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 Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
We talked to the Humane Society and the
ASPCA to get tips on what you can do to
help if you see a pet trapped in a…
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus breaks down the
similarities and differences in the ways
cancer can affect humans and animals
Begging on cue is an adorable trick in
which your dog balances on his rear and
hind legs with his upper body upright.
The Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and
intelligent red and white Dutch retriever
who was bred to lure ducks into a…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.