Kingdom: Animalia... Phylum: Chordata... Class: Mammalia... Order: Carnivora.. .Family: Felidae... Genus: Felis... Species: F. Silvertris... Subspecies: F. S Catus.

curly_calico white_cat siamese_cat

The Cat or the Domestic Cat or House Cat to distinguish it from other felines, is a small carnivorous species of that is often valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin. It has been associated with humans for a near 10.000 years. Cats use a variety of vocalizations and types of body language for communication, including meowing, purring, hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping, clicking, and grunting. The cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal, but lately, a study by the National Cancer Institute published in the journal Science says that all house cats are descended from a group of desert wildcats, a little over 10,000 years ago, in the Near East.
Cats are popular pets and are also bred and shown as registered pedigree pets. This hobby is known as the "Cat Fancy", but the Cat is skilled predator, who is intelligent and can be trained to obey simple commands. Individual cats have also been known to learn to manipulate simple mechanisms, such as doorknobs.



In Ethymology, the word cat derives from Old English catt, which belongs to a group of related words in European languages, including Welsh cath, Spanish gato, Basque katu, Byzantine Greek kátia, Old Irish cat, German Katze, and Old Church Slavonic kotka. The ultimate source of all these terms is Late Latin catus, cattus, catta "domestic cat", as opposed to feles "European wildcat". It is unclear whether the Greek or the Latin came first, but they were undoubtedly borrowed from an Afro-Asiatic language akin to Nubian kadís and Berber kaddîska, both meaning "wildcat". The term puss (as in pussycat) may come from Dutch poes or from Low German Puuskatte, dialectal Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian puse, pusekat, all of which primarily denote a woman and, by extension, a female cat.
Cats have been kept by humans since at least ancient Egypt, where the mythical cat Bast was goddess of the home, the domesticated cat, protector of the fields and home from vermin infestations, and sometimes took on the warlike aspect of a lioness. The first domesticated cats may have saved early Egyptians from many rodent infestations and likewise, Bast developed from the adoration for her feline companions. She was the daughter of the sun god Ra and played significant role in Ancient Egyptian religion. It has been speculated that cats resident in Kenya's Islands in the Lamu Archipelago may be the last living direct descendants of the cats of ancient Egypt.
Several ancient religions believed that cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that they are all-knowing but are mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the Maneki Neko is a cat that is a symbol of "good fortune". While in Islam there is not a sacred species, it is said by some writers that Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza. It is said he loved cats so much that "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it". It is common myth that cats have nine lives, in some cultures it is seven. This myth is believed to be true because cats are supple and swift creatures which helps the cat get out of situations that would be fatal for other beings. Also lending credence to this myth is that falling cats often land on their feet because of an inbuilt automatic twisting reaction and are able to twist their bodies around to land feet first. However, it is not true that cats cannot be hurt, or even die, by falling from high places.



The Size of Cats typically weigh between 2.5 and 7 kg (5.5–16 pounds); however, some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, can exceed 11.3 kg (25 pounds). Some have been known to reach up to 23 kg (50 pounds) due to overfeeding. And also very small cats (less than 1.8 kg / 4.0 lb) have been reported.
The Skeleton of Cats have 7 cervical vertebrae like almost all mammals, 13 thoracic vertebrae (humans have 12), 7 lumbar vertebrae (humans have 5), 3 sacral vertebrae like most mammals (humans have 5 because of their bipedal posture). The extra lumbar vertebrae account for the cat's enhanced spinal mobility and flexibility, compared with humans. The caudal vertebrae form the tail, used by the cat as a counterbalance to the body during quick movements. Cats also have free-floating clavicle bones, which allows them to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their head.
The mouth of Cats have highly specialized teeth for the tearing of meat. Functioning like a pair of scissors for meat, the premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth. The cat's tongue has sharp spines, or papillae, useful for retaining and ripping flesh from a carcass. These papillae are small backward-facing hooks that contain keratin which also assist in their grooming. As facilitated by their oral structure, cats use a variety of vocalizations and types of body language for communication, including mewing ("meow" or "miaow"), purring, hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping, clicking, and grunting.
The Ears of cats are made of thirty-two individual muscles in each, allowing for a manner of directional hearing: A cat can move each ear independently of the other. Because of this mobility, a cat can move its body in one direction and point its ears in another direction. Most cats have straight ears pointing upward. Unlike dogs, flap-eared breeds are extremely rare. (Scottish Folds are one such exceptional genetic mutation.) When angry or frightened, a cat will lay back its ears, to accompany the growling or hissing sounds it makes. Cats also turn their ears back when they are playing, or to listen to a sound coming from behind them. The angle of cats ears is an important clue to their mood.

