Every time my human gets a photo of me like the one above, she says, “I can see your tonsils!” But then she started wondering if cats really did have tonsils. So she looked it up.
And duh, yeah, cats do have tonsils. In fact, we kitties have four sets of tonsils to a human’s three. Human tonsils are the pharyngeal tonsils (or adenoids), the the palatine tonsils and the lingual tonsils. Cat tonsils are the pharyngeal tonsil, the palatine tonsils, the lingual tonsil, and the paraepiglottic tonsils.
In case you are wondering (which you probably are at this point), those bumpy things on either side of your throat opening are the palatine tonsils. So we cat have those, and adenoids.
One interesting thing about the paraepiglottic tonsils — neither humans nor dogs have them. I’d tell you where they’re located on cats, but my human started going cross eyed at all the medical terms. The lingual tonsil was easy for her to figure out, since lingual refers to the tongue. It’s way, way back at the base of the tongue, and apparently not well developed in felines.
Fortunately, tonsillitis is rare in cats. Just in case you wanted to know.
So if, like my human, you were wondering about cats and tonsils, here’s your answer! Has my human ever seen my tonsils? In spite of what she says, I don’t think she’s ever looked that closely. But I bet my vet has seen them.
If you’re one of the few people who have seen cat tonsils, let me know! Although if you have, I imagine you are a veterinarian or a vet tech.