In detail

Why do cats yawn? Possible reasons


Yawning is something that can be observed not only in humans, but also in cats and other animals. But why? There are many theories on the subject, from simple biological explanations to behavioral psychology. What is behind it when cats yawn so heartily? - Shutterstock / Stiglincz Gabor

Why do cats yawn? This question is not easy to answer, because like us humans there can be different reasons for this behavior. For example, fatigue, boredom, but also communicative reasons can be behind it. Here you can learn more about the different theories surrounding yawning house tigers.

Cats yawn because there is insufficient oxygen in the blood?

One of the most well-known theories to explain yawning in cats, dogs, monkeys or humans is the alleged lack of oxygen in the blood. This involuntary action forces the yawning man to take a deep breath and so absorb more oxygen. However, this assumption has become controversial.

Cats yawn because they're bored?

Are people and cats much more alike than expected? At least some experts claim that the velvet paws yawn when they get bored. This also applies to their human companions, but the bored sucking in of air in the bipeds is mostly to be understood as a sarcastic comment. Cats don't go that far. Rather, they seem to concentrate when they yawn.

Cats yawn to stay alert?

A cat always has to stay alert. To do that, yawning is said to be used. The theory: Whenever a house tiger gets sleepy and threatens to nod off, he yawns to "restart" the brain with extra oxygen and to keep himself awake. However, that would also mean that cats could control yawning. Because if you want a nap, the restart is not used.

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Cats yawn to communicate?

So far it has been assumed that cats communicate through meowing and body language - according to the latest findings, yawning should also count towards the latter. The fur nose wants to signal to other fellow species that it is relaxed and is not out for a ruckus. In addition, the ears and whiskers are turned to the side or slightly forward instead of back or down, as angry cats would. Usually the kitty stretches when yawning. This gesture of appeasement can defuse dangerous situations.

Cats yawn to prepare

Another theory is that cats yawn because it's part of their waking up ritual. The tiredness is overcome by the oxygen and the stretching movement of the whole body and they are fully operational, for example to hunt prey or to play in the case of the house tigers, who get their food regularly. For both actions, both the body and the brain must be awake so that the cat can move quickly and accurately.