Why Do Cats have Rough Tongues?

Has your cat ever licked your face or hand? Did you notice how rough it felt? Unlike a dog, a cat’s tongue is rough and not quite as wet and drool covered. What’s up with a rough tongue? Well, a cat’s tongue has tiny backward facing barbs called filiform papillae on them. The barbs assist the cat in holding on to prey once they catch it in their mouth. The barbs also help with grooming and cleaning of fur. The barbs serve as a comb and can rake through the fur removing dirt. There are also barbs on the sides of the tongue and in the back of the tongue. Cats depend on these barbs to determine texture when eating since they have very few taste buds. If you ever notice your cat’s tongue to be swollen or larger than usual, call your vets Hyattsville, MD.


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