A Cat’s Tongue

This photograph by Billy Lawrence captures the unique pattern of a kitty cat's tongue.

A cat's tongue is covered with spiny little prickles called papillae which are made of keratin (just like our fingernails!)  Your cat may try to groom you sometimes, and it feels much like an emery board; a little sandpaperish.  The cat's tongue is used for many survival tactics.  These 5 are especially important in your kitty cat's unique make up and survival tactics.


  1. GROOMING – the little pricklies help your kitty remove hair, acting as a brush to groom and clean
  2. FOOD SPOON – using their tongue to lap up food is normal animal behavior, but the kitty cat can grasp food and liquids even better with the traction of their tongue
  3. GRASP THEIR PRAY – eeks, need I say more?  The traction on the tongue acts as a weapon to hold their captured rodent in place
  4. CLEAN THE BONES OF PRAY – bluck!  but it's true, the little pricklies help your kitty clean the meat of the bones of the little mouse he just captured
  5. KITTENS SUCKLE – when they are kittens, the little pricklies help them latch on when they are suckling, again the papillae act as traction on the tongue, helping the hang on easier

Here are two videos that really captures the kitty cat's tongue in action, it is quite extraordinary! ENJOY!



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