The cat’s tongue, an organ with multiple functions

This organ is particularly surprising, and one can even consider that the cat’s tongue is an object of curiosity because of its many functions. So let’s see in more detail how the cat optimizes this ultra flexible and rough tongue.

Cat’s tongue, on-board versatility

Here are all the uses of this ultra versatile instrument with which the cat is equipped.

Take care of your kittens and teach them cleanliness

The tongue of the cat intervenes at different levels in the relationship with her cubs. She uses this organ with multiple functions to clean their coat, wash them after feeding, cuddle them and transmit her affection.

It is also with her tongue that she helps her kittens to defecate in a chosen place so that the area reserved for rest and food is not soiled. During this period oftoilet training which starts very early, the cat triggers the excretion of feces by licking the belly of her young as well as their anal area.

To eat

The kitten head thanks to his tongue. As soon as it switches to adult food, it is again this which comes into play since it allows the animal to grab food without having to resort to its feet (unlike the squirrel for example) and then place them in its mouth. After a few nicks allowing chewing, the tongue springs back into action so that the cat can swallow every bite.

Itou when it comes to quenching thirst: this instrument that folds up in an incredible way to form a kind of spoon, it suffices to lap up milk but also water, whether in a bowl, in a water fountain or directly from the tap. No drop falls by the side thanks to the speed with which his tongue lifts to draw the liquid.

Perceive tastes

This organ is essential for the kitty to discover different flavors, but this is where it gets a little fishy because it does not perceive the sweet taste. The tongue of the cat contains fewer taste buds than that of its master.

Make yourself a beauty

The cat spends a lot of time sleeping, but that’s not all! It can be seen frequently licking itself with great care. It must be said that the kitty has a tongue particularly well designed to replace the comb like soap

Rough at will, it actually acts as a spiked brush. Thus, the little feline not only removes dust and shines its fur, but at the same time it removes dead hair. In addition to this, the 300 taste buds – some of which have hollow and rigid tips and others are conical and flexible – which make the cat’s tongue rough, store the saliva with which the animal wets its fur in which the fluids penetrate quite deeply.


It is again thanks to its tongue that the cat can express your emotions. Whether angry, scared, happy or in pain somewhere, the little feline uses this fabulous organ that nature has endowed him with to modify sound waves because the cat’s tongue is surprisingly flexible.

Analyze odors (Flehmen reflex)

Yes, kitty does not only use his nose to smell … but also his famous Jacobson organ or vomeronasal organ which opens into the nasopalatine canal. When he muses, the little feline decodes odors and pheromones. In order to be able to analyze their chemical compounds, it “tastes” them. This is why you can sometimes see your cat adopting a funny attitude. He rolls up his lips, opens his mouth and moves his tongue on which there are receptors. During Flehmen’s reflex, he presses his tongue against his palate so that the chemical particles can pass through Jacobson’s organ.

Regulate your body temperature

Unlike humans, cats do not sweat profusely when it is very hot. However, we know that sweating ensures the thermoregulation from the body. Never mind, the kitty still uses his tongue to lower his body temperature, avoid hot flashes and protect himself against hyperthermia.

Under scorching temperatures, we can see his little feline slumped, mouth open and tongue sticking out. In this way, as much air as possible enters his body and it lowers his body temperature. But that’s not all since he also uses his tongue to spread a little saliva on his coat while licking himself. Thanks to this thermoregulatory saliva film, it promotes the maintenance of its body temperature.

Make no mistake about it, however, the cat should not be left in the heat (in a car for example). It is necessary to allow it to take refuge in the shade when it is very hot or in the cool in the house, and to make fresh water available in order to avoid its dehydration …

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