I know! It’s almost like they’ve forgotten to put that tongue back in! But the real reason why cats (and dogs) leave that tongue poking out is even more interesting!
Here’s what the ‘blep’ tells you…
It’s hard not to love the blep. It’s the subject of so many highly amusing photos. But why it occurs has always been a mystery. So let’s unravel it…
The answer: Our furry family live in an intensely sensory world. Like determined little detectives, they’re always analysing the clues their senses are providing. And the most skilled of all is their sense of smell at around 10,000 times stronger than ours.
But where does the tongue come into this? Well, there’s a part of their smell sleuthing you probably didn’t know about. You see, in the roof of a cat and dog’s mouth are the little openings to a scent analyser called the Vomeronasal Organ or VNO. It’s specialty? The pheromones that you find in urine and cheek scent glands.
So if your furry little detective wants to analyse the smell of another cat they open their mouth slightly, stick their tongue out and inhale those sweet pheromones so they hit the roof of the mouth and that organ. Wild huh!
Did you know? This organ is why snakes stick their tongue in and out of their mouth. They’re collecting smells for it to analyse. And while we have remnants of this VNO, ours doesn’t actually work. Probably for the best sometimes!
So basically, the ‘blep’ (the tongue sticking out) is what happens when your detective is deep in thought analysing the scent of another cat or dog that has dared to come near your home.
Also known as their furry fortress. As sweet as it is, it may also indicate they're concerned about the trespasser pinching some of their territory.
To help with this territorial stress; that can lead to anxious meowing, toilet accidents or even cat fights, the new Calm + Collected boosted treats can really make a big difference…