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Do Cats Have Lips? Feline Anatomy Facts & FAQS

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Blue-eyed kitten staring at the camera

Have you ever taken a good look at your cat’s face and tried to make out their different features? One thing you might’ve noticed is that you can’t see any lips. But just because you can’t see their lips doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Cats do have lips, even if they are extremely hard to see. But do cats actually need lips? And why can’t you see them? We answer both those questions and more here.

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Why Do Cats Need Lips?

Siberian cat with open mouth
Image Credit: Sunykiller, Pixabay

Cats have lips, and they actually need them to grow and develop properly. Cats are mammals, and mammals use their lips to suckle while nursing. Without lips, your cat wouldn’t be able to nurse, and that’s an essential part of their development at an early age.

Cats also use their lips to mark their territory. Cat lips have scent glands, and they spread this scent by rubbing their lips up against things. A cat also has a philtrum on their upper lip that leads straight to their nose. This philtrum draws moisture up from their lips to their nose, and this keeps their nose wet. A wet nose improves their sense of smell, which is why you can’t ever sneak open the bag of cat treats without your cats knowing about it!

Why Can’t You See Your Cat’s Lips?

First, if you look close enough, chances are that you’ll be able to spot your cat’s lips. Start by looking at their philtrum and follow it down. The black line that you see is the start of their lips!

If you can’t spot their lips, that doesn’t mean they’re not there. They can be hard to spot because they’re so small. Cats have much smaller lips than many other mammals, especially dogs. This makes their lips harder to see.

If you’re trying to see their lips, simply pull up on their mouths (if they’ll let you), and you should have a great view of their lips. You’re looking for a thin black line that runs around their mouth. It might not look like our lips, but they’re lips nonetheless!

Do Cats Slobber?

sleeping cat drool slobber
Image Credit: kwanza, Shutterstock

While a cat can technically slobber, the chances of having a slobbery cat are slim to none. In fact, if your cat is slobbering, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible to figure out what’s going on. There are a few exceptions to this, though.

One is when your cat is sleeping. Sleeping usually puts your cat in an especially relaxed state, and this can lead to drooling. Your cat can also drool when you’re petting or cuddling them or just about any other time that they’re extremely relaxed.

But keep in mind that even if they’re drooling, it shouldn’t be an excessive amount. Cats shouldn’t drool nearly as much as dogs or many other mammals, no matter how relaxed they are.

Is It OK to Kiss Your Cat?

There’s nothing wrong with kissing your cat if both you and your cat are comfortable with it. However, you should avoid kissing your cat on the mouth because it can easily spread diseases between you and your cat. Also, keep in mind that while your cat might tolerate kisses, they don’t understand what they mean. To them, kisses are nothing more than physical contact. So, if you’re looking for a way to show your cat that you appreciate them and like being around them, just about any form of physical contact will do the trick.

Finally, keep in mind that if either you or your cat is sick, you should refrain from kissing them. While many diseases can’t pass between humans and cats, the more chances that you give a disease to mutate, the more likely it is to spread.

Keep your sick germs to yourself, and if your cat is sick, make sure they keep their germs to themselves. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your cat until you feel better — just try to keep your mouths away from each other!


Final Thoughts

While you might not be able to easily spot your cat’s lips, that doesn’t mean they don’t have them. Every mammal has lips because they’re necessary for nursing, and cats are no exception!

In fact, while it might be hard to spot your cat’s lips, they actually serve more purposes than human lips! So, the next time that your cat opens their mouth wide, take a good look. Chances are that you’ll be able to spot their lips now that you know what you’re looking for.

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Featured Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

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