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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Blepping In Cats

January 15 2023

Have you ever spotted your cat just sitting there with her tongue sticking out? This is officially called blepping, and is definitely adorable to see. Of course, given how complex and unique our feline pals are, you may be wondering if this is a sign that something is wrong, or just another one of Fluffy’s many adorable (and purrplexing) quirks. A local vet discusses blepping in this article.

Behind The Blep

There are actually a few possible reasons your furry buddy may be blepping. One possible option would be that Fluffy is investigating a taste or scent in the air. She also may have stuck her tongue out if she was startled—perhaps during one of her daily grooming sessions—and then got distracted and forgot about it. Kitties that are missing teeth are also more likely to blep: that gap just makes it easy. Cats may also blep when they are feeling relaxed or happy. Of course, we can’t entirely discount the possibility that Fluffy actually is sticking her tongue out at you. That does seem like something cats would do!

Concerning Bleps

Most of the time, bleps are silly and harmless … not to mention highly comical. However, there are a few potential points of concern to be aware of.  If your feline friend seems to be blepping a lot, there’s a chance that she could be blepping because of pain in her mouth. This is something to be aware of if your cat has only recently become a blepper, or if she is blepping much more often than she used to. Your kitty could also be nauseous, or having trouble breathing. Keep an eye out for other signs of illness, such as bad breath, vomiting, withdrawal, drooling, swelling, or changes in behavior. Contact your vet ASAP if you notice anything amiss.

What To Do

So what should you do if your feline buddy bleps? Well, assuming that Fluffy has gotten the all-clear from her vet, there’s only one thing to do: take her picture! We never get tired of seeing cute photos of our furry friends. Plus, this is a cute way to spread some cheer, and maybe put a smile on someone’s face. If there’s one thing that cats are good at—aside from napping—that would be it.

Our Advice on Blepping In Cats in 2024

Why do cats blep?

Cats blep for a variety of reasons, ranging from curiosity about a scent or taste in the air to being startled and forgetting to retract their tongue. Some cats may blep due to missing teeth, which makes it easier for the tongue to stick out. Additionally, blepping can be a sign of relaxation and contentment. While often harmless and endearing, frequent blepping should be monitored, as it could indicate underlying health issues such as dental pain, nausea, or respiratory problems. Always observe for accompanying signs of distress.

Could blepping indicate a health issue?

Yes, while blepping is often harmless and endearing, it could indicate a health issue if it occurs frequently or is accompanied by other symptoms. Regular blepping might signal dental pain, mouth injuries, or discomfort, especially if the cat has recently become a frequent blepper. In these cases, veterinary dentistry services may be necessary to address the underlying issue. It could also hint at nausea or respiratory issues. Owners should watch for additional signs of illness, such as bad breath, vomiting, withdrawal, excessive drooling, or swelling. If these symptoms are observed, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian promptly to ensure your cat’s health and well-being.

Is blepping more common in certain breeds?

Blepping occurs across all cat breeds and is not specifically more common in any one breed. It’s a behavior influenced by individual factors such as curiosity, dental structure, and personal habits rather than genetic predisposition linked to certain breeds. However, cats with certain facial structures or those missing teeth might display this behavior more visibly or frequently. Regardless of breed, blepping is generally a benign behavior but should be monitored for any signs of health issues if it appears unusually frequent or is accompanied by distress symptoms. If you have both a cat and a dog, you may be interested in learning more about helping Fido and Fluffy coexist.

Can blepping be a sign of neurological or cognitive issues?

Blepping in cats is usually harmless, but in rare cases, it could be a sign of neurological or cognitive issues, especially if accompanied by other unusual behaviors or symptoms. If a cat exhibits persistent blepping along with changes in movement, balance, awareness, or behavior, it might indicate neurological concerns that require professional evaluation. If you’re located in North Miami Beach, FL, and notice such symptoms, our clinic is equipped to assess and address these concerns, providing the care your cat needs for a healthy and comfortable life.

How does a cat’s Flehmen response relate to bleeping?

The Flehmen response in cats is often confused with blepping but serves a different purpose. When a cat displays the Flehmen response, it curls back its lips and opens its mouth slightly to allow air and scents to reach the Jacobson’s organ, located in the roof of the mouth, enhancing their sense of smell. This behavior is typically seen when a cat encounters a strong or interesting scent. Blepping, on the other hand, is when a cat’s tongue sticks out unintentionally and is not directly related to scent analysis. While both involve unique facial expressions, blepping is more about a relaxed state or forgetfulness to retract the tongue, rather than the deliberate scent investigation seen in the Flehmen response.

Do you have any questions about your kitty’s health or care? Contact us, your local animal clinic in North Miami, FL anytime! We’re here to help!