People always think that why do cats stick their tongue out, it is mainly the habitual activity of a cat to stick their tongues out from time to time. This behavior of the cat is very normal. So, when questions arise about why do cats stick their tongue out, one should focus on the primary behavior of the cat that is to examine and explore the surroundings with their tongue.
Cats stick their tongue out and it is quite acceptable. They mainly do this in various situations to express their moods, feelings, problems, and also to portray if they are unwell. But when cats stick out their tongues in an unusual amount accompanied with drool or blood then the cats must be taken to the doctors.
Features Of Cat’s Tongue
If people wonder why do cats stick out their tongues, then at first, they should know about some features of a cat’s tongue.
- Cat’s tongue is one of the perfect and most important tool which helps them in eating, grooming and also to maintain their health.
- Cat’s tongue is rough in nature and possesses stiff spines.
- The tongue is curved towards back in order to snare hair and several bits of foods.
- The tongue of the cat is dry as the spines are mainly covered with keratin, the same substance that is present in human nails.
- Cats tongue is modified in such a way that it enables them to pull food and hair from their mouth.
- Cat’s tongue does not allow them to spit out anything; therefore they are acquainted with hair balls.
Uses Of Cat’s Tongue
Before considering why do cats stick out their tongue, they should put focus on some basic aspects.
- Cats use their tongue to groom themselves.
- Cats readily remove food particles that get struck on their coat, so that the smell does not attract any other predators. The food particles that are removed from the coat get stuck to their tongue and therefore enter their mouth.
- The unwanted matter that enters their mouth forces the cat to stick their tongue in and out to remove the particles.
Reasons Why Cats Stick Out Their Tongues
People always have questions regarding the reasons that make cats to stick their tongue out; they should have an idea that cats stick their tongues out frequently to cool themselves.
- The Flehmen Response- Flehmen response is very much common in cats. Due to this the cats curl back the upper lips and reveal their teeth. This response is largely dependent on some other scents in that area. Due to strong smell, there occurs some change in breathing. The cats can able to identify various aspects through the scent or pheromones and can able to find out other predators nearby.
- Foods Get Stuck between the Teeth- Cats stick out their tongues repeatedly mainly after eating something or playing with toys or similar things. This tongue movement mainly throws light on the fact that some food particles got stuck in between their teeth and they want to get rid of it. Sometimes, kittens perform this repeated activity when they want to loosen out their baby tooth.
- To Taste New Things- Cats use their mouth and tongue to taste various things that are available in the environments. So, they constantly nibble and stick out their tongue.
- To Smell New Products- Whenever cats come across some new scent and want to find out its significance, they constantly keep their mouths open and also stick out the tongue.
- Variations in Breed- The flat-faced cats are comfortable to stick out their tongues to get rid from the physical problems like conjunctivitis, respiratory problems. Since this flat-faced cats salivate all the time which led them to stick out their tongues.
- Bad Taste of the Food- If cats get any bad taste food; they constantly stick out their tongues. They want to get rid of that particular food item.
- Hot Temperatures- Due to overheating cats repeatedly stick out their tongues. Cats receive cooling effects from their foot pads and tongues. They mainly perform this behaviour to regulate the body temperature. It is very predominant very hot and humid conditions.
Different Situations When Cats Stick Out Their Tongues
It is very common when one wants to know does cats stick their tongue out due to different situations. Obviously, cats stick out their tongues in various situations in order to get comfort, relaxation, and also to express their feelings towards others.
- At the Time of Relaxation- When cats are in a mood to relax and enjoy that situation, they stick out their tongue. In the relaxed condition, their body becomes loose which in turn loosen the jaws also. When the jaws are relaxed and loose, which paves the way for the cats to stick out their tongue.
- During Sleep- Cat sleeping with tongue out is a common scenario. Cats also look very cute in this position. Sleeping also makes cats relaxed. When cats are in deep sleep their jaws are loose and their tongue stick out under the force of gravity.
Sometimes during sleep, they stick out their tongue to cool their body as they can’t sweat. During sleep, they also use their tongue as a medium to breathe.
- When People Scratch Them- People think why do cats stick out their tongue when you scratch them. It is because they feel happy and comfort. Scratching at the right position of their body enables to release hormones throughout their body. The cats stick out their tongue to show positive response to the people.
- During Travel- People who have doubts with why do cats stick out their tongue out while travelling, it is mainly at the time of travel they get relaxed and also becomes excited to see various elements of nature. Cats also get enough time to groom itself and therefore it makes them more satisfied. During travel they fulfil their inner desire to explore the surroundings.
Physical Conditions For Which Cat Stick Out Their Tongue
In many cases, cats sticking their tongue out due to problematic health conditions. When cats are unwell they stick out their tongue to draw the attention of the person who takes care of them. Sometimes, cat is drooling and licking frequently, which indicates that the cat is not fit.
1. Periodontal Disease- When cat stick out their tongue and drool is produced uninterruptedly, it shows that there is some problem in the mouth. This means that cats tongue sticking out due to periodontal disease. It is a bacterial infection due to poor dental hygiene. Infections, tooth decay or broken tooth is very painful which produce constant drool.
2. Feline Stomatitis- It is also a dental issue where painful ulcers are formed inside the cat’s mouth, throat, gums and tongue.
- Problem in closing mouth.
- Too much drool.
- Sticking out the tongue.
- Difficulty in eating and grooming.
3. Poisoning- Cats sticking tongue out as a symptom of poisoning. It occurs when it comes in contact with poisonous pesticides, fertilisers and household cleaners. It causes too much drooling along with vomiting, cause breathing problem and therefore sticks out their tongue.
4. Respiratory Infection- Cats sticking their tongue out due to respiratory infections that mainly includes nose, throat or sinus infections. It causes trouble to breath, lack of balance, excessive drool and the tongue will stick out to breath.
5. Motion Sickness- Although cats enjoy travelling, but sometimes they drool too much due to motion sickness. It occurs due fear, unfamiliar surroundings and therefore stick out its tongue.
6. Calicivirus- It is a viral disease that affects cat of any age. This virus is responsible for causing upper respiratory infections, ulcers for tongue, mouth and gums.
7. Heatstroke- Extreme hot environment and lack of fresh, clean water can cause heatstroke. Cats stick out their tongue to regulate their body temperature. Tongue becomes red due to hot.
Interesting Facts On Cat’s Tongue
After coming across various reasons, situations, and health problems that force cats to stick out their tongue, it is essential to know several cat tongue facts also.
- Cats do not possess any sweet taste buds.
- Cats lick for self-grooming and also to show bonding as well as affection.
- Cats utilise their strong papillae or tongues’ barb in order to remove the meat, hair from their prey.
- The barbs or stiff spines are hard due to the presence of sharp keratin shield.
- The tongue is the survival element of a cat.
- At the time of drinking water, cats flip their tongue at a very high speed of 4 times per second.