What’s Behind a Cat’s Yawn? How Owner’s Misinterpret It

By bzp00343 Jul 26, 2016
What’s Behind a Cat’s Yawn? How Owner’s Misinterpret It
Even when cats reach adulthood, they will spend up to 15 hours a day sleeping. If an owner strokes their sleeping cat, the cat will most likely yawn.
No sooner will the owner think they’ve woken their cats, when the cat is back asleep, again. It seems that a cat’s yawn holds a different significance from ours.

In this article I will introduce you to the difference between cat yawns and human yawns.

☆Signaling “displeasure”

If you touch a cat while it is sleeping or grooming, they will sometimes yawn. We are most likely to think, “Hmm, they must be sleepy.” However, in this case, a yawn should be interpreted as an irritated, “Hey! Stop touching me.” 

They are stating their objection to their owner’s actions. If you continue to pet them, you may receive an unapologetic slap from your cat. Please gently pull your hand away and leave it in peace.


☆    Alleviating “stress”

If an owner shouts at their mischievous cat, the cat may suddenly yawn or begin grooming. To its owner, such an action may appear to be an act of defiance, but it is actually the complete opposite. 

Cats are, by nature, timid animals that are quite sensitive to loud noises, including the sound of being shouted at by their beloved owners. When frightened, they will often yawn to alleviate stress.

You will be able to see this by looking into their eyes. If they keep their eyes wide open as they yawn, please try to stop being angry with them.


☆    “Stretching” when just waking up

After a long nap, cats will sometimes slowly wake up, stretch and yawn.
This is similar to the kind of stretching we do first thing in the morning. It is a method our bodies use to take in as much oxygen as possible and thereby collect some energy for starting out the day. Birds, reptiles and other non-mammalian animals believed to exhibit this same behavior, as well. 


☆    Indicating “relaxation”

When cats are hard at play or bonding affectionately with their owners, they sometimes close their eyes and yawn blissfully.

This yawn means that they feel relaxed and are beginning to think about taking a nap. We humans also yawn this way when we feel content. 

Cats tend to be very nervous and timid creatures. They live solitary lives and, thus, will attempt to communicate to their owners through yawning. Try to take special notice of your cat’s yawns so that, eventually, you will be able to distinguish between a yawn of “displeasure” and one of “relaxation”.


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