Why does my cat stick out his tongue? On Pets And Tricks

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Most cat owners have a funny photo of their feline friend totally relaxed, tongue dangling from his mouth. While an outstretched tongue is normally a harmless—and adorable—feline quirk, any pet that’s taken to sticking out his tongue constantly is likely suffering from an injury or breathing issue that’s preventing him from closing his mouth.
 
Cats spend up to one-third of their lives bathing, so it’s no surprise they often have their tongues out. Cats’ tongues have stiff, backward-facing spines known as papillae that form a rough surface ideal for removing loose hair. Though most cats groom with laser-sharp focus, it’s not uncommon for felines to get distracted mid-lick. This leaves Kitty in a compromised position with his tongue dangling for several seconds. Likewise, cats can get so relaxed while resting or sleeping that their mouths hang open slightly, allowing your pet’s tongue to dangle in a comical, but completely healthy, way.
 
Problems arise when cats leave their tongues out constantly. This can signal a medical issue, as it’s likely your pet is sticking out his tongue due to an injury, breathing issue or other ailment that’s preventing him from closing his mouth. Feline periodontal disease, including inflammatory conditions such as gingivitis, is more common than many pet owners realize, and these mouth and gum conditions can cause your pet to stick out his tongue in an effort to relieve pain. Drooling and red, swollen or bleeding gums are common symptoms of an oral ailment. Oral tumors or fractured teeth can also cause Kitty to dangle his tongue, as can kidney failure, which can lead to painful ulcers on your cat’s gums. If you notice your pet sticking his tongue out more often than normal, or see any other symptoms of physical distress, take him to the veterinarian to check for gum disease, oral abscesses, tooth decay and other medical problems.
 
Remember, while dogs pant to cool off, this behavior is not normal in healthy cats. While chances are your cat’s tongue dangling is simply an endearing quirk and not a medical emergency, watch for sudden and unusual changes in your pet’s behavior. If he is sticking his tongue out more often than normal or constantly, or is showing other signs of physical distress, have your veterinarian examine him to rule out ulcers, abscesses and other medical conditions that can cause cats to leave their mouths hanging open.

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