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The Physics of Drinking Milk – Taught by Cats

Cats seem to know a lot more physics that most people, or so say the studies. They use this ‘knowledge’ to drink milk or water from a plate without making a mess. They can actually drink without getting any liquid on their nose and whiskers. This is how they do it.

The physics of drinking milk…

Scientists from top universities such as MIT, Princeton or Virginia Polytechnic Institute , after some serious effort, managed to figure out the science behind cats drinking from plates. The conclusion is that cats are like some physics geniuses.

Dogs when drink, they practically push the liquid with their tongue in their mouth. You must have seen the proof of this: the mess around their bowl definitely shows it.

Cats, on the other hand, have got a very special technique of drinking without getting their nose and whiskers wet. Scientists had been watching these little felines for hours before they managed to understand the forces involved. They have even made a small robot imitating their movement and used complex formulas to calculate it.

When lapping, cats make four movements with their tongue every second. We can’t even see it. They practically form a J-like spoon with their tongue when they stick it out. However, the top of their tongue just barely touches the surface of the liquid. The liquid then forms a column between the surface and the cat’s tongue. When the cat closes its mouth, it traps the liquid and its nose stays dry.

Cats, in comparison to people, have no lips and cheeks, extremely useful when it comes to drinking. The fact that they have this own method of drinking is a sign of an outstanding intelligence.

The water column I was talking about is in a very delicate situation. There is a perfect balance of gravity pulling it downwards and inertia, the tendency of liquids to move in the direction they are pushed in.

Furthermore, studies have also concluded a difference between domestic cats and big felines. The later are unable to use this technique such efficiently, since they have got considerably bigger tongues they can’t move that fast.

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