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Vocal Communication(part 1)

Cats use vocal communication in conjunction with marking and visual communication to effectively convey messages.

Cat homeowners become terribly conversant in the refined, thusme|and a few} not so refined, nuances of their cat’s vocabulary. Almost every owner can identify the differences between the vocalization that says “play with me” and “you’re late with my dinner.”

A cat’s vocal repertoire is quite extensive. It ranges from soft contented murmurs and vowel patterned sounds to strained intensity sounds. There’s no such issue as a straightforward “meow.” Here are some general examples of the cat’s vocabulary.

Purr

It’s the foremost attractive and lovely sound that a cat makes. How the purr is actually produced remained a mystery for a long time. Experts had numerous theories however the foremost current data is that the purr is made by contractions of the cartilaginous structure muscles and diaphragm, which create pressure in the glottis.

Cats purr throughout each inhalation and exhalation and it’s finished a closed mouth. Studies have shown that vibrations of twenty 5 hertz applied to extremities promote wound healing, and increase bone density and muscle mass. They also help with pain relief. The cat’s purr is twenty five hertz (25 cycles per second).

Initially, the purr is made by the mother as some way to speak along with her kittens. They feel the vibrations of the purr, which helps them to locate her. The purr may additionally facilitate the queen with pain relief once birth and through nursing.

Although we have a tendency to as homeowners square measure most conversant in the purring our cats do throughout times of happiness or nursing, they also purr in a variety of other, less expected situations. Cats typically purr to self-soothe throughout times of sickness or worry. When a cat is about to death is additionally a time that purring will occur. Euphoria has been rumored by some terminally unwell human patients, therefore maybe cats could expertise this in addition.

Purring may additionally be however a cat AN attempt|tries} to appease AN opponent in a shot to thwart an attack.

Meow

A meow could be a salutation that’s sometimes directed toward humans and is usually not a cat-to-cat kind of communication. Variations on “meow” square measure wont to communicate to their homeowners. Body postures and environmental specifics should be taken into thought to see what the cat is requesting (food, attention, greeting, request to be left alone, etc.).

Mew

A cat-to-cat communication which will be used for location or identification functions.

Chirp

A soft sound that a cat makes in anticipation of one thing desired that he’s on the point of receive (usually a meal or treat).

Trill

A more musical version of a chirp that is often used as a happy greeting.

Chattering

The sound AN excited cat makes once recognizing prey. Owners could also be at home with this sound if they’ve ever watched their indoor cat sit at the window looking at a bird or squirrel.

Murmur

A closed-mouth soft sound that is often issued as a greeting.

Grunt

Sound produced by newborn kittens.

Hiss

The hiss is used as a defensive warning, and is created when a burst of air is forced out through an arched tongue and an open mouth with the lips pulled back. The creator of the sound is most likely hoping the vocalization and accompanying body posture will deter potential violence. Aggression will likely follow should the danger persist.

Spit

A quick popping sound, spitting often accompanies the hiss. It’s created in reaction to being vulnerable or taken rapidly. A threateningly fast slap to the bottom with a paw typically adds to the drama of ejection.

Growl

This is one of the cat’s strained intensity sounds. A steady, low-pitched warning sound made with AN open mouth. Just as a cat tries to appear larger by piloerection of fur, the deep growl may also be an attempt to seem threatening to the enemy. Growling can be either offensive or defensive.

Snarl

An intimidating expression of upper lip curling. I embody it during this section on vocal communication as a result of it’s typically amid a growl.

Shriek

Most commonly related to the feminine as she cries out once sexual intercourse. The male’s phallus has little barbs on that that almost all doubtless hurt her as he withdraws. The shriek may be detected once there’s sharp pain or in terribly intense aggressive encounters.

Head to Toe (part 2)

The Nose

A well-developed sense of smell is vital for survival in the cat world. It enables the cat to identify territories, relays specific information about the opposite sex, informs him of the presence of potential enemies, alerts him to the presence of potential prey, and detects the temperature and safety of food. A cat isn’t a scavenger and the cat’s sense of smell directly affects his appetite. A cat who can’t smell can become anorexic.

The cat’s sense of smell is better than a human’s but inferior to a dog’s.

