General Question

troubleinharlem's avatar

How can cats think that licking themselves makes them cleaner?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7976points) September 30th, 2010

I’m sitting here watching my cat lick herself, and I can’t help but to think “how does that make her feel more clean?”

Here’s a picture of her and I if you want to see. http://tinypic.com/r/33xzsqp/7

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18 Answers

CMaz's avatar

I guess it is easier then the cat trying to use the shower.

marinelife's avatar

It does make her cleaner. She has hairs on her tongue that remove dirt, loose hair, and dander when she licks herself.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Has your cat ever licked you? Their tongues are like little tiny rasps, that helps to loosen and remove debris from their fur. This is more beneficial to feral cats that are getting things stuck in their fur, but it’s a hard instinct to break, I’d imagine. :) They also lick themselves to remove the odors from anything else they have touched (or anyone else that has touched them) so that their own scent is strongest on their body.
Pretty cat, by the way.

Seek's avatar

Haven’t you ever licked your fingers when you’re eating pizza?

erichw1504's avatar

Yeah, their tongues feel like sandpaper. My cat tries to groom me all the time. It may make me cleaner, but it sure doesn’t smell pretty.

MrItty's avatar

Why do you think it doesn’t make her cleaner?

diavolobella's avatar

I’m not sure that your cat really thinks about whether or not it makes her cleaner. She’s just doing something that cats instinctively have done for ages. I think it does make her cleaner because it removes loose hair (which she then kacks up later). While she is doing this she is probably thinking about mice, kibble, kibble, more kibble and mice. Or maybe string…and kibble

tinyfaery's avatar

Cats have a built in deoderizer in their saliva, plus the barbed tongue. I’d licking themslves didn’t make them cleaner then cats would stink, like dogs.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@tinyfaery : Oh, I didn’t know that dogs didn’t have that in their saliva… no wonder they smell horrible.

Jude's avatar

@tinyfaery got it right.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@tinyfaery : Hey! I resemble that remark! woof

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Do you think she really analyzes this? “Gosh, I’m having a really bad hair day today, but I just licked myself yesterday, so….”

Cats lick themselves. It’s what they do.

Humans, apparently, ascribe human thought processes to instinct in other mammals, too.

everephebe's avatar

The tongue is caustic, which gives it cleaning powers. Also the saliva contains enzymes that would break up dirt from fur. A cleanly cat doesn’t smell bad right, I mean after their cat bath? However they do then cough up hairballs, with ain’t too clean.

syz's avatar

It is absolutely effective at cleaning them. If you’ve ever had a cat that has an e-collar on that prevents grooming, you’d know that cats are disgustingly gross and smelly creatures without all of that hard work.

lilikoi's avatar

It actually DOES make them cleaner. So the more interesting question is how can you sit there thinking it doesn’t?

Gamrz360's avatar

Its like eating Cheetos, you just have to lick your fingers.

deni's avatar

It cleans their fur. How else would they do it? They swallow the dirty stuff, hack it all up, then everything is clean. :)

NaturallyMe's avatar

Because they know it removes dust, sand and loose fur on them? And sometimes some remains after using the litter box, especially if they have longer hair? Cats are smart, they just know things. ;)

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