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Why Do Cats Lick Themselves?

A cat is any one of the 37 cat species belonging to the family Felidae, including cheetas, lions, tigers and the domestic cat. They're a carnivorous mammals with an endearing and royal appearance, featuring round heads, long whiskers and paws with dangerous, sharp claws.

All cats are known to lick themselves with their unique tongues, spending up to one-third of their waking hours doing so, which serves several different purposes. Firstly, it's a grooming method that cleanses fur of food and dirt particles, as well as excess oil and odor. Secondly, licking moderates temperature, keeping the cat warmer when it's cold, and cooler when it's hot.

Thirdly, licking improves circulation and cats will persistently lick wounds to speed up the healing process. A cat's tongue has sharp protuberances which make it easy to comb and clean fur and distribute saliva evenly for temperature control. Aside from these, licking and grooming are a type of ritual for cats. Grooming can be a sign of comfort and happiness. Cats may lick one another or even their owners as a sign of love and affection.

More about cats:

  • The Egyptian Mau is the oldest domestic cat breed in the world.
  • Domestic cats can run up to 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour, and can jump as high as five times their own height.
  • The Siberian Tiger is the largest cat in the world.

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