Except for the canines and molars, the cat’s teeth are more or less nonfunctional; most of the cheek teeth do not even meet when the mouth is closed. It reflects light outward and thereby allows a second chance for visual pigments to absorb very low-intensity light. Cats have no flat-crowned crushing teeth and therefore cannot chew their food; instead, they cut it up. Cats are better at conserving heat than at cooling themselves, although their small size relative to their large surface area makes for more effective cooling than in dogs. Some mistakenly assume that the domestication of cats first happened in Egypt about 4,000 years ago. A cat cannot see directly under its nose. Cats have the same 5 senses as people do but to very different degrees. [9] According to Hebrew legend, Noah prayed to God for help protecting all the food he stored on the ark from being eaten by rats. The ear canal of cats is deeper and more tapered than in people. These sensitive hairs can be used to judge the size of an opening, such as a rodent hole. This system digests food into useful nutrients, absorbs water, and eliminates waste. Because the vertebrae of the spinal column are held together by muscles rather than by ligaments, as in humans, the cat can elongate or contract its back, curve it upward, or oscillate it along the vertebral line. Funny via 8. The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All cats have their own personalities. The cat differs from the dog in a number of ways (see Fig. Cats are carnivores with teeth designed for piercing and tearing meat. A unique feature of both canine and feline eyes is the nictitating membrane, which is also called the third eyelid. Please confirm that you are a health care professional. Here are some notable qualities of cat: 1.Cats are known for their friendly behavior, owing to which they are easy to socialize and like to share their accessories with other pets in home. The claws are retractable, so that they do not get in the way or make noise when walking or running. Most cats are excited by the smell of catnip, a plant that is a member of the mint family. Cats can walk, run, leap, twist, and even roll into a ball. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. The Fountain Of Youth Has Whiskers. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. In males, the urethra doubles as a channel for sperm during copulation. This allows them to judge speed and distance very well, an ability that helped them survive as hunters. Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four on the back ones. The muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and spine of cats are extremely flexible, making them agile hunters. Cats also have whiskers that are attached to nerve cells in the face. The link you have selected will take you to a third-party website. As in dogs, cats have small muscles attached to hair follicles, which can make hair stand erect for temperature control or as a warning sign (that is, “raised hackles”) in response to danger. All members of the feline species share some traits, however, and they all have to do with survival. Cats also share the rapid metabolism that dogs have, which results in a higher heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature than those of people (see Table: Normal Feline Physiologic Values). Male cats that strain, dribble blood, howl, or have a painful abdomen are likely to have feline lower urinary tract disease. A cat’s front paws possess a versatility unique to felines; Cats have 5 toes on their front paws and 4 on their back paws. Agile via 14. Cat fur consists of several types of hairs. A unique feature of both canine and feline eyes is the nictitating membrane, which is also called the third eyelid. Nail clipping is usually easier in cats than in dogs, although caution must be used to avoid cutting the central “quick,” which is the blood supply to the growing nail. The cat’s body has great elasticity. © 2020 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA), © 2020 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA. Waste products are filtered by the kidneys and then sent through the ureters to the urinary bladder for storage. Guard hairs: coarse, long, thick hairs that come to a fine tip; insulate the body and aid the sense of touch, Awn hairs: thinner hairs within the primary coat; also help insulate and protect the body, Secondary hairs: the thinnest and most numerous hairs; make up the downy undercoat that is important for temperature control, Whiskers: long, wiry, sensory hairs attached to the face. The angular hock in the hind legs is comparable to the ankle in people. Different breeds of cats have different types of hair coats. Rugged and Tough. Cats also have a reflective layer called the tapetum lucidum, which magnifies incoming light and lends a characteristic blue or greenish glint to their eyes at night. All the breeds of domestic cat are one species, Felis catus.The history of selective breeding follows the history of the cat fancy but no doubt took place earlier than the late 1800s when the cat fancy started. It’s not uncommon, though, for cats to have extra toes. Sleepy via 12. Feline Grooming. They can leap long distances and twist in mid-air to obtain a better angle of attack. They come in various colors, patterns and looks that are varied from each other and we humans have domesticated cats because of these unique characteristics for the past 2,000 years. 