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Why do cats have a raspy tongue?

Why do cats have a raspy tongue?
Why do cats have a raspy tongue?


While cats are animals with soft fur and coat, they have a particularly rough tongue, unlike dogs. When your hairball licks your skin, it is not painful but it is not a moment of pleasure either. But why such a rough language? What can it do for?

1. To comb

The language of cats is provided with many small hooks or spines that give it this abrasive appearance. Called “taste buds” and keratin compounds (like their claws), they allow the felines to brush their hair. Indeed, their rigidity removes dead hairs and cleans the coat in depth.   Although this language is very useful for cats, it still has a big drawback: it retains the hair during the toilet and promotes their ingestion and thus the formation of hairballs in the stomach. It is therefore essential to brush your cat at least once a week to limit the appearance of these balls of hair.

2. To eat better

This raspy tongue also serves as a fork for their meals. Indeed, it allows to catch their food and easily recover the meat stuck on the bones of the prey. Because when a cat licks a wound, it opens more and more, as if rubbing sandpaper on it. Moreover, during their hunting parties, they do not need their legs to keep their small prey in place, their language is sufficient.

3. To drink better

Finally, the language of the cat allows him to lapping the water with more ease. Indeed, when he drinks, the cat positions his tongue like a spoon, the asperities helping to retain the water to swallow as much as possible.

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