Cats are undeniably intriguing creatures, and it’s why they’re one of the world’s most beloved pets. They can be incredibly responsive and adopt human-like behaviors if we let them, which can be both fascinating and amusing. One of the most common cat habits is sticking out its tongue, but why is this?
Your cat has a few likely explanations for sticking its tongue out. The most common reason is a sign of contentment and pleasure. In response to something like a massage, a pleasant meal, or even just a few scratches, cats may knead their paws, purr, and stick out their tongue. Just like humans smile when happy, cats stick their tongues out for a similar pleasure response.
Your cat could also be showing signs of distress and pain. If your cat’s tongue protrudes, watch for additional signs and symptoms that may include a look of pain in your cat’s eyes, vocal disruption, abnormal body posture, and a lack of appetite. In this situation, your cat may be suffering from a medical issue, disease, or infection and you should contact your veterinarian right away.
Finally, it’s possible your cat may be trying to cool itself down. Its tongue, known as a “pant tongue,” will help to evaporate the saliva, which in turn cools the body. If this is the case, especially when accompanied by flattened ears, it’s likely your cat is feeling too hot and needs to take a break in a cool spot.
Though it can be a funny and entertaining behavior, it’s important to understand why your cat is sticking out its tongue. By understanding the behavior, you are better able to determine how to respond and, more importantly, whether your cat needs medical attention.
Cats demonstrate a range of behaviors to communicate with their owners, from affectionate purring, to scratching furniture when they are angry. One of the strangest of these behaviors is when cats stick their tongues out. There are several potential explanations for why cats might stick their tongues out, but in most cases the behavior is relatively harmless.
Cats may stick out their tongue as a way to clean themselves. Cats possess a special organ in their mouth called a “Jacobson’s organ” which helps them smell and taste more effectively. When a cat sticks out its tongue, it helps draw in odors that help the cat analyze the scent better.
Another potential explanation for a cat sticking its tongue out is because it is feeling ill. Cats may stick out their tongues if they have an upset stomach or are feeling nauseous. If your cat is showing this behavior, it is best to consult a veterinarian and have your cat checked for any medical issues.
Finally, a cat may stick its tongue out if it feels comfortable and relaxed in its environment. As cats get older, their behavior may become more human-like. This is seen in cats lying on their backs and sticking their tongues out as a sign of contentment and comfort.
In most cases, a cat sticking its tongue out is normal behavior and typically occurs for one of the reasons outlined above. However, if the behavior changes or your cat begins to show other signs of distress, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order.