The cat’s nose has approximately two hundred million scent cells. To give you an idea of how your cat’s nose compares to yours, humans only have about five million.

The inside of the cat’s nose is lined with a mucous membrane that traps foreign particles and bacteria in an effort to prevent them from entering the body. The mucous membrane also warms and moisturizes inhaled air before it continues on through the respiratory tract.

Some cats have to work harder than others when it comes to breathing due to the differences in muzzle shapes. Flat-nosed breeds, such as Persians, have a compromised breathing ability due to the distorted shape of their compact nose. Their sense of smell may be compromised as well.

Cats also have an extra scent “analyzer” that plays a specific role in identifying sex-related odors in urine (see The Mouth).

The Mouth

Kittens get their temporary teeth at four weeks of age. The permanent teeth are usually in by six months. There are thirty teeth in total. The two canine teeth are used for severing the spinal cord of prey and delivering the killing bite. The six incisors located in the front of the mouth in both the upper and lower jaws are for tearing off small bits of meat and plucking feathers. The premolars and molars cut off larger pieces of flesh from the prey. Cats don’t chew or grind these pieces, but rather, they’re swallowed whole.

The cat’s tongue is covered with tiny backward-facing barbs (papillae) that are used for grooming, and also for removing meat from the bones of prey.

When it comes to drinking water, cats use their tongue to lap water at an incredibly fast speed. The cat curves the upper side of his tongue downward and darts his tongue lightly onto the surface of the water. The speed at which he does this is so fast that as a column of water is drawn up by his tongue, the cat will close his mouth to collect the water just at the moment gravity begins to pull the water column back down. The researchers are engineers and they created a machine to mimic the cat’s tongue. They determined that the cat laps four times per second.

The cat’s tongue has fewer taste buds than that of a human. The cat generally has no desire for sweet tastes although some develop a taste for sweet goodies if repeatedly offered by owners.

Cats use their tongue very efficiently to keep their coats well groomed. Grooming is vital to survival. After eating, the cat uses his tongue to remove all traces of prey from his fur so it won’t alert other prey to his presence. It also decreases the cat’s risk of becoming prey to a larger predator.

Grooming serves a behavioral function as well. In a stressful situation a cat may groom himself to displace the tension he feels. You may notice this if your cat is sitting at the window watching a bird outside. If the bird flies off, the cat may begin a round of self-grooming to defuse the energy he was storing and the frustration he feels.

Located in the roof of the mouth is a scent organ known as the vomeronasal organ, with ducts leading into both the mouth and the nose. The cat inhales, opening his mouth and curling his upper lip. The odor is then picked up on his tongue. It’s almost a cross between smelling and tasting. He then moves the tongue toward the roof of the mouth with the collected odor, passing it to the vomeronasal organ. While performing this scent analysis, the cat’s lips are pulled back into a sort of grimace (called a flehmen reaction). This behavior is most commonly performed by males reacting to the urine or pheromones of females in heat. The Whiskers

Whiskers (vibrissae) are used as a sensory device, relaying messages to the brain. Whiskers are located on the upper lip, cheeks, above the eyes, and on the forelegs. The whiskers on the muzzle are in four rows. The higher 2 rows will move severally of the lowest 2 rows. The upper whiskers, which extend beyond the head, also help guide a cat through the darkness by gauging air currents. Whiskers on the forelegs square measure accustomed sense any movement of prey treed underneath the cat’s front paws.

The muzzle whiskers also help a cat to determine if he can fit through a tight spot. In theory, the width of the whiskers should match the width of the body. In reality, though, many cats are overweight so their body width far exceeds the whisker tips.

Whiskers play an important role in feline body language as well. Whiskers that square measure forward-facing and displayed typically indicate that the cat is alert and prepared for action. The whiskers of a relaxed cat square measure positioned sideways and not as spread-out out. Fear or potential aggression is communicated by the whiskers being tightly spaced and flattened back against the face.

The Nails

Cats have five toes on each forefoot and four on each hind foot. The fifth toe on the inside of the forefoot is known as the dewclaw and doesn’t come in contact with the ground. Some cats, referred to as polydactyls, have extra toes.

