Why Cats' Tongues Are Rough
A Bumpy Tongue
As you may have noticed if kitty ever grooms you accidentally or on purpose, cats have very coarse tongues. Cats’ tongues are covered with backward-pointing spikes called papilla. That’s why your cat’s tongue feels like sandpaper when it’s rubbing against you; all those little hooks are tugging at your skin.
Cats’ Tongues are Eating Utensils
Cats use their tongues’ abrasiveness to scrape meat off the bones of their prey. In the wild, that may be the most vital role played by cats’ rough tongues. But it is far from their only function.
Cats’ Tongues are Brushes and De-tanglers . . .
Cats’ barbed tongues are also essential grooming tools. When grooming, cats use their tongues to moisten the fur with saliva which keeps the fur clean and smelling fresh and helps to regulate body temperature. The barbs on their tongues grab and remove lose fur and debris and aid in detangling mats.
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