Feline Grooming Habits Could Improve Our Spaceships


Most animals clean themselves on a regular basis; however, few of them commit as much time and effort to cleaning and grooming their bodies as cats. Now, scientists are studying the way cats groom themselves in the hope of discovering better ways of keeping spaceships and robots clean.

David Hu, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. student Guillermo Amador have been studying felines and their grooming habits in order to help space science. Hu claims that the drones and rovers that we will continue to send to Mars are highly susceptible to mechanical failure due to the accumulation of airborne particles, such as dirt and dust. He points out that studying cats can greatly help with that.

Even though the information Hu has found so far has not been put to use by NASA, he is optimistic. Since cats are self-sufficient groomers and stay surprisingly clean despite their lifestyle, he hopes that they can learn as much as possible from the way cats clean themselves to be able to one day develop advanced technology and reduce the chances of mechanical failure in drones.