Cats are mysterious creatures. That’s what they always say. But are cats really mysterious? Or is it just that only very few of us takes the time to actually understand our cats.
In this article, we give you the means to better understand your beloved furry friend: cat anatomy. It is the science, a branch of biology that deals with the study of the structure and organization of a cat.
But instead of delving deep into the scientific aspects of the anatomy of a cat, we will focus more on specific biological structures of a cat that would help explain some peculiar cat behaviors. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn about your cat if you learn cat anatomy.
For instance, have you ever wondered why your cat would scrunch up its nose just before walking through a door? Or why your cat would daintily eat from a bowl and then afterwards run to drink from the toilet bowl? Those are the types of questions that cat lovers would like to ask in order to learn more about this fascinating self-contradicting feline creature.
The cat has a very keen sense of smell. Do you wonder why?
The obvious reason of course is that a keen sense of smell is one of the characteristics of a good hunter. Cats are at the top of the biological food chain. They are carnivores and hunters by nature and very, very good at what they do.
But what specific structure in cat anatomy is responsible for that?
All cats (or felines) have an organ at the top of their mouth. It is properly called the vomeronasal organ but is more commonly referred to as Jacobson’s Organ. Other animals with this special organ include snakes, bats, and a few other mammals.
The Jacobson Organ is what causes that peculiar cat behavior that you often see in your own house cat – that is, your cat appears to lift its upper lip and twitch its nostrils as though sniffing for something. The proper name for this peculiar behavior is Flehman Response and your cat displays this in order to identify any potential mates, a potential rival cat in the territory, or an unusual odor.
Have you wondered what the cat’s whiskers are for? What is the biological function of this structure in anatomy cat?
The whiskers of your cat act as locators. They are so sensitive that they can sense even the slightest whisper of a breeze. They help your cat judge the width of an opening, whether it is too narrow or wide enough for the cat to walk through. They may also be used to help the cat catch its prey, such as a small mouse.
Why Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet?
Everybody knows that cats always land on their feet. But have you ever wondered why this is so?
Cats, even very young kittens, have a strong sense of balance. This is just one of the unique biological structures about cats which include their precise gaits, their being digitigrade, and their flexible bodies.
When cats fall the fluid in their inner ear would shift. To regain its balance, the cat would simply rotate its head so that the fluid inside the inner ear is level once again. The body just follows the movement of the head so that the cat lands on its feet. That’s how cats do it. It also helps that cats have 30 vertebrate, which enables them to be extremely flexible.
It is important to bear in mind that while cats seem to be able to manage to always land on their feet, this does not mean that they may not get injured due to long falls. Cats could get numerous injuries from a fall.
There are plenty more unique characteristics of cats that can be explained through cat anatomy. But as we are pressed for space, the above are the most common ones that cat owners observe in their pets.