When a cat scratches on a tree or scratching post, the outer sheath of the nail is removed. This allows the new growth to come through. If you look at the base of where your cat normally scratches, you’ll probably find little discarded crescent-shaped sheaths.

Unlike dogs, the nails on the cat’s forefeet don’t wear down because they remain sheathed until needed.

The Tail

The tail is one-third of the spine, is used for balance, and also serves an important role in communication. The tail helps the cat balance on high, narrow places and assists in high-speed directional changes. An upright tail when the cat is standing or walking lets you know he’s alert. It’s also the position used in greeting. A relaxed cat’s tail is horizontal or somewhat down. When your cat flicks his upright tail at you, it’s usually meant as a greeting. In most cases, the message he’s sending is “Hi, I’ve missed you. When’s dinner?” A lashing or thumping tail reflects arousal or irritation. If you’re petting your cat when this happens, it’s a very good idea to back off. When a cat is resting, an occasional twitching or sweeping motion of the tail is his way of saying he’s relaxed but still alert. A frightened cat will puff out the hairs on his tail (piloerection) so it looks more than twice its size. A tail in an inverted “U” shape indicates that the cat is fearful and potentially defensively aggressive. A subordinate cat will tuck his tail between his legs or around his body, trying to be as small and invisible as possible. Injury to your cat’s tail can result in a permanent loss of balance and create severe or fatal bladder problems.

Head to Toe (part 1)

A target-hunting Tour of Your Cat and therefore the ways that He Communicates

Take the time to go on a little tour of your cat’s body. He’s not just a cute little ball of fur who chases mice and sleeps in the sun. A cat’s body is perfectly built for hunting and every piece of feline equipment performs intricate, well-timed functions. And what about those meows? Do they really mean anything? Cats are masters of communication and use multiple forms: olfactory, visual, and auditory. Become familiar with your cat’s language and it will unlock the mysteries of behavior problems and cat/owner misunderstandings.

Let’s start with some basic information on the internal/external workings of this marvelous creature:

Temperature

Temperature can range from 101.5–102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Under stress, the cat’s temperature can rise (for example, while being examined by the veterinarian), so depending on the circumstances, a temperature of 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit would be considered normal.

Heart

The cat’s heart averages around 120 to 240 beats per minute. The number of beats will increase in times of stress, fear, excitement, or physical activity. A fever can also cause an increase in the number of beats.

Respiratory Rate

About twenty to thirty breaths per minute is the average for a resting cat. Humans average about half of that.

Blood

There are three blood types: A, B, and the extremely rare AB. Most domestic short-haired cats are type A. Before a transfusion both the donor cat and patient must be typed.

The Eyes

Cats have binocular vision, this means an image is seen by both eyes at the same time. This provides the cat with excellent depth perception.

Cats, being hunters, are very stimulated by movement going across their visual field. The prey-drive is strongly triggered by movements going away from the cat.

Cats have a layer of cells beneath the retina called the tapetum lucidum. These act as a mirror and reflect light back into the retina, which allows the cat to use all available light. This makes the eye about 40 percent more efficient. You’ve seen this glowlike effect as your car’s headlights are reflected in the eyes of animals at night.

People mistakenly assume that cats can see when it’s totally dark, which isn’t the case. They can, however, see in conditions we consider total darkness.

The light path from the cat’s pupil to the retina is shorter than that of humans. This enables the pupil to open wider and constrict smaller.

Cats have a 3rd palpebra called the protective fold. This pale pink membrane normally rests at the inner corner of the eye. If protection of the eye is needed, it will unfold and cover the surface. Since cats generally hunt in tall grass and brush, the nictitating membrane protects the eye from injury. When a cat is ill, more of the nictitating membrane may also be exposed.

Kittens are blind at birth and then as their poorly focusing eyes develop, they are very sensitive to light. Kittens also are born with blue eyes. Their true eye color will develop several weeks later.

Cats’ eyes come in several colors, the most common being green or gold. White cats with blue eyes suffer from congenital deafness. Frequently, odd-eyed cats have deafness on the side with the blue eye.

Cats have limited color vision. They can see blues, grays, yellows, and greens. They don’t see reds. Limited color vision isn’t as important as being able to detect sound, scent, and movement.

