Why do cats and dogs lap water with their tongues?

Browse → Animals → Pets
Different animals have different ways of walking, eating, bathing, and more, and when it comes to dogs and cats getting a drink of water, the same thing is true!

Instead of drinking with their mouths like we do, dogs and cats lap up their water with their tongues. Can you think of some reasons why these kinds of animals (and others) might drink this way? Think, for example, about how their bodies are built. Would picking up a cup or bowl the way we do be more difficult for your favorite pet? While we have arms, hands, and mouths with lips for drinking from cups, cats and dogs have legs, paws, and snout-shaped mouths that aren’t!

Cats and dogs also have tongues that curl up, allowing them to cup water into their mouths. While you might be able to fold your tongue a little bit, mostly likely it wouldn’t be strong enough to use for drinking. If you had to rely on lapping, you might be left thirsty and panting for water!


by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Drink it up!

    To get a better idea of why we drink the way we do, try doing it the wrong way!

    Pour a glass of water, and try drinking it without touching your top lip to the glass!

    Do you find that it’s much harder? Mostly likely, you’re finding that you can either slosh the water back using your hand to move the cup, or you can suck the water up by pulling in air with you mouth.

    If you were really thirsty, do you think either of these drinking methods would make a lot of sense, or would you be more likely to drink the way you “usually” do??

Didn't find what you were looking for? Ask the Community          Ask friends & family