10 characteristics of CATS
Cats are one of the most popular pets for families. Along with dogs, they have many similarities with people and others that obviously make them very different and complementary to humans. Let's see the main characteristics of cats that make them so special.
Featured Cat Features
- Metabolism: Cats also share the fast metabolism that dogs have, resulting in a higher heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature than people. Cats generally live longer than dogs, with many living to be 20 years or older.
- temperature regulation: Cats are better at keeping warm than they are at cooling, although their small size relative to their large surface area makes cooling more effective than dogs. Cats lose heat through external radiation. They do have some sweat glands that aid in evaporative cooling, and licking their fur further enhances this process. Heat is also lost through panting, although this is not as effective a method of cooling as it is in dogs. Cats also generally seek dark, cool places to protect themselves from the heat of the day. As with all animals, cats should never be locked in cars or other hot, confined spaces. This can lead to heat stroke and death.
- Vision: Cats have keen eyesight; they can see much more detail than dogs. Concentrated in the center of the eye's retina, a specific type of cell called a cone provides cats with excellent visual acuity and binocular vision. This allows them to judge speed and distance very well, a skill that helped them survive as hunters. However, while cone cells are also responsible for color vision, it is not clear whether cats can see colours. Like dogs, cats also have lots of retinal cells called rods, which are good at collecting dim light. In fact, cats can see 6 times better in low light than people, giving rise to the myth that cats can see in the dark. Cats also have a reflective layer called the tapetum lucidum, which magnifies incoming light and gives their eyes a characteristic blue or greenish glow at night.
- Hearing: Cats are very sensitive to sound, hearing a range above and below the range of frequencies that can be detected by people. They can hear better than people and even better than most dogs. Feline hearing also acts as a direction finder, which is useful for hunting purposes. Cats usually turn their heads towards the direction of the sound while accurately listening for the location. The ear canal in cats is deeper and narrower than in people. This deeper canal is subject to dirt and wax buildup which can lead to inflammation and secondary infection, although to a lesser degree than in dogs. The semicircular canals, found within the inner ear, are filled with fluid and are important for balance. These are highly developed in cats, which explains their agility and excellent sense of balance. Cats can generally determine their body position at all times and can quickly right themselves when landing, which explains the origin of the phrase "Cats always land on their feet."
- Smell and taste: Cats are not as dependent on their sense of smell as other animals. The sense of smell is less developed in cats than in dogs. Just like people, cats are picky about odors and try to hide unpleasant odors. Also like people, smell is an extremely important part of cat food taste and enjoyment. Cats that have lost their sense of smell due to illness (such as a nasal or severe respiratory infection, nerve damage, or certain cancers) often stop eating altogether. Most cats are excited by the smell of catnip, a plant that is a member of the mint family. However, not all cats react in the same way. Some become manic, others roll and purr, others are minimally affected. This herb is harmless and can be given to your cat directly or as part of a cat toy or ball.
- nails and paws: As in dogs, the bottom of the paw in cats is covered in thick, elastic pads that cushion the foot and help provide a secure grip on many types of surfaces. Cats have claws that are much more adapted and complex than the dog. Feline claws are very sharp and curved, making it easier to grab prey while hunting or attacking in territory. The claws are retractable, so they don't get in the way or make noise when walking or running.
- Skin and hair: Feline skin, like that of people and dogs, has an outer layer called the epidermis that is constantly being replaced, and an inner layer called the dermis that contains nerves and blood vessels, oil glands, and hair follicles. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum that coats and protects the skin, giving it a brilliant shine. Feline skin is more sensitive than human skin, so it's important to use topical preparations specifically formulated for pets. Shampoos and other topical products for people can irritate your cat's skin and should be avoided.
- Teeth and mouth: Cats are carnivores with teeth designed to pierce and tear flesh. They have 26 deciduous (baby) teeth that are replaced by 30 permanent (adult) teeth that erupt between 5 and 7 months of age. Different types of teeth have specialized functions, depending on their position in the mouth. The front teeth, which include the 12 incisors and 4 large canine teeth (also known as the eye teeth), are designed for grasping and tearing. The back premolars and molars grind food into smaller pieces so they can be swallowed.
- Digestive tract: The gastrointestinal tract includes the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon). This system digests food into useful nutrients, absorbs water, and eliminates waste. Digestive problems often show up as vomiting or diarrhea, which can have many causes, including viral infections; worms; stress; or ingestion of bones, thread, hair, or other foreign material.
- Urinary system: Removes waste from protein breakdown and helps control fluid levels. Waste products are filtered by the kidneys and then sent through the ureters to the urinary bladder for storage. Urine leaves the body through the urethra. In males, the urethra doubles as a channel for sperm during copulation. The feline penis is small and "hidden" within the scrotal sac that holds the testicles. This can sometimes make it difficult for pet owners to determine if their cat is male or female.
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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of CATS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-cats/ (Consultado el: 25-09-2023)
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