It’s no secret that our beloved feline companions tend to do many strange things. From staring blankly at the ceiling to eating cardboard, it appears as though their sole mission is to leave us baffled and with question marks above our heads.
Maybe there is a secret feline society with its own secret feline councils where they gather to agree on all sorts of ways to complicate our lives. (Or maybe I’m just overreacting.)
However, yawning, like in humans, isn’t strange at all. I’m sure we can all picture an adorable kitty stretching in the sun, yawning after a nice long nap. My cat yawns, as does yours – it’s a pretty normal thing.
But, let’s cut to the fluff and see why cats actually yawn.
#1 They’re Sleepy
Much like humans, cats yawn when they’re feeling sleepy. When yawning, cats inhale a great amount of oxygen, thus releasing excess amounts of carbon dioxide.
This reflex keeps them alert and helps reduce fatigue. Interestingly, yawning also seems to prepare them for a good nap.
So, yawning can both keep your furry friend alert and help it calm down before snoozing off. But then again, it’s the same thing with people. No wonder humans and cats are a match made in Heaven.
#2 They’ve Just Woken Up
Sometimes, right after waking up, cats yawn to inhale as much oxygen as they possibly can in order to “shake off” the sleepiness and embrace the wakefulness. Again, this is pretty common in humans, too.
#3 It Might Be An Empathy Thing
You know how yawning can be contagious among humans. Any time someone yawns – you better believe my mouth will be flying open any second, too.
When it comes to animals, dogs are known for their tendency to mimic their owner’s yawns, and some other animals are no strangers to this contagious reflex, too.
As for cats, well, the jury’s still out on whether they’re yawning in sympathy. Since felines are generally more independent and reclusive than dogs, any claims of contagious yawning are unfortunately still only speculations.
#4 They Are Bored
Remember those endless lectures or meetings that made you yawn uncontrollably from sheer boredom? Yup, your fluffy friend may be yawning for the same reason.
When bored, both people and cats have a shorter attention span and a general lack of interest. Yawning in that case helps them stay alert, similar to when they’re tired and sleepy.
#5 They Are Happy
I’m sure we have all experienced this: an adorable kitty curled up in your lap or next to you on the couch. One moment she’s all sweet and far away in Dreamland, and next she’s stretching, yawning, changing her position, and dozing off again.
Cats do this when they are genuinely happy and content and when they feel safe in someone’s presence.
So, if your cat yawns around you, take it as a compliment; she loves you, fur sure!
#6 They Are Trying To Tell Us Something
When it comes to expressing their needs to their owners, cats are great communicators. They use body language to convey their feelings and needs.
In that sense, yawning is another means of communication for our feline friends. They may yawn when they’re anxious, nervous, or threatened by someone or something.
Cats are known as slaves of their routines, so any disruption to their routine can make them uneasy. Yawning in this case is often accompanied by other indicators like a hunched posture, downward whiskers, fixed gaze, and so on.
If they feel threatened by another feline, cats may yawn to show their good intentions. It’s like their way of saying, “Woah, man! Take it easy! I come in peace.”
#7 They Might Have Certain Health Issues
Occasionally, cats may yawn more due to oral discomfort, such as sore teeth or mouth injuries.
Stretching their mouths while yawning provides some pain relief. However, this is less common.
It would be best to look for additional signs like drooling, difficulty chewing, loss of appetite, or bad breath.
If you notice any of these signs, I suggest you immediately contact your vet. Better be safe than sorry, right?
#8 They Just Want Your Attention
And finally, another reason why cats yawn is because they are true attention seekers. Honestly, these furry rebels would do anything to be in the spotlight – which is, of course, their God-given right.
Think about it this way: as long as your fluffball isn’t destroying your late grandma’s favorite vase to get you to cuddle or feed her – you’re good to go.
So, the next time you catch your furball in the act of yawning, remember that it’s a completely normal thing or just another one of their charming ways of keeping us entertained.
After all, a bit of yawning never hurt anyone, right?