Cats and dogs use same technique to lap up liquid

Cats and dogs have at last got something in common - at least when it comes to quenching their thirst.

Until now, it was thought that they used remarkably different techniques to drink: for felines, an elegant lap; for canines, a messy scoop.

But scientists have shown the domestic rivals both use the same subtle balance between inertia and gravity to draw liquid into their mouths.

The research is published in the journal Biology Letters.

Cats v dogs

In 2010, a study in the journal Science, revealed the physics behind how cats lap.

We felt we should stand up for the dogs and write this paper”

Professor Alfred Crompton Harvard University

Using high-speed cameras, scientists filmed Cutta Cutta the cat, who belonged to lead author Roman Stocker from the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as she drank.

They found that as her tongue came into contact with the surface of the water, the liquid stuck to it. Then, as she drew her tongue back towards her mouth, it created a water column, thanks to the force of inertia, which means liquid has a tendency to continue moving in the direction it is being pulled.

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