Why Do Cats Sometimes Grimace or Grin?

The grinning cat, or one that is flexing its nose and lip, is performing a physical reaction known as ‘flemening’. Flehmen behavior is believed to be a direct response to pheromones and other natural body-chemical odors, and is triggered when there is stimulation in an area behind the nasal area known as thevomero-nasal or Jacobson’s organ. This facial behavior occurs more frequently in the big cats, which tend to possess a more developed vomero-nasal organ.

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