It’s a basic, involuntary behavior — and almost all critters do it, including chimps, cats, dogs, and even fish. But despite how common it is, scientists have yet to unravel the mystery behind exactly why creatures like cats yawn, although there are some credible theories worth considering:

  • Cats (and humans) may yawn because they need to expel excess carbon dioxide. Too much CO2 means your body is craving more oxygen — a problem that’s easily remedied by taking a big, deep yawn.
  • Some experts speculate that felines often yawn as a means to communicate.
  • Yawning could keep cats from nodding off. When a feline starts to feel sleepy, she may yawn to take in more oxygen, signaling her brain to stay alert.
  • Just like a room full of students struggling to pay attention during a sleep-inducing lecture, cats may yawn because of a simple, no-explanation-needed fact: They’re bored!
This article was written by a Veterinarian.