The Anatomy of a Cat Tongue

The Anatomy of a Cat Tongue

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The texture of a cat tongue is both rough and tender. It will be used to lick your face in affection and also for hairballs and butt-licking. It is a piece of perfected strangeness while coming with a fascinating set of features to enable a cat to groom themselves and eat prey. While most cat-owners don’t pay too much attention to their feline companions’ tongue, it is an essential part of a cat’s anatomy.

The Cat’s Tongue is Covered with Papillae

On the surface of a cat’s tongue, you will find tiny and backward-facing barbs. These are known as papillae and are what cause that rough sensation when a cat licks you. It has several essential functions.

  • Papillae make it easier for a cat to rasp meat from the bones of its prey.
  • It also aids in grooming as it collects debris, dirt, and even loose hair.

While all this is fantastic, it does have a downside. Because these barbs are backward-facing, everything the cat collects will probably get swallowed. This can also make yarn, tinsel, or string a little dangerous if the cat gets some in its mouth.

A Cat’s Taste Buds are Different Than Yours

As humans, we love sugary sweets and can taste things that are sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Many scientists have speculated that a cat can’t taste any sweet food. It is believed they taste something different than the sugary goodness that you do as a human. They may also have different sensations when it comes to taste that is different from yours.

A Cat’s Tongue is Uniqueness Defined

Seeing a cat drink water in slow-motion is an experience in poetry and evolution. A feline’s tongue works as a tiny scoop that will pull the liquid out of the bowl. After this, it will propel it directly into the cat’s mouth in a straight column. While you can try and kneel to watch your best friend drink water, they do this too quickly. Watching it in slow-motion makes it appear they are defying gravity. A cat will also pant when it’s hot. So, your feline’s tongue works like a built-in air conditioner.

How Does a Cat’s Healthy Tongue Look?

A cat tongue can vary in color. It usually depends on if it is getting enough oxygen in its body. Your cat’s tongue should be a healthy pink color. If it becomes white or a paler pink, or even a shade of blue, contact your vet immediately.

If you find yourself watching your cat groom themselves, you are witnessing magic. Since a cat is technically a predator, its tongue has evolved to things like grooming and even help with consuming prey. Keep in mind that when a cat grooms itself, its more than just vanity. A cat tongue is a tool designed to elevate a cat to be a top predator, but lucky for you, it would rather nap on the window ledge and soak up the sun.

Kritter Kommunity Contributor

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