Why Is My Cat Holding Her Mouth Open

Why Is My Cat Holding Her Mouth Open?

If you have noticed your cat holding her mouth open, you might be concerned about her health and well-being. There can be several reasons why a cat would exhibit this behavior, ranging from natural to more serious issues. Let’s delve into some possible explanations for why your cat is holding her mouth open.

1. Panting: Cats do not typically pant like dogs, but they may open their mouths to breathe more easily when they are overheated or anxious.

2. Heat: Cats try to regulate their body temperature by panting or holding their mouths open when they are too hot. Ensure your cat has access to cool, shaded areas and fresh water during warmer months.

3. Stress or Anxiety: Cats may hold their mouths open when they are stressed or anxious. Observe if any changes in your cat’s environment or routine have caused her distress.

4. Dental Problems: Cats with dental issues may hold their mouths open to alleviate pain or discomfort. Check for signs of dental disease such as bad breath, swollen gums, or difficulty eating.

5. Respiratory Issues: Respiratory infections or allergies can cause cats to hold their mouths open to breathe more easily. Monitor your cat for other symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or nasal discharge.

6. Foreign Object: If your cat is holding her mouth open and pawing at it, there may be a foreign object lodged in her mouth or throat. Check carefully and remove any visible objects, but seek veterinary assistance if needed.

See also  What Happens if a Dog Eats a Jolly Rancher

7. Poisoning or Illness: In more severe cases, cats may hold their mouths open due to poisoning or serious illness. Look for other signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or loss of appetite, and consult a veterinarian immediately.


1. Why is my cat holding her mouth open and drooling excessively?
Excessive drooling can indicate dental problems, oral infections, or ingestion of toxic substances. Take your cat to a vet for a thorough examination.

2. Should I be concerned if my cat holds her mouth open occasionally?
Occasional open-mouth breathing may not be a cause for concern, especially if your cat is temporarily overheated or anxious. However, if the behavior persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your vet.

3. Can dental issues be the cause of open-mouth breathing in cats?
Yes, dental problems such as gum disease, abscesses, or tooth decay can cause cats to hold their mouths open. A vet can assess your cat’s oral health and recommend treatment.

4. How can I help my cat if she is overheated?
Provide a cool and well-ventilated space for your cat, offer fresh water, and avoid exposing her to direct sunlight. If overheating persists, contact your vet.

5. Is open-mouth breathing in cats always a sign of illness?
While open-mouth breathing can indicate illness, it is not always the case. Observe your cat’s behavior and look for accompanying symptoms to determine if veterinary attention is needed.

6. Can stress or anxiety cause a cat to hold her mouth open?
Yes, stress and anxiety can cause cats to exhibit unusual behaviors, including holding their mouths open. Identifying and addressing the source of stress can help alleviate this behavior.

See also  What Can You Feed Wild Rabbits in the Winter

7. Should I try to remove a foreign object from my cat’s mouth myself?
If you can safely remove a visible object without causing harm, you may do so. However, use caution as cats can be unpredictable when in pain or distressed. Seek professional help if needed.

Remember, if you observe any concerning behavior or symptoms in your cat, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.