Cat’s Tongue

Cats tongue

I came across this picture of a close-up of a cat’s tongue. I thought it was so amazing, I searched for more information and pictures about the topic.

I learned that in the center of a cat’s tongue are papillae, which are little hooked, hair-like growths that face towards the back of the mouth. These strong hooks are made from keratin (the same stuff found in human fingernails).

Papillae are used for the following

  • The hooks help clean and separate the cat’s fur.
  • The hooks can help gather food into the mouth.
  • The hooks can help hold struggling prey in place.
  • Special mushroom-shaped papillae at the tip and along the sides of the tongue hold large taste buds. Another set of cup-shaped papillae sit at the back of the tongue.

Thanks to their unique tongue, a cat has a keener sense of taste than a dog does. Studies have shown that a cat’s tongue reacts to flavor AND to texture. This may be one of the reasons that dry cat food comes in a variety of shapes. The tongue is also sensitive to temperature. Studies have shown that many cats prefer food served at room temperature over warm or cold food.

When a cat drinks, the tongue takes on a spoon-like shape. A cat dips his tongue into the water several times before swallowing. The way a cat’s tongue dips under the water is similar to how an elephant curls its trunk.

Here are other pictures of cats’ tongues:

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Categories: Animals, Cats | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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