cat sticking tongue out

Is The Tongue Of Your Pet Cat Sticking Out?

Is your pet cat sticking tongue out? If you have a penchant for domesticated felines, you might be aware that cats are particularly finicky about grooming themselves. As a matter of fact, they devote nearly a third of their active lifespan sprucing themselves up. If you care to notice, you’ll catch your furry friend brushing and tidying out her coat with her tongue, and more often than not, leaves it hanging or sticking as an oversight.



Sometimes, the tongue could slip out accidentally while she’s asleep making her look somewhat ridiculous yet cute enough. However, if you frequently espy your kitty with her tongue hanging out, then it could be indicative of dental or oral disease or even kidney failure. To set your doubts to rest, take your pet to the local vet as early as possible.

Possible Causes Why A Cat Sticks Tongue Out


Yours gorgeous and charming cat sticking tongue out recurrently could have you speculating on whether to freeze the moments permanently with a camera or rush to the vet with her. If this funny and erratic behavior happens occasionally, then there’s nothing to be alarmed about as this aberrant demeanor is quite normal with cats. It is only when the sticking out act occurs recurrently that there is cause for concern.

Following are some of the likely reasons or causes why your feline companion keeps sticking her tongue out:


Teething Issues

In case you have brought home a kitten for domesticating her quite recently, then it could be taken for granted that she is yet to grow her teeth. Cats are quite prone to having teething issues, very much like human babies. So, your kitty’s tongue might protrude voluntarily which is an indication that she is experiencing teething problems as her incisors are yet to appear and in the formative stage.

It is the front teeth or incisors that show up first, and till they appear, the tongue might keep jutting out, particularly when she is resting or sleeping. Teething might also cause her to drool or stimulate her to bite or chew objects.


Feeling at Home

Your cat is most likely to stick her tongue out when she is ecstatic and feeling at home which could cause her facial muscles to relax as a result of which her tongue could hang out and remain lightly pursed between her lips. Feeling relaxed is the primary cause behind cats’ sticking their tongues out. Your cat licking you all over and rubbing her body against yours are crystal clear signs that she is perfectly at ease. The cat’s tongue could stick out instinctively when or whenever she feels comfortable and relaxed.


Flehmen Response

If your cat is a juvenile or pubescent, her tongue could be hanging out because of Flehmen response. And what exactly is the Flehmen response? Flehmen response also known variously as Flehmening, Flehmen reaction or lip-curl is a conduct in which the animal reveals its incisors by bending the upper lip and respires through the nostrils that remain closed, holding on to this stance for a short while.

Flehmen response in which the mouth stays ajar for several seconds is a trait observed not only in cats but also in giraffes, tigers, rhinos, horses, llamas, elks, rams, zebras, goats, tapirs, and other animals. When your pet feline executes the Flehmen reaction she is most probably investigating a smell and sports a funny and comical look. So, whenever your furry mate puts a face on that appears repulsive and which irritates you, then you can deduce that she is essentially trying to pick up the scents of other cats in her immediate vicinity, especially tomcats.

Both queens (female cats) and tomcats demonstrate Flehmen response.


Medical Problems

Nevertheless, in some cases, your house cat could be putting out her tongue because she’s sick or suffering from some disease. It could be that she is having difficulty closing her lips or mouth, probably due to a wound or injury or she could be experiencing breathing problems. She may put her tongue if something is stuck in her throat or mouth or due to a sore throat.

In case, your cat is very aged, she’ll have the tendency to stick out her tongue if she is undergoing pain due to dental disease. If her dental infection is at an advanced stage, she’ll be putting up with excruciating pain in the mouth causing her to position her tongue anomalously. The chronic oral pain may also cause her to drool owing to the continuous irritation inside the mouth.


There could be a buildup of excess tartar or plaque in the teeth of older cats leading to dental or gum infection causing stinging pain and irritation. Aged felines might also have issues pertaining to tooth root as well as suffer from mouth ulcers which could affect her appetite as well as prevent her from eating or drinking normally.

Though quite rare, the sticking out of tongue, lack of appetite, and drooling could be suggestive of an infectious disease like rabies or distemper or some neurological disorder. If the cat is incapacitated owing to distemper or rabies, the usual symptoms will be photophobia, vomiting, catarrh, fever, and lethargy. The cat will be vulnerable to such transmittable and contagious diseases if she has not been vaccinated.

Then again, the cat will want to put out her tongue if she is suffering from kidney disease. Her kidneys could malfunction because of many reasons and one of the most conspicuous signs that her kidneys are functioning is the presence of blood in the urine. Kidney failure could cause gum sores or ulcers as well as boils on the lips and tongue.

So as to get relief from the pain caused by the symptoms of the disease, the cat might feel the urge to stick tongue out and keep mouth open.


So, now you know the possible reasons why the cat sticks her tongue out. If you observe the slightest sign of any abnormality in such a behavior, you should contact the local vet as soon as possible.

Sarah Keene

I’m Sarah Keene, and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I love cats so much; I consider myself a cat woman. I have 5 cats at the moment, and I am planning to grow my cat family. It is not easy to take care of these cats appropriately though I would wish to make them feel as comfortable as possible. This is why I depend on other blogging cat lovers like me to help me in providing all the necessities for my cats to have the best life possible.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: