- A cat's tongue is rough on top and smooth underneath.
- The rough upper surface is covered in papillae, or small bumps.
- There are 4 kinds of papillae.
- Conical papillae -- the most numerous, large, and backwards-pointing.
They give the cat's tongue its rasping quality.
- Flattened papillae -- found at the root of the tongue.
- Fungiform papillae -- along the sides of the tongue.
- Circumvallate papillae -- the least numerous, found at the back
of the tongue
- A cat uses its tongue for tasting and to move food into the mouth.
- The tongue also can rasp mosels of meat from bones.
- It is used to lap up liquids.
- It also is important for grooming. The tongue is used to clean
the fur and to smooth the fur when its ruffled.
- The tongue also will dry the fur if it gets wet.
- Cats use their tongue to greet their close companions with a little lick.
- And cats will pant, drawing air over their tongues, to help cool
Source: Cat Breeds of the World, by Desmond
Morris, Viking, New York, 1996, p.24.