The Physics of Cat and Dog Drinking * Written By: Susan Thixton * 11-14-2010


Just in case the puzzling question of who laps up water better - cats or dogs - has been keeping you up at night, recent science says cats win. However, there is controversy:) Researches have closely studied the way animals lap water to "guide the design of ultraflexible robots." Watching cats of all sizes, researchers discovered they have a "very elaborate way of drinking. First, they move the tip of their tongue onto the surface of the water to flick the water up so that a little jet of liquid flies into the air. Then, in a flash, they catch the jet in their mouth." Four laps per second. Dogs on the other hand "simply scoop up the water with their tongues" (and in my house, often more water lands on the floor than in their mouth). While the physics show cats have developed a high tech method of drinking, one scientist (a dog owner) felt "dogs generally have a better way to do it". The controversy continues. Below is slow motion video showing the time tested drinking technique of dogs; cat slow motion video can be seen on the above link...

Susan Thixton
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Petsumer Report