Small Animals

Why do cats clean themselves with their tongue?


Cats sure do love to lick themselves clean! Does this actually help the cat to get clean, or does the cat just really like the way its fur tastes? Cats do, in fact, actually clean themselves with their tongues!

One reason cats use their tongues to clean themselves is that their tongues are actually made for the job!

Have you ever been licked by a cat? If so, you've probably noticed that the cat's tongue was kind of rough! A cat's tongue is so rough because it works almost like a brush that grooms away all of the cat's dirt and loose hair!

Some cats also clean themselves with their tongues because they don't like water and prefer licking themselves clean over being given a bath! Most cats don't mind a little bit of water, but would rather avoid soaking up in a tubful. Luckily, they're built with tongues that are ready to do the job!


Lucky licking

Because you don't have the special brush-like tongue of a cat, it's probably not a very good idea for you to try licking yourself clean, and you should probably stick to soap and water in the bath! Have you learned about any other animals who use licking instead of a nice, soapy bath? Believe it or not, but some examples include bats and ants! Can you think of any other animals who clean themselves in interesting ways??

Further Information

Aside from cleaning, cats also sometimes lick themselves to help them cool down, warm up, or soothe a cut or scratch!


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