How do cats drink? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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How do cats drink?

Please help me settle a bet.....

Do cats drink similar to a backhoe (or elephant I suppose) - by curling their tongue backwards?

My sanity is at stake....
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:23 PM
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That's an interesting question. I remember seeing a closeup video of a cat lapping up water once, but I spent 10 minutes trying to find it for you and I couldn't. Cats do drink in different ways. Some lap up water, some like to slurp at falling water (like from a faucet), some actually pick up water with a paw and slurp it off their paw.

I think you are correct about the lapping, I seem to remember that the video show a cat scooping up water with a curved tongue and shoveling it back into his mouth. Also, a cat's tongue has barbs pointing backward, which makes it easy to pick up even liquids and get them into the back of the mouth where they can be swallowed.

Hopefully someone else here will have a picture or video to show.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:26 PM
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http://www.catsinternational.org/articl ... ongue.html

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Cats drink by converting their long tongues into spoons. The tip of the tongue is curled backward to create a hollow shape that acts like the bowl of a spoon. Then he dips this into the water and flips it back and up, toward the open mouth. Small quantities of liquid are flicked toward the rear of the mouth. The cat swallows after every fourth or fifth lap, when enough liquid has accumulated at the back of the mouth. The barbs, or papillae, on the tongue soak up the liquid like a sponge. They are raspy and are also designed to rip the meat off of bones. (If you have been licked by your feline friend, you already knew this.) The backward-pointing barbs serve to move food and water into the cat's mouth, but they can also make it difficult for the cat to remove a piece of string or yarn from its mouth. (Always check your house and Kitty's toys for potential hazards.) Some other uses for this incredible little bit of feline anatomy are:

To wash and clean the cat's fur (a washcloth).
To smooth the fur when ruffled (a comb).
To dry the fur when wet (a towel).
To pant when the cat is hot (an air conditioner).
To additionally cool the cat by covering his fur with saliva which then evaporates.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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YES!

I too saw a video a few years ago on TV regarding how they drink. After mentioning that to family and friends, they all thought (think?) I was insane.

Thank you so much for the quick reply and information!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 01:52 PM
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Wait! Don't go! Stay and visit for a while - post pictures of your kitty(ies).

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-05-2007, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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not gone - will post some next week
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