Over the past few months, I've been trying to figure out the differences between the two black cats I had for about 5 months. They are about 8 months old and they come from the same litter.

Luna, the much smaller one is a bit quieter than Chilli, the one my inquiry is about. Luna meows when she needs to unlike Chilli, and overall behaves like all of our past cats.

Chilli however, caught my attention through doing things like;

  • Rapidly opening her mouth - imagine a dog catching a treat mid-air - only to close it, with no real reason. She does that around 5 times in half an hour, if nothing in the living room happens and every house member is minding their own business.
  • When I pet her on the head, she gets so 'excited' that she opens her mouth. Sometimes, she even keeps her mouth open for the next two minutes, even when I had already stopped petting her.
  • Unlike Luna, Chilli frequently makes a journey to the kitchen and often gets caught eating some of the leftovers from the plates in the sink. We often eat spaghetti and once Chilli sees that we are finished with the plate, she excitedly jumps up and licks the sauce leftovers until there's none left. (We do not eat Spaghetti with any kind of meat)
  • She never rubs herself against any of the house members, or her sister, or the furniture, nor even the walls. Not from what I have seen at least. Luna however does it very often.

Aside from these actions, Chilli behaves just like our past cats. The question is, should I be worried? Or is this normal for her to be like this, considering every cat can be different?

  • If you rub a finger against her the outside of her cheek, putting a little bit of pressure on her gums, does she "chitter", or react in any way? If so, it could be a dental problem, and that definitely calls for a vet visit. Dec 2, 2015 at 19:23
  • @BradleyUffner Oh God. I just tried it twice, once she gave out a vibrating purr, then she opened her mouth again only to close it. I guess there is a problem after all.
    – D. Tunus
    Dec 2, 2015 at 19:26
  • 3
    I’d also suggest you make a video recording of the open mouth behaviour, just in case she’s shy on the vet and doesn’t do it there. That way, at least the vet has something to go on and you ensure the visit isn’t a waste.
    – user137369
    Dec 2, 2015 at 20:33
  • 7
    I have 4 cats. I was not aware there was such a thing as normal cat behavior. =)
    – corsiKa
    Dec 2, 2015 at 21:41
  • If you look at it from another angle, although it may not be right to say that, it's just my way of how I see and deem cats to be normal, having had a lot of other cats in my childhood.
    – D. Tunus
    Dec 2, 2015 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


Eating leftovers could be entirely normal. One of my cats likes graham crackers, if she can get them; my previous cat liked broccoli. If she's eating a commercial cat food (and is actually eating a reasonable amount of it), it is unlikely that there's a trace element shortage that she's trying to compensate for, but the way to be sure is to have a vet do tests.

The open mouth is odd, and I do think it calls for a vet visit.

Remember, cats really don't like showing that they are sick or in pain, so "normal behavior otherwise" isn't always good evidence.

  • I'm trying to convince my mum to visit a vet soon but she's certain that it's just the way the cat is. I can't seem to find any stories from other cat owners on internet on this, aside from smelling scents which is not the case. Is there anything you guys have seen previously? This could convince my mum.
    – D. Tunus
    Dec 2, 2015 at 17:45
  • 4
    Possibly related. But also, cats will keep their mouths open when they're feeling extreme pain, nausea, or distressed. Although if he is eating well, I wouldn't bet on the latter. But do visit a vet just so you can be on the safe side @D.Tanya
    – Just Do It
    Dec 2, 2015 at 18:20

Everything seems to be normal even eating left overs.Except opening her mouth.

I had a male cat, Arsalan. He used to eat every thing we ate, e.g. chocolate (later I found out it's not good for them), banana, pomegranate, apple, pasta, noodles, bread (yeast is not good for them), bhajji, kebabs, anything with massala or spicy (giving this rarely is OK but not very often), etc. He disliked plain cooked meat, but he liked it with a bit of salt and more flavour.

But keeping the mouth open is not a good sign. She might have upper respiratory disease, which is very common in cats, It's better to visit the vet. If treated early, it has a lot more chances to be cured. Also, check if it's panting, and drinking more water than usual. Pull her skin from in between her shoulder blade. If it takes longer than usual to reach its original state, she might be dehydrated.

  • is this dangerous considering my cat has a chip?
    – D. Tunus
    Dec 4, 2015 at 15:43
  • 1
    Not dangerous. The chip's about the size of a grain of rice, with rounded ends; unless you are pinching entirely too hard it won't cause a problem.
    – keshlam
    Dec 4, 2015 at 15:49

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