Why Are Cats Tongues Rough

Why Are Cats’ Tongues Rough? Know the Reasons Why


ou will be missing one-third of your life if your cat hasn’t licked you yet. It’s the kitty’s way of showing you its affections. As an owner, who wouldn’t want that? But before thinking of returning the love, the first thing that you will notice is how rough your kitty’s tongue is

For a soft, cuddly creature, why would your cat have such roughness in its mouth? Were those little teeth on its tongue? Before freaking out, it’s amazing to say that there are a couple of reasons why are cats’ tongues rough.

Why Are Cats Tongues Rough?

Why Are Cats Tongues Rough

The number one reason why cats’ tongues are rough is that of the papillae. These are the small, hook-like hair that points toward the back-end of the cat’s mouth. Papillae faces the insides of the mouth because that way, they can push their food inside with ease.

They are denser and stronger because of keratin, the same element in your fingernails constitutes the mouth hair. So, it feels rough because those hooks are rubbing on your skin. Take time to consider why your cat has that kind of tongue.

It’ll help you understand your kitty even more and what to do to benefit your pet. If you’re still confused, ask Dr. Brady of Anima Jam. Cool, huh?

What The Roughness Of The Tongue Mean For Cats?

Cats Tongues Rough

From grooming to taste buds, the multi-functional tongue is beneficial for your feline companion.


There are three reasons why cats groom themselves. See why their tongue works magic on them.


Of course, they have to be neat and clean. Those hooks act as a comb and keep their hair in place. Cats spent too much time cleaning themselves and they ought to be meticulous. They have a particular order in cleaning themselves following the direction of the papillae.


When they lick, the moisture in their tongues leaves with a cooling effect. 


When kitties are stressed, they lick themselves. This act releases their endorphins and makes them happy.


Cats groom themselves after a kill. Not only to be neat and tidy, but they also erase all evidence of their prey for themselves not to be victims of bigger predators. Their hunt can catch some scent off, you see.

Taste and Texture

A cat’s taste bud is different from humans’. They can only savor a few foods. For instance, they can’t define what sweet is. Your kitty can determine the size and texture of the food by its tongue and would push out if they don’t like it.


Cat owners’ minds had gone wild when they discovered how a cat’s tongue works with water. They don’t scoop, but cats just dart it down to create a column of water. And before gravity takes it away from them, they quickly catch it with their tongues and push it further inside of their mouths.

But, What’s The Downside of Having A Rough Tongue?

What’s The Downside of Having A Rough Tongue

Nothing is always right. There is always a snag that comes up of being too good. Sometimes, you even have to ask yourself, “Why are cats’ tongues rough, again?”

Cats lick themselves if they’re depressed. But too much of it can leave a huge bald patch on its body. And where does the hair all go? In its stomach. Not only your cat’s experiencing anxiety but adding a chunk of hairball can cause its stomach to become a bit queasy. He would be vomiting now and then.

Also, avoid playing strings with your cat. They could easily wrap around its tongue because of the abrasiveness that it is. We’ve seen in the media that cats love to play with yarn, but that should be kept hidden from their sight. There is an excellent chance your kitty can snap a string with its jaws and swallow it.

In any case, you’ll have another issue of indigestion that could make your cat sick.

How Can You Help?

Why Are Cats’ Tongues Rough

For starters, buy your cat brush. From time to time, you do the grooming. It can help lessen the licking of its fur. Take note if your cat is under stress, as well. If you see your feline friend licking its body way too much, step in, especially if there’s a mild bald patch forming. Either you can buy your kitty a cone, like those of dogs, or take him to the vet to diagnose its depression.

Give your kitty’s tongue a break once in a while. Brush its teeth and tongue to take out any bits of meat remaining.

The Best Thing About A Cat’s Tongue?

The Best Thing About A Cat’s Tongue

They get to lick you because they love you. It may be rough and unsettling, but love outweighs them all. And if you get to know why are cats’ tongue rough, you’ll know what to do to take care of your pet.

Has your cat licked you? What was your first reaction? Tell us. Who knows, we might feature you one day, too.

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