Why Do Cats Stick Their Tongue Out While Sleeping? 3 Reasons

Cats are known for their intriguing behaviors, and one that puzzles many cat owners is their tendency to stick their tongue out while sleeping. It’s a common sight that can be both adorable and perplexing.

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this peculiar behavior and shed light on what it could signify about our feline friends’ well-being.

Is It Normal for a Cat to Sleep with Its Tongue Out?

Sleeping with the tongue out is a common behavior in cats and is generally considered normal. Many cat owners may have noticed their furry friends snoozing with their tongues partially or fully extended. While it might seem unusual or even concerning, it’s important to understand that this behavior is often harmless and does not necessarily indicate any underlying health issues.

There can be various reasons why cats sleep with their tongues out. One possible explanation is that cats tend to relax and enter a deep sleep state, causing their muscles to become completely relaxed, including their tongue. As a result, gravity may cause the tongue to slip out of their mouth. Additionally, the position in which a cat sleeps can also influence whether their tongue remains inside or protrudes.

It’s worth noting that certain breeds of cats may be more prone to sleeping with their tongues out. For example, brachycephalic breeds, such as Persians or British Shorthairs, have unique facial structures that can impact their breathing patterns and potentially contribute to the tongue protrusion during sleep. However, this is typically not a cause for concern as long as the cat’s breathing remains normal and they show no signs of distress.

It’s important to remember that each cat is unique, and while sleeping with the tongue out can be normal, it’s always best to observe your cat’s overall behavior and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns about their health or well-being.

If you notice your cat sleeping with their tongue out and it doesn’t seem to cause them any discomfort or interfere with their breathing, there’s usually no reason for alarm. However, if you observe any changes in your¬†cat’s sleeping habits, such as excessive tongue protrusion, difficulty breathing, snoring, or other signs of respiratory distress, it’s essential to seek professional veterinary advice to rule out any potential underlying issues.

3 Reasons Why Cats Stick Their Tongue Out While Sleeping

Have you ever wondered why your cat sticks their tongue out while sleeping? This seemingly odd behavior is actually quite common among cats. Here are three possible explanations:

1. Natural Sleeping Position

One reason why cats stick their tongue out while sleeping is simply because it is their natural sleeping position. Just like humans might sleep with their mouths slightly open, cats may sleep with their tongues protruding slightly. It doesn’t necessarily indicate any discomfort or health issue; it’s just a quirk of their sleeping habits.

2. Temperature Regulation

Cats use their tongues not only for grooming but also for temperature regulation. When a cat sticks its tongue out while sleeping, it can help to cool down their body temperature. By panting slightly, cats can dissipate heat and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment. So, you might notice your cat sticking their tongue out more often on warmer days or when they are feeling a bit too cozy.

3. Dental or Respiratory Issues

In some cases, cats may stick their tongue out while sleeping due to underlying dental or respiratory issues. Dental problems such as dental disease or tooth misalignment can cause discomfort, leading the cat to sleep with their tongue out to relieve any pain. Similarly, respiratory conditions like asthma or allergies can affect breathing, making it more comfortable for the cat to leave their tongue outside their mouth while sleeping.

While these are three common explanations for why cats stick their tongue out while sleeping, it’s important to observe your cat’s overall behavior and consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns. Remember, every cat is unique, and what may be normal for one cat could indicate an issue for another. By understanding their sleeping habits, we can better care for our feline friends and ensure their well-being.

Why Do Cats Stick Their Tongue Out While Sleeping?


In conclusion, cats may stick their tongues out while sleeping for various reasons. This behavior can be both normal and indicate potential health issues. It is essential for cat owners to pay attention to their furry companions’ sleeping habits and seek veterinary advice if necessary.

Understanding the reasons behind a cat sticking its tongue out while sleeping can help in providing better care and ensuring their well-being. While it may simply be a relaxed position or a reflection of their dream state, it is crucial not to ignore any changes or persistent behavior that could be a cause for concern.

Cat owners should observe their pets closely for any accompanying symptoms or changes in behavior. If your cat’s tongue sticking out while sleeping is accompanied by difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, or any signs of discomfort, consulting a veterinarian is recommended. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the necessary steps to address any underlying health issues.


Q: Is it normal for cats to sleep with their tongue sticking out?

A: Yes, it is normal for cats to occasionally stick out their tongue while sleeping. As mentioned, it could be a sign of relaxation or comfort for the cat. However, if you notice your cat regularly sleeping with their tongue sticking out or if their tongue appears swollen, it might be a good idea to consult with a vet to rule out any underlying issues.

Q: Why does my cat stick her tongue out when she is sleeping?

A: Cats may stick their tongues out while sleeping for various reasons. It could be a behavioral quirk specific to your kitty, or it may be related to the position of their tongue and throat that feels comfortable to them. Nevertheless, unless it seems excessive or the tongue is swollen, it is typically not a cause for concern.

Q: Can I do anything if my cat is sticking their tongue out while sleeping?

A: If your cat is sticking their tongue out while sleeping and otherwise seems healthy and content, there is likely no need for intervention. Simply observe your cat’s behavior and consult a vet if you notice any concerning symptoms or changes in your cat’s sleeping habits.

Q: What should I do if I notice my cat’s tongue is swollen while sleeping?

A: If you see your cat sleeping with a swollen tongue, it is crucial to consult a vet promptly. A swollen tongue could indicate an allergic reaction, injury, infection, or other underlying health issues that may require immediate attention and treatment.