Cat mouth slightly open: Expression and Meaning (Depressed) – We may have seen a cat that is amazed, but do we know why it does so? Here is what this strange expression can hide.
Cats are masters at surprising, but sometimes they themselves seem to take on an expression of amazement. When we notice that the cat has its mouth open, its eyes wide open and its upper lip closer to the nose, it is obvious to ask what it is thinking at that moment. It might seem just amazement, what if it is something that hides a pathology and something more serious? Better to know all the reasons why a cat is amazed and how to translate this funny grimace of his.
Cat mouth slightly open: grimace or smile ( what it is?)
Also called ‘position or reaction of Flehmen‘, It translates to showing the upper dental arch. How? Arching the upper lip. It is typical of some mammals, including felids. It is not a question of amazement, but of a series of contractions to ensure that Jacobson’s organ (vomeronasal) can accept pheromones. This organ is located in the palate of the cat, and bears the name of the scientist who studied it in the early nineteenth century.
It is a gland connected to the nasal cavity through the vomeral ducts. In reality it is not the prerogative of the cat, but also of the newly born human being: only towards the nine months of life, however, does it tend to disappear, because the evolution of man uses other means to communicate. The cat uses it instead to assimilate and interpret the pheromones released into the environment, especially in some moments of life such as the heat period (Read here: Heat of the cat: the season of love arrives) and to mark the territory (Read here: Pheromones for cats: what they are and how they are perceived).
The cat is amazed: that’s why it does it
When the owner sees the cat take on that strange expression, he will probably think that he, like the human being, reacts in that way to appear amazed. But is not so! In reality when the cat stays still with its mouth open it is just trying to focus on an olfactory track. The language of pheromones is absolutely incomprehensible to humans, and then let’s not forget that the cat’s sense of smell is absolutely superior to that of humans.
Jacobson’s organ contains approx 200 million sensory cells, predisposed precisely to feel the pheromones left by cats previously. It is the way used by felines to communicate with each other, to make everyone understand that they are predisposed to mating or perhaps that that territory is already their property. To better inhale the pheromones, the cat opens its mouth and brings its tongue towards the palate. The odorous messages in this way will reach the brain.
What if the cat is not well?
What if the cat that remains with its mouth open actually hides a health problem? In fact, such an expression could reveal a breathing difficulty, such as dyspnea and tachypnea feline. The first is a condition of respiratory fatigue that occurs both under stress and at rest; the second is a tiring breathing. Of course, other symptoms must also be noted in him in order to diagnose them. Let’s see if the cat also suffers from: noises during breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, cough, bluish gums. If we notice all these signs it will be advisable to call the veterinarian and make an appointment for a visit.