What Is It Called When A Cat Sticks Its Tongue Out?

Cats are fascinating creatures who have captured the hearts of humans for centuries with their unique and charming behavior. These furry companions have a way of expressing their emotions that is both endearing and mysterious. One such behavior that has captivated cat lovers all over the world is when a cat sticks its tongue out.

Have you ever caught your cat in the act of blep-ing? It’s a common occurrence among feline friends, but many pet owners are unaware of what it’s called or why cats do it. The scientific term for this adorable action is “blep,” which refers to the brief moment when a cat sticks out its tongue before pulling it back in.

Although it may seem like a trivial gesture, bleping actually holds significant meaning for our feline friends. This behavior is often associated with relaxation and contentment, indicating that your kitty is feeling comfortable and happy in their environment.

As cat lovers, we’re always looking for ways to better understand our furry companions. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind why cats blep and what it means when they do so. So let’s get started on uncovering the secrets behind this cute and curious behavior.

What is Blepping?

Although it might seem like a silly and random behavior, this action actually serves a purpose for cats.

What Is It Called When A Cat Sticks Its Tongue Out-2

One of the reasons why cats blep is to regulate their body temperature. Unlike humans, cats don’t sweat to cool down. Instead, they use other means such as panting or sticking their tongues out to release heat from their bodies. However, blepping can also be an indication of other things such as analyzing scents in their environment.

Cats have a unique organ called the Jacobson’s organ located on the roof of their mouth that allows them to gather information about their surroundings. By partially sticking out their tongue, cats expose this organ to the air and analyze scents more effectively. Thus, blepping is a way for cats to test the scent of their surroundings and gather information about their environment.

Moreover, blepping can be a sign of relaxation or contentment in cats. When they are feeling at ease, they may let their tongues hang out as a way of letting their guard down and showing vulnerability. Some even fall asleep with their tongues protruding slightly.

However, excessive blepping or drooling can be a sign of dental or health issues in cats. If you notice your cat constantly blepping or drooling more than usual, it may indicate dental or health problems. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor your cat’s blepping habits and seek veterinary attention if necessary to ensure they are healthy and happy.

Why Do Cats Stick Out Their Tongue?

Here are some possible explanations for this peculiar phenomenon.

For starters, cats are natural groomers, and they use their rough tongues to clean themselves. Therefore, if you see your cat sticking out its tongue while grooming, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal. However, if this behavior is accompanied by excessive drooling or prolonged tongue protrusion, it could indicate dental problems or oral issues.

Cats may also stick out their tongues when they experience anxiety or stress. This behavior is a sign of discomfort or nervousness and may be accompanied by other physical symptoms such as panting or excessive salivation. If you notice your kitty doing this frequently, it’s crucial to observe their overall behavior and identify potential stressors in their environment.

Another reason why cats may stick out their tongues is during playtime. Your playful cat may be trying to catch a toy or jumping around, making them stick out their tongue in the process. In this case, it’s nothing to worry about – just your cat having some fun.

Lastly, unexpected or prolonged tongue protrusion could be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs veterinary attention. Foreign objects stuck in the mouth or throat, gum disease, and oral infections can all cause your kitty to stick out its tongue.

Is Blepping Normal or a Sign of Illness?

Blepping is a common behavior in cats, and it usually happens when they’re relaxed and content. It’s like when we let out a big sigh or stretch when we’re comfortable. Or, your cat might be responding to a smell or taste that they find interesting – maybe they just had a particularly tasty meal.

But there are times when blepping could indicate an underlying health issue. If your cat is constantly blepping or their tongue hangs out for an extended period of time, it could indicate a dental problem or respiratory issue. Other symptoms to watch out for include excessive drooling, difficulty eating or drinking, or changes in behavior. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your cat to the vet for evaluation.

Overall, while blepping is generally considered normal behavior for cats, it’s crucial to pay attention to any changes in your cat’s behavior or health. To ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly check your cat’s teeth and gums for signs of dental issues
  • Keep an eye on their breathing patterns and seek help if you notice any abnormalities
  • Schedule regular check-ups with your vet to catch any health issues early

The Popularity of Blepping

This behavior of cats sticking their tongues out, partially or fully, has become increasingly popular in recent years. But why is that? As an expert on the topic, I’m here to break it down for you.

