why does my cat keep her mouth open

Originally published May 5, 2016
Caymus after smelling Trigg s butt. Gross. April 17, 2010 My childhood, Rags used leave his mouth open after he would smell things quite frequently, and I came to hate it because it was often after smelling urine or another cat s butt. В But, when I found out what he was doing, I thought it was pretty rad. You knowВ what I am talking about where they leave their mouth slightly open and then sort of daze off for a second and then lick their nose and close their mouth again? Last week, I ran across the street to a neighbor s house to grab their recycle bin that had been at the curb for a few days I figured they were out of town, so I put the bin behind their house and came back home. В When I came back home, Charlie would not stop smelling me and I Caymus still taking it in. April 17, 2010 couldn t figure out why until later when I had stopped by my parents house and Caymus couldn t leave me alone either Caymus never shows attention like that, so I knew I had something on me. В Came to find out that the recycle bin had been sprayed by a male cat and I had the smell of urine on my pants LOVELY. So when I came home, I immediately changed out of my pants and had Charlie and Trigg give them a good whiff, so that I could get a photo for this post! There s a fantastic website called, that lays this out more in detail and that s where I got this information.


The act of opening the mouth and drawing up the air to the Jacobson s organ is called the flehmen reaction. Essentially, the cat is opening her mouth to suck in the air into the Jacobson s organ and take a really deep sniff of the odor. ThisВ special sensory organ called the vomeronasal organ or Jacobson s organ allows a cat to have 14 times the sense of smell of a human. В The Jacobson s organ which consists of two fluid-filled sacs that connect to the cat s nasal cavityВ is located on the roof of their mouth behind their teeth. The reason they look dazed for a second or two is because they can learn a lot of information about their surroundings through their sense of smell. They mark territory using the scent glands on their cheeks and paws. The glands secrete pheromones, which are chemical substances that stimulate a behavioral response, such as an avoidance or aggressive reaction. Pheromones are also found in saliva, feces, and urine. When cats spray it s another way they are marking territory. Have you caught your kitty with his or her mouth open? В What were they smelling when you did? В Or did you know what they were smelling? Why Do Cats Leave Their Mouths Open After Smelling? 26 January, 2018 Cats are such funny, interesting pets and they do so many things that entertain us. б WhatБs better than seeing your cat jump like an acrobat, roll on her back with her arms up or just give you that meaningful stare! б One of the most adorable and perplexing expressions is when your cat leaves her mouth open after smelling something.


The actual act is called the Бflehmen recationБ and occurs when your catБs mouth opens to draw air to the JacobsonБs organ. Cats open their mouths to investigate their surroundings Cats often keep their mouths hanging open to help them check out their surroundings. When cats discover an interesting scent, they open their mouths to try to identify the aroma. The cat wrinkles her nose and her upper lip pulls back, creating a funny face. As your cat considers the scent, she sucks in air and transfers it to a JacobsonБs organ, also known as the vomeronasal sac, which is behind the teeth in the roof of a catБs mouth. This organ processes the scents and sends signals to the brain. The inquiring sniffs or smells are usually territorial related The intriguing smells are usually related to territoriality issues such as cats smelling urine marks left by other cats. They also kick into gear when a female cat in heat leaves scents in an area.


Male cats are more likely to display flehmen, but mother cats depend on it to keep track of their kittens. The behavior may also be used to distinguish certain food they love or even catnip! As catsБ process the smell, they look dazed as they take in all sorts of information The reason cats look dazed for a second or two, after taking in the smell, is because they can learn a lot of information about their surroundings. They mark territory using the scent glands on their cheeks and paws. The glands secrete pheromones, which are chemical substances that stimulate a behavioral response, such as an avoidance or even an aggressive reaction. When cats БsprayБ itБs another way they are marking their territory. Cats arenБt alone in investigating with their mouths Other species perform similar acts to the flehmen, including snakes that stick their tongues out to explore their environment and elephants that reach out with their trunks. The behavior is supposedly enjoyable for mammals and some seem to go into a trance-like state during the process. So now you know! б The next time you see your cat with her mouth hanging open, look around to see if you can figure out what your cat is smelling. Want more articles about funny cat traits?! б Then fill out this form and we ll send you our best!

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