Do cats masticate?

Do cats masticate? The question is whether cats chew and grind food in their mouths like humans or not. Humans grind and chew their food with their molars after it has been cut by the incisors.

Carnassial teeth
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

A cat’s molars or carnassial teeth move against each other like scissor blades for slicing and cutting. The answer therefore is that cats don’t masticate but slice and dice.

Carnassial teeth are paired molars or premolars and molars which are modified to allow sharp edges to pass by each other to shear off the flesh of dead prey.

The canines – the long pointed teeth at the front – are used for stabbing and delivering the killing bite. It is said that the canine is designed to pass between the vertebrae to break the spine of prey.

The video is from Wikipedia and shows a dog’s carnassial teeth in a scissor-like action at the rear of the mouth.

Most carnivores have carnassial teeth and other mammal groups.


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