A Cat’s tongue feels like sandpaper on our skin because they have little backwards-pointing hook-shaped barbs. These are called filiform papillae and come in different lengths, with those at the centre of the tongue being longest. These tough spikes scrape the meat off bones of their prey and pull it into the back of the mouth. Cats also use these barns on their tongue like a hairbrush to strangle their fur, rid it of fleas and other foreign bodies. And clean out the dead hairs. The little spikes stimulate the sebaceous glands at he base of each hair and help spread oil through their coat to waterproof it. Each small barb is hollow and collects saliva from the mouth, which is then Spread over the coat during grooming. This helps cats cool down in hot weather. usually, the tongue papillae - found in lions as well as domestic cats - are long enough to penetrate the thickness of the fur, but they pedigrees like Persians have such long, thick fun that the barns on their tongue can not cope. Without human grooming help, their fur develops mats. The way the barns face onwards can also cause problems to cats when they are shedding. The dead fur cannot be spat outwards because of the barns face inwards so the fur ends up being swallowed. This can result in hairballs, which then have to be vomited up.
This information was sourced from Celia Says, your cat June 2019