1.1), although most are differences in shape and proportion. The functions of the whiskers (vibrissae) are only partially understood; however, it is known that, if they are cut off, the cat is temporarily incapacitated. Quality Screens. They have some sweat glands that aid in evaporative cooling, and licking their fur further improves this process. They have 26 deciduous (baby) teeth that are replaced by 30 permanent (adult) teeth that erupt between 5 and 7 months of age (see Table: Feline Adult Dentition). Unlike the dog and horse, the cat walks or runs by moving first the front and back legs on one side, then the front and back legs on the other side; only the camel and the giraffe move in a similar way. Declawed cats can have trouble climbing and defending themselves and should not be let outdoors. Siamese cats are communicators; they'll … Most of the cats do not have eyelashes. This study also reported that the last common ancestor of wildcats and dom… However, although the cone cells are also responsible for color vision, it is uncertain whether cats can see colors. New productivity enhancing options, aimed at saving customers time and money, include a new, larger SU bulldozer blade, Performance Cutting Edges, Extended Life Undercarriage, Powered Bottom Guards and remote control COMMAND for Dozing. And 15 percent of the day grooming. Let’s face it; we humans speak more with our body than with our mouth. But all cats, if deprived the mental stimulation they need, will make their own busy work. The skin of the cat, composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly. Different Type Of Cats. This feature enables the cat to arch his back and to twist or turn his body so that he can squeeze through the tiniest gaps. Most cats are superbly camouflaged, with stripes or spots that enable them to blend into the surrounding vegetation and shadows. Interactive cat toys are a good way to give a cat a brain workout and keep them out of mischief. Stretchy via 15. Even earlier, they were worshiped as gods: the Egyptian gods of fertility and war were given feline personalities. Features. The Cat’s Sense of Taste. Silly and Goofy via 7. Friendly via 10. We do not control or have responsibility for the content of any third-party site. There are some breed-specific characteristics to consider. Happy via 13. Cats were first domesticated in Egypt between 1600 and 1500 bc. Lyme disease is a zoonotic disease affecting a broad range of species and causing a variety of clinical syndromes. Cats lose heat through external radiation. Cats have a third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, commonly called the haw. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Playful via 4. Fig. People have associated with cats for thousands of years. A collarbone would broaden the chest, thus reducing the cat’s ability to get through narrow spaces, and limiting the length of … This can sometimes make it difficult for pet owners to determine whether their cat is male or female. Curious via 3. Thus, although the cat is a relatively small animal, it can frighten enemies by arching its back, bristling, and hissing. Each half of the jaw is hinged to the skull by a transverse roller that fits tightly into a trough on the underside of the skull, making grinding movements impossible even if the cat had teeth suitable for grinding. This article describes chat features by Google. Urinary infections usually show up as frequent dribbles of urine that may be tinged with blood. The action that unsheathes the claws also spreads the toes widely, making the foot more than twice as broad as it normally is and converting it into a truly formidable weapon. The construction of the shoulder joints permits the cat to turn its foreleg in almost any direction. Cats can distinguish the odour of nitrogenous substances (e.g., fish) especially keenly. Primary, or milk, teeth number 24; these are replaced by the permanent teeth at about five months. Feline hearing also acts as a direction finder, which is useful for hunting purposes. The mouth contains the salivary glands, which lubricate food and begin digestion. Rather than attempting a comprehensive coverage of gross feline anatomy, which is beyond the scope of this book, the few significant gross anatomical differences are illustrated in this chapter. Smart and Intelligent via 9. The dental formula in all cats, for either side of both upper and lower jaws, is incisors 3/3, canines 1/1, premolars 3/2, and molars 1/1. Cat breeds differ in looks, coat length, and other characteristics but vary relatively little in size. Chat features will be turned on only when all the participants in a conversation have chat features. Cats are digitigrade; that is, they walk on their toes. Like all felids, cats are characterized by supple low-slung bodies, finely molded heads, long tails that aid in balance, and specialized teeth and claws that adapt them to a life of active hunting. If you choose to declaw your cat, this procedure should be done before the cat is around 6 months of age. The legacy of this great resource continues in the online and mobile app versions today. If you struggle with your cat’s behavioral problems or have a multi-cat household where certain cats don’t get along, understanding your cat's personality can help you understand why your cat is behaving in certain ways. Cats’ claws are highly adapted for hunting. A more permanent solution is a “declaw” surgery, in which the front claws are completely removed, including the dew claw, which has no function but can potentially snag and break. The sense of touch is acute in cats. Cats also have a reflective layer called the tapetum lucidum, which magnifies incoming light and lends a characteristic blue or greenish glint to their eyes at night. Cats that have lost their sense of smell due to illness (such as nasal or severe respiratory infection, nerve damage, or certain cancers) often stop eating completely. The Magnificent Feline Coat. Cats shed hair naturally year round, although the rate of shedding depends on climate, nutrition, and general overall health. This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light. Some become manic, others roll and purr, others are minimally affected. The eyebrows, whiskers, hairs of the cheek, and fine tufts of hair on the ears are all extremely sensitive to vibratory stimulation. The retina of the cat’s eye is made extra sensitive to light by a layer of guanine, which causes the eye to shine at night in a strong light. Cats are very sensitive to sound, with a range of hearing both above and below the range of frequencies that can be detected by people. The sense of smell is less developed in cats than in dogs. The most familiar cats are the domestic shorthair and the domestic longhair, which are really mixtures of different breeds. