Pictures of Ragdoll Cats Yawning + Why Do Cats Yawn?

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Why Do Cats Yawn?

Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning
Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning

**A HUGE thank you to all the Floppycatters who submitted photos that appear on this post!**

We’ve all seen our cats open their mouths to the full extent of their width, take in a deep breath, and exhale in pleasure. Yawning can be a true act of comfort, a sign of pure relaxation, but when it is done excessively, it can also be a cry for help. But why do cats yawn anyway? While science has yet to find a clear cut explanation, there are several theories available. Here is everything you need to know about yawning in cats.

Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning Side View
Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning Side View

Theory No. 1 – An Act of Relaxation

As we all know, yawning is heavily tied to the feeling of sleepiness. A few minutes before falling asleep, the cat will begin yawning and scientists believe that it is a moment that lets the brain know that it is time to settle down and rest.

Sophie is a lynx seal point loved by Andrea IMG_4112
Sophie is a lynx seal point loved by Andrea

Theory No. 2 – Post-Sleep Stretching

Like we humans do first thing in the AM, right after they wake up in the morning…and in the afternoon or right after that midday nap, cats start stretching their backs, their legs, right up to the tips of their paws, and then, they start yawning. This could be a way to stretch the jaw and the face muscles and start up the day in full force. Nothing like a full body stretch to get into shape, right? As a helpful tip, you should place a scratching post near your cat’s favorite sleeping spots. This will lead to a post-sleep stretching extravaganza, between yawns, of course.

Seal Point Mitted Ragdoll Cat Bigelow loved by Rebecca IMG_1217
Seal Point Mitted Ragdoll Cat Bigelow loved by Rebecca

Theory No. 3 – Cooling Down after Energetic Activity

After a full-body workout running around the house, you could see your cat yawning and there is a very good explanation for that. The high energy consumption leads to a decreased oxygen level in the blood, so the body sets off the yawn to replenish the oxygen and reenergize the muscles.

Seal mitted ragdoll cat Inkie massively loved by Charlotte
Seal mitted ragdoll cat Inkie massively loved by Charlotte

Theory No. 4 – Peaceful Show of Force

After a standoff with another cat, some kitties yawn as a peaceful show of force. They get to show their teeth in a peaceful gesture, which will not engage the other animal into conflict. It is a cat’s way of saying “Not today!”, but also “Don’t cross me because I can fight back!”.

Lynx Seal mitted with a blaze ragdoll cat Frank loved by Kathie
Lynx Seal mitted with a blaze ragdoll cat Frank loved by Kathie

Theory No. 5 – Pure and Absolute Boredom

We’ve all been there, being so bored out of your wits that you would start yawning suddenly. It is not a pleasant feeling, but it does happen quite a bit and it also happens to your cat. If you see your cat yawn repeatedly when it is in your company, even though it is not going to sleep, nor waking up right at that moment, then it may be time to consider that your cat is bored and that you need to entertain it more. Cats that don’t have enough activities could end up being overweight and depressed. If you don’t have enough time to spend with your cat during the day, there are some toys that you can leave it so that it can play alone.

Sammy is a lynx seal mitted with a blaze, loved by Andrea IMG_0619
Sammy is a lynx seal mitted with a blaze, loved by Andrea

Theory No. 6 – Letting Off Some Steam

Cats are true predators and they do not like to show weakness or fear. If they are nervous or they just feel uneasy, they will be seen yawning because this may discharge some of that bad energy, all while showing off their ferocious teeth. Not a bad combo for your warrior cat, right?

Emme a 2 12 year old blue bicolor tiny girl loved by Paula
Emme a 2 12 year old blue bicolor tiny girl loved by Paula

Theory No. 7 – Yawning is Heavily Contagious

Have you ever seen somebody yawn and before you know it, your mouth started opening in a full-blown yawn? It even happens when we hear people talk about yawning or if we read about it. We presume you’ve already yawned several times up to this part of the article. Well, yawning is also contagious in cats. If your cat will see you yawn or see another cat yawning, it will also start yawning itself.

