Why Do Cats Stick Out Their Tongue? Know the Interesting Truth Here!

Why do cats
stick out their tongue?

Updated on

Maybe you find it cute but at the same time troublesome seeing your feline with their tongue out. Is it healthy? What does it really imply? From cats sticking their tongues when they sleep to cats sticking their tongues out when you scratch them, learn the key reasons straight from here!

Why do cats stick out their tongue is one of the common questions you will hear among pet owners. Cats definitely look adorable with those little pink tongues out, but you may also wonder what she is doing or if she is really fine.

Today, we will discover why do cats stick out their tongue when they sleep and when you scratch them, plus the underlying symptoms why they continuously do this peculiar behavior.


Why do cats stick out their tongues when they sleep?

orange sleeping cat

If you see your little furry friend sticking her tongue out while sleeping, you have nothing to worry about. It is actually a common sight and behavior.

He doesn't even realize he is doing it.

He gets into a deep sleep, and his tongue muscles relax, which causes his tongue to stick out. So, the next time you see your cats or kittens soundly sleeping with tongue out, snap a picture of them!

Why do cats stick their tongue out when you scratch them?

Have you ever wondered why some felines stick out their tongue when you scratch them? He may be doing a similar behavior, and you've never actually thought about it.

As we know, cats communicate non-verbally. Although they are a type of animal that does not always prefer a family group, they still remember being a cat and living in a group of family. Most of them never mature that stage of the family quickly and see us as parents, siblings, or friends.

This is behavior is what we call mutual grooming. It is a sign of affection that makes family relationships stronger in the best interests of both contributors. The act of sticking out their tongue once you scratch any part of their body promotes a release of positive hormones for the felines.

There is actually no specific reason why cats react this way to the people's touch, but according to studies, it is definitely a good sign. It serves as the cat's positive response to an action of person very familiar to them - someone they can invest their trust in and show their vulnerability.

Cat Sticking Tongue Out Symptom

Aside from a relaxed, deep sleep and good feeling when you scratch them, various reasons are also presented as to why they tend always to stick their tongue out.

Let's expose them one by one


It is not only about when they sleep that causes their tongue to stick out. As long as your feline is happy, his muscles relax which include his facial muscles. If you notice him showing any signs of relaxation and pleasure, twitching his skin, purring, or rubbing on you, have the peace of mind that his adorable little tongue poking out at you is totally normal. Their silly and funny look really makes my day!

Fiddling with texture and taste

Fiddling with the texture of a bit stuck in his mouth is another common reason why they stick their tongue out. Some professionals point out that cats have a strong preference both for the texture and taste. Your feline may be fiddling with some foreign object particles, hair, or others that may cause him to stick his tongue repeatedly.

Grooming tool

why do cats stick out their tongue

Almost 1/3 of the cat's life is spent grooming. They usually extend their tongue out to get rid of loose hair or brush their fur. Sometimes, you will notice they stop licking their cover for a moment and forget to pull back their tongue.

Flehmen reaction

Is your feline pubescent or juvenile? Then, chances of her tongue hanging out are quite high due to Flehmen response. When we say Flehmen response, it is also known as Flehmening or lip curl where the cat shows its fangs through bending his upper lip and respiring through the nostrils.

When the cat performs the Flehmen response, he is most likely evaluating a particular smell and showing an amusing and funny look. Both tomcats and female cats or queens execute a Flehmen reaction.

Stuck food

Food stuck between the teeth of a feline can lead him to stick his tongue repeatedly. It is advised not to disregard the dental hygiene of your cat because it can result in a variety of health concerns. Apart from that, it can cause some serious reasons for the feline to stick his tongue out.

Loosened jaw

This is another common reason, especially while your furry friend is sleeping or have been sedated. It is normal for a person to open his mouth during his sleep, the same goes for the cat mainly because their body is very relaxed. This will cause their jaw to loosen.

Teething problems

Have recently brought a new kitten in your home? Then, one possible reason why she tends to stick her tongue out is that she is teething. It is the incisors or front teeth that initially show up, and their tongue could keep overhanging specifically when they are sleeping or resting. Besides, teething could also lead her to stimulate her to chomp objects or drool.


A cat may suffer from heatstroke if he is exposed to too much heat or left in a hot area without water accessibility. As a result, he may also require sticking his tongue out. In order to avoid such situation, make sure your furry friend has easy access to fresh water and shade.

Medical issues

If you think none of these symptoms causes your cat to jut out his tongue more often, then it may be due to some medical concerns. It might be that he finds it difficult closing his mouth or lips probably because of an injury or wound he might be suffering from breathing issues.

In some cases, an old cat also tends to hang their tongue if he is going through pain as a result of dental issues.


So, now it is clear to you why cats stick out their tongue. A feline with his tongue hanging while sleeping or scratching him is a normal situation that doesn't need medical concern. But if you notice the symptom is different, you should immediately call a local vet.

Make sure your cat receives proper care and the best cat food, like soulistic cat food, and give him some treats such as honey and almond milk to keep a happy, healthy body.

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