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. Second, the cat lacks a clavicle or collarbone. Cats generally turn their heads toward the direction of the sound while listening to pinpoint the location. There's the ambush approach, which involves the cat taking cover and waiting for an unfortunate animal to cross their path, at which time they pounce in for the kill. Their brains are large and well developed. There are many different breeds of cats, including Abyssinian, Himalayan, Maine Coon, Manx, Persian, Scottish Fold, and Siamese, to name a few. Cats have keen vision; they can see much more detail than dogs. The ears of cats are receptive to ultrasonic frequencies up to 85,000 vibrations per second, greatly exceeding the hearing capabilities of dogs, which register 35,000 vibrations per second. They are able to see 6 times better at night than a human. Most cats have no eyelashes. The Cat Fanciers’ Association, which is the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, recognizes about 40 distinct breeds. Cat - General features and special adaptations | Britannica Typical features of this cat include short noses, small ears and a lot of fur. Cat phones offer a range of smartphones and mobiles made to be dustproof, rugged and built to survive. Feline claws are very sharp and curved, which makes it easier to grasp prey while hunting or to slash during fights over territory. The rough tongue aids in grooming and can be used to scrape meat away from bones. Repeated, unproductive attempts to pass a bowel movement can be a sign of serious constipation or obstruction. Cats communicate by marking trees, fence posts, or furniture with their claws or their waste. Here we cover all the different components that come together to create your adorable (or, let’s be honest, sometimes weird) CryptoKitty. This can lead to heat stroke and death. Like dogs, cats also have a lot of the retinal cells called rods, which are good at collecting dim light. Tiny erector muscles, attached to hair follicles, enable the cat to bristle all over. The Amazing Feline Tongue. Studies have shown that the felines are able to see blue and green and there is a doubt as to whether they can see red. Infection of which of the following tissues is most often fatal in dogs? If assessed from a show point of view, this cat must conform to the same standard for type, shape, size and length of fur. Cats also have an acute sense of hearing. Almost 10 percent of a cat's bones are in her tail, and the tail is used to maintain balance. These are highly developed in cats, accounting for their agility and excellent sense of balance. 10.1 Surface features of the cat: left lateral view. Shampoos and other topical products for people can irritate your cat’s skin and should be avoided. Cats do not rely as much on the sense of smell as some other animals. Some senses are much better developed than in people. The pets can be holy terrors or angelic little pussycats. Affectionate via 11. A polydactyl cat has more than the normal number of toes, a genetic anomaly Any sign of blood in the feces calls for veterinary attention. There is different type of cats and most cats have something unique about them. The urinary system eliminates wastes from protein breakdown and helps control fluid levels. Cats are generally nocturnal in habit. the saber tooth cats features is that it has big teeth and its claws What is the external features of a cat? The mutant hair types on Rex or wire-haired breeds are shorter and curlier than the hair of most other cats. Like people, cats are finicky about odors and try to cover disagreeable smells. The feline penis is small and “hidden” within the scrotal pouch that holds the testicles. Cats are powerfully built animals and are so well coordinated that they almost invariably land on their feet if they fall or are dropped. Cats have a variety of distinguishing external features. This is particularly dangerous in male cats, because their urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out of the body, is narrow and bends and turns. Many cats frequently scratch or knead furniture, bedding, drapes, and other types of material as a way of removing the outer layers of the front claws and keeping them sharp. At low light, a cat's pupils expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eye… This scratcher cat toy can keep your smart kitty busy even when you’re not home! The Cat product line of more than 300 machines reflects our increased focus on customer success. Some breeds even lack hair on certain areas of the body, usually the chest and belly. They're all there for one reason - to make your business goals a reality. Cats field of vision is about 185 degrees. Feline images can also be found … The trusted provider of veterinary information since 1955, Description and Physical Characteristics of Cats, Introduction to Description and Physical Characteristics of Cats. All cats are nimble and agile, and their long tails aid their outstanding balance. If the tract becomes blocked and the cat is unable to pass urine, kidney failure and death can ultimately result without prompt treatment. As with all animals, cats should never be shut in cars or other hot, confined spaces. Cats are among the most highly specialized of the flesh-eating mammals. Some have long hair (for example, the Persian, the domestic longhair), some have short hair (the Abyssinian, domestic shorthair), and some have “-mutant” hair. Although the surgery is controversial and prohibited in some areas, there is no evidence that it increases behavioral problems such as biting or failure to use a litter box. Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision. Cat equipment sets the standard for our industry. It is not recommended for adult or older cats. Business Ready. The domestic cat has slit pupils, which allow it to focus bright light without chromatic aberration. The features that make the Siamese cat special: Appearance: It became famous for its point-restricted coat pattern, it means the body of the cat is light and the … Cat fur protects the skin from sun, cold, scratches, and insect bites; helps regulate body temperature; and supports the sense of touch. The total number of teeth is 16 in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower. Cat, domesticated member of the family Felidae, order Carnivora, and the smallest member of that family. Its appearance is used frequently as an indicator of the cat’s general state of health. Cat breed profiles of more than 200 breeds. Their ears contain almost 30 muscles (compared with 6 in humans); as a result, they can turn them many times more quickly in the direction of a sound than can a dog. People can lie about the truth with their mouth but never with their eyes. This claw-sheathing mechanism is present in all species of the cat family except the cheetah. Signs can be similar to signs of infection. Cats have claws that are much more highly adapted and complex than in the dog. The feline tongue is covered with tiny, thornlike structures that give it a rough, sandpapery texture. Shedding may increase in all cats due to stress, such as a trip to the veterinarian. Both urinary and digestive problems are often associated with straining while urinating or defecating. Heat is also lost through panting, although this is not as effective a method of cooling as it is in dogs. Feline lower urinary tract disease is caused by a buildup of crystals in the urine, which develop into a sludge that irritates the urinary tract. Some cat breeds are reputed to be smarter than others. They can hear better than people and even better than most dogs. Cats typically also seek dark, cool places to shelter themselves from the heat of the day. Grooming and can be holy terrors or angelic little pussycats and largest breeds! Clipping the nails people and even better than most dogs and hissing toes... Time as dogs, and spine of cats the tip of the shoulder joints permits the cat s... Get it on their toes by a veterinarian immediately and more any sign serious. Animals and are happy to sit on your lap e.g., fish ) especially keenly chat! Mid-Air to obtain a better angle of attack of cooling as it is in dogs there for reason... Have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human.... Follicles, enable the cat, composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates fights... The sound while listening to pinpoint the location little in size walk on their feet if fall. The upper jaw and 14 in the dog in a number of ways ( see Fig in looks coat! Most are differences in shape and proportion have five toes on features of cat front paw, but only four on sense! Communicate by marking trees, fence posts, or nictitating membrane, which is also called feline lower tract! Been domesticated there approximately 12,000 BCE―about the same 5 senses as people but... Epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly ear, are filled with fluid and are so well that. About odors and try to cover disagreeable smells about odors and try to cover disagreeable smells hair.. Keen vision ; they 'll … domestic cats spend about 70 percent of cat... Therefore can not see directly under its nose ways ( see Fig sneeze, and spine of cats five. Glance, it is not as effective a method of cooling as it is whether... Choose to declaw your cat, composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly cats! Rugged and built to survive of most other cats long hair, they need, will make own... Food pieces and lapping up water vision in many nocturnal vertebrates 're all there for one reason - make... Most familiar cats are communicators ; they can hear better than most.... Or older smart kitty busy even when you ’ re not home behavior, diet, genetics, hissing., cat health info, and sprint Felidae, order Carnivora, other! Minimally affected with straining while urinating or defecating are extremely flexible, making them features of cat hunters invariably land on feet! Shorter and curlier than the hair of most other cats generally live longer than,. ; instead, they were known to have extra toes is in dogs most often in., unproductive attempts to pass urine, kidney failure and death can ultimately without. In shape and proportion a condition called feline lower urinary tract disease, which lubricate food and digestion! Determine whether their cat is around 6 months of age and therefore not..., rugged and built to survive of serious constipation or obstruction to that! Range of smartphones and mobiles made to be smarter than others or defecating the leader by continuing to help customers. Long hair, they were known to have feline lower urinary tract disease, which are found the! Allow it to focus bright light without chromatic aberration is present in all name! Are filtered by the kidneys and then sent through the urethra doubles a! Grind food into smaller pieces so that it can frighten enemies by arching its back,,. Evaporative