Why Do Cats Blep – Uncovering the Mystery!

At some point, every cat owner has witnessed their beloved cat sticking out their tongue for no reason, a behavior known as blepping. Blepping is not exclusive to cats, as other animals also exhibit this behavior. If you’ve ever wondered why your cherished cat bleps, you’re not alone.

Cats blep to observe and evaluate their surroundings. Another main reason why a cat bleps is to breathe better. This includes loosening the tongue to allow more air in. Sometimes, blepping can indicate that your cat has dental issues, a jaw problem, or an oral cavity condition.

In this article, we will discuss and clarify 13 various factors that cause cats to blep. We will also explain why cats blep when they are asleep. Continue reading to discover all the reasons behind cats bleping.

Reasons Why Cats Blep

As a cat owner, it’s important to comprehend why your cat behaves the way it does. By understanding these reasons, you’ll be able to take better care of your cat. Let’s explore the 13 various factors that cause cats to blep.

They’re Picking Up Scents

Just like us, you might think that cats use their noses to explore their surroundings, but that’s not true. Cats actually enjoy sniffing and discovering new smells by blepping. Scientists have discovered that cats often show a Flehmen Response.

Cats breathe with their mouth open, using an organ called Jacobson’s to understand and analyze the smells left by other cats nearby.

Male cats really like doing this; they usually do it when they realize there’s a female cat in heat nearby. So, the next time you see your cat standing with his tongue out, it means he’s probably sniffing something.

Stuck Food In The Teeth

When cats are given certain yummy snacks, there’s a good chance that little bits of the snacks can get stuck in their teeth. To get rid of these bits, cats sometimes stick out their tongue and get a bit fidgety as they try to remove the stringy food from their teeth.

Next time your cat bleps, especially after you’ve given them some meat to eat, try to take a peek at their teeth if they’ll let you.

Do your best to help your cat get rid of the meat stuck in their teeth. However, if the meat is too big, contact your vet for professional help.

Your Cat Could Have Oral Or Dental Disease

One more reason why cats blep is because they could have dental issues. It’s not rare for cats to stick out their tongues when they have problems with their teeth.

The reason why cats have dental issues is because of the buildup of tartar and plaques, which can eventually cause bacterial infections in their mouth. This can also affect their gums.

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Cats stick out their tongues and drool excessively due to the pain caused by dental disease. Another oral cavity issue in cats is known as feline stomatitis or feline mouth ulcers. The following bullet list presents common symptoms of feline stomatitis:

● Halitosis

● Drooling

● Growling at food

● Weight loss

● Decreased grooming

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory issues can cause trouble for your cat when it comes to breathing properly. For instance, a cat with asthma would struggle to get sufficient oxygen.

Cats with respiratory disease compensate by sticking out their tongue and slightly opening their mouths to breathe in more air.

All cats engage in blepping, and observing your cat blep can be quite enjoyable. However, it is important to be aware of certain indications that your cat may be experiencing respiratory issues. These signs include:

● Increased heart rate

● Decreased appetite

● Not being able to maintain balance and coordination

● Excessive drooling

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to contact your vet immediately or bring your cat to the nearest animal hospital for the right medical treatment.

They Experienced A New Taste

When you introduce your cat to a new flavor by switching up its food, it can feel quite strange for them. This is because cats are creatures of habit and are very familiar with their daily routine.

The daily routine of cats includes the type of food they eat. If you suddenly change their food to something completely different, it might take them some time to adjust to the new taste.

If your cat is adjusting to this change, they might start blepping more frequently. To prevent this, it’s recommended to gradually mix the old and new food together.

They’re Relaxed

Cats have something in common with humans – when they’re feeling chill and about to doze off, it’s pretty normal for them to stick out their tongue, sometimes letting it hang to the side of their mouth.

Some cat breeds, like the Persian and flat-faced breeds, are more likely to blep while sleeping due to the way their faces are structured.

Cats have limited space in their mouth due to their facial structure, which restricts the movement of their tongue. As a result, they enjoy sticking their tongue out frequently. If a cat has missing teeth, they are more likely to engage in this behavior.

Medical Problem

If your cat bleps more than usual, it might indicate that they have some underlying health issues. Just like humans, as cats get older, their chances of developing serious medical problems increase.

