The “blep” may be one of the cutest poses you can find your cat in, and that’s saying a lot. If you’re unfamiliar, a blep is when your cat sleeps with their tongue out, and they look completely unaware of this, almost like someone wrote on their forehead with permanent marker.
But what is the purpose of a blep? Is there anything wrong if my cat sleeps with their tongue out?
The short answer is: no. It’s a perfectly natural behavior for a happy cat.
Common Reasons Your Cat Sticks Their Tongue Out While Sleeping
The most common reasons are relatively harmless ones, so in most cases, just take your phone out and get a cute photo of them if you see their tongue out. In rare cases it can be a sign of something, but we’ll help guide you with the warning signs in this section.
They Are Comfortable
If your cat is deep in a dream and their tongue is out, most likely it’s a sign they are just extremely comfortable. Think of them like a human - when we hit that ecstatic state, we relax our bodies quite a bit. Your cat let go of their inhibitions and are deep in dream state.
It’s quite common for cats to wake up in this state as well. You can see their eyes open slowly with their tongue still out - that’s how you know they are relaxed and happy.
They Are Overheating
Now, another common reason to see your cat sleeping with their tongue out is they are using it to help with cooling. Cats don’t sweat like humans, so the signs from overheating sometimes look a little different. But your cat may just be trying to cool themselves down a bit while sleeping.
If you’re worried about it being too hot for your cat, be sure to place a fan nearby and keep fresh, clean water nearby at all times. Cats are stubborn when it comes to drinking water, but they aren’t stupid. They will drink if they are overheating.
They Have An Oral Issue
Look, we’re not veterinarians here, so we’re not going to give you a whole list of oral issues that could be plaguing your cat, but it’s important to note that a cat sleeping with their tongue out could be a signal that they have some sort of pain or discomfort in their mouth.
The trick here is to monitor them when they are awake as well. If you see persistent signs that they have some discomfort in their mouth, it may be time to go see a vet, as it’s pretty hard to get a cat comfortable enough to let you look around in their mouth.
They Are Just Smelling
This reason applies a lot more to cats that are awake than sleeping, but it’s worth noting here as well. Cats smell with their tongues, and sticking their tongue out is like putting on glasses for a cat. They can all of a sudden smell so much more.
It’s common to see cats stick their tongues out to get a better “taste” of a smell when a new aroma enters their environment. Yaki usually does this to us right after we brush our teeth. Cats will do this when they get a whiff of smells they like to avoid.
They Breathe Better
Depending on the breed of your cat, having them sticking their tongue out all the time may be due to blockage in their snout. By sticking their tongue out, it may actually help them to breathe better.
If you have a Persian or other flat faced cat, you’re probably really used to the expression of a cat sticking their tongue out at you. It’s important to monitor it, but it’s usually to help them breathe easier.
When To Be Concerned Your Cats Tongue Is Always Out
If you see your cat with their tongue sticking out all the time, you might start to feel slightly concerned that something is wrong. Yavapai is usually the one in our house sleeping with his tongue out, or walking around with his tongue out, and on occasion it gets alarming, especially when you try to get them to put it back and they won’t.
But in general, as long as you take note of when their tongues come out, you probably have nothing to worry about. The big sign there’s an issue is if it becomes a consistent face that is new to your cat. Meaning, you’ve been living with them for a while and they just started doing this consistently. This may be a sign they have some sort of oral infection or swollen tongue.
Wrapping this lovely topic up - it’s generally just a cute thing when a cat sticks their tongue out. Most likely it’s a sign they are relaxed and happy in their environment. If they have droopy eyes and are awake, it’s a sign they just woke up. If their eyes are wide open with their tongue out, they are probably smelling their environment. And if they always have their tongue out, they may have an oral infection.
In 90% of cases, we recommend taking a photo to remember the moment. Bleps are cute, and rarely a sign of anything worse than your cat being cute.