Social media has played a significant role in the rise of blepping’s popularity. Platforms like Instagram and Twitter are perfect for cat owners to share photos and videos of their furry friends blepping away. This has not only made more people aware of this behavior but has also created a sense of community among cat lovers.

But what causes a cat to blep? There are several theories out there. One theory suggests that blepping is simply a sign of relaxation. When cats are comfortable and content, they may let their tongues hang out without realizing it. Another theory suggests that it could be related to grooming. Since cats use their tongues to clean themselves, perhaps blepping is a way for them to keep their tongues moist and ready for action.

Regardless of the reason, there’s no denying that blepping has become a beloved aspect of cat culture. It’s also not uncommon for cat owners to use the term “blep” as a verb or noun when referring to their cats sticking their tongues out.

So why do we love blepping so much? Perhaps it’s because it’s an adorable quirk that adds to the charm of our feline friends. Or maybe it’s because it’s a natural behavior that reminds us of how playful and carefree cats can be.

If you’re a cat owner and your feline friend is a frequent blepper, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal. However, it’s important to monitor their blepping frequency and accompanying symptoms to ensure they’re not experiencing an underlying health issue. Think of it like checking your car’s engine oil regularly – it helps prevent any issues down the road.

How to Capture the Perfect Blep

Fear not, for I am here to share my expertise on this topic. Here are some tips and tricks to help you capture the perfect blep:

Tip #1: Be Patient

Cats are not always in the mood to blep on command, so you need to be patient and wait for the right moment. Observe your cat’s behavior and look out for signs that they might be about to blep, such as licking their lips or yawning. Once you spot the opportunity, get ready to snap the photo.

Tip #2: Get Your Camera Ready

To capture the perfect blep, you need a camera with a fast shutter speed. This will allow you to capture the moment quickly before it’s gone. You can also use burst mode if your camera has this feature to take multiple shots in quick succession.

Tip #3: Get Down to Your Cat’s Level

Getting down to your cat’s level will give you a better angle for the photo and will also make your cat feel more comfortable and less intimidated by the camera. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises as this can startle your cat and ruin the moment.

Tip #4: Be Creative with Your Photos

Experiment with different angles, lighting, and backgrounds to make your photos stand out. You can also add props or costumes to your cat if they are comfortable with it. Remember, the more creative you are, the better chance you have of capturing the perfect blep.

Tip #5: Tricks to Encourage Blepping

If your cat isn’t giving you the perfect blep, don’t worry. There are some tricks you can try. Gently press down on their top lip to encourage them to stick their tongue out. Alternatively, blowing gently on their face can cause them to open their mouth and stick out their tongue.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat’s Tongue Healthy

However, keeping your cat’s tongue healthy might not be something you’ve given much thought to. Believe it or not, a healthy tongue is essential for your cat’s everyday activities such as eating, drinking, grooming, and even breathing. Here are some tips to ensure your cat’s tongue stays healthy:

Regular Brushing

Just like humans, cats need regular brushing to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing your cat’s teeth and tongue regularly with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste specially formulated for cats can prevent dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay. It also helps keep their tongue healthy and functional.

Provide Fresh Water

Always make sure to provide clean and fresh water for your cat. Dehydration can lead to dry and cracked tongues, which can cause discomfort and difficulty in performing daily tasks such as grooming or eating. Make sure to change their water frequently and provide multiple water sources throughout your home so they can stay hydrated.

Monitor Their Diet

Feeding your cat a well-balanced diet is not only good for their overall health but also beneficial for their tongue health. Avoid feeding them food that is too hot or too cold as it can damage their tongue. Additionally, make sure they are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals to prevent their tongue from becoming dry and cracked. If your cat has any dietary restrictions or specific nutritional needs, consult with your vet.