Your cat’s eyes can help indicate what he’s feeling. The pupils dilate when a cat is stimulated, surprised, or fearful. Constricted pupils may indicate tension or potential aggression. Of course, accessible lightweight should be taken into thought.

Avoiding direct eye contact is one method a cat uses to try to prevent a violent confrontation with another cat. An offensively aggressive cat will make direct eye contact.

The Ears

Because cats are hunters, their sense of hearing is as important as their sight or smell. A good predator has to be able to detect the faintest rustling in the grass. A cat’s hearing range is better than that of a human and at the higher end is better than even that of a dog. Their hearing is so sensitive that cats can distinguish between two similar sounds from dozens of feet away. They can hear about two octaves higher than us.

The pinna is the flap of the ear that is shaped like a cone. It collects sound waves, funneling them to the inner ear. The many muscles in the pinnae are what allow the cat to rotate his ears in a wide arc, enabling him to locate the source of sounds accurately. Your cat’s ears can rotate 180 degrees and one ear can rotate independently of the other.

Your cat’s ears are also mood indicators. Ears flattened sideways and down reflect irritation or possible submission. An anxious cat may twitch his ears. When the ears face forward, it often indicates alertness. During a fight (or in anticipation of one), the ears are rotated back and flattened to prevent them from being damaged by an opponent’s claws or teeth.

Feline Nutrition-THE BASICS

a little white cute kitty eats cat food with an appetite from a cat's bowl on a homogeneous light background

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “nutrition is the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances.” The key word here is utilized. Although cats, dogs, and even humans can eat many products, it is how we are able to utilize that product or its constituents that make it nutritious or not.

Many common health issues may be prevented or mitigated with a healthy diet. Conversely, a poor diet can have a deleterious impact on health. The study of nutrition addresses the metabolic and physiologic responses of the body to diet and is concerned with metabolism and metabolic pathways; the sequences of biochemical steps through which substances change from one form to another.

Carnivore and herbivore diets are opposite with basic nitrogen and carbon proportions at varying levels. Carnivores consume high nitrogen and lower carbon diets while herbivores consume lower nitrogen and higher carbon diets.

Much of the current nutritional recommendations for cats and dogs exists as mere minimums and maximums with no optimum level defined. Why is this? Scientists do not know what the optimum levels are. As research continues, the veterinarian and consumer must use their best judgments as to what constitutes an optimally nutritious diet. For more information on how these minimum and maximum levels are determined.

THE CARNIVOROUS CAT (part 2)

Vibrissae (Whiskers) & Claws

A cat’s whiskers aid in searching by moving forward to grieve prey within sight once either the prey is just too shut or can’t be seen by the cat, in bright light or low light. The whiskers additionally develop slight vibrations alerting it to prey activity.

Cats have retractile claws for chasing when, grasping, and holding prey.

Vitamin Requirements

Cats cannot synthesize calciferol from daylight because of light 7-dehydrocholesterol in their skin and thus should receive their calciferol through dietary suggests that (animal products). Meat, eggs, and animal oil square measure wonderful supplys whereas the sole vegetarian source is mushrooms.

Vitamin A occurs naturally, only in animal tissues. While omnivores and herbivores can convert beta-carotene (an inactive form from plants) to vitamin A, cats cannot convert beta-carotene into the usable vitamin A they need and therefore need the preformed version from their diet.

Digestion

“The cat’s viscus is shorter in proportion to its body size”,suggesting that the cat’s diet has very edible meat macromolecule and fat for a quick transit time as opposed to fibrous material for a chronic organic process time.

Table 1: Comparison of small intestinal length to body length in selected species.

Species Ratio

Cat        4:1

Dog       6:1

Rabbit   10:1

Pig        14:1

Intestinal length, as determined by the ratio of the intestine to body length, is clearly shorter in cats than omnivores and herbivores. The ratio for cats is 4:1, meaning that the intestines are four times longer than the length of the cat. By contrast, this ratio is 14:1 for pigs, in other words, the intestines are fourteen times longer than the length of the pig, allowing for digestion of a high carbohydrate load.

