What is wrong with OMG cat?

For me, OMG Cat looks like another example of dumbed down human behavior at the expense of the domestic cat. It is a personal viewpoint and I respect the views of others. If I am correct, YouTube are behaving badly too in publishing it. YouTube as we know is owned by Google. Come on Google! You need to set the standards on the internet because you’re the biggest presence on the internet and there is no one else who will set standards.

As there have been more that 20 million views of this short video called “The OMG Cat” (OMG = oh my god), I am sure most visitors to this page know the cat well.

The cat is a little, lightweight, gray tabby and white moggie. Her name is Choco. I have decided she is female but we are told nothing about this cat by the video maker other than her name. There are almost 25,000 comments on YouTube but I only see one from the 100 or so that I checked that referred to the possibility of Choco being ill. Most comments are just stupid.

In the video Choco gradually opens her mouth and holds it wide open until the video stops.The mouth is ends up being opened to an unnaturally wide amount. Cats hardly ever do this and it indicates a medical problem.

I am not going to show the video because that would be promoting it. I’ll show a still picture from the video instead. This is the link to the video on YouTube. I have provided this because I refer to the way the video has been made.

The OMG Cat

The OMG Cat

What is wrong with Choco medically?

Perhaps the better question is “is there something wrong medically?” It very much seems that way. However, Choco does not look as if she is distressed. Although improbable, I almost believe that she has been trained to open her mouth like that.

Note: If someone can prove to me that Choco is healthy and her wide open mouth is strange but normal behavior, for her, I will be pleased to amend this post. Someone may well have a definitive answer. Is it a fake as Dan in the comments suggests?

What is making this cat hold he mouth wide open? The only suggestions I have seen on the internet are:

  • broken jaw causing pain
  • jaw infection causing pain
  • mouth disease causing discomfort

There is nothing that I know of that supports these suggestions but they could be correct. If Choco does suffer from a medical condition the symptom is unusual; mouth wide open.

A wide open mouth suggests to me a difficulty in inhaling enough air. In other words Choco is short of breath.  A condition that would cause this is pleural effusion. It is liquid build up around the lungs which compresses the lungs making breathing difficult. The cause can be trauma (a blow to the chest or abdomen). Or it might be caused by one of the nasty diseases such as FIP or FeLV.

A symptom of this condition is to sit with chest expanded and head and neck extended and to breath with the mouth open.

I am not saying this is the medical problem or even that Choco has a medical problem. I am just saying that it looks that way to me and I think the video maker should explain what is going on. The fact that he has not supports the argument that Choco has a health problem.

The Video

The video is interesting because the video maker started filming before Choco had opened his mouth. This strongly indicates that the video maker knew Choco would open his mouth which further indicates that Choco opens his mouth a lot like that. His behavior was predictable. A person would not video his cat just sitting minding her own business.

The video maker even lowers the camera angle as he films to make Choco’s mouth more visible. This indicates he was filming the cat’s mouth. It was not a lucky event but a planned one.

If I am correct, it confirms that Choco is ill and the most likely cause is that she is having difficulty in getting air into her lungs so has to facilitate air flow with a wide open mouth.

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What is wrong with OMG cat? — 7 Comments

  1. I have a lot of photos of my cats doing this. Mine do it as a yawn and it only lasts a few seconds. I’m emailing you one of Furby that I did a cute caption on. As to my getting a photo like this I have to be ready with the camera when the cat first wakes up.

    Here are the pictures:

    • I agree they look very similar is a still image but Choco opens his mouth slowly and then holds it open well beyond the usual limit.

      I had an idea as to how it might have been done. If Choco did yawn the video could have been cut on a loop. So the same bit of video material is re-shown over again which would extend the length of the yawn. Although the way the mouth is opened does not look like a yawn. And it is seamless. So I am not convinced it is a fake.

  2. I think it’s a fake. Look at the movement of the muscles on the side of her face, they don’t move like it seems they should move. Otherwise, I’d agree. This is a serious issue.

    • Like some kind of repeat button used making the video? I can’5 look at the video until I get the wi-fi at the coffee shop.

    • Thanks Dan, it didn’t really occur to me that it was manufactured. It could be. I don’t think the person who made it has the ability to manufacture the video like that because it is difficult to do. But, yes, it may be a fake.

  3. In your post, you mentioned a few medical problems that you believe could cause the “OMG” face on a cat. I think that the issue is that most people assume that if an animal feels pain, they will react the way we do. That isn’t necessarily the case. Dogs and cats will often act as if there is no pain and/or distress when in fact there is. This is why, in many cases, the “problem” gets too far gone to treat.

    I had a cat that also used to do this. I took her to vets at least once a year. She always had a clean bill of health. When she was about 5, she started coughing. Even though she was an indoor cat, and not around other cats, I thought she may have somehow gotten feline pneumonia and took her to the vet. The vet couldn’t find anything wrong until he looked in her mouth. All of her jaw teeth were rotten and broken off. According to the vet, due to her age and good health, it had to be a hereditary problem. All of the teeth would need to be pulled, but the infection needed to be taken care of first. After 2 weeks of antibiotics, the infection had gotten worse. That was when she started doing the OMG face. Two more weeks of antibiotics, and one of her pupils “blew”. It was round instead of the normal cat eye slit. The face she was making was her dealing with the pain and neurological issues from the abscess. BTW, the abscess couldn’t be seen except by x ray. She was the only cat that I ever had that I actually loved and she passed away from complications from an abscess with no outward “signs” of pain although she had to be in a considerable amount. If I were Choco’s owner, I would take him to the vet immediately. It could be an abscess, or it could be neurological.

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