16

Our Tongues are the Cat’s Meow

How cat tongues work—and can inspire biotechnology

The other day someone said that Snoops’ tongue was weird. We really like this person and know that we’re her first close cat friends. But it was still a little irksome. Everyone knows that cats have pawsome tongues.

Cat Hunting Behavior - When and How Cats Hunt

Our tongues evolved the way they did because we are such amazing hunters. They are covered with little spikes called papillae that are hooked at the end. The papillae are shorter on the the sides of our tongues than in the middle, and the hooks all face into the middle of our mouths.

A Cats Tongue by Wild-Soul on DeviantArt

Not everyone has an equally rough tongue. Mom says that our angel sister Rascal’s tongue was so rough that it would actually rub the skin off if she was too affectionate. On the other hand, Rascal’s sister Critter had a tongue that was almost smooth. Snoops’ tongue is the rougher between the two of us.

As you might have guessed, our tongues are central to our ability to survive. We use them for eating, drinking, and grooming. The details are below:

Protecting Your Nighttime Water Glass from Your Cat

Drinking – Our tongue is vital to our ability to drink. We curl it around to create a kind of funnel, then bend it back like a spoon. You have probably noticed that you only have to put the tip of your tongue in the water, then lift it up and suck in. It’s a fast process that allows for quick hydration. Some humans timed us and found that we can make approximately four licking actions in a second. That skill comes in pretty handy around the drinking hole when there might be predators lurking.

My Cat Is In Pain When He Eats" | Resorptive Lesions May Be Too  BlameCherished Companions Animal Clinic

Eating – Since we are predators, we need a way to get the meat off of the prey and into our tummies. Our tongues are perfect for this task. Those little hooks are meant to get meat off of the bones and broken down into digestible pieces. They work wonders on pate and other forms of canned cat food as well. Just how good are they? Good enough that the same design is used by our wild cousins, the lions and tigers. (Wow. Wonder if Rascal confused Mom with dinner one time?)

cats-eating-ice-cream-cone |

We don’t have as many taste buds as humans do. That might be because we aren’t programmed to eat sweets in the wild. Our natural palate runs strongly to the savory side. However, as Snoops will attest, our tongues can be trained to appreciate sweet flavors. And many cats have discovered that those little hooks work really well on ice cream.

Cat Grooming: Understanding Why Cats Groom Themselves

Grooming – The little hooks are good for more than eating. When we lick our coats, we remove the loose furs. It keeps us looking gorgeous. It also removes the scent of anything we might have eaten. We don’t want to smell like our food because we don’t want other animals thinking that we might make a good snack.

The downside is that some of those furs might stick on the the hooks. If you swallow too many of your loose furs, you will end up with a hairball. And most of us know how unpleasant that is.

188 Cats Who Love Sun More Than Anything | Bored Panda

Climate Control – As you may recall from our post about beating the heat, the tongue also has a role in keeping us cool in the summer. When we groom, we wet our fur. As the saliva dries, it has a cooling effect. Cleanliness is vital to comfort in the summer months.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? (the Answer Will Surprise You!) – TheCatSite  Articles

Socialization – Mother cats lick their kittens to clean them and train them in self-care, but they also do it because they love them. Grooming is a sign of affection.

If you really love your human, you may have attempted to groom them. A lot of humans think that we are kissing them, and in a way we are. However, some of them really can use the extra help in the cleanliness department. (Hint: How often does your human bathe compared with how often you bathe?) Either way, we do it because we love them.

So if a human complains that your tongue is too rough, tell them you like it just the way it is. It is cat-astic.

Cute Cats and Kittens Tongue Sticking Out Pictures - Love Meow

Belated Happy Dominion Day to our Canadian friends. And Happy Independence Day to those in the US.

Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July! | East Harding Construction

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

26

Cat Forum: Cats and the Heat

35+] Summer Cat Wallpaper Images on WallpaperSafari

Greetings fellow felines. We’re here to talk about the heat. You would think that with as much as we all love to curl up with an electric blanket in the cooler weather that summer would be a breeze for us cats. After all, we do adore sun puddles. But there’s warm, and then there’s the ridiculous heat that comes around this time of year.

It’s time to call out your primordial cat and make sure you’re following your instincts regarding the heat. This is no time to go “doggo” and start exercising with your human.

26 Cats Who Are Getting Cozy In The ... Sink? – Meowingtons

Conserve your energy. Sleep when it’s hot; prowl when it’s cooler. Nothing interesting happens in the heat of the day anyway – everything else is avoiding the sun too. It’s the perfect excuse for taking longer naps.

