# How cats drink: now we know!

by jtbell
Tags: cats, drink
 Mentor P: 10,680 Two researchers at MIT and one apiece at VPI and Princeton have discovered the mechanism behind cat-lapping and worked out a formula for lapping rate as a function of cat weight. From today's New York Times: Cats Lap With Just Tip of the Tongue, Engineers Find How Cats Lap (Video)
 P: 598 The article on CNN made reference to "complicated mathematical equations" and the NYT article says they used "a bunch of integral equations." Anyone got a link to the actual science?
 PF Patron Sci Advisor Emeritus P: 4,495 Now, at least we have that mystery solved The science: How Cats Lap: Water Uptake by Felis catus
P: 697

## How cats drink: now we know!

 Quote by Monique Now, at least we have that mystery solved
One mystery solved. Very cool !!!

I have another mystery related to this topic. A very small percentage of domesticated cats drink by scooping water with their paw. I wonder why they do that. Are these cases of handicapped cats that did not inherit the correct lapping frequency formula? Or, are they cat-geniuses that have discovered a superior method?
P: 598
 Quote by stevenb One mystery solved. Very cool !!! I have another mystery related to this topic. A very small percentage of domesticated cats drink by scooping water with their paw. I wonder why they do that. Are these cases of handicapped cats that did not inherit the correct lapping frequency formula? Or, are they cat-geniuses that have discovered a superior method?

Does the cat always use its paw? My cat does that when he can't fit his head all the way to the bottom of a glass.
P: 697
 Quote by Phyisab**** Does the cat always use its paw? My cat does that when he can't fit his head all the way to the bottom of a glass.
Apparently some cats always use the paw method, but it seems to be a very small percentage. My wife (an animal control officer) has seen 3 of these cats come through the local shelter. She told me this when I showed her this thread.

Another animal control officer (also a neighbor of mine) adopted one of these 3 cats, and it has always consumed water this way.

It's interesting that your cat uses the paw, when it is unable to lap. Maybe these rare cats have some deficiency that prevents them from lapping effectively?

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