Yawning is a general and involuntary response in several creatures such as fishes, monkeys, dogs, humans, and cats. It generally happens when there is a need to expel and release the excess carbon dioxide accumulated within the body. Nevertheless, a cat yawn can indicate a few other things.
Biologically, a yawn can get owed to the body’s craving for more oxygen when there is a surplus of the other gas. Thus, the problem gets solved by taking in a deep breath in the form of a yawn. It helps in the intake of the required amount and quantity of oxygen.
In this article, let us see the 13 reasons why a cat yawns.
1. A Cat Yawn Can Prevent Drowsiness
The most common reason for yawning in cats, or any other animal, is because they feel sleepy. The yawn can serve as a way that allows them to stay awake. It stands true even when they are exceedingly tired.
The act and means of yawning allow them to take in a significant amount or quantity of oxygen from the atmosphere. It gets utilized within the body to stimulate and initiate an increased flow and circulation of blood to the brain.
Conversely, a cat may also indicate that it is relaxing its body and preparing to fall asleep. The contradictory acts of preventing drowsiness and going to sleep may confuse some people. Nevertheless, it happens in actuality, as seen even in humans.
2. Cat Yawn Can Indicate Boredom
Like most other animals, a cat may yawn when it gets and feels bored. It can happen when it finds itself in a tedious and unamusing situation where nothing can attract its attention. In such cases, the yawning may show that the animal does not find anything worthy of its time there. They may instead want to spend it doing something else they enjoy.
3. It May Be as a Means of Communication
A cat may yawn to communicate with other cats or their owners in some cases. It is a means of interacting with their body language without using verbal notes. The animal generally does so when in a relaxed, cozy, and calm state.
A cat may yawn to relay any of the following things to others:
- It does not want to fight
- It is not a threat
- It wants to play
- It feels comfortable
- It wants others to pay attention to itself
The best way to interpret and decipher what a cat yawn means is to observe the animal when it yawns. For instance, it may mean one thing if it does so before or after sitting in a place. It is that it finds that particular area secure and comfy.
Also Read: Why do cats wink?
4. A Cat Yawn May be Due to Stress
Cats can become stressed and anxious due to several reasons. It can entail a change of their habitat through moving houses. In addition to that, introducing a new sibling or a prolonged period of ailments can wear the animal down.
These elements can make a cat sensitive to even the smallest of stimuli, preventing it from relaxing. In such circumstances, the animal may find it arduous to fall asleep. It can get owed to it reacting to every sound, smell, and movement.
Thus, the struggle and difficulty in falling asleep and lack of adequate sleep due to stress can compel a cat to yawn.
5. It May be Due to the Contagious Nature of a Yawn
Research has proven that yawns are contagious and may spread from one human to another or one cat to another. Hence, the animal may pick up and continue the yawning signals and cues from their owners or siblings. They may do so without even being conscious or aware of it.
6. Cat Yawn Can Be to Show Affection
Also, a cat may rub against its owner’s legs or begin kneading in some scenarios. They may do so after yawning. It can serve as an indication and demonstration of the animal’s affection.
It is similar to the two former behavioral patterns. The friendliness and fondness may be due to a particular action demonstrated by the owner. For instance, it may be the act they display when opening a food packet or can.
In other cases, the cat’s behaviors followed by yawning may merely show how much it loves and adores its human. On top of that, the animal may yawn to denote and imply one other thing. It may be that it feels a sense of belonging and safety with its owners or siblings.
Yawning can suggest that the cat is not against putting or letting down its guard around the mentioned people or creatures. It stands true even if they feel tired, sleepy, or sick.
7. It Can Come Together with Stretching
Generally, all cats stretch themselves after they wake up. It remains an integral part of the wake-up routine. It allows them to expand their muscles and relax them.
The comfortable stretch starting from the nose and ending in the tail permits a cat to expel the sleepiness from their bodies and feel livelier. In other words, the stretching helps the animal get ready and prepare for the day.
In most cases, the stretching comes together with yawning. It happens over 90% time. The yawning allows a cat to relax the muscles of its face and jaws. It, in turn, helps them get flexible and go about their day conveniently.
8. A Cat Yawn Can Help Release Energy
Some studies suggest that yawning is an appropriate and suitable way for humans and cats to release or expel excess energy. In other words, it allows them to burn off the surplus remaining within the body.
For this, a ritualized action and motion are necessary. It entails the coordinated use and movement of the muscles. It, in turn, aids in using up the extra energy, allowing the body to transition itself into a state of relaxation.
In addition to that, the feeling and sense of relaxation are beneficial in one other way. It allows the yawning to facilitate and enable a cat to fall asleep. It can do so conveniently and comfortably.
9. It May Be to Show Off and Display Their Teeth
One theory involving a cat’s yawning implies and proposes that the act may have gotten carried forward from the animal’s ancestors. In other words, it may be a primitive yet subconscious way in which it shows off and displays its sharp and beautiful teeth. They may present it to humans or other animals, often accompanied by growling and hissing.
This action and behavior of cats can get linked with the larger animals of their kind. Feline predators such as lions or tigers may yawn to show their sturdy teeth.
Displaying their powerful teeth allows the big cats to scare their prey. It, in turn, helps them secure their place in nature’s hierarchy.
10. Cat Yawn May Be a Result of Excessive Activity
Yawning is a beneficial process that increases the flow and circulation of blood to the brain. It allows the intake of excess air that helps lower the blood and body temperature. Thus, it acts as the natural air conditioning system of the brain.
This aspect comes in handy when the body heats up excessively due to vigorous activity or workouts. In such cases, a yawn can help lower the body temperature. Such a mechanism happens in all animals, with cats being no exception.
Thus, if a cat runs about too much, it is common and not unusual to see it yawn.
11. It May Indicate a Lack of Sleep
Yawning generally indicates that a cat is sleepy. Hence, if the animal keeps the behavior up for a significant amount of time, it can suggest that it lacks adequate sleep. It can get owed and linked to some cause keeping it up during its sleeping hours.
12. A Cat Yawn May Result from Health Problems
Although it is not that common, a cat may yawn due to some health issues it is suffering from and experiencing. It can indicate any of the following problems with the animal’s well-being:
- Sore or cut mouth
- Broken tooth
- Oral inflammation
Generally, the health problems associated with yawning remain related to the mouth and its associated parts. Conventionally, they are not very dangerous. They can get remedied and treated naturally or with medication within a short time.
However, if the yawning gets accompanied by bad breath, teeth pounding, difficulty in swallowing, and drooling, it can suggest something more serious. It is imperative to take the cat to a veterinarian in such cases.
13. Cat Yawn Can Indicate Symptoms of Hyperventilation
One of the symptoms and effects of hyperventilation may be frequent yawns. It can show in cats as well as humans. The condition must get treated at the earliest signs and indications in such scenarios.
Seeing a cat yawn may be one of the cutest things that a cat owner can experience. As we have seen, it can be for various reasons. The causes may range from a sense and feeling of tiredness and boredom to some health issues or stress.
Overall, yawning is a natural response of the body that cannot get stopped. For that reason, it does not raise a red flag. It stands true, even if the cat yawns more than once daily.
However, frequent yawning can indicate some severe health issues in a cat. In such cases, it requires immediate attention and treatment for the animal’s welfare. Otherwise, these problems can lead to some irreparable changes in a cat that can degrade and deteriorate the quality of its life.