We humans are not the only creatures that yawn. Apes, snakes, rabbits, fish, some birds and cats and dogs yawn too. We yawn mainly when we’re tired or bored. But cats and dogs do so for other reasons.
When pets yawn and stretch, especially when arising, they use all the muscles in their bodies and it certainly appears to be a pleasurable experience. They rarely yawn because they are bored.
Most times it’s to increase their oxygen levels. They yawn when emotions are conflicted, when they are stressed or excited or the opposite which is calm. They will yawn to end a possible confrontation peacefully with another cat or dog.
Some researchers believe it dates back to primitive times when creatures displayed their teeth.
Recent studies have shown that yawning can be contagious to our pets. It would be interesting to see if your pet mimics your yawn.