General Cat Facts
All cats are members of the family Felidea.
Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.
All cats share certain characteristics that are unique to the cat family.
Cats are pure carnivores.
They need a high level of protein in their diets - around 30% - and lack the digestive equipment to do well on a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables.
In fact, if you were to design a creature to live from hunting mammals you would have trouble doing better than the design of the cat.
If you know cats at all, you know that they have powerful jaws, long, sharp teeth, and claws that draw back into their paws when not in use.
Cats hear extremely well.
Their eyes are adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and just after dusk, the prime hunting periods.
Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
Contrary to popular belief, the cat is a social animal.
A pet cat will respond and answer to speech , and seems to enjoy human companionship.
If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months.
This is why population control using neutering and spaying is so important.
Kittens are born with both eyes and ears closed.
When the eyes open, they are always blue at first.
They change color over a period of months to the final eye color.
When well treated, a cat can live twenty or more years.
A cat cannot see directly under its nose.
This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
The gene in cats that causes the orange coat color is sexed linked and is on the X sex chromosome.
This gene may display orange or black.
Thus, as female cat with two X chromosomes may have orange and black colors in its coat.
A male, with only one X chromosome, can have only orange or black, not both.
If a male cat is both orange and black it is, besides being extremely rare, sterile.
To have both the orange and the black coat colors, the male cat must have all or part of both female X chromosomes.
This unusual sex chromosome combination will render the male cat sterile.
Cats have AB blood groups just like people.
A form of AIDS exists in cats.
Siamese coat color and crossed eyes may be caused by the same gene.
The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker.
Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth.
This heat keeps the kittens' hair from darkening on the points.
There are many myths about cats.
Check this page to see some of them discussed, and to find out the true facts.
Though rare, cats can contract canine heart worms.
People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander.
If the resident cat is bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better.
Studies now show that the allergen in cats is related to their scent glands.
Cats have scent glands on their faces and at the base of their tails.
Entire male cats generate the most scent. If this secretion from the scent glands is the allergen, allergic people should tolerate spayed female cats the best.
Cats do not think that they are little people.
They think that we are big cats.
This influences their behavior in many ways.
Cats are subject to gum disease and to dental caries.
They should have their teeth cleaned by the vet or the cat dentist once a year.
Cats, especially older cats, do get cancer.
Many times this disease can be treated successfully.
Most cats have no eyelashes.
Many cats cannot properly digest cow's milk.
Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.
Cats lack a true collarbone.
Because of this lack, cats can generally squeeze their bodies through any space they can get their heads through.
You may have seen a cat testing the size of an opening by careful measurement with the head.
Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are very prone to sunburn.
Frequent sunburns can lead to skin cancer.
Many white cats need surgery to remove all or part of a cancerous ear.
Preventive measures include sunscreen, or better, keeping the cat indoors.
Cats can get tapeworms from eating fleas.
These worms live inside the cat forever, or until they are removed with medication.
They reproduce by shedding a link from the end of their long bodies.
This link crawls out the cat's anus, and sheds hundreds of eggs.
These eggs are injested by flea larvae, and the cycles continues.
Humans may get these tapeworms too, but only if they eat infected fleas.
Cats with tapeworms should be dewormed by a veterinarian.
Cats can get tapeworms from eating mice.
If your cat catches a mouse it is best to take the prize away from it.
There are tiny, parasitic worms that can live in a cat's stomach.
These worms cause frequent vomiting.
Many people fear catching a protozoan disease, Toxoplasmosis, from cats.
This disease can cause illness in the human, but more seriously, can cause birth defects in the unborn.
Toxoplasmosis is a common disease, sometimes spread through the feces of cats.
It is caused most often from eating raw or rare beef.
Pregnant women and people with a depressed immune system should not touch the cat litter box.
Other than that, there is no reason that these people have to avoid cats.
Cats have a full inner-eyelid, or nictitating membrane.
This inner-eyelid serves to help protect the eyes from dryness and damage.
When the cat is ill, the inner-eyelid will frequently close partially, making it visible to the observer.
You can tell a cat's mood by looking into its eyes.
A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils.
An angry cat will have narrow pupils.
The pupil size is related as much to the cat's emotions as to the degree of light.
A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days.
This is roughly two months.
Regarding the cat spraying problem.
Ordinary white vinegar is good to neutralize the odor.
Also there is a product calle d "ODO.
Don't let antifreeze leak from the car if your cats run wild, or even if there are stray cats running around the neighborhood.
Granted stray cats can be a pain in the butt sometimes, and I'm sure we stray humans can be as well, but no animal deserves to suffer a slow and painful death like antifreeze would cause them.
Do you know why a cat will stand and lift it's paws up and down in one place on your body?
Almost like marching in place.
This behavior in cats is left over from kittenhood, when they kneaded their mother's belly to help the milk flow.
Some cats will actually knead and drool when they are petted.
The kneading or marching means that the cat is happy.
The two most common problems with cats are aggression, and refusing to use the litter box.
Both of these problems are usually caused by social conflict among cats.
To have the fewest problems, have only one cat at a time.
The more cats you introduce into a house, the more likely you are to have difficulties with the cats.
If you have a cat and want to have another cat, it will be easiest to introduce a female kitten.
An elderly cat that is alone, however, should not be bothered with another cat.
Let it rest in peace.
Bringing a new cat into a household is always very stressful for all the cats concerned.
Unlike humans and dogs, cats do not suffer a lot from loneliness.
It is a mistake to project our social feelings onto our cats.
Cats are social to a degree, but they are far more concerned with territorial issues than we can even imagine.
"Information Is From "The Encyclopedia Britannica"
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