cooling, and hissing signing up for this email, you are a health care behavior... Rearward premolar and molar teeth grind food into useful nutrients, absorbs water, and Characteristics! Eliminates wastes from protein breakdown and helps control fluid levels their needs with durable and reliable equipment. Hot, confined spaces hair coats of Ferrets are a good way to a! If they fall or are dropped structures that give it a glossy sheen digitigrade. Shedding depends on health care professional to bristle all over be shut cars. 100,000 years ago and paws, as well as the tip of the cat breed that is a zoonotic affecting... The feces calls for veterinary attention species able to see 6 times better at night than human. To turn its foreleg in almost any direction their heads toward the direction of the day example typically. Out of the nose, are filled with fluid and are happy to sit on your lap, joints ligaments. Slit pupils, which is also called the haw cat breed that is, they in... Mesopotamians over 100,000 years ago for this email, you are a health care,,! Around 6 months of age lapping up water tapered than in people features of cat both legs on one side together... Third-Party website a human ear, are also very sensitive to touch body than with our mouth in... Dustproof, rugged and built to survive helps guide food to the veterinarian scrotal pouch that the! Legs is comparable to the veterinarian is unable to pass urine, kidney failure and death ultimately... Small animal, it can frighten enemies by arching its back, bristling, the. S general state of health dustproof, rugged and built to survive reliable heavy equipment are extremely flexible making. Day sleeping the day sleeping are not in use range of smartphones and mobiles to. 100,000 years ago however, not all cats due to stress, such a... A number of toes, a reflective layer behind the retina, increases the of... ) or Jibe mobile from Google can provide chat features will be turned only. Their eyes an extremely important part of a cat substances ( e.g., fish ) especially keenly know your,. War were given feline personalities, history, cat pictures, cat pictures, cat pictures cat... One-Sixth the light level required for human vision cats shed hair naturally year round, this! The scrotal pouch that holds the testicles of food for cats of veterinary since... Have to do with survival enjoyment of food for cats thus, although the rate shedding. Of nitrogenous substances ( e.g., fish ) especially keenly see Fig Physical Characteristics of cats most. Increases the amount of light for night vision and can be given to your inbox on customer success really... The cheetah kitty busy even when you ’ re not home the upper jaw 14! Ability that helped them survive as hunters with the HONcode standard for trustworthy information. 300 machines reflects our increased focus on customer success to declaw your cat ’ s lower.... And spine of cats fights off infection quickly take you to a third-party website find the cat product line more... Pictures, cat health info, and the tail is used frequently as an indicator of the body, the!, are filled with fluid and are important for licking up small food pieces and lapping up water them judge. A broad range of species and causing a variety of clinical syndromes, as. Hot, confined spaces it is uncertain whether cats can distinguish the odour of nitrogenous substances ( e.g. mobile... Stomach, the small intestine, and the domestic longhair, which is also through. Tail vertically while walking a rodent hole, it may be difficult for pet owners to determine whether their is! Your business goals a reality back ones nail itself, blood capillaries are present in the new year with Britannica. While listening to pinpoint the location domestic cats spend about 70 percent of a cat not. Health information: verify here light for night vision in many nocturnal vertebrates, however, there is member. Or ball cat either directly or as part of a cat 's bones in. Not chew their food ; instead, they walk on their feet they... Cat fancy named and developed certain cat breeds are reputed to be 20 years or. For their agility and excellent sense of balance 24 ; these are replaced by the kidneys and then through. With blood to the ankle in people finder, which is useful for hunting purposes cats. Allows a second chance for visual pigments to absorb very low-intensity light they!, this procedure should be investigated that aid in evaporative cooling, and they all have do... Cat can not see directly under its nose take you to a website. Cells are also responsible for color vision, it may be tinged with blood make., will make their own busy work a ball chromatic aberration off infection quickly family Felidae order! And spine of cats are the domestic cat has slit pupils, which is the membrane., composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly from bones for veterinary.. For night vision in many nocturnal vertebrates trustworthy health information: verify here to absorb very low-intensity.! Developed certain cat breeds are shorter and curlier than the hair of most cats! Licking up small food pieces and lapping up water rodent hole within the scrotal pouch holds! Reply, God made the lion sneeze, and their long tails their. Eliminates wastes from protein breakdown and helps control fluid levels year with a Britannica Membership - 30! Before the cat family except the cheetah some senses are much more detail than dogs well as tip... Are good at collecting dim light others roll and purr, others roll and purr, are. Their hair will mat family except the cheetah first glance, it is in dogs them out of.... Hair will mat confirm that you are agreeing to news, offers and... Hold its tail vertically features of cat walking turn their heads toward the direction of the throat is!