By Veronika Broukal

The functionality of the digestive tract of the cat

Foto: Unsplash

We already have explained  the structure of the cat's digestive tract here. But how does this part of the body work? We explain it to you in this article.

Eating begins in the mouth

Before the food finds its way into the cat's mouth, the sensory system begins with the lips. The animal uses them to feel its food and often decides at this point whether it is appealing. The tongue also plays a major role, on it the taste buds are located. By the way, cats have a lot less of it than humans. It tastes bitter, umami and sour. Saliva is slightly alkaline and contains sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium. The salivation is already stimulated by seeing food. Cats have 30 teeth, which clearly identify them as predators. Their dentition differs significantly from that of a herbivore such as a horse.

The esophagus and the stomach

It continues from the mouth into the esophagus, which consists of a soft and stretchable tube. Its end is marked by a tight ring of muscle that prevents chyme from escaping from the stomach. It mixes food, produces digestive enzymes such as pepsinogen and lipase, and hormones such as gastrin and histamine, as well as hydrochloric acid. At the end of the stomach, which by the way is hollow, there is a muscular ring. Incidentally, there is no absorption of nutrients and electrolytes here.

The small intestine

It consists of three parts, namely the duodenum (duodenum), the jejunum (empty intestine) and the ileum (hip intestine). In the cat it is relatively short, up to 1.8 meters. All organs of the gastrointestinal tract (with a few exceptions) have the same wall structure, which consists of 4 layers. These are called (from inside to outside) mucosa, submucosa, muscularis and serosa. These layers have different tasks related to the transport and digestion of food. Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are broken down by various enzymes, absorbed and made available to the body again through the cells of the intestinal villi.

The large intestine

It also consists of three parts: the caecum (appendix), the colon (large intestine) and the rectum (rectum). Since most of the absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestine, the food pulp is thickened in the large intestine, i.e. water is transferred back into the body. The large intestine also contains the highest density of bacteria in the digestive tract. Digestion ends here and the feces leave the body through the rectum.

Curious to try our food which is most definitely great for your cat's digestive tract? Then click here to see our product catalog. 

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  • Hallo Ingrid, vielen Dank für dein Feedback. Wir freuen uns, dass dir unsere Artikel gefallen! Viele Grüße vom The Better Cat Team

    Veronika Broukal on

  • Lese solch informative Artikel immer wieder gerne und lerne immer noch dazu.

    Ingrid on

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