Cats sometimes have very strange behaviors that can seem both funny and bizarre. One of its behaviors is when the cat sticks out its tongue without there being any visible causes.

This can happen when he is sleeping, resting or walking. But do you know why your cat sticks its tongue out?

There are many reasons behind a cat sticking its tongue out, some are completely natural while others may indicate a health issue that has not been diagnosed.

So let’s take a look at all the reasons why a cat sticks its tongue out.

Cat sticking out its tongue: The different normal reasons

To begin, we will see the normal causes of tongue pulling in cats. Don’t panic, these are completely natural.

They have something in their mouth

Cats can have their tongue hanging out because they have a taste or texture that is stuck in their mouth. Felines have a preference for the taste and texture of food and may like to keep the texture or taste in their mouths. A cat can then stick out its tongue for a long time to keep it in the mouth as long as possible.

Their jaw is relaxed

This often happens when they are sleeping. A loose-jawed cat will stick out its tongue and this happens even more so for those who have just been sedated. Just as a person may open their mouth while sleeping, your cat may be relaxed to the point where their jaw fully relaxes and their tongue hangs out.

If he sleeps next to you so much that his tongue falls out, it’s a sign that he trusts you so much that he’s not on his guard anymore when he sleeps. He abandons this predatory behavior.

He feels good

Often the cat sticks its tongue out when you stroke it and this is completely normal. He is totally relaxed. He associates this moment with a moment of deep well-being. It sometimes reminds them of their youth when their mother took care of them. He may even purr and put his paws in the air if he feels totally comfortable with you.

cat sticking out its tongue

My cat sticks its tongue out: Worrying situations

If your feline is sticking out its tongue, it could be something more concerning. Here are the main causes that justify a trip to the veterinarian or quick action if possible.

Dental problems

Besides stuck food particles, other dental issues can cause a cat to stick out their tongue, such as an unpleasant taste caused by gum disease, abscesses, tooth decay.


Older cats can suffer from dementia and one of the signs is an inability to stick out the tongue. This is not necessarily inevitable and can be treated at the veterinarian or, failing that, can allow you to take some measures to make your life easier.

Infections and inflammations

Infections and inflammations can cause your cat to stick out their tongue and need to be treated so they don’t get worse.


This health problem, in addition to forcing the cat to stick out its tongue, can cause it to drool, lose its appetite and pant painfully.

If in doubt, take him to the veterinarian so that he can take the necessary measures. It is better to be preventive in order to eliminate the risk as quickly as possible.

A heat stroke

It may seem harmless, but if your cat is exposed to heat without access to water it can become dangerous even if cats are homeothermic and body heat does not vary much.

If he sticks his tongue out, quickly give him water before his health is in danger.

Be especially careful if it is an obese cat or a long-haired breed that is more sensitive to heat.

my cat sticks its tongue out


Cats often come into contact with toxic substances (pesticides, household cleaners, etc.) which attack the cat or even poison it. Your cat may even start drooling . Make sure that these substances no longer reach them and that they are completely out of danger to avoid possible complications.

The stress

Beware of a stressed cat, such as during transport for example, because it can stick out its tongue, drool and pant, try to reassure it because the acceleration of breathing forces it to stick out its tongue and it must be relaxed.

In case of change, make him feel at home because cats are territorial animals that hate change. Either way, go to the vet.

Difficulty in breathing

If your cat is breathing poorly, he will stick out his tongue for a long time and often during the day. He either has a problem with his lungs or larynx or he has swallowed an object that does not allow him to breathe properly and he will generally breathe heavily.

He wants to vomit

A cat that vomits or feels like vomiting regularly has a health problem. The fact that he sticks out his tongue shows that he is trying to vomit, you can check this because he is generally in pain and it shows on his face.

What to know about cat languages

Now that you know the most common reasons, here’s everything there is to know about cat tongue.

  • They don’t have taste buds to like sweets and should never be fed sweet food.

  • Licking between cats is not only hygienic but above all a bonding experience for cats . It’s called social grooming.

  • Cats use their tongue to remove meat from the bones of their prey. Their language is extremely strong.

  • Their tongue is rough, covered in a sheath of sharp keratin , hence their sandpaper-like appearance.

  • It helps them to survive  : Cleaning themselves allows them in the wild to clean up odor traces to stay safe. Even domesticated, this wild instinct survives.

