Cat lovers spend lots of time detailing about different things that are remarkable about felines. It can be their eyes that can see in the dark, super-sensitive whiskers on their faces and legs and their paw pads which are tailor-made for silent stalking. We can go on and on about the different features of cats. But the one thing that stands out in a feline’s body is their tongue. It has been researched and found out by mechanical engineers at Georgia Tech employing 3D technology that a cat’s tongue is more like a sandpaper. It is more like an ultimate hairbrush that aids in grooming the kitty.
The cat’s tongue also consists of small, backward-facing barbs made up of keratin, the material that is in your fingernails. A single swipe of your cat’s brush like tongue not only detangles your kitty’s fur, but also gets rid of any knots, thereby removing dirt and fleas. It even spreads beneficial oils all over the cat’s body and even improves blood circulation.
Let us now look at some of the interesting facts about a cat’s tongue:
The rough stuff on your cat’s tongue are known as papillae
You get a rough sensation when your kitty licks. It is as a result of papillae on its tongue. Although we, humans also have papillae known as taste buds they feel unusually distinct. Papillae on a cat’s tongue are longer and have more keratin which gives them the abrasive, dry feeling. There has been no scientific research to prove the reason for which the cat’s papillae looks and feels so different, but they do play a crucial role in assisting cats to stay hygienic and flourishing.
Cats cannot taste sweets, but they may taste other things that human beings cannot
After years of research it has been found that cats do not perceive sugar as done by most mammals. But the same study clarifies that cats can taste other things that human beings cannot like adenosine triphosphate, a compound that supplies energy in every living cell.
Cat’s tongue plays a critical role in their health
Cat’s tongue is the most engaging part of their anatomy. The tongue aids in licking the cat’s coats thereby keeping it clean. It even regulates their body temperatures, stuffing up the fur in the winter and wetting it down with the aid of saliva to stay air-cooled in blistering summer days. It even collects fur, fleas, skin flakes and dirt. These debris are swallowed by the feline and digested by the stomach acid. If it cannot be digested properly, this is particularly a case for long-haired or older cats, then hairballs may form. This can result in problems if the hairballs are not fully digested. Long-haired cats use their tongue to groom themselves, which aids in getting rid of loose hair.
If your kitty is not grooming herself, it can point towards a health concern
If your cat’s tongue is not grooming the feline then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Poor grooming can be due to obesity, disease, malnutrition, pain and other issues. Most cats are very fastidious about their appearance and their ability to clean themselves, which makes them feel good. Overweight cats have tangled fur and flaky skin on the lower parts of the body which can increase their discomfort.
Even if your feline is overgrooming herself it can be due to stress or other issues
If you see bald spots developing in the cat, it is time to rush to your veterinarian. The veterinarian would help you ascertain whether the kitty is pulling down hair with the aid of the tongue, or losing it due to a problem. Due to stress and emotional issues the feline’s tongue goes into the hyper-grooming drive. There can be other causes too, including: allergy, mites and thyroid conditions.