Cats are incredibly cute and affectionate companions. Cats can also be incredible dorks. There are many inventive words to describe all of the ways cats are cute but silly.
Two of these cat slang words are mlem and blep. The internet is filled with pictures of cats in various states of mlem and blep. Both actions involve cats with their tongues out so it’s understandable that people might be confused: what is the difference between a mlem and a blep?
One of the cutest things, in my humble opinion, that a cat can do is to forget to put their tongue back in. A cat with their tongue slightly sticking out is called a blep.
Bleps happen when a cat is relaxed or sleeping. As a cat relaxes, the muscles that hold their jaws closed also relax. A relaxed jaw allows the cat’s mouth to open and the tongue to fall forward. This is why with bleps, just a little bit of the cat’s tongue slips out.
A freshly awakened cat will often sit there for a few minutes with their tongue hanging slightly out. It’s quite a cute sight and one of the derpiest things that a cat does.
Unlike a blep, a cat mlem is more of a purposeful action. The mlem is the act of a cat sticking its tongue out to lick their nose or the air. The “mlem” word is meant to bring to mind the sound of the cat making that licking action.
The mlem action by a cat is, in most cases, not something owners should be worried about. Cats will lick their lips after eating to clean them. Cats might also lick their lips in anticipation of something. The occasional lip licking is normal.
Cats will also lick their lips when they are uncomfortable or stressed.
If you cat is excessively licking their lips, you might want to consult a vet as that may indicate a health issue.