  • When they drink, their tongue flips 4 times per second and creates a flow of water between the cat’s mouth and the water source.

  • It is an essential organ : The cat’s tongue is used for many things, drinking, eating and even cleaning. But also to communicate when it meows. Finally, it promotes the thermoregulation of their body.

Cat sticking out its tongue: Special cases

There are many special cases on this point. Here are the main ones:

Cat sticking out its tongue and breathing hard

Pronounced breathing is often a sign of deeper pathologies and could lead to poor breathing, hence the fact that he breathes harder. For safety, go to your veterinarian to avoid any risk of complications that can be fatal.

Cat sticking out its tongue and drooling

He probably suffers from oral problems, either with the teeth or the gums. Check to see if those gums are red or if he has a sore. Also, a medical appointment is necessary.

Cat sticking out its tongue and stress

Stress can cause the cat to stick out its tongue to allow it to breathe better. A cat often stresses out when there is change, such as a move. You can calm him down easily with pheromones that emit a soothing scent for him. Playing with him is also a good way to calm him down.

Cat sticking out its tongue while sleeping

It’s normal, your cat has simply fallen asleep with his tongue out, a sign that he is in a deep sleep and that he is totally relaxed.

Cat sticking out tongue in car

If your cat sticks out its tongue in the car, it’s because it’s stressed. Cats hate car journeys and it worries them a lot. It is therefore recommended to appease them with the pheromones we have talked about and to reassure them during transport.

Cat sticking out its tongue all the time

Your cat has an oral problem that needs to be treated by the veterinarian so that it can pass more quickly and that it does not get worse.

Cat sticking out its tongue

Good news, a cat that sticks out its tongue a little is not abnormal, a disease or a problem is always linked to a deployed tongue and not just a single tip. Rest assured, your cat is not in pain.

Cat sticking out its tongue like a dog

Again, this is an oral problem that must be treated by a professional.

Cat sticking out its tongue when scratching its back

When you scratch your cat, it releases positive hormones that relax it deeply and cats sometimes stick their tongue out as a sign of deep relaxation.

Cat sticking out its tongue and heat

Your cat feels hot and seeks to breathe more air and cool down. This occurs mainly in summer and affects outdoor cats more. You can provide him with fresh water so that he can cool off more easily and avoid dehydration.

Cat sticking out its tongue for oral problems: what to do?

In case of problems, several natural solutions exist, but go to the veterinarian if the problem persists.

Toothpaste for cats

If your cat has these issues, you can start by using cat toothpaste and brushing her teeth. Do you think it’s mission impossible? Don’t worry, these toothpastes have a taste of liver that will make him love it. You can already put some on your finger and let him taste it so that he becomes familiar with it.

This will allow him to have good oral hygiene as long as it is done every day, but always with toothpaste for cats, that for humans being toxic to him. This is the simplest solution to achieve

Mouth cleaning

Take a compress soaked in boiled water and sea salt and clean the cat’s gums with it. This will sanitize the area to prevent the situation from getting worse. Avoid giving him treats so as not to aggravate the situation. The area must remain as healthy as possible if you want to allow healing or at least an alleviation of symptoms.


Take advice from your pharmacist to find the most suitable homeopathic treatment for your cat.


The aloe gel will see helps to heal and provide an anti-inflammatory action, you can put it directly in the cat food. Many solutions exist with plants, such as Aloe Vera Gel, blackcurrant, lemon balm or licorice.

Food supplements

Those rich in lysine and other amino acids and vitamin B will help boost his immune system so he can fight the problem.

Essential oils

Essential oils can be applied to the painful area to boost immunity and cleanse the area. Clove and saturated thyme are your best bets.

Go to the vet if the problem persists

If your cat sticks out its tongue and seems to be sick and the situation persists, you should take it to the veterinarian who will prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatories.

Prepare to answer the following questions:

  • Since when does he stick his tongue out?
  • When does it?
  • Does it in specific situations?
  • Are there any associated symptoms?

You can take your cat on video when it sticks out its tongue so that the veterinarian can get a clear idea of ​​its problem, this will allow it to refine its diagnosis and provide you with the best solution.

Cat sticking out its tongue: The final word

If your cat sticks its tongue regularly, be careful, there may be an underlying problem, but in the majority of cases it is completely normal and associated with the well-being of the animal. The main thing is to always check that there is no strange behavior in the cat that could reveal a deeper problem causing it to stick out its tongue.