The Legs of Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades: they walk directly on their toes, the bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg. Cats are capable of walking very precisely, because like all felines they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding forepaw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Unlike dogs and most mammals, cats walk by moving both legs on one side and then both legs on the other side. Most mammals move legs on alternate sides in sequence. Cats share this unusual gait with camels, giraffes, some horses ('pacers'), and a select few other mammals. There is no known connection between these animals which might explain this.
Like all members of family Felidae except the cheetah, cats have retractable claws. In their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the toe pads. This keeps the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of prey. The claws on the forefeet are typically sharper than those on the hind feet. Cats can extend their claws voluntarily on one or more paws at will. It is also possible to make a cooperative cat extend its claws by carefully pressing both the top and bottom of the paw. The curved claws may become entangled in carpet or thick fabric, which may cause injury if the cat is unable to free itself.
Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and four or five on their rear paws. Because of an ancient mutation, however, domestic cats are prone to polydactyly, and may have six or seven toes. The fifth front claw (the dewclaw) is in a more proximal position than those of the other claws. More proximally, there is a protrusion which appears to be a sixth "finger".
The Skin of Cats possess rather loose; this allows them to turn and confront a predator or another cat in a fight, even when it has a grip on them. This is also an advantage for veterinary purposes, as it simplifies injections. The particularly loose skin at the back of the neck is known as the scruff, and is the area by which a mother cat grips her kittens to carry them. As a result, cats tend to become quiet and passive when gripped there. A pet cat should never be carried by the scruff, but should instead have their weight supported at the rump and hind legs, and at the chest and front paws.

The Senses of Cats are attuned for hunting. Cats have highly advanced hearing, eyesight, taste, and touch receptors, making the cat extremely sensitive among mammals. Cats' night vision is superior to humans although their vision in daylight is inferior. Humans and cats have a similar range of hearing on the low end of the scale, but cats can hear much higher-pitched sounds, up to 64 kHz, which is 1.6 octaves above the range of a human, and even one octave above the range of a dog. A domestic cat's sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as a human's. To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable vibrissae (whiskers) over their body, especially their face. Due to a mutation in an early cat ancestor, one of two genes necessary to taste sweetness may have been lost by the cat family.
The Metabolism of Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually 12–16 hours, with 13–14 being the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period. The term cat nap refers to the cat's ability to fall asleep (lightly) for a brief period and has entered the English lexicon – someone who nods off for a few minutes is said to be "taking a cat nap".
Due to their crepuscular nature, cats are often known to enter a period of increased activity and playfulness during the evening and early morning, dubbed the "evening crazies", "night crazies", "elevenses" or "mad half-hour" by some.
The temperament of a cat can vary depending on the breed and socialization. Cats with "oriental" body types tend to be thinner and more active, while cats that have a "cobby" body type tend to be heavier and less active.
The normal body temperature of a cat is between 38 and 39 °C (101 and 102.2 °F). A cat is considered febrile (hyperthermic) if it has a temperature of 39.5 °C (103 °F) or greater, or hypothermic if less than 37.5 °C (100 °F). For comparison, humans have a normal temperature of approximately 36.8 °C (98.6 °F). A domestic cat's normal heart rate ranges from 140 to 220 beats per minute, and is largely dependent on how excited the cat is. For a cat at rest, the average heart rate should be between 150 and 180 bpm, about twice that of a human.
For the Genetic of the domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor, both possess 38 chromosomes, in which over 200 heritable genetic defects have been identified, many homologous to human inborn errors. Specific metabolic defects have been identified underlying many of these feline diseases. There are several genes responsible for the hair color identified. The combination of them gives different phenotypes.
Features like hair length, lack of tail or presence of a very short tail (bobtail cat) are also determined by single alleles and modified by polygenes.
It is a common misconception that all white cats with blue eyes are deaf, leading to some people rejecting blue-eyed white cats as pets. This is not true, as there are many blue-eyed cats with perfect hearing. However, white cats with blue eyes do have slightly higher incidences of genetic deafness than white cats of other eye colors.
All felines, including the big cats, have a genetic anomaly that may prevent them from tasting sweetness, which is a likely factor for their usual indifference to or avoidance of fruits, berries, and other sugary foods.

