The Truth About Your Cats Sandpaper Tongue
If you are lucky enough to have a kitty that gives “sandpaper kisses” like mine, you know how rough your feline’s tongue is. Have you ever wondered how and why their tongues are so rough? Scientists are learning how cats use their tongues to clean using CAT SCANS!...Pun intended! LOL
Scientists used to think that cat tongues were covered with little cones. But, recent cat scans have shown that this is not the case. Cats actually have tiny hooks that spring up on their tongues. These hooks have scoops built into them that assist in carrying saliva deep into their fur. This is a trait that cats share with bobcats, cougars, leopards, tigers, and lions.
A house cat has nearly 300 papillae that hold a small amount of saliva that’s released when the tongue presses on fur, and then they wick up some more. There is a definite correlation between the length of the spines on a cat’s tongue and the distance between compressed fur and the skin.
Mechanical engineers think that this knowledge could lead to inventions for pets and people. Their tongue could help us apply fluids, or clean carpets, or apply medicine” to hairy skin, said Georgia Tech lead researcher Alexis Noel, who is seeking a patent for a 3D-printed, tongue-inspired brush.