The larger stomach surface area and nonfunctioning cecum (beginning of the large intestine) in the cat, also indicate a diet of high-meat protein with higher caloric value by limiting the cat’s capability to use poorly digestible starches and fiber by bacterial fermentation in the colon. The small and simple stomach of the cat also indicates a highly digestible, multiple meal behavior.

Taste Receptors

A cat’s sense of style differs from alternative mammals in one vital means – cats have a modification that creates the sweet receptors on their tongues nonfunctional. When cats during a study were bestowed with sugar-laced water and plain water, they showed no preference for either. This mutation likely helped cats evolve toward all-meat diets.

Water Chiefly Supplied by Food

Dry food is missing the foremost vital nutrient, water. Many cats will and can live an extended life on a dry or dry/canned diet, however, we don’t know which cats are genetically able to do so until it’s too late, typically being diagnosed with chronic renal (kidney) disease. By the time most cats present with chronic renal disease, they have lost more than 70% of kidney function. This is a terminal condition.

Cats have a coffee thirst drive thanks to their desert adaptation and don’t ingest enough free water to catch up on the shortage of water in their diet, and are, therefore, chronically dehydrated.

Fatty Acid Requirements

Cats conjointly need a vital carboxylic acid, arachidonic acid, found only in meat. Cats cannot convert polyunsaturated fatty acid provided by plant sources into arachidonic acid.

Conclusions

Cats, through desert adaptation, require water as a component of their food. They conjointly lack the metabolic pathways to expeditiously method stuff, thus defining them as obligate carnivores; their food should consist only of meat, fat, bones, and organs. These square measure 2 terribly straightforward nevertheless elementary facts of feline nutrition.

Many feline diseases like polygenic disorder, obesity, tract disorders, chronic nephritic unwellness, and irritable internal organ syndrome may be directly attributed to low wetness, low-meat-protein, and high-carbohydrate levels that plague many of today’s commercially produced cat foods.

Many cats survive on these dry, supplemented, plant-based diets however they are doing not thrive. The following chapters will delve deeper into feline physiology explaining how a cat’s body metabolizes nutrients. With a basic understanding, optimum choices of either commercial or home-prepared foods may be chosen by the consumer to feed one’s cat.

Feline Nutrition / 1 – THE CARNIVOROUS CAT

Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate (strict or true) carnivores, meaning they require certain nutrients that they cannot synthesize which are only found in meat. The very name carnivore means devourer of flesh. Cats massive and little, wild and domestic need to eat meat as their main source of nutrients. Dogs, bears, and raccoons square measure all facultative (optional) carnivores or omnivores, meaning they can and do eat both meat and plant matter.

However, once given a selection, they will always choose meat if it is available.

A cat is only designed to hunt, kill, eat, and process meat. Through several years of evolution, felids have developed unique characteristics of anatomy, physiology, metabolism, and behavior indicative of obligate carnivores.

Chromosomal Evidence

Domestic cats have thirty eight chromosomes (strands of desoxyribonucleic acid during a cell’s nucleus that carry genes) whereas dogs have seventy eight. This demonstrates that cats ceased evolving more once reaching their obligatory carnivorous standing, genetically. They ne’er evolved to include plant materials into their diets.

Dentition

Another distinction between carnivorous carnivores and all-devouring carnivores is that the form of teeth gift. Cats have 30 teeth while dogs have 42. Dogs have a lot of molars for grinding and chew plant matter whereas in cats, the upper third premolar and lower molar are adapted as carnassial teeth,

suited to ripping and cutting through flesh and bone. These sharp teeth haven’t any flat crowns for grinding. Meat is digestible within the abdomen, so there is no need to chew it.

Tongue, Jaws & Musculature

The feline tongue is roofed with attractive papillae, which help to rasp meat from the bones of their prey.

For the most part, the jaws of the cat only move vertically. This prevents them from having the ability to chew however makes it easier for his or her powerful jaw muscles to carry troubled prey. Cats’ heads square measure extremely rounded with a brief muzzle. The bone has wide lineament arches (cheekbones) and an outsized mesial crest (ridge of bone running lengthwise on the middle of the highest of the skull) each of that allow for the attachment of strong jaw muscles.

