in eating and grooming.

Your cats tongue is designed to trap food and hair which makes it very difficult for him to rid his mouth of anything unpleasant. Stress, security, and scent: The influence of chemical signals on the social lives of domestic cats and implications for applied settings.

Fiddling with taste and texture

Your feline pal could be sticking out its tongue (and not retracting it immediately) because it’s fiddling with the taste or texture of something stuck in its mouth.As Pam Johnson-Bennet, cat behaviorist, points out

Loosened jaw

This is another common reason for some cats to stick out their tongues – particularly while they’re sleeping. It can also occur when they’ve been sedated. Just like a person would open his/ her mouth during their sleep, your pet’s body can be so relaxed that its jaw will loosen. In such instances, you may spot the tip of the tongue peeking out of the cat’s mouth.

Food stuck between the teeth

A cat will often stick its tongue out repeatedly if some food leftovers are stuck between its teeth.

Cat tongue facts

Here are some of the more severe causes behind your furball’s actions. But before you scroll down – remember thatIf you have any suspicions about your kitty’s health, immediately schedule an appointment with the vet. Being an over-concerned pet parent is better than being a negligent one.Your vet is the only one who can determine if there’s a problematic reason for your cat’s actions. The sooner your doctor catches an undiagnosed health issue, the better chances your pet will have for successful treatment.

Your Cat’s Tongue

Your cat’s tongue is the perfect tool to aid in eating, grooming and maintaining general health. Unlike your tongue which is relatively smooth, your cat’s tongue is covered with little barbs called papillae. These are stiff spines that curve backwards to snare hair and bits of food.If you’ve ever been licked by your cat, you know the feeling of their rough, dry tongue. This is because the spines are covered in keratin – the same substance your nails are made of. No wonder it can get quite painful when your cat keeps licking you on the same spot.Cats are particular about grooming because in the wild, any trace of scent from their food is an invitation to other predators. When grooming, the papillae collect all the bits of food and loose hair. Once something such as a bit of food or hair is snagged on the barbs, it is difficult for a cat to release it from his mouth.

Why Do Cats Stick Their Tongue Out

Think about when you get a hair in your mouth. You can use your lips (or your hands) to remove it, but a cat’s paws don’t help much in this department. A cat’s tongue is designed to pull food and hair back into the mouth. The tongue doesn’t allow a cat to spit anything out. They can only swallow and this is why they get hair balls.If your cat is trying to loosen something unsavory or uncomfortable from his mouth, you may see him darting his tongue in and out. But why do cats stick their tongues out sometimes for seemingly no reason?

Cats sticking out their tongues randomly

Your cat stops in the middle of what she’s doing and stares into space. Her tongue sticks out and maybe she has a grimace on her face. This usually lasts just a few seconds and doesn’t seem to faze the cat at all. Then, when it’s all over, she forgets to pull the tongue right back in and you get that cute blep.There is actually a good scientific explanation for this goofy behavior and it’s called the Flehmen response. It’s part of social behaviour in many animals and is used to pick up chemical signals. The Flehmen response happens when your kitty is curious about something – she’s busy analysing some interesting scent she’s picked up. The scent is collected in the mouth and the tongue flicks it up into a special organ called the vomeronasal organ.This action is used in nature mostly for picking up on pheromones (sex hormones) of other cats. But cats will also use it for other interesting smells – like your dirty clothes Scientists believe these chemical cues even play a part in helping cats to feel secure in their environment.

Cat Sleeping With Tongue Out

When your cat is completely relaxed, he may loosen his jaw just enough for a little tip of the tongue to stick out. In the same way you might see involuntary twitching while your cat sleeps, you might see the little tongue fall out of his mouth while he’s enjoying his shut eye. Your cat can also give you a tongue tip treat when she relaxes while you’re petting her.Cats who have flat faces, with less space in their mouths, might stick their tongues out more. Or old cats with missing teeth. A relaxed cat sticking their tongue out is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. But let’s have a look at when you should be concerned about when cats stick their tongue out.

Cat’s Tongue Sticking Out From Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common cause for cats’ drooling and having their tongue hang out. They get plaque build-up on their teeth just like we do. Eventually the plaque hardens and causes inflammation of the gum tissue and build-up of bacteria (gingivitis).The next phase is damage to the bony and soft tissue of the teeth (periodontitis). Once the bacteria get into the root of the tooth a dental abscess develops. Besides tooth decay a cat could also have a chipped tooth. All these conditions lead to painful inflammation in your cat’s mouth.When it’s uncomfortable for your cat to close his mouth, you may see him hanging out his tongue and drooling. You will see the same reaction if your cat develops feline stomatitis. With this condition a cat has inflammation and ulceration of the soft tissue of his mouth – gums, tongue, cheeks and the back of the mouth.
Symptoms of feline stomatitis include excessive drooling, inability to clean or eat, inability to close the mouth, and panting with the tongue hanging out. If you suspect that your cat’s tongue is sticking out because of problems in her mouth or teeth it’s time to visit your vet.You can prevent these conditions by taking care of your pet’s dental health. To aid kitty’s dental health, you can switch to a specially formulated dry food such as Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care, which is designed to reduce plaque and tartar. Or offer snacks of Feline Greenies Dental Cat Treats, which also serves as a breath freshener for cats!

References And Further Reading

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