Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper? | Deep Look

Cats are obsessed with staying clean. They can spend up to half their waking hours
grooming. Their tongue is covered in tiny spines. They’re what makes the tongue feel so sandpapery. These spines, called papillae, are made of
keratin, just like their claws and our fingernails. The papillae even look like miniature cat
claws. They do an impeccable job of detangling their
fur. Researchers at Georgia Tech made a 3D model
of a cat’s tongue… to test how it works. See how the fur just peels off? It’s because the spines are all angled in
the same direction. With a typical hairbrush, you’d have to
pick the fur out from between the bristles. So why are cats so preoccupied with grooming? For them, it’s about more than just vanity. For one thing, it’s a way to show affection–
to build bonds. That’s why they appreciate us petting them. And it spreads out oils produced by the cat’s
skin that gives their fur some water resistance. But when it really comes down to it, for cats,
staying clean is a matter of life and death. Cats are carnivores… ambush predators. They hide and sneak up on their unsuspecting
prey. One whiff of the wrong odor could give the
cat away. But when they pounce, it’s their bite that
finishes the job. Cats have extra-wide mouths so they can get
their teeth around their prey’s neck. It would be like having the corners of your
mouth go all the way back by your ears. But there’s a tradeoff that comes with that
big bite. Those wide mouths mean their lips can’t
come together to form a good seal. They can’t create suction to drink the way
we do. So, they flick the water with the tip of their
tongue Researchers at MIT made a model using a glass
disc, to show how cats get a drink by just barely touching the water’s surface. The water sticks to the disc and to itself. Lift the disc at the right speed and it pulls
the water up into a column. Then, the cat bites it at precisely the right
moment to get as much water as possible. And all of this happens four times per second! It’s a complicated way to take a drink,
but it’s just one of prices cats pay to be the expert predators they are… Hey guys, It’s Lauren. You know you love fuzzy critters. So check out our other episodes like this
one. See what you can learn about a squirrel’s
mood just by looking at its tail. Or how the fuzziness of owl feathers makes
them such stealthy hunters. And if you like the show, share us! Thanks for watching.

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100 thoughts on “Why Does Your Cat’s Tongue Feel Like Sandpaper? | Deep Look

  1. ‘Cats have extra-wide mouths’

    Oh no, I’m sad now ;-; it reminds me of the now-extinct Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), and they have they widest mouths in the world for a mammal. They were driving to extinction because humans hunted them for no reason.

  2. Wait really? They feel like sandpaper? Huh, cool.
    Looks at a cat nearby
    tries to touch it's tongue while it's yawning
    gets violently bitten

  3. Cat arent predator. they r the most peaceful animal out there. we should learn from them to be more peaceful.

  4. My cat's tough doesn't feel like sandpaper as much as it feels like happiness really everything my cat does feels like happiness

  5. See my cat doesn't drink normally. She dips her paw in her water dish and licks the water off her paw.

  6. even though i don’t touch my cat’s tongue,i will still watch the video because i like it

    wait,is this why cats from cartoons puke hairballs?

  7. My Nan’s cat don’t get a drink with her tongue. She dips her paw in the water then licks her paw🐾

  8. me : reads title

    also me : who touches there cats toungue?? You dont need to poke it??????

    me : watches video


  9. Why can’t we have hairbrushes that r angled like a cat’s tongue? It’d make removing stray hairs so much easier!

  10. how can you touch the cat's tongue?
    did you agressively forced the cat to open it's mouth to get the tongue and touching it or what

  11. Whenever I try to pet my friends cat she always just sticks her arm out and tries to scratch me… HOW IS SHE SHOWING LOVE

  12. i loved my cat so much.
    now i cant bare to lose another
    i had a cat longer portion of my life
    she was like my little sister
    i had to scare away other cats that harrased her
    so she was provoking them because she knew i would come in her rescue
    she could open doors by her self by jumping on door handles
    went into neighbours houses to explore
    i loved that siamese cat more than people

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