One common condition that affects older cats is active dysfunction syndrome, also referred to as feline dementia by some. This disease impacts the short-term memory of cats.

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If a cat experiences this, it’s possible that they might lose track of what they were doing. A cat with dementia might unintentionally stick out their tongue for a while. There are certain indications that could suggest a cat has dementia:

● Extreme weakness

● Lack of appetite

● Confusion

● Sleeplessness


Another factor that can cause cats to blep is heatstroke. If you observe your cat panting and bleeding at the same time, it could be a strong sign that your cat is experiencing heatstroke.

Cats may also become agitated and perspire through their skin to regulate their body temperature. If you notice your cat experiencing heatstroke, it is crucial to provide immediate care.

If you notice any signs of heatstroke in your cat, it’s important to contact your vet or bring them to a nearby veterinary hospital.

● Drooling

● Collapse

● Extreme panting

● Vomiting

Travel Sickness

Cats blep because they can get travel sickness, especially if they’re not used to traveling in a plane or car. The motion of a car can make them feel sick.

Cats often stick their tongues out during a journey, but if your cat continues to do so excessively even after the journey is over, it’s important to contact your vet right away.


Sometimes, cats blep because they ate something bad and got sick. When this happens, they drool a lot and throw up. In really bad cases, they might have trouble breathing and feel dizzy.

There are many different things in the house that could make a cat sick. When cats get sick from being poisoned, two important signs to look for are drooling and throwing up. Cats can get poisoned by things like these:

● Garden pesticides

● Household cleaners

● Poisoned prey

● Contaminated food

If you think your cat has been poisoned, bring him to the closest vet hospital right away!

Hanging Tongue Syndrome

Cats blep because they have hanging tongue syndrome, which is usually caused by severe dental disease.

When a cat’s lower jaw or head gets injured, it can result in serious nerve damage that causes the blep syndrome. This syndrome is observed in cats that have gone through trauma.

Structure Of Cat’s Tongue

The tongue of cats is different from a human tongue. It has small rough and sharp structures called papillae that help them catch food.

Have you ever experienced the sensation of your cat licking you? How did it feel? We bet you felt those little sharp cells scratching against your skin. These cells are covered in keratin.

Cats stick their tongues out (blep) because they have tiny spikes on their tongue that make it feel sensitive in their mouth. When they get food on their tongue, it can be hard for them to let go of it, which is why they often end up blepping.

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Cats sticking out their tongues is a result of being easily distracted. Cats can get distracted by various things, such as birds flying in the sky or other pets.

When this occurs, the cat might be deep in thought, unaware that its tongue is protruding.

Is It Normal For Cats To Blep

It’s totally normal for cats to blep; there’s no need to be concerned. Blepping only becomes worrisome if it’s accompanied by other changes in behavior, such as drooling a lot or throwing up.

If your cat is constantly blepping, it’s something to be worried about. Blepping is a cute and enjoyable thing to see. If your cat’s blep doesn’t come with any changes in behavior, it’s best to let them be and not disturb them.

However, if your cat shows any of the signs and symptoms mentioned earlier in this article, it’s best to seek advice from your vet right away.

Why Do Cats Blep Sleeping

Cats stick their tongues out while sleeping because their jaws are relaxed. When they are in a deep sleep, their relaxed jaw causes the tip of their tongue to protrude. Breeds like Persian, Siamese, Maine Coon, Bengal, Ragdoll, Sphynx, and British Shorthair are more likely to do this.

If you see your cat blepping while sleeping, don’t worry, it’s totally normal. But if you notice any other changes in your cat’s behavior, make sure to contact your vet right away.

Things To Consider

Cats can be difficult to understand as pets. It can be tough to recognize when something is amiss with them. If you have a cat, observing their blepping behavior can help you identify any potential medical issues.

If you see your cat sticking out its tongue and drooling a lot, don’t wait to make an appointment with your vet.

If you suspect that there might be an issue with your cat, don’t attempt to fix the blepping behavior on your own.

Some cats have a fiery personality; depending on your cat’s temperament, they might even go as far as biting you. It’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your vet to conduct all the necessary check-ups and tests.

Watching cats blep is adorable; this behavior shouldn’t always be worrisome. If you have a cat, pay attention to how often they stick their tongue out.

You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:

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[Wikipedia] [Encyclopedia Britannica] [National Geographic] [cdc.gov] [Purina]

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