Regular Checkups

Take your cat for regular checkups to the vet to ensure their tongue is in good condition. The vet can identify any issues early on before they become major problems. Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or abnormal behavior in your cat regarding their tongue, such as frequent pawing at their mouth or sticking their tongue out. These could indicate an underlying health issue that requires veterinary attention.

Encourage Mental Stimulation

Providing opportunities for mental stimulation and playtime can reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being, which can have a positive impact on your cat’s tongue health. Interactive toys, scratching posts, and window perches are all great ways to encourage playtime and mental stimulation. A happy and stress-free cat is less likely to develop problems related to their tongue or oral health.

Fun Facts About Blepping Cats

Blepping is the adorable behavior where cats stick their tongue out, often for an extended period of time. But why do they do it? Let’s explore some of the reasons behind this cute behavior.

Firstly, many cats blep when they are feeling relaxed and comfortable. It’s almost like they are letting their guard down and showing that they are at ease in their environment. In fact, some cats will even fall asleep while blepping. It’s a cute and amusing sight that many cat owners adore.

Another reason that cats blep is because they are experiencing a sensory overload. Cats have an exceptional sense of smell, and when they come across a strong or interesting scent, it can cause them to stick their tongue out in response. It’s almost like they are trying to taste the scent to get a better sense of what it is.

Finally, some cats just enjoy blepping for the sake of it. Maybe they find it amusing, or maybe it’s a way for them to communicate with their owners. Some cats will even blep in response to certain sounds or movements, almost like they are trying to mimic human speech.

If you’re looking for more interesting tidbits about blepping cats, then you’ll be happy to know that there are different types of bleps. There’s the classic blep where the cat sticks only just the tip of its tongue out and then there’s the full-on blep where the entire length of its tongue is sticking out. Some cats even have a “double blep” where both sides of their mouth are slightly open.

Common Misconceptions about Bleps

The sight of their little tongues sticking out can melt even the coldest of hearts. However, there are several misconceptions about this behavior that need to be debunked.

First and foremost, it’s a common misconception that blepping is always a sign of illness or discomfort. While it’s true that sometimes a cat might stick its tongue out due to an underlying health issue, such as dental problems or respiratory troubles, this is not always the case. In fact, many cats blep simply because they’re feeling relaxed and at ease. So, don’t worry too much if you see your furry friend blepping away – chances are they’re just enjoying some downtime.

Another misconception is that every blep has some sort of intentional meaning behind it. While cats are known for their impressive communication skills and use of body language, not every tongue-sticking-out moment is a deliberate message. Sometimes, cats blep simply because their tongues are too big for their mouths or because they’re trying to groom themselves. So, don’t fret over every little blep – sometimes it’s just a cute quirk.

Finally, it’s important to remember that no two cats blep in the same way. Just like humans have unique personalities and quirks, so do our feline friends. Some may only stick their tongues out for a brief moment, while others might do it for minutes on end. Some may even have different types of bleps depending on their mood or situation. The possibilities are endless.


In conclusion, the endearing and amusing phenomenon of a cat sticking out its tongue is called “blepping.” This term refers to the brief moment when a cat’s tongue sticks out before being retracted. Blepping is a natural behavior that cats exhibit when they are feeling relaxed, comfortable or stimulated.

While it may seem like a trivial gesture, blepping holds significant meaning for our feline friends. It is often associated with relaxation and contentment, indicating that your kitty is feeling comfortable and happy in their environment. However, excessive blepping or drooling can be a sign of dental or health issues in cats. Therefore, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s blepping habits and seek veterinary attention if necessary to ensure they are healthy and happy.

The popularity of blepping has soared in recent years due to social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. This trend has not only raised awareness about this behavior but also created a sense of community among cat lovers. However, it’s important to remember that each cat has its own unique personality and quirks, so no two cats will blep in the same way.

To maintain your cat’s tongue health, regular brushing, providing fresh water, monitoring their diet, regular check-ups with your vet and encouraging mental stimulation are all critical steps. And finally, while there are misconceptions about bleps being always a sign of illness or discomfort or having an intentional meaning behind them; sometimes it’s just a cute quirk that adds to the charm of our feline friends.