Enzymatic Evidence

Cats, in contrast to omnivores, do not have the enzyme, amylase, in their saliva which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth. This is needed since macromolecule metabolism takes a protracted time. Cats utilize the accelerator hexokinase for the metabolism of low-glucose hundreds in their diet. They lack the ability to metabolize high-glucose loads.

Cats solely possess internal organ (liver) enzymes to metabolise a diet and in role of this sort of continuous high-meat-protein diet, will start to breakdown their own muscles and organs to achieve this.

Taurine Requirement

Cats have a special want for the amino sulphonic acid, taurine, essential for the formation of bile salts which aid in the digestion of fats and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, healthy eyes, and heart function. Cats square measure unable to manufacture taurine themselves as a result of they are doing not have enough of the enzymes to synthesize it from the amino acids essential amino acid and aminoalkanoic acid, therefore, it must be in their diet.

Vision & Hearing

Cats’ eyes face forward, allowing for a binocular vision for hunting and they have excellent night vision allowing them to hunt their prey, predominantly small rodents, in very low light. Cats even have glorious depth perception that permits them to maneuver accurately and systematically supported the situation of their prey and it’s additionally the explanation they’re adept at climbing and jumping. Cats hear high pitched sounds like those emanating from tiny rodents. “The hearing range of the cat extends from 48Hz to 85kHz, giving it one of the broadest hearing ranges among mammals.” “Analysis suggests that cats evolved extended high-frequency hearing without sacrifice of low-frequency hearing.” For comparison, the human hearing vary is or so 20Hz to 20kHz.

The Cat: Diagram and Parts List

All cats have the same complement of pre-installed parts and capabilities. If yours is missing one or more of the parts or systems herein described, contact an authorized service provider immediately.

The Head

Eyes: Each model contains two. Feline irises form a distinctive vertical slit, rather than the circle common in most mammals. The visual system is protected by a “third eyelid” that deploys from the interior corner of each eye socket.

Ears: Each model contains two. A cat’s outer ear can rotate 180 degrees, allowing it to scan its environment for particular sounds and pinpoint them with great precision.

Nose: The cat’s sense of smell is superior to that of humans but markedly inferior to that of dogs. A newborn kitten’s nose is already so finely tuned that it can differentiate one of its mother’s nipples from the others via smell.

Tongue: The hundreds of tiny barbs covering its surface are used for several tasks—including scraping meat from the bones of prey; washing and grooming the coat; drying wet fur, and acting as a temperature control system (by relieving overheating through panting and the evaporation of saliva). Cats drink by forming a depression in the front of their tongues and using it to convey liquid to their mouths.

Teeth: Felines do not chew their food; they chop it. Adult domestic cats come equipped with 30 teeth, all of which are designed for shredding meat. They use their large fangs, or “canines,” to break the necks of their prey. In the case of domestic felines, these teeth are optimally spaced for dispatching mice.

Whiskers: Positioned in sets of 12 on each side of the muzzle, these thick, deeply set hairs are highly developed sensory organs. Among other things, they can gauge changes in wind direction and detect nearby movement in extreme low-light environments. They also help the cat determine if it can squeeze through a tight space (the whiskers are usually the same span as the feline’s body at its widest point, unless the cat is obese or extremely pregnant). During hunting, the cat can push the whiskers forward, to provide information about the prey it is grappling with. 

CAUTION: It is unwise to cut a cat’s whiskers. Doing so will prevent the cat from doing the things described above (as well as several other subroutines that are necessary for the day-to-day comfort and survival of the feline). Furthermore, the whiskers are extremely sensitive; cutting them is certain to make the cat experience pain.

The Body

Coat: Most cat coats incorporate three hair types: a topcoat composed of “guard hairs,” and an undercoat of bristly “awn hairs” and softer “down hairs.” Purebred varieties may lack one or more of these. For instance, the Persian has no or very few awn hairs, and the nearly coatless Sphynx carries only a small number of down hairs.

Output Port: Products from the cat’s waste discharge system are extremely rich in nitrogen—so rich that they can “burn” vegetation just as an over-application of fertilizer can.

Genitals: Females reach sexual maturity at 7 to 12 months; males at 10 to 14 months. The head of the male cat’s penis is covered with spines, which stimulate ovulation in the female during intercourse.

