The cat’s tongue is not just an organ that participates in their feeding. As in most animals, cats also use their tongue for many other important functions in their daily life.
Today, we will see 6 curiosities about the cat’s tongue that will surprise you and through which you will learn more about cat´s behaviour. Take note!
The cat’s tongue has a texture like sandpaper. This is due to the filiform papillae that cover the entire upper surface of the feline’s tongue, formed by keratin that makes them harder and more resistant. Thanks to these papillae, they can swallow better when they eat, favouring the digestion of certain foods.
The rough and rigid texture of the papillae of the cat’s tongue is perfect for daily grooming. It acts as a comb, removing loose hairs and other skin rests. The downside is that hairballs can be formed in the stomach if humans do not brush them often.
Thermometer for food
Cats are genetically programmed to eat food at room temperature. A very important function of their tongue is to control the food temperature, avoiding what is too cold or hot.
They do not have taste buds
Although they have the tongue covered by keratin papillae, they cannot perceive the flavours with them. Cats can notice slightly the sweet and salty flavours, but above all they guide themselves by the smell of the food.
The tongue becomes a spoon to drink
Cats do not sip water to drink like humans do. Their tongue becomes a kind of spoon that allows them to introduce the water inside the mouth and take it in a very delicate way. Their tongue movements are so fast that they move it about 4 times per second.
Another of the most important functions of the cat’s tongue is licking to show affection. They learn this since they are babies, licking their siblings and as a sign of affection towards their mother. When they grow up, they can also do it with other animals and with their favourite humans for whom they feel true admiration.
Does your cat also show you affection by licking you with its raspy tongue? Feel lucky for it!