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Fascinating Feline Facts: Cat Saliva
Posted by Abby Rosenberg on August 18, 2012
Filed under PetMeds Spotlight

Cats spend countless hours grooming their fur, and some experts estimate that cats will spend up to 30% of their time grooming. A cat’s tongue is covered with backward-facing barbs called papillae that function as a built-in comb to keep the fur sleek and free of debris. A healthy, indoor cat does not usually require bathing, unless the cat has gotten into a substance that he or she cannot remove through regular grooming. Have you ever wondered how the cat stays so clean with just a “spit bath”?

Surprisingly, cat saliva actually contains a natural detergent-like substance that helps keep the fur clean. Try sniffing your cat’s fur when it is still damp from grooming, and you should notice a faint, pleasant and slightly soapy scent. Keep in mind that, like human saliva, cat saliva also contains lots of bacteria, too.

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2 Responses to “Fascinating Feline Facts: Cat Saliva”

  1. Dina Richter on 19 Aug 2012 at 4:48 am #

    Did you know that a cats saliva can kill a bird?

  2. blake on 05 Dec 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    does this have anything to do with why cats saliva is so clean?

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