The cat’s tongue is ideally adapted for lapping liquids. It is a long, muscular organ, which curls at the tip, so shaping itself into a sort of ladle precisely for this purpose. The cat takes several successive gulps and then swallows the fluid that it has, by now, collected in its mouth. It is a very efficient drinker and can drink a large quantity of fluid astonishingly quickly, although it does look as though it is quite hard work.
The cat has a reputation for being a voracious drinker because of the popular image of a cat lapping from a bowl of milk. Cats are very efficient drinkers, using their tongues like spoons to lap up liquids quickly.
Yes, they have to drink in order to replace water that has been lost from the body. Drinking is esential, or a cat will become dehydrated and even die. Insufficient fluids can lead to blockage in the urinary tract in male cats.
It can mean several things, including diabetes and kidney problems, and should always be investigated by your vet.
He may be getting enough water from his diet. Many cats prefer to drink out of puddles or even from the toilet, rather than from their own water bowl. You may simply not have seen him do this, so he may drink more than you think.
Some cats prefer milk to water, which is fine as long as it doesn’t cause diarrhoea. It’s always a good idea to make sure that fresh water is available.
The cat has an efficient tongue, A designed – among other things – to make it possible for the cat to lap fluids very easily.
When a cat drinks, the tongue becomes curled at the tip, thus shaping itself into an effective muscular ladle. It drinks by making several laps in quick succession and then, once it has collected sufficient fluid in its mouth, it swallows this in a single gulp, before lapping once more and starting the whole process again. The cat only swallows the liquid it puts into its mouth about every fourth or fifth lap.
WHICH DIET IS BEST FOR A CAT?
Cats do not need as many fluids as we do because their kidneys are about two and a half times more efficient at ridding their bodies of waste products. Fresh water should be supplied daily, but the amount a cat needs depends on what diet it has. Cats that are fed on canned or semi-moist food need a bowl of water left alongside their food. Those cats fed on dry food need to drink more.
Water taken straight from the tap will probably taste unpleasant to your cat. Today’s water is treated with various chemicals and the bowl the water is in may even have traces of detergent on it that the cat can detect.
ODD DRINKING PLACES
This explains why cats often drink from the oddest places, ranging from puddles to the toilet bowl. Allowing tap water to stand for a while before offering it to your cat and being careful to rinse the bowl thoroughly should remedy this.
- The taste buds are present on the tongue.
- Wild cats drink using exactly the same technique as their domestic cousins.
- The surface of a cat’s tongue is covered in papillae, or fine spikes, which act as a sort of natural comb when they groom themselves.