Facts About Cats: Why Do Cats Have Scratchy Tongues?

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by Paws on Your Heart on February 21, 2013

Have you ever noticed how scratchy your cat’s tongue is when she’s licking you?

One of the well know facts about cats is that they have scratchy tongues. So what causes feline tongues to be so rough?

A closeup view of a feline’s tongue will reveal that it’s covered in hundreds of tiny hooks. These hooks are made up of keratin (the hard substance that makes up human fingernails), which is why the tongue is so rough.

The Important Role of the Cat Tongue

One of the most important tools that our feline friends have is their tongue. The hooks on a cat’s tongue help them to eat, drink, and groom themselves. In fact, the hooks face the back of a cat’s mouth, which makes it very easy for cats to lick up food and water.

One of the interesting facts about cats is that their tongues actually look and function like little brushes. When grooming themselves cats use their tongues to┬áseparate and brush their fur, which is how they keep their coats in such tip-top shape. Unfortunately, these little hooks are also a main cause of hairballs because they scoop up hair that can then be swallowed. If your feline friend suffers from hairballs you can help him or her out by having a weekly brushing session. This will help to remove excess hair and dead skin from your feline friend’s coat, which means less hair for your kitty to swallow.

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