Paws: Cats walk on the tips of their “fingers.” This design feature allows them to sprint as fast as 31 mph (50 km/h). Cats can have a “dominant” forepaw, just as humans have dominant hands. About 40 percent are left-pawed, 20 percent right-pawed, and 40 percent ambidextrous.

Claws: Each paw is equipped with a set of claws optimized for climbing, fighting, and grasping prey. They can be retracted when not in use. This design option is exclusive to felines.

Tail: Used as a mood-signaling device and as a balancing aid while climbing, the tail may contain anywhere from 14 to 28 vertebrae.

Nipples: Males and females are equipped with a set of these docking ports. They are nonfunctional in males.

Weight: An adult domestic cat usually weighs between 6 and 12 pounds (3–5.5 kg). Height: Unlike domestic dogs, cats are fairly uniform in size. An average domestic cat stands about 12 inches (30 cm) tall at the shoulder.

Pick of the Litter /Checking Out the Kitten’s Temperament

Pick of the Litter

Rule number one: Don’t let anyone sell or give you a kitten taken away from his mother before he’s ten to twelve weeks of age. Kittens need to be with their mother and also their littermates until that time. This is the time they’re still learning from each other. The playing and posturing kittens do with each other is actually preparing them for adulthood. They’re learning valuable social skills. Kittens taken away from their littermates too early may sometimes have difficulty integrating into multicat households later. They may not have appropriate play skills and can have trouble bonding with companion pets. This isn’t always the case but you need to be informed so you can make the best choice for your family.

Rule number two: A kitten who wasn’t properly socialized may have trouble bonding to humans. The crucial socialization period is between three to seven weeks. It’s at this time that frequent gentle handling by humans help kittens learn to trust and become comfortable around us scary-looking giants.

Check Out the People / Getting a Cat

Getting a Kitten or Cat from Your Friend or Neighbor

Refer to the previous section on “Online and Newspaper Ads” because the same dos and don’ts apply. They may be fabulous gardeners or conscientious neighbors but problematic cat owners. Ask the right questions.

Check Out the People, Not Just the Cats

Summon up every intuitive ability you have, and while you’re asking questions of the people who have raised the kitten or cat, make sure you’re comfortable with their answers. During consultations, I’ve learned that when I ask questions of owners, they’ll often give me the answer they think I want to hear rather than the truth. I’ve had to sharpen my skill at separating fact from fiction. If anything a breeder or private owner says doesn’t coincide with what you’re seeing, then your antenna should go up. Ask questions and get whatever accurate history is available on the kitten.

When the Cat Chooses You

I’ll bet that if you took a poll among cat house owners, an awesome variety of them would tell you that they hadn’t been searching for a cat, hadn’t planned on one, and perhaps didn’t even care abundant for cats—the feline love of their lives simply walked in. More typically than not, it’s the cats WHO select USA, whether or not they show up at our sill, on the wayside as we tend to take our morning run, or are huddled on the nice and cozy hood of our automotive on a chilly winter night. This is the manner the majority of my cats have get my life.

If a cat seems at your door, before deciding to become his owner, make sure he doesn’t belong to anyone else. Obviously, check for a collar or the other type of identification.Some owners have microchips implanted under the cat’s skin. These chips area unit then scan by a special hand-held scanner. Many shelters and veterinarian clinics have these scanners. Check with your native shelter and also the veterinarians in your space just in case somebody has been looking for a lost cat. Search Craigslist and your native newspaper and take into account inserting an advertisement yourself. Don’t tell everything regarding the cat, though, so you’ll be able to tell who the true owner is. For example, if the cat incorporates a white spot on his back right foot, or is missing a eye tooth, these ar the varieties of facts that solely the true owners would know. You need to take care as a result of there area unit some terribly cruel folks during this world WHO can take a free cat for insensate reasons.

Before keeping the cat WHO appears to possess chosen you, he’ll need to be tested for diseases such as feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. He should also be vaccinated and dewormed, if necessary.

