What Causes Cats to Flee When They Smell Something Bad?
You might be wondering what causes your cat to have a “flehmen” reaction. Well, fear not! The reaction only lasts a few seconds. Your cat doesn’t necessarily have a serious medical condition – it’s a normal and harmless reaction to a scent. But what should you do if you notice that your cat’s ‘flehmen’ reaction is more persistent and pervasive?
The flehmen reaction
The Flehmen reaction is an animal’s way of detecting a bad odor, and it’s especially evident in cat urine and feces. This behavior is also evident in multicat households, which are likely to have different pheromones. But it’s not just bad odors that cause cats to flee. Cats also react to pheromones from other species, like the odor from human sweat or socks.
The Flehmen response is also common in horses and other African animals. Cats’ response is similar to ours, but they look more like a horse. Unlike us humans, cats’ flehmen response doesn’t mean they are sick or moody. Rather, it’s a reaction that allows them to taste and gather more information about the smell in question. But what causes the Flehmen reaction?
The flehman reaction lasts a few seconds
When cats smell something bad, they have a reaction called the Flehman response. It involves an upturned lip, slightly squinty eyes, and curled tongue. It is caused by a specific organ in the cat’s mouth called the vomeronasal organ. Located behind the incisors, the organ is essentially a second nose that provides the cat with biochemical information about what’s around it.
Cats use the flehmen reaction to identify the scent of an encroaching rival or a potential mate. Feces and urine are rich in pheromones. They open their mouths to sniff urine or feces when they’re outdoors. The odor is their way of determining where the other animal is coming from, and the scent helps them know who’s invading their territory.
The flehmen reaction is not sinister
What is a flehmen reaction? Quite simply, it’s a sneer. Cats use their vomeronasal organ to sense chemicals in the air. Most of the time, they react to pheromones, or scent molecules that are found in the environment. When a cat smells something bad, it tries to expel that scent through its mouth.
A cat’s nose, or vomeronasal organ, is highly sensitive to smells. They can detect a variety of scents, from stale food to medication. Cats’ mouths are shaped so they can pass smell molecules over Jacobson’s Organ, which makes the sneer look sinister. Unlike humans, cats are able to distinguish pheromones even from different types of smells and react appropriately to them.
The flehmen reaction is not a sign of a health problem
Your cat’s Flehmen reaction is an entirely normal and perfectly healthy reaction. Your cat may keep its mouth open when you pet it, play with it, or rub against it. It is doing this to analyze smells and health issues. You may wonder what causes your cat to keep its mouth open when it smells something bad. The fact is, most cats don’t have any underlying health problems.
When cats smell something, their reaction resembles a sneer. It opens up its nasopalatine canals, which are located on the roof of the mouth behind the incisor teeth. These canals join up with their auxiliary olfactory bulb, known as Jacobson’s organ. Cats have two nasopalatine canals.