Click here to learn more.
If you lacked opposable thumbs and didn’t have access to cleansers and disinfectants, you’d probably lick yourself clean after an injury, too.
That’s what cat tongues and saliva are designed to do — in part, anyway.
A cat’s tongue, which is gently barbed, is especially well suited to removing debris; canine tongues run a close second for their sheer surface area.
I've read that feline and canine saliva (ours, too!) also contains compounds that aid in healing:
All of those wonderful things in spit! Who knew?
Of course, licking isn't always a good thing. In many cases, pets let their tongues get the better of them. In fact, beyond brushing off big particles of dirt and imparting the occasional dose of saliva on a wound, cats' tongues are better off where they belong — in their mouths.
That’s because pets can get obsessed with licking to the detriment of healthy skin. There’s also a lot of bad bacteria in pet mouths, so as with so many good things in life, licking is an activity best done in moderation.
Sometimes it's hard to tell whether licking is getting out of control or just a normal feline drive, so here's a simple rule: If there's evidence of a wound, hair loss or even thinning of the fur, continual licking of the area is considered excessive. It goes without saying that any of these signs also require that you seek help from a veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Tune in to NBC on Thanksgiving to watch
more than 1,500 canines compete for the
coveted Best in Show title.
As you brine the turkey or cheer for your
favorite football team, take time to be
thankful for your furry family…
From "drop it" to "wait at the door," Mikkel
Becker shares commands you should
teach your pup…
Decorate your home for the holidays
without compromising your cat's safety
with tips from a cat style expert.
We’re sharing our favorite budget-friendly
gifts, from a custom smartphone cover to
the perfect dog treats for…
The plus-size Maine Coon has an adorable chirping voice and gets along with everyone, even the family dog.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.