The urge to touch a cat’s tongue sticking out is unbearable. It’s just so cute! There have been moments when you found the perfect opportunity to touch your cat’s tongue. But you missed it! Besides that, have you ever thought about why cats stick their tongue out? Are there any fun facts or health issues associated with it?
Well, just like you, we got curious. So curious that we decided to research and write about it. Now, this article will help you get all the information.
Cats are weird, adorable, and mysterious. Sometimes they decide to love you and sometimes they won’t be interested in you. Cats do many adorably goofy and odd things that can create chaos or give us a chuckle.
Most cat owners are mainly curious about their cats sticking their tongues out. So let’s end your curiosity!
We present to you 11 reasons why cats stick their tongue out.
11 Reasons Why Cats Stick Their Tongue Out
Reason 1: Your cat has loose fur on their tongue
We all know cats groom themselves, and they do it a lot. They have textured tongues because of backward hook-like structures that they use to pick up food, drink water, and groom themselves. So, it’s a definite possibility that your cat has fur stuck to its tongue, and they might think it will come off if they stick it out.
Reason 2: Your cat is missing a tooth
Don’t be alarmed, but yes, your cat can lose their teeth due to biting something too hard. It usually isn’t a problem, but your cat’s tongue can hang outside if this happens. The canine teeth help to keep the tongue inside. So if you see your cat’s tongue slipping out, it could be a reason.
Reason 3: Your cats have become investigators
Cats are naturally curious animals, and they are your investigators. Are you smelling a weird scent? No problem. Mr. Kittens will investigate it. Your cat will whiff the smell, make a funny face and stick its tongue out. It’s called the “Flehmen response,” which helps them receive the scent to their Jacobson’s organ where they can taste and smell. It’s impressive that they can smell the air!
Reason 4: Your cat is sleeping
Like all of us, when cats are in a deep sleep, their muscles go into a complete state of relaxation, which can cause their tongue to stick out. You can also find them drooling at that time. If you find your cat sleeping with its tongue out, don’t worry; they are relaxed and enjoying the sleep. Admire the cuteness as much as you can before they wake up!
Reason 5: Your cat is thirsty or tired
It’s a hot day, and your cat has been extra active with their zoomies. They have been playing and running for a long time. You notice after a while that their tongue is hanging out. Well, this happens due to thirst and heat.
Usually, in warm weather, you’ll see your cat panting, sticking its tongue out. Be sure to provide enough cool water to drink to avoid any heatstrokes.
Reason 6: Your cat is “Bleeping”
You sure have experienced your cat bleeping even if you didn’t know what it was called. Let us explain!
It is bleeping whenever you see your cat’s tongue casually poking out. We think your cats don’t even know when they are doing this. It can happen even without their knowledge. It’s adorable but weird!
You must be thinking: why do cats blep? Well, we did find some reasons for it. Let’s have a look.
- They were grooming themselves and got startled. It made them forget to put their tongue back in.
- They smelled something unfamiliar and stuck their tongue out to smell. Now a small part of their tongue is peeking out.
- Your cat has dementia and often forgets to put its tongue back in. If you see your cat sticking their tongue out longer than usual, you may want to contact a vet to get them checked.
Reason 7: Your cat’s breed is susceptible to sticking its tongue out
Brachycephalic is a typical case for cat breeds with a small snout, smooshy, and flat face. Like some dog breeds, cat breeds like Persian, Burmese, and Himalayan have brachycephalic. Due to having a small jaw, their tongue doesn’t remain contained in their mouth, which causes it to stick out. Don’t worry. They still look adorable!
Reason 8: Your cat feels nauseous
If you are a cat owner, there’s no doubt that you have cleaned up your cat’s vomit. Cats often get nauseous due to eating too fast or because of hairballs. And before they vomit, you’ll see them sticking their tongue out or flickering.
Here are some reasons why your cat is vomiting:
- Eating late
- Eating a little too fast
- Eating something indigestible
- Change in their diet
- Motion sickness
- Having certain medications
If your pet cat is vomiting continuously, you should better see a veterinary doctor as soon as possible.
Reason 9: Your cat has neurological issues
Neurological diseases can make your pet’s tongue stick out, but it is also associated with other abnormal behaviors.
Such an uncommon but serious neurological illness is Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome. The symptoms to notice are that your cat is sticking its tongue out repeatedly, abnormal licking motions, and aggressive paw licking to the point they injure themselves. There’s nothing to be scared of because the illness is concentrated on a specific cat breed, the Burmese Cats.
Reason 10: Your cat has respiratory inflammation or blockage
If your cat is gasping for air, don’t wait and visit a doctor quickly. They may be choking or having respiratory issues. If you don’t pay attention, it can also lead to respiratory infection.
Another disease to look out for is Stomatitis. It occurs in cats of any age. Inflammation, ulcers, blue and painful gums, and a sore tongue are the signs of Stomatitis. It can be a common virus that damages the immune system or causes bad teeth. To relieve their pain, they usually stick their tongues out.
Reason 11: Your cat is trying to impress you
Yes, cats may be arrogant, but they also try to please you differently. Bleeping is the most efficient way for them to please you and get a cat treat.
Cats are smart and can easily identify what makes you give them pets, food, treats, and playtime. If you had given them a treat or petted them when they bleeped, be sure they have probably figured out the tactic.
Now, if you see your cats bleeping, they may be wanting your attention or asking for some cat treats.
You may also like: Why Does My Cat Stare At Me?
Enjoy the Moment
Now that you know why your cat sticks their tongue out, you can look out to savor the short but cute moments of bleeping. But don’t forget to check for any symptoms of diseases so that your loving cat stays healthy.
Wait! We almost forgot. We have a surprise read for you—a little bonus fact.
When a cat licks their upper and bottom lips with longer tongue actions, be happy that they are enjoying its food.
But if you see your cat flicking their tongues with short tongue actions, they may not like the food or the smell of it.
I am Dana McQueen, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment.