Why Does My Cat Yawn When She Sees Me

Have you ever caught your cat yawning when she sees you? Yawning is supposed to be an involuntary behavior, right? So why do some cats yawn whenever they see you. Oftentimes these yawns will be followed by snuggles and purring, so surely the two are related. 

Well, what about the times that you walk into a room where your cat is sleeping? She lifts her head, gives a big yawn, and then goes right back to sleep. Is that related to the other yawns she does whenever you first get home from work and she’s excited to see you?

Yawning is an involuntary response by your body. We all know that, right? Well, that’s just about all we know for certain about yawning. You’d think that scientists would have figured out a definite answer by now. Sadly, they haven’t Here are the top 3 reasons why scientists THINK we yawn.

  1. Yawning wakes up the brain when you’re tired (or bored).  One theory about why people and animals yawn is that yawning forces our brain to “wake up.” When you yawn, your skin’s electrical conductance changes in the same way that it does when we consume caffeine. 

  2. Yawning helps your brain cool down. Another theory is that sometimes our brain needs to be cooled down. Whenever we yawn, blood flow increases to our face and head. This increase helps our brain dissipate heat more easily.

  3. Yawning is contagious and is linked to empathy. The final theory is that yawning helps those around us see that we are tired, bored, or even stressed.
Why does my cat yawn when she sees me?

Why Your Cat Yawns When She Sees You

We have an idea of why people and animals yawn involuntarily. But why, then, do cats seem to yawn whenever they look at you? This has baffled animal behavior experts for years, but thankfully we finally have some good ideas as to why this happens! 

One of the primary reasons scientists believe your cat yawns when she sees you is because she is happy and content. It means that she trusts you enough to just relax and be carefree around you! Here are a few other reasons why your cat may yawn when she sees you:

Your Cat Yawns To Wake Up For You

Just like us humans, cats need to regain their energy when they wake up from a nice, long nap. Your cat will regain her energy by yawning and stretching. Stretching helps to ensure her muscles aren’t tight and her joints are ready to go. Yawning, on the other hand, serves a different purpose. 

Whenever your cat yawns it immediately sends and influx of oxygen to her brain. Once the oxygen reaches your cat’s brain it helps to wake up her and make her more alert. At the same time, carbon dioxide is forced out of her body from the exhale. 

Your cat thought she wanted to take a cat nap but once she saw you she decided she wanted to try her hardest to remain alert and awake for you!

Your Cat Yawns Because She’s Comfortable Around You

Another reason your cat might look at you and yawn is because she’s just so comfortable, content, and overall carefree when you’re around. Think about it, have you ever seen a cat yawn whenever they’re anxious or worried?

Cats are VERY alert creatures and always try to be as vigilant as possible. It’s simply how their brains act. If your cat wasn’t anything other than extremely calm and relaxed then they would not be yawning. 

Whenever your cat yawns at you it might simply be their way of letting you know how happy and relaxed they are around you! This is especially true whenever their yawning is followed by other affectionate behaviors such as rubbing against your legs or giving you a light head bump! 

Your Cat Might Just Be Really Tired

People and animals sometimes yawn when they’re extremely tired and that’s just how things are. If your cat looks at you, yawns, and then puts her head back down to fall back asleep then she’s probably just really tired. 

But! You should think of this as a compliment! 

Think about it, your cat is busy doing cat stuff all day. They’re tired. They’re crepuscular. They want to sleep. However, despite being so exhausted, they find the energy to wake up and acknowledge you. How nice of them! 

Sometimes Yawning Is Just A Coincidence

One final note to keep in mind is that sometimes it might just be a coincidence. It’s entirely possible that you just happen to look up at your cat and see them yawning because they’re sleepy. She will yawn, cover her face with her paws, and go right back to sleep! Yawning might not exactly be your cat’s way of trying to tell you something. Your cat yawns when she sees you because she might just be sleepy! 

Featured image by Larissa Farber via Pexels

Why does my cat yawn when she sees me?