The answer, based on extensive research published online Thursday in the journal Science, came as a surprise.
Unlike dogs — who use their tongues like ladles, scooping water into their mouths in a characteristically straightforward manner — cats apply an instinctive understanding of fluid mechanics to take the biggest sips. In fact, only the very tips of the cats’ tongues touched the water. Their tongues then moved upward at the blazing-fast speed of more than three feet per second, generating a column of liquid. The cats quickly closed their mouths to drink a portion of those columns, the study reported. Read more