Sleep someplace cool. Tile floors are great in the summer. They stay cooler and don’t retain heat. Sinks work well if you want to avoid being stepped on. Try to avoid the rooms with big, open windows that let in a lot of sun. You don’t want to sleep in those intense sun puddles either.

Cat Drinking Fountain

Groom yourself. As the saliva dries, it will help cool you down,

Hydrate. Drink water whenever you get the chance. You’re thirstier in the heat, and drinking cool water will help you cool down.

Is It Safe To Put Ice In A Cat's Water? | Purr Craze

You also need to talk to your human about things they can do to help you deal with the heat:

Make ice toys. We like to play with ice cubes. They slide nicely and are fun to pounce on. They also help to keep our paws cool. (In case you didn’t know, paws are where we gain and lose heat.)

Cooling mats. If your house is really hot, or if you get overheated easily, a cooling mat is a great idea. Your human can buy one or make their own out of freezer blocks and a thick blanket (don’t let them get the really cold stuff next to your fur/skin). In an emergency, a package of frozen vegetables will work.

Caturday Pootie Diary: Fur Couture

Wet towel. If you’re feeling extra warm, your human can help by wetting your fur with a towel or their hands. It will feel really good as the water evaporates. At the least, dampening your paws will offer quick relief.

Brushing. Our fur coat helps to regulate our temperatures, but loose furs just make us hot. Getting brushed daily helps keep us as cool as possible.

Catster Quiz: Is Your Cat a Hot Mess? - Catster

Watch for signs of overheating. Heavy panting and loss of energy are early signs that we are too hot. Agitation, rapid breathing, skin that is hot to the touch, drooling and vomiting may be signs of heatstroke and are a medical emergency. You need to see a vet.

Multiple sources of water. It is a good idea to have lots of water available in extremely hot weather. Adding ice cubes can help keep it cool. It is especially important to have water available outside this time of year.

Most interesting cat in the attic. : MostInterestingCats

Provide sunscreen. It’s best if you stay inside between 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is the strongest. If you need to be outside, your human can provide sunscreen (feline variety, not human) if you are one of our pale-colored or sparsely-furred kin. Your ears and nose are particularly susceptible to getting burnt. Warning sign that requires a trip to the vet for an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat: crusty, scaly, or sore-looking skin.

Keep poorly ventilated rooms closed. This isn’t a good time of year to be exploring the attic or the space behind the refrigerator. If you do get caught someplace hot, make sure you drink plenty of water when you get out. And let your human know if you don’t feel well.

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Finally, talk to your humans about helping any stray/feral cats who may be around. If possible, offer a shady spot and fresh water. Plastic bowls are better than metal ones because they don’t get as hot and won’t burn if the cat touches it. (Metal is also not recommended in the winter because the cat’s tongue can freeze to it.)

Now that you know how to stay comfy, have a pawsome summer! And send your human out for a mouse-sicle to enjoy.

Cat Facts: 5 Amazing Ways Your Cat Stays Cool In The Summer - CatTime

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

26

The Well-Groomed Cat

Cute Cats Grooming Each Others - YouTube

Some humans think it’s a little weird how much we groom ourselves (It can take up 30-50% of our waking lives). They never stop to think about how weird we think it is that they bathe so rarely. Or how disgusting that is. We thought we’d take a few minutes to do a little educating on why we do what we do. Once again, it’s time to teach your human. (Our pictures include examples of why this important task should not be left to humans.)

Pin on CATatonic

Grooming helps us cool down – You will notice that, unlike humans, we do not become drippy, smelly messes when it gets hot or we exercise. We sweat through our pads. The drying of the saliva from our grooming also helps us cool down.

Lolcats - bath - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words on  them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

We can wash our own backs – Remember last week when we were talking about how cool it was that our collarbones don’t attach to the bones in our bodies (only our front legs)? Not only can we squeeze through small spaces, we can turn our heads around to reach our backs to wash them. Even between the shoulders.

Cat Overgrooming: Why Is My Cat Licking Itself So Much? | PetMD

Our grooming may be tied to our general health – Humans don’t need to worry about the amount we groom on a regular basis (we are ultra-clean animals). It’s if we groom more or less than usual. More grooming could mean stress or tension. Less grooming could mean we can’t reach the area anymore or it hurts to groom there. Or it could mean that we got into something yucky.

National Hairball Awareness Day: Help Your Cat Celebrate - Catster

Our amazing tongues are responsible for hairballs. You know how we have those little hooks that help carry the food and water back into our mouths? They also carry any loose furs back there. We have to swallow those furs. Then we have to hack them up. Voila! Hairball. You can use this information as a weapon if you’d like.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? - Catster

We bond through grooming – No surprise here. We’re not going to let just anyone put their mouth on our precious fur. Besides, our moms showed us they loved us through grooming. As adults, how else are we going to get the new guy in the house to smell decent? It marks us a one of the family.

