PHYSIOLOGY OF THE CAT

 

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Body

 

The body of a domestic cat is extremely supple. The skeleton is constituted by more than 230 bones (the human skeleton, although bigger, counts it only 206). The pond and the shoulders are connected in a more supple way with the spinal column than to most of the other quadrupeds.

 

A powerful muscle structure allows it to be very fast and to realize spectacular jumps. The tail is of use to it as pendulum when it jumps up or falls.

 

   
   

Mustaches

 

The mustaches of the cat are particularly sensitive. The cat uses it to discover obstacles or modifications in the environment. In a strong twilight, he can use it to move.

 

   
   

Claws

 

The claws of the cat allow it to catch and to retain its preys. Curved and sharp claws are gone into an supple and stiff pocket  situated at the end of every finger and go out as soon as the cat fights, hunting or rock-climbing. The cat marks its territory by scratching and by leaving fragrant tracks on trees or other objects. The claws leave a visible mark whereas the small cushions secrete a fragrant substance.

 

   
   

Smell

 

The cat has a very developed smell, which plays an original role in the research of food and in the reproduction. Their communication is almost totally based on the olfactive communication. For example, a male can feel the smell of a female in heat in several hundreds of metres of distance.

   
   

Ouie

 

The cat possesses a particularly sensitive hearing. It can perceive a vast range of sounds, notably ultrasounds. The ear is less sensitive to the low frequencies, what could explain why the domestic cats answer better the feminine voices  than male. The cat can direct its ears independently one of the other one better to get different

   
   

Vision

 

The vision of the cat is particularly well adapted to the hunting, notably the night. It has an excellent night-vision, a very wide field of vision and a binocular vision which allows it to estimate exactly the distances. The diurnal vision of the cat is not as good as that of the Man. Cats perceive better the movements than the details. One thinks, besides, that their distinction of colours is limited.

   
   

Taste

 

The taste of the cat is strangely developed : it is particularly sensitive to light variations in the taste of the water. The language of the cat is covered with rough protuberances  which it uses to clean bones. The language is also of use for having a wash to it.

   
   

Teeth

 

The set of teeth of the cat is foreseen to bite, not to chew. The powerful maxillary muscles and the tranchantes teeth allow it to kill a prey at one go of teeth.

   
   

Fur

 

The original coat of the domestic cat was credibly brown - grey with darker scores, coloring which allows to disguise in a multitude of circles. All other colours of hair and the other motives are the result of genetic transfers. For example, the dark, black or grey furs, are the result of a gene which abolishes scores !!! a red fur is the result of a gene which transforms the black pigmentation into red-haired  and a colour of a pure white is the result of a gene which abolishes any pigmentation.

Two pigments, the black and the orange, are on the base of all the colorings of the furs of the current domestic cats. These pigments can be associated together or with the white (absence of pigment). A single gene, a gene O (Orange) is going to determine the black or orange-coloured pigmentation of the fur. The gene O can be compared with a switch which is or opened (orange) is closed (black). The gene being on the X chromosome, its expression is connected to the sex.

   
   
Reproduction

 

Cats are big lovers : the male, burning polygamist, is always ready to couple and the female is true one seducer ; the sexual maturing of the female is situated between 6 and 8 months , that of the male between 7 months and 1 year.

The female is in heat several times a year, every cycle lasts about 3 weeks ; it is capable of being fertilized towards the third day of its hot season and during 6 in 12 days according to races ; it calls the male on a plaintive tone; the male, perceiving by far the smells, joins it; the first coupling up is not always productive ; several days are sometimes needed from " head to head " !

The gestation lasts a little more than 2 months ; the importance of the reach depends on the race (Abyssin has reaches of 2 or 3 kittens, ordinary cats on the other hand are very prolific) ; the small weigh about 100 g and are not more than 15 cms.