As far as Food & Diet goes, Cats are classified as obligate carnivores, predominantly because their physiology is geared toward efficient processing of meat, and lacks efficient processes for digesting plant matter.
Despite the cat's meat-oriented physiology, it is still quite common for a cat to supplement its carnivorous diet with small amounts of grass, leaves, shrubs, houseplants, or other plant matter anyway. But sadly, Easter Lily can cause permanent and life-threatening kidney damage to cats, and Philodendron are also poisonous plants to cats. Cats normally are good self-regulators of diet; however, unlimited access to food, or excessive human-food 'treats', will often lead to the cat becoming obese, particularly if it is older or more sedentary. Some cats have a fondness for catnip, which is sensed by their olfactory systems. While they generally do not consume it, they will often roll in it, paw at it, and occasionally chew on it. The effect is usually relatively short, lasting for only a few minutes. After two hours or less, susceptible cats gain interest again. Several other species of plants (such as mint) cause this effect, to a lesser degree.
The liver of a cat is less effective at detoxification than those of other animals, including humans and dogs; therefore exposure to many common substances considered safe for households may be dangerous to them. For instance, the common painkiller paracetamol or acetaminophen, is extremely toxic to cats.
In addition to such obvious dangers as insecticides and weed killers, other common household substances that should be used with caution in areas where cats may be exposed to them include mothballs and other naphthalene products.

Cats are social enough to form colonies. Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually active males having the largest territories, and neutered cats having the smallest. Between these territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually aggressively chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks.
Despite cohabitation in colonies, cats do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack mentality. This mainly means that an individual cat takes care of all basic needs on its own (e.g., finding food, and defending itself), and thus cats are always lone hunters; they do not hunt in groups as dogs or lions do. (Of further note in this context is that it is no coincidence how cats frequently tonguebathe themselves (see Hygiene): the chemistry of their saliva, expended during their frequent grooming, appears to be a natural deodorant. Thus, a cat's cleanliness would aid in decreasing the chance a prey animal could notice the cat's presence. By contrast, dog odor is an advantage in hunting, for a dog is a pack hunter; part of the pack stations itself upwind, and its odor drives prey towards the rest of the pack stationed downwind. This requires a cooperative effort, which in turn requires communications skills. No such communications skills are required of a lone hunter.)

When engaged in feline-to-feline combat for self-defense, territory, reproduction, or dominance, fighting cats make themselves appear more impressive and threatening by raising their fur and arching their backs, thus increasing their apparent size. Cats also behave this way while playing. Attacks usually comprise powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as bites, but serious damage is rare; usually the loser runs away with little more than a few scratches to the face, and perhaps the ears. Cats will also throw themselves to the ground in a defensive posture to rake with their powerful hind legs. Normally, serious negative effects will be limited to possible infections of the scratches and bites; though these have been known to sometimes kill cats if untreated. Sexually active males will usually be in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and nose. Not only males will fight; females will also fight over territory or to defend their kittens, and even neutered cats will defend their (smaller) territories aggressively.

Domestic cats loves to Play… Especially young kittens, they are known for their love of play for hours. This behaviour mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture and kill prey. Many cats cannot resist a dangling piece of string, or a piece of rope drawn randomly and enticingly across the floor. This well known love of string is often depicted in cartoons and photographs, which show kittens or cats playing with balls of yarn. It is probably related to hunting instincts, including the common practice of kittens hunting their mother's and each other's tails. A regular flashlight with a well-focussed light spot has been commonly used in such play for decades.