Why Do Cats Lick People?

We only groom the humans we love – Once again, we are bonding like our moms taught us. Why do some humans immediately wash off our love? No clue, but we love them anyway. Even if they do smell like human.

Why Does My Cat's Fur Stand On End? | 1-800-PetMeds Cares™

Our furs have muscles – That’s the secret behind how we fluff up when we get scared. The guard hairs use their muscles to stand up. Humans have puny hair compared to us.

Dinosaur Cat Haircuts Are The New Grooming Trend And I'm Not Sure How To  Feel

Our furs have cuticles that point away from our bodies – It’s kind of like being covered with overlapping shingles. If the shingles are all pointing in the right direction, we’re smooth and silky. If some of the shingles get moved in the wrong direction, we can get rough and spiky. Sometimes humans think it’s funny to pet us in the wrong direction. Then they get offended when we immediately lick the furs back into place. It feels weird with the furs kinked up. We’re not the antisocial ones, they’re the ones messing up the natural order.

Top 10 Cats With Bad Haircuts | Cat haircut, Cat grooming, Stupid cat

Hopefully, we given you some good conversation starters. If you have trouble getting their attention, a hairball usually does the trick.

14 Kittens -- Licking and Grooming Each Other - YouTube

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

28

Cat Forum: Beating the Heat.

TOO HOT - Imgflip

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here with another edition of Cat Forum. To be perfectly honest, we have been too hot to really do anything this week, so we thought about writing about how hot we are. But that would be boring since everyone else is hot too.

Cat Loves Cooling Off In The Pool And Swimming | Focus Newspaper

Instead, we did some research on how to keep cool. Some were pretty basic like never let your human lock you in a hot car or stay out of the sun as much as possible. But some made more sense, so we’re sharing those. (If you’re one of those kitties who like to swim, that is another option.)

Cats licking ice balls - YouTube

Enjoy ice treats – We were really excited because we thoug it they might have recipes for mousesicles or moths on ice. No such luck. It’s pretty much licking ice balls. Maybe you could ask your human to add tuna juice. Sometimes Mom adds ice cubes to our water fountain.

WHEN YOU SWALLOW AN ICE CUBE Just Let It Slide | Cats Meme on ME.ME

Play with ice cubes –  We don’t really understand this suggestion because the “experts” also say we should limit play during the hottest part of the day. You need a hard surface to do this game. It may cool off your front paws which could make you feel cooler.

Aluminum Cat Nest Summer Cool Kitten Bed Cooling Cats House Lovely ...

(Yes, it’s an actual cooling bed you can get from AliExpress)

Lay on a cooling mat – You will need to talk to either your human or Alexa to get one of these. You can cool the whole side that is laying on It. It’s like an electric blanket for the summer. We do not recommend lying in ice cubes

31 Funny Memes & Random Pics That'll Rock Your World | Funny cat ...

Wrap yourself in wet towels or have your human stroke you with wet hands – This one sounds a little icky to us. But it probably works if you don’t mind your human wiping their hands on you like you’re a towel.

5 Ways to Brush a Cat and Make Him Love It - Catster

Have your human brush you daily – Hopefully, you already have your human trained to either brush you daily or on command. Loose furs can get trapped in your coat and add to the heat of the season. Besides, we all look even more beautiful freshly brushed.

Cooling Off A Bit

Elevate your bed – It’s a good idea to sleep where the air can circulate below you as well as around you. We recommend a shelf on a cat tree in the shade as a good possibility. If your human has a shelf that is open to air flow, that is another choice. Make sure you have cleared it before you try to sleep.

Cat memes – Feeling hot | Cute cats, Funny animal pictures, Crazy cats

Get a personal fan – Once again, you will need your human’s help. A fan is one of those things where the blades go around an make a breeze. Be sure that your fan is large enough to cool the air, but not so large that it ruffles your furs. Never put your paw near it. It’s your human’s job to turn it on and adjust it.

Summer Heat Is No Problem for Cats | Diamond Pet Foods

Close the drapes – Unfortunately, when you’re too hot, it’s no time to sleep in sun puddles. The direct sun will make you even hotter. So stake out a spot in a nice shady spot and sleep in comfort. The heat wave will end eventually, and you can return to sun worship.

Cali"-fornia Cat Conserves Water | From Diapers To Diamonds

And one final word – Hydrate! Drink as much water as possible to keep your insides and outsides healthy.

When It's Hot You're Hot... - Life With Cats

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.