Why do cats have rough language?
Do you remember the first time a kitten licked your hand? He was certainly surprised by the “sandpaper” sensation that caused the cat’s tongue to pass through his skin.
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The tongue of the cat is very long and flexible and with a very rough surface that sometimes makes some confusion to the tutors of them. Do not worry, it’s perfectly normal and all cats have their tongue like that.
To clarify this your curiosity, YourCatCareguide wrote an article about why cats have rough language .
Anatomy of the tongue
Before we explain to you the exact reason that makes the cats’ tongue rough, it is important that you know a little of the anatomy of the tongue.
The tongue is a muscular organ that is part of the digestive system. It is located, for the most part, inside the oral cavity and the caudal portion of it extends to the beginning of the pharynx. The tongue is very important as an aid to mastication and, in addition, is covered by a stratified keratinized squamous epithelium that has sensors that allow tasting and sensitivity.
The language is composed of three distinct parts:
- Apex or apex : The most rostral part of the tongue. In the ventral part of the vertex there is a fold that fixes the tongue to the oral cavity, called the lingual frenulum.
- Body of the tongue : The central part of the tongue, which is closest to the molars.
- Root of the tongue : It is almost entirely next to the pharynx.
A very important component of the tongue are the lingual papillae. These papillae exist on the edges of the tongue and on the dorsal surface. The types and quantities of papillae vary depending on the species of animal.
Also the language format and anatomy is slightly different depending on the species (you can see examples of pig tongue, cow and horse in the picture). For example, in the case of cows , the tongue plays a very important role in the gripping of food! They have a raised tongue called a ” lingual torus ” (see picture) that presses the food against the hard palate, which is a great help in chewing .
These are the cat’s taste buds that make him have such a blistering taste. Surely you have already noticed that your feline is very weird when it comes to choosing the food. Cats feel very much the taste of their food. For them everything is important, from the smell of food, texture and taste. The cats , unlike most dogs only eat what really pleases them .
Rough language of cats
Cats have a genus of “spicules” that make their tongue very rough and sanding. In fact, these spicules are nothing more than keratinized filiform papillae (keratin is the same material that makes up our nails and hair).
Another important function of the papillae, besides helping to remove the dirt from the hair, is to help loosen the flesh from the bones of the prey. Cats are excellent hunters. If your cat goes out to the street, surely you’ve seen him hunt a bird .
Did you know that the tongue is not the cat’s only organ that has thorns? Males also have spicules on the penis .
Cat Language Functions
The language of cats has several functions beyond those already mentioned:
- Drinking water : Unlike humans and other mammals, cats do not use their lips to drink water. The cats need to drink plenty of water daily . When they want to drink water, they place the tongue in a concave shape, creating as a “spoon” that carries water to the oral cavity.
- Feel the taste of food : the taste buds allow you to distinguish the flavors. Cats usually prefer salty foods.
- Control body temperature : Cats expel heat from the moisture they produce on the mucous membranes of the tongue, throat, and mouth. For this reason, sometimes we see cats mouth open. Cats have sweat glands on their paws, chin, anus and lips, and the cats sweat through them .
The cat ate your tongue
Surely you have heard a lot of times the expression ” the cat ate your tongue ” when you are quieter or for some reason do not feel like talking.
According to legend, this expression originated in the year 500 BC! The story tells that they commanded to cut the tongues of the defeated soldiers they offered for the animals of the kingdom, including the felines of the king .
Some people believe that the expression originated in the time of the inquisition and that the languages of witches , for example, were cut and given to cats for them to eat.