Do Cats And Dogs Drink The Same Way? Slo Mo Video And Researchers Say Yes

Life With Cats is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

A story in the news this week says that contrary to what most of us have thought and prior research has suggested, cats and dogs drink they same way. See these slo mo videos of both at the water bowl for comparison.

With the topic in the news we thought we’d go back and watch these cats drinking videos again and compare them to two good slo mo videos of dogs drinking.  The first of the dog videos is cited by Harvard researchers to support their contention that both animals use the same technique to funnel water (or milk) up and in. They note that dogs are just sloppier about it, which is why everyone was unable to see the similarity for so long.

The new research challenges assertions that canines drink by scooping up fluid with a backwards-curled tongue. Instead, says the new study published in Journal of the Royal Society Biology Letters this week, dogs pull up a column of liquid and chomp it — just like cats.

The new work follows research on cat-lapping mechanics published last fall by a group at MIT. In that study researchers deconstructed how cats drink and suggest that dogs drink differently.

“We didn’t use X-ray video like Crompton. When we saw their clip, we were like, ‘Wow, it is the same!’” said physicist and mechanical engineer  Pedro Reis of MIT, a co-author of last year’s cat research.

We can watch both and compare for ourselves.

cat drinking water

X-ray video by AW Crompton showing the sloppy similarity in technique, backing up the Harvard researchers’ claim

Dog takes a drink still image

… and the related clear, sharp, dog drinking video

Here, also, is the Discovery News video explaining a bit about how cats drink.

2 thoughts on “Do Cats And Dogs Drink The Same Way? Slo Mo Video And Researchers Say Yes”

  1. When I was in Mountain Home, AR working at the equine rescue barn, I was surprised to see horses starting the flow of water into their mouth with their tongue. I’ve had horses for years, but I never stood and watched them drink or eat.

  2. I’ve got several cats that drink by dipping their paws into the water and licking them off. Guess they didn’t hear about this study.

Leave a Comment