Is there such a thing as excessive yawning in cats?

Yes, there is. When you notice that your cat’s yawning is excessive, the first thing you should do is examine its mouth (we’re going to tell you more about that right away). If you don’t see anything, then observe your cat for a few days and try to identify when it happens. That will be key to finding out the reason. You shouldn’t ignore the excessive yawning. Regardless of the reason, your cat is trying to communicate with you and it’s important that you find out what it is trying to say.

Oral Cavity Distress

The reason why you should always examine your cat’s mouth if you notice excessive yawning is that this is a way for the cat to signal distress, but also try to improve the ailment . Here is what you have to do:

  • Take a good look at your cat’s mouth, examine the lips for sores, cuts or other types of wounds, hair loss, reddening of the skin (more difficult to see in black cats), or anything out of the ordinary.
  • Lift up the upper lip and examine the gums and the teeth. Ideally, the gums should be pink and the teeth intact and clean. Note down any modification you see. Look for whitening of the gums or lesions on it – cuts, scratches, bloody areas. Also look for anything that may have stung the gum such as a pointy end of a toy (such as a sharp piece of plastic) or some food (such as bone pieces).
  • Then pull down the cat’s lower lip and examine the gums and teeth all the way up to the back of the mouth. You are looking for the same types of issues.
    Examine the tongue and the roof of the mouth as well for cuts, pricks, punctures or other lesions.
  • Keep in mind that older ailments of the oral cavity lead to bad breath in cats, but new ones may not necessarily be associated with a change in odor.When cats have oral pain, you are also going to notice mouth pawing because they will try to fix what is happening. Just keep an eye out for the signs and take your cat to the vet if you do notice any changes when you examine the mouth.

Lack of Engagement and Low Energy

As we mentioned above, when cats are bored, they yawn. If you see this in your cat , you may want to consider becoming more involved in its life and making it more engaged. Play with your cat more, leave it interactive toys, and see if the yawning persists.

Sign of Systemic Disease

If the oral cavity is clear, and your cat continues to yawn but seems reluctant in engaging in various activities (you have to try its favorite play activities), then it may be time to take it for a visit to the vet. Heavy yawning could be a sign of liver and gull bladder disease, as well as systemic disease. Keep your vet informed so that you can catch any issue from its incipient stages

There are so many reasons why cats yawn – they yawn for pleasure, they yawn to signal that they’re sleepy, tired, recovering from a good run, that they miss you, or that they are in some sort of distress. Have you ever seen your cat yawning? Why do you think it was yawning when you did? Which of the seven theories does it adhere to? Tell us all about it in the comments section of this post. But, first, please enjoy more photos of Ragdoll cats yawning included below.


