What Is the Flehmen Response in Cats

If you’ve ever noticed your cat’s expression of sneering or making a “stinky face,” that’s the response of the flehmen. Also referred to as the flehmen reaction or the flehmen grimace, the flehmen reaction is a behavior reaction that felines (and other animals, such as tigers, goats, and horses) that aids them in processing fascinating smells, including pheromones, chemical compounds released by communicate to the other species members about breeding, territory and identifying.

Find out everything you need you need to learn regarding your feline’s “stinky face” and what it signifies.

What Is the Flehmen Response?

The flehmen reaction is a behavior response to specific stimuli (usually scents), which allows animals to gain access to the information that is transmitted by the smell. It’s a voluntary behavior, which means that the animal intentionally engages in the behavior (as opposed to non-voluntary behaviors, such as drooling at the sight of food or pupil dilation when stressed and stressed).

When a cat is acting in response to flehmen, the cat will usually keep its mouth wide. This lets air flow through their vomiting organ (also known as”the VNO and Jacobson’s organ).

It is the VNO is an additional olfactory (meaning sensual sense) organ that is located at the nasal cavities. It’s responsible for processing hormones and pheromones produced from other species, generally from identical species. Through the direct vicinity of these molecules of scent, The VNO is able to make them a sensory experience, which has been described as a mix of smell and taste.

All species of animals, including cats, that show the response to flehmen have an opening in the top of their mouths right between their upper and lower teeth. It is connected to an auricular duct, which transmits aroma directly to their VNO.

It’s not only domestic cats that exhibit the flehmen response. The behavior can also be noticed in animals like leopards and tigers, as well as other animals such as goats, horses, and sheep.

What Does the Flehmen Response Look Like?

When cats are around, their response to flehmen generally resembles your cat snoring due to something smelly. The cat is likely to lower their lip to show their teeth in front, keep their mouth wide, and then inhale. Sometimes, they may extend their necks or hold their head to the sky.

The posture is held for a brief duration before the cat is returned to its normal posture. This pose may resemble panting, grimacing, or sneering.

Why Do Cats Open Their Mouth When They Smell?

The flehmen reaction can be used to process messages sent by appealing scents. Most of the time, it is due to pheromones that come from other cats.

The flehmen response is typically used for male cats to gauge the readiness of females to mate through the smell of the urinary tract; every cat may make use of the flehmen response reaction to scents they feel are interesting enough to warrant further investigation. Cats may display the flehmen reaction in response to odors such as:

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