Characteristics of Cats
Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (compared to human's 6 muscles each). Cat’s hearing is much more sensitive than humans' and dogs'. They can move their ears like radar dishes and pinpoint the source, can rotate them independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal. Most cats do not have eyelashes. They see about 6 times better than a human at night and need 1/6 the amount of light that a human does due to a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light. Recent studies have shown that cats can see blue and green, but there is disagreement as to whether they can see red. Protruding eyes give cats a wider angle of vision than we have. They also have great peripheral vision. That is why their field of vision is about 185 degrees. Both these adaptations are advantages to animals that are both predator and prey in the wild.
Cats have a full inner-eyelid or nictitating membrane. This inner-eyelid serves to help protect the eyes from dryness and damage. When the cat is ill, the inner-eyelid will frequently close partially, making it visible to the observer.
A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find titbits on the floor.
The most common eye colors in cats are in the middle of the eye color spectrum (greenish-yellow to gold). The colors at the ends of the eye color spectrum (deep green or brilliant copper) are usually seen only in pedigreed cats that have been selectively bred for dramatic eye color, but they may sometimes appear in non-pedigreed cats.
A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf. White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the ear closest to the blue eye.
A cat has 250 bones in his body, compared to 206 in our bodies. Think about how much bigger you are than your cat, and you'll understand why cats have a lot more places where they can bend and twist than we do. Almost 10 percent of a cat's bones are in her tail, and the tail is used to maintain balance. The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking.
Cats use more than 500 muscles to leap, jump, and sprint. Their thighs power pouncing. These muscles are so powerful that if you had them, your thighs would be as big as your waist and you could jump from the ground to the top of a house!
Cats do not have a collarbone, so they can fit through any opening the size of their head.
Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw. They have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat. Of all the parts of the body, the cat's paws have the most sensitive touch receptors. They are exquisitely pressure-sensitive, and some researchers believe they can even sense tiny vibrations.
Cat's claws are one of their most important features. They use the claws for climbing, playing and of course also for hunting. These claws have a very important role in the felines social behavior. A cat will hunt for birds and rodents, regardless of how well he/she is taken care of and how much you feed him/her - it is a natural behavior and it is also programmed into the cat's genes.
Cats have twice as many smell-sensitive cells in their noses as we do, which means they can smell things we are not even aware of. In addition to using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson's organ, which is located on the upper surface of the mouth.
The cat's canine teeth (the long fangs) sit in beds of sensitive tissue. A cat adjusts her grip on her prey until she feels a tiny depression in the neck, just behind the skull. The canine teeth are designed to fit perfectly into this depression, so the cat can sever her prey’s spine with one quick bite.
The gene in cats that causes the orange coat color is sexed linked and is on the X sex chromosome. This gene may display orange or black. Thus, as a female cat with two X chromosomes may have orange and black colors in their coat. A male, with only one X chromosome, can have only orange or black, not both. If a male cat is both orange and black, he is (besides being extremely rare) sterile.
In the Siamese cat, a lower temperature causes more dark coloration in the growing hairs. This is why newborn kittens, warm from their mother's womb, are white all over. As they grow up in normal temperatures, the hottest areas of their body, around the stomach and back, remain pale in color, while their cooler extremities gradually become darker.
Breeds that developed in cold climates, like the Siberian, Maine Coon Cat, and Norwegian Forest Cat, have slightly oily, water-repellent top coats and thick, insulating undercoats.
Other characteristics of cats
• Cats have AB blood groups just like people and can donate blood to other cats.
• They can compress or elongate their spine, making them smaller to sleep in snuggly places or longer to leap across wide-open spaces.
• Their normal body temperature ranges between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
• A cat's heart beats about twice as fast as your heart—about 110 to 140 times a minute in the average cat.
• To purr, cats use extra tissue in the larynx (voice box). This tissue vibrates when they purr.
• Cats lose almost as much fluid in the saliva while grooming themselves as they do through urination.
• Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion, and a cat's brain is more similar to a man's brain than that of a dog's.
• A cat will never sweat because it has no sweat glands.
• Cats can have freckles. They can appear anywhere on a cat's skin and even in the mouth.
• Cat urine glows under a black light.
The Institute of Theoretical and Applied Feline Physics has identified the following immutable laws of Physics which apply to Cats:
1. Law of Cat Inertia - A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.
2. Law of Cat Motion - A cat will move in a straight line unless there is a really good reason to change direction.
3. Law of Cat Magnetism - All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.
4. Law of Cat Thermodynamics - Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, all heat flows to the cat.
5. Law of Cat Stretching - A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.
6. Law of Cat Sleeping - All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved as is possible for the cat.
7. Law of Cat Elongation - A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.
8. Law of Cat Acceleration - A cat will accelerate at a constant speed until he gets better and is ready to stop.
9. Law of Dinner Table Attendance - Cats must attend all meals when something good is served.
10. Law of Rug Configuration - No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.
11. Law of Obedience Resistance - A cat's resistance varies in inverse proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.
12. First Law of Energy Conservation - Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.
13. Second Law of Energy Conservation - Cats also know that energy can only be stored by a lot of napping.
14. Law of Refrigerator Observation - If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.
15. Law of Electric Blanket Attraction - Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.
16. Law of Random Comfort Seeking - A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.
17. Law of Bag / Box Occupancy - All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.
18. Law of Cat Embarrassment - A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.
19. Law of Milk Consumption - A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.
20. Law of Furniture Replacement - A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.
21. Law of Cat Landing - A cat will always land in the softest place possible.
22. Law of Fluid Displacement - A cat immersed in milk will displace her own volume, minus the amount of milk consumed.
23. Law of Cat Disinterest - A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human spends in trying to interest him.
24. Law of Pill Rejection - Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.
25. Law of Cat Composition - A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.
26. Law of Selective Listening - Although a cat can hear a can of tuna being opened a mile away, she can't hear a simple command three feet away.
27. Law of Equidistant Separation - All cats in a given room will locate at points equidistant from each other, and equidistant from the center of the room.
28. Law of Cat Invisibility - Cats think that if they can't see you, then you can't see them.
29. Law of Space-Time Continuum - Given enough time, a cat will land in just about any space.
30. Law of Concentration of Mass - A cat's mass increases in direct proportion to the comfort of the lap she occupies.
31. Law of Cat Probability - It is not possible to predict where a cat actually is, only the probability of where she "might" be.
32. Law of Cat Obedience - As yet undiscovered.