…with my kitty on a Saturday night. Ever wonder how cats drink so daintily and without any mess?

Well, there’s now a scientific study available for your perusing that will answer all those cat-killing curiosity questions.

From MIT Media Relations article:

Cat fanciers everywhere appreciate the gravity-defying grace and exquisite balance of their feline friends. But do they know those traits extend even to the way cats lap milk?

Actually, cats don’t lap their milk. They create mini-streams as reported in this Washington Post article:

…a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.

Even the big cats know how to do it. From the journal Science (AAAS):

The researchers were surprised again when they took their experiment to the zoo. They filmed other species of cats, including a lion and a tiger, and found that they, too, exploited inertia with pinpoint lapping. Because these cats are taller and have bigger tongues, they need to lap more slowly to keep inertia and gravity in balance, but the mechanism is the same one used by their tiny domestic cousins.

I’m a cat lover, so to me this is really interesting stuff. Even if you’re not into cats, you might be into Physics. Check out the articles by following the links above… good reading.

Learn something. It won’t hurt you. πŸ˜‰



Image credit: Pantherkut.com

About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

4 responses »

  1. comhack says:

    Neat stuff!!!

    Thanks for the info.

  2. Very cool physics and great cat fact! I miss my kitty (The Root Cat). Aptly named because he ‘got root’ (gained access) into the house where we were visiting, at least twice in two different and ingenious ways – just to get to Jim and me! LOL! He obviously came home with us from Michigan.

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