Why does the cat have such small incisors?

Domestic cat's tiny incisor teeth. Photo in public domain.
Domestic cat’s tiny incisor teeth. Photo in public domain.
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A domestic cat’s incisor teeth are indeed small. I’ll explain why I believe they are small. The cat’s rear teeth, the premolars and molars of the upper and lower jaws operate like scissors. They are called the carnassial teeth. They slice through flesh. The carnassial of the upper and lower jaw don’t meet head on as in the molars of humans but they pass tightly as for scissors and they are shaped somewhat like blades.

Therefore domestic cats don’t need incisors to slice food as is the case for humans who have much larger incisors and flat-headed molars which are designed to masticate food i.e. grind it into small, smashed pieces.

Instead the small incisor teeth of the cat (at the front of the jaw) are used to nibble at their fur when grooming themselves. I am sure you have seen it. They are a useful tool for keeping the coat in good condition. They are also used for holding and nibbling flesh.

There is nothing more to say really but please feel free to add your thoughts in a FB comment below.

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