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Discussion Starter #1
I am not sure how to describe this behavior, but I would love to know why she does this.
I adopted Peaches(5yrs) 2mths ago from the shelter and so I am still learning :)
Today I had to take her to the vet and since the previous two office vistis in a cage was disastrous, I though that this time I will let her sit on the car seat besides me(On a nice comfy pillow).
She is a real quite kitty and a brave one so I was not really concerned about her freaking out.
In any case this is what happened - On the way there and back she meowed a LOT, went all about the car. Looked out of the window standing on her hind legs like a dog etc etc.. But what really puzzled me was after one meow, she left her mouth open (almost like she was snarling) for 30seconds or so.. no sound came out.. she kept her mouth open for some time till eventually a tiny meow came out.
It was a bit wierd to watch (I had to drive too).. She did this several times, maybe 6-8 times... maybe more when I could not watch her.

Can someone please explain this?
Thanks,
Summer

PS: She is under the bed now and NOT TALKING to me :)
 

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cats have a smelling organ in the roof of their mouth. she was probably smelling stuff. there was an article somewhere about it....
 

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Hmm yip, that's true about the smelling organ. But my cats do it when they are distressed, so in the car, just like your cat did. I'm not entirely sure *why* but it's completely normal. Seemed almost like panting to me.
 

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I would really consider putting the cat in a carrier.
I believe cats feel more secure in cars this way.

Just my 2 cents. :D
 

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Cats have this sensory organ in the roof of their mouth called Jacobson’s organ. I heard it once described as a combination of smelling and tasting something. When they use this, it's referred to as "phleming".

I've seen my cats do this when they explore something new - especially if it has been in contact with another cat or animal.
 

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Er, its very important to keep a cat in a carrier whenever you need to travel with your cat in a car. Sorry to sound rude but leaving a cat outside of a carrier in a car while driving is very dangerous. I mean just like what you have described, your cat didnt sit quietly on the seat, instead she run around in the car. Now, what if she decides to hide under your break? What if she decides to jump on your lap and give you a kiss in the face? All these distracitons could make you to lose your concentration and end up having a car accident. So please, even if your cat protests its important to keep the cat in the cage for safety reasons.
 

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Maybe she was feeling hot and panting. Or maybe she just forgot to close her mouth :lol: My cats do that sometimes. They meow and stop in the middle of a meow with their mouth open and kinda stare at me curiously, like they're deep in thought. They look so funny like that so I laugh and ask them why they have their mouth open, then they kinda 'wake up' from their thoughts, lick their nose and close their mouth. Happened quite a few times too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thankyou all .. Yes she was definately distressed. She is normally a very quiet cat( hardly meows), but in the car she was very vocal. So it could be that "smelling/tasting" using that organ in the mouth. Have never seen her do it otherwise.

And vicious monkey, I agree the next time it is back to the carrier for her. The last time I took her in a carrier, she was so upset after that, so this time I took a chance and did not use the carrier. Anyways this hardly made any difference so I think the carrier is OK. Besides it keeps my car seat scratch-freee :)
 

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My girl Ka did that as well in the car on the way to the vet. She opened her mouth for a long time, then a small meow came out after. I think she was scared. It was her first time alone (without the other cats) to the vet. She hasn't done that since.
 

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Only one of my cats did this, Twinkie. I was taking them both back to my parents in a 2 1/2 hr. drive and after he meowed in the backseat, he opened his mouth for like 20 seconds and I had to do a double take I was like "What is he doing"?

Hasn't done it since and I attributed it to him just being cute :lol:
 

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My cat did that too when I first took her home. She meowed like crazy and every once in a while I'd look at her and she'd have her mouth open. I figured she was just scared. She also opens her mouth like that when I let her smell my food, so that Jacobson organ thing makes sense.
 

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The Jacobson's organ is another way cats are in touch with their environment. When they are distressed, they want as much information about their surroundings as they can get, so they make use of every one of their finely tuned senses.
 
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