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Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by free-floating clavicle bones. These allow cats to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their heads. The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a powerful and specialized jaw. Cats walk very precisely. Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait walking style ; that is, they move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side.
This trait is shared with camels and giraffes. As a walk speeds up into a trot , a cat's gait will change to be a " diagonal " gait, similar to that of most other mammals: the diagonally opposite hind and forelegs will move at the same time. This special feature on the inside of the wrists is the carpal pad.
The carpal pad is also found on other cats and on dogs. Cats are active carnivores , meaning that in the wild they hunt live prey. Their main prey is small mammals like mice. They will also stalk, and sometimes kill and eat, birds. Cats eat a wide variety of prey, including insects such as flies and grasshoppers. While dogs have great stamina and will chase prey over long distances, cats are extremely fast, but only over short distances. The basic cat coat colouring, tabby see top photo , gives it good camouflage in grass and woodland.
The cat creeps towards a chosen victim, keeping its body flat and near to the ground so that it cannot be seen easily, until it is close enough for a rapid dash or pounce.
Cats, especially kittens, practice these instinctive behaviours in play with each other or on small toys. Cats can fish. They use a flip-up movement of a front paw which, when successful, flips the fish out of water and over the cat's shoulders onto the grass.
Dutch research showed this to be an innate inherited behaviour pattern which developed early and without maternal teaching. Cats are quiet and well-behaved animals, making them popular pets. Young kittens are playful.
They can easily entertain themselves with a variety of store-bought or homemade toys. House cats have also been known to teach themselves to use lever-type doorknobs and toilet handles. Cats are fairly independent animals. They can look after themselves and do not need as much attention as dogs do. Cats use many different sounds for communication , including meowing , purring , trilling, hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping , clicking and grunting.
Body posture is also important. The whole shape of the body changes when a cat is relaxed, or when it is alert. Also, the position of their ears and tail are used for communication, as well as their usual functions.
These ways of communication are very important. They are used between a mother cat and her kittens. They are also used between male and female cats; and between cats and other species, such as dogs. A mother cat protecting her kittens will fight off the largest dog. She gives good warning with a frightening display, hissing furiously, showing her claws, arching her back, and making her hair stand on end.
If that fails, she attacks the dog's face with her claws. It has been said that no dog ever tries such an attack a second time. Cats only mate when the queen is "in heat". Heat periods occur about every two weeks and last 4 to 6 days. Several toms may be attracted to a [queen] in heat.
The males will fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate. At first, the female will reject the male, but eventually the female will allow the male to mate. The female will utter a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her. This is because a male cat's penis has a band of about backwards-pointing spines, which are about one millimeter long. If a male attempts to breed with her at this point, the female will attack him. After about 20 to 30 minutes. Because ovulation is not always triggered, females may not get pregnant by the first tom which mates with them.
The gestation period for cats is about two months, with an average length of 66 days. Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, and cats normally reach sexual maturity at 5—10 months females and to 5—7 months males. Pregnant queens deliver their litters by themselves, guided by instinct. The queen finds the safest place she can. Then she will clean it thoroughly, with her tongue, if necessary. Here she will quietly give birth. She licks the newborn kits clean. In the wild, leaving a scent is risking a dangerous encounter with other animals.
The kits are born blind and with closed eyes. They suckle on her teats, and sleep a good deal. After two weeks or so, their eyes open. At that stage they have blue eyes, but not the best sight. A bit later, the best developed kit will totter out of the nest. The others follow. They will soon recognise you as a living thing: that is a great moment.
At first, they go back to the nest to feed and sleep. After some more days they leave the nest for good, but still they may sleep together in a 'kitten heap'. The queen, meanwhile, has left the nest from time to time, to hunt, feed, and also to urinate and defecate. Unlike the tom, she covers up her business to hide her scent.
Very soon, the kits will urinate anywhere they please unless one trains them. This is done after they are weaned, when they are ready for some kitten food.
Here is how to do it:. What you have done is exactly what the queen would do in the wild. You have triggered a reflex which all kittens have. The thing is, the tray is artificial, and your queen may do her business outside. But at least when young, kittens need a tray. Your next job is to call the vet, who will tell you when to bring the kits for their vaccination.
Kittens play endlessly. It is how they do their learning. They will play their favourite games, such as 'hide and pounce', with almost anyone or anything. Soft balls on strings are a standard toy; so is a scratching post.
With cats there is a limit to how far you can train them. They are at least as intelligent as dogs, but they are not pack animals. They like to do their own thing, and owners do best by fitting in. Never hit a cat : if you do, the relationship will never be the same again. If you really want to dissuade them, try hissing.
It has been said that no one really owns a cat; many cats collect extra owners, and may change house if they do not like the treatment If your kitten was born in your home do not let it out of the house until it is two to three months old. If you have the mother, she will look after the kit.
But if you have got the kit from a vet or dealer, keep it in for several weeks. When it does go out, you need to watch over it. The main problem is that it may easily get lost. In time, the kit will learn every inch of the house and garden. Then, you can happily let it roam. Cats are very clean animals. They groom themselves by licking their fur.
The cat's tongue can act as a hairbrush and can clean and untangle a cat's fur. Still, owners may buy grooming products to help the cat take care of itself. After licking their fur, cats sometimes get hairballs. This is quite normal. Owners brush their cats to try to prevent a lot of hairballs. Many house cats eat food which their owners give them. This food is manufactured , and designed to contain the right nutrients for cats. There are many different types of cat food.
These come in many different flavors and costs are often very small. There is moist canned food and also dry cat food which comes in different sized cans or bags and formulas. There are kitten formulas, cat formulas, health formulas, formulas for reducing a cat's weight, and many others. It seems obvious that the food should be mostly meat, as that is most of a cat's natural diet.
But remember, when they catch mice , they also eat the bones. So there is need for formulas to have more than just meat. Cats should not be fed a daily diet of dog food. It could make the cat blind, as it has no taurine , which is a nutrient for the eyes. Cats do get diseases, and prevention is better than cure. It is most important to get a young cat vaccinated against some of the most deadly diseases.
If a cat gets a disease, a veterinarian animal doctor can offer help. Some cats, depending on breed, gender, age, and general health, may be more susceptible to disease than others. Regular visits to a vet can keep a cat alive many extra years by catching sickness and disease early.
Cats that roam outside will get fleas at some time. A "gentle older" feline with a few special needs is looking for a home out in Utah. The short-haired tri-color tabby cat is "14 years young and deserving of a life of love and lap naps," said the shelter. It added, "She's sure to make a wonderful, loving companion. Gertrude has a special diet and is missing some teeth, the shelter said, in addition to having hyperthyroidism.
Gertrude is a year-old cat living in Salt Lake City; she needs a new home. Best Friends Animal Society. She eats a mix of wet and dry food and is given medication each day on the inside of her ear. Best of all, Gertrude's adoption fees are waived "thanks to a generous donor," says Best Friends Lifesaving Center. Those interested in learning more about Gertrude should email utahadoptions bestfriends. All cat owners can give their cat a "life-changing" gift of exercise, notes the Best Friends Animal Society.
Gertrude, pictured above, would make someone a "wonderful, loving companion," said her Utah shelter.
Search for cats for adoption at shelters near Chicago, IL. Find and adopt a pet on Petfinder today. 12M views 8 years ago. Not every cat looks strange, can do a trick, or be famous. Our friend from Depressed Song returns with her regular, okay cat. And there's nothing wrong with that. Nov 30, · cat, (Felis catus), also called house cat or domestic cat, domesticated member of the family Felidae, order Carnivora, and the smallest member of that family. Like all felids, domestic 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 admirably to a .