Your cat’s tongue fees like sandpaper because it is barbed. Yes — barbed!! This is why it can actually hurt when your cat licks your skin — especially sensitive places like your face or eyelids!
Cat tongues are barbed as a process of evolution. It is barbed with thousands of tiny mounds. This allows cats to effectively drink water, lick small pieces of food, and to groom themselves. The barbs actually work similar to the way that we use a hairbrush, except we don’t have to ‘eat’ the hair after we brush. Cats swallow the fur when they groom themselves. If you have a long hair cat, you are probably very familiar with hairballs! Hairballs can be reduced or prevented by brushing your cat with a brush, or even better, a deshedding tool! There are many very very good deshedding tools on the market right now, and usually cats enjoy the extra brushing!