Cats have evolved to be carnivores and are highly specialized for Hunting. Their style of hunting uses short bursts of intense exercise punctuating long periods of rest. Much like their big cat relatives, domestic and feral cats are very effective predators. Domestic felines ambush or pounce upon and immobilize vertebrate prey using tactics similar to those of leopards and tigers. Having overpowered such prey, a cat delivers a lethal neck bite with its long canine teeth that either severs the prey's spinal cord, causes fatal bleeding by puncturing the carotid artery or the jugular vein, or asphyxiates the prey by crushing its trachea.
One less comprehended part of cat hunting behaviour, is the presentation of killed prey to human owners. Ethologist Paul Leyhausen proposed that cats adopt humans into their social group, and share excess kill with others in the group according to the local pecking order, in which humans place at or near the top. Another possibility is that presenting the kill might be a relic of a kitten's behavior of demonstrating for its mother's approval that it has developed the necessary skill for hunting. Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. Animal behaviorists have posited a number of explanations, the most common being that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its "territory" and become aware of activities of people and other pets in the area. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats are known to strike prey by pouncing from such a perch as a tree branch, as does a leopard. Height, therefore, can also give cats a sense of security and prestige.
During a fall from a high place, a cat can reflexively twist its body and right itself using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. This is known as the cat's "righting reflex". It always rights itself in the same way, provided it has the time to do so, during a fall. The height required for this to occur in most cats (safely) is around 3 feet (90 cm).

In their Reproduction, Cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many periods of heat over the course of a year. A heat period lasts about 4 to 7 days if the female is bred; if she is not, the heat period lasts longer.
Multiple males will be attracted to a female 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 give a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her. After mating, the female will give herself a thorough wash. If a male attempts to breed with her at this point, the female will attack him. Once the female is done grooming, the cycle will repeat.
The male cat's penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which may cause ovulation. Because this does not always occur, females are rarely impregnated by the first male with which they mate. Furthermore, cats are superfecund; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in heat, meaning different kittens in a litter may have different fathers. The gestation period for cats is approximately 63–65 days. The size of a litter averages three to five kittens, with the first litter usually smaller than subsequent litters. Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, and cats normally reach sexual maturity at 4–10 months (females) and to 5–7 months (males).
Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks old (the recommended minimum age by Fédération Internationale Féline), or when they are ready to leave their mother. Cats can be surgically sterilized (spayed or castrated) as early as 6–8 weeks to limit unwanted reproduction. This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as territory marking (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females. If a cat is neutered after such behavior has been learned, however, then the behavior may persist.

In Hygiene, Cats are known for their fastidious cleanliness. They groom themselves by licking their fur, employing their hooked papillae and saliva. As mentioned, their saliva is a powerful cleaning agent and deodorant. Many cats also enjoy grooming humans or other cats. Sometimes the act of grooming another cat is initiated as an assertion of superior position in the pecking order of a group (dominance grooming).

Some cats occasionally regurgitate hair balls of fur that have collected in their stomachs as a result of their grooming. Longhaired cats are more prone to this than shorthaired cats. Hairballs can be prevented with certain cat foods and remedies that ease elimination of the hair and regular grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush. Cats expend nearly as much fluid grooming as they do urinating. Cats are naturally driven to periodically hook their front claws into suitable surfaces and pull backwards, in order to clean the claws and remove the worn outer sheath as well as exercise and stretch their muscles. This scratching behavior seems enjoyable to the cat, and even declawed cats will go through elaborate scratching routines with every evidence of great satisfaction, despite the total lack of results. Some researchers believe this is due to scent glands located in their pads, and that scratching is effectively a part of marking territory.


BODY.......... MIND

....................MAIN INDEX

#1-ANIMALS ...... #1-SOCIETY

#2-ENERGIES ..... .#2-SPORT

#3-PLANTS ........#3-EDUCATION


........................................ #5-THINGS

........................................ #6-EATING

........................................ #7-FINANCE


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Español: Gatos
Pocos gatos puede dormir 20 horas sobre 24.

English: Cats
Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours out of 24.

Français: Chats
Certains chats peuvent dormir jusqu`à 20 heures sur 24.

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