Bruin a seal color point age 7 loved by Tanya IMG-3084

Bruin a seal color point age 7 loved by Tanya

Sam Yawning
At just 10 weeks my kitten Samuel yawning captured seal pointed
Blue torbie 5 months old Macy - spoiled and loved by Cristy IMG_0748
Blue torbie 5 months old Macy – spoiled and loved by Cristy
Flame point-Gus loved by Melissa Mcpherson
Flame point-Gus loved by Melissa Mcpherson
Photo credit Melissa Mcpherson
“Mooooom! Get out of bed and feed me!!”
Oliver mid yawn Owned by Amanda Krone 20190629_180454
Oliver, mid yawn. Owned by Amanda Krone.
Uncle Everett thinks I’m boring loved by Nancy IMG_6342
“Uncle Everett thinks I’m boring!” loved by Nancy
Casper a Blue colourpoint Ragdoll cat loved by Louise
“watching my human run around after me makes me tired”
Casper a Blue colourpoint Ragdoll cat loved by Louise
Cream Bi Color Ragdoll cat Snug loved by Julie
Cream Bi Color Ragdoll cat “Snug” loved by Julie
Seal point Mitted named Kiki spoiled by Dorris
Seal point Mitted named Kiki spoiled by Dorris
(Note: the name of what Kiki is laying on)
Shadow Yawning
This is Shadow, aptly named because she is usually in stealth mode if strangers or vacuum cleaner is present. She loves this box, on top and inside. She is a rescue, and not fully a raggie, but if fluffy and loved deeply! She shares her box (occasionally) with her two DSH kitty buds. She lives in Roanoke, VA and is trainer for her human, Betsy Dennis.
Bi colored Ragdoll male Boy Blue who owns Diane Shumate from SC
Small yawn for a big baby .
Bi colored Ragdoll male , Boy Blue who owns
Diane Shumate from SC
Otis a Flamepoint Ragdoll loved by Amy and found at @otisthefloof on Instagram IMG_5692
Otis a Flamepoint Ragdoll loved by Amy and found at @otisthefloof on Instagram
Seal bicolor Ragdoll Cat Sassy this is how I do it
Seal bicolor Ragdoll Cat Sassy “this is how I do it”
Oliver is a Seal Bicolor Ragdoll
Oliver is a Seal Bicolor Ragdoll
Niko blue mitted ragdoll loved by Pam
Niko blue mitted ragdoll loved by Pam
Misty Seal Mitted with a Blaze Yaaawwwwn
Misty short for Mistoffelees from “Cats” because she likes to hide and just appear out of nowhere. She is a Seal point mitted Ragdoll loved by Lisa.
Snarfy a seal-mitted fluffball adored by Nur
Snarfy, a seal-mitted fluffball, adored by Nur
Tucker Lee a Seal Lynx and White Ragdoll loved by Angela Dunn
Tucker Lee, a Seal Lynx and White Ragdoll loved by Angela Dunn
Louie Seal point mitted Rag doll absolutely adored by Patricia IMG_7354
Louie Seal point mitted Rag doll, absolutely adored by Patricia
Lynx mink mitted ragdoll cat Willow loved by Beth
Lynx mink mitted ragdoll cat Willow loved by Beth
Merlin saying I want my breakfast loved by Kelly IMG_5729
Merlin saying, “I want my breakfast” loved by Kelly
Cali letting everyone know her mouth is bigger loved by Kelly IMG_3666
Cali letting everyone know her mouth is bigger loved by Kelly
Abby in a real scary yawn loved by Lisa IMG_5065
Abby in a real scary yawn loved by Lisa
Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning
Ragdoll Cat Trigg Yawning

Ragdoll Cat Yawning
oh no … Keep talking … I always YAWN when I’m interested…:)
Ragdoll Cat Yawning
Gracie! The great ..she kicking cancers butt! (Gracie’s been fighting nasal cancer since January. We are happy to say her tumor has shrunk.)
Ragdoll Cat Yawning
Baxter from Tennessee
Mina seal mitted ragdoll. Loved by Nate and Lecia ❤️ IMG_0663
Mina seal mitted ragdoll. Loved by Nate and Lecia ❤️
Mink, mitted Ragdoll loved by Debra
Mink, mitted Ragdoll loved by Debra

Love this page? Check out our other pages that feature photos of Ragdoll cats:


Do you have a photo of your Ragdoll cat yawning?  Would you like it featured here? If so, please send us the photo as well as the photo credit/caption you’d like for us (example: Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll cat Trigg loved by Jenny) to include and we’ll add it – info@floppycats.com

Comments (5)

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  1. WOWZA! SUPER FABULOUS & PAWESOME post, Jenny honey! LURVED all the great info soooo very much! Got this one bookmarked for sure! Lurve all the amazeballs pics, too! TYSVM, honey!!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    P.S. I did not know ANY of this info so I truly LEARNED A LOT!!! YAY!!! 🙂 <3

      1. I truly, truly did! Lurve the collaboration with the Super Pawesome & Amazing Floppycatters! I don’t have any pics of Miss PSB yawning…yet…now I’m inspired, though! lol 🙂 <3

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