If the cat WHO chooses you is ferine (a cat WHO has reverted back to the wild and has had no human socialization) as against being a stray (a cat somebody once owned and socialised however has since been on his own for no matter unhappy reason), then the process of becoming his owner is more complicated. A feral cat hasn’t been handled or socialized through contact with humans. These cats can remain mistrustful and distant. They conjointly might not integrate well into households wherever there area unit existing cats while not a decent deal of rehab work and behavior therapy. I don’t mean to advise you from conveyance a ferine into your family however I even have to caution you as a result of it’s not a perfect scenario for the typical person. Ferals need protracted trust-building and a solid behavior therapy arrange. You have to possess the talent and patience required to figure at the cat’s pace. You also need appropriate living conditions for the cat because he’ll initially need to be in a large cage and then eventually housed in one room while you work on trust-building. Ill-equipped owners can be injured by a frightened, defensive feral. The safety of kids within the home should even be thought of furthermore because the safety of existing companion animals. If you don’t assume you have got the abilities to rehabilitate a ferine cat and there’s one (or more) in your space, contact the nearest feline rescue, group. They will have the information concerning whether there are any skilled foster homes that are feral-specific or whether there is a TNR (trap-neuter-release) program near you. If there are not any feline rescue teams in your space then contact your native humane organization.

Buying by Photograph/Online and Newspaper Ads

Newspaper on laptop

Buying by Photograph

Whether you’re dealing with a breeder or a private owner, don’t agree to purchase a cat you haven’t seen. Some breeders who live out of your area will agree to sell cats long-distance. They e-mail a photograph or video and the first time you actually get to meet your cat is when you pick him up at the airport. My word on this practice? DON’T.

If the breeder of the specific breed you want lives far away and you absolutely have to have this kitten, then get on a plane and go see him, evaluate the facilities, and then if all seems right, take the kitten back with you. Don’t commit to the sale until you’re there in person.

Online and Newspaper Ads

Be cautious. Just because a kitten is advertised for free and the description sounds perfect doesn’t necessarily mean things are as advertised.

Treat the owners as you would a breeder by asking questions. How was the kitten or cat raised? In the case of older cats, ask why they need to find another home. The reason may be stated in the ad, but ask for more specific details.

Check out the home carefully. Don’t let the owners meet you at the mailbox with the kitten in their arms. You want to see where he was raised and, if possible, see the mother cat.

If the owners are trying to place a cat who has behavior problems and you still want to adopt him, find out everything and I mean everything you can. Not only what the problem is but where, when, and how it happens.

What methods did they use to correct the problem? The behavior problem may be a result of something going on in that household and might be solved just by removing the cat. Just make sure you’ve received full disclosure and that you’re prepared to be patient through the cat’s adjustment period.

Sometimes adult cats are put up for adoption because there have been changes in the family. For example, the owner may have passed away and the relatives are trying to place the cat. If you know the reason why the cat is being rehomed, you can be better prepared to help him through the changes.

An adult cat from a previous home often makes a wonderful companion as long as you have the time and patience to help him. Cats who have lost their owners, been abused, or are suddenly shunned (because of something such as rejection by an owner’s new spouse), are confused, scared, and in crisis. With your love, though, they stand a chance at a wonderful life.

If it’s a kitten advertised and the ad states that initial vaccinations have been given, don’t just take a stranger’s word for it. Ask to see written proof in the form of a vaccination record and veterinary clinic receipt. Don’t be satisfied by one of those little “My Pet’s Record” folders where the vaccinations are checked off and the date entered. Anyone with a pen can write in those booklets. Find out who the veterinarian is and call for verification if the owners have no written proof.

If the owner has the mother cat, find out if she is up-to-date on vaccinations and has tested negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Another big question that should be on your mind is why did this owner allow the cat to become pregnant? Are they backyard breeders who thought they could make a little money by mating their purebred with some friend’s male purebred? By purchasing a kitten from such people you only encourage them to continue this practice. If you think you’ll be getting a valuable purebred at a bargain, you’re sadly mistaken. What you may actually be doing is paying a high price for a low-quality cat with genetic defects. I’m also upset about the people who don’t alter their mixed-breed cats, and then when the cat has a litter, put an ad on Craigslist knowing that people are always looking for kittens and they’ll be able to get those four or five little problems off their hands.

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