Cat anatomy: fun facts you didn’t know!

Have you ever wondered what makes your furry friend so purrfect? The thing is, nature did a great job with cats. They look so gentle and cozy but at the same time strong like real predators. We found some fun facts you would love to know about a cat’s anatomy that will make you understand who you are living with.

Let us introduce you to this fat fluffy body

Every cat has 230 bones and 517 muscles. Together they shape a fantastic skeleton. It is made to be flexible to improve survival chances. Don’t forget that most cats live outside and must handle bad weather conditions, hunt for food, and jump over trees to avoid danger. The body has to be durable and that is the reason why the skeleton is made strong. The fact is that cats are tigers, just small packages.

There are about 40 to 70 cat breeds. The most famous are Persian, Maine Coon, Sphynx, Siamese, Bengal, Russian Blue cat, Egyptian Mau, Abyssinian, British Shorthair, etc. The anatomy of all of them is the same, with some differences depending on male/female characteristics.


What are the sensitive parts of a cat’s body? 

Everyone who has ever petted a cat knows that it could be a dangerous activity since the cats easily become mad about touching. Why is that?

The answer is simple- there are sensitive parts of a cat’s body that they don’t allow to be touched. The “weak points” especially are the legs (paws), stomach, and tail.

These parts of the cat’s body should avoid petting. If your cat allows you to touch it, then you must be really lucky and have all your cat’s trust!

  • The legs (precisely the paws) are so sensitive because there are a lot of nerve endings. They are made to absorb sound so the cat can easily move without making noise. It is important for surviving in the wild, bypassing predators, and hunting for food. The fun fact is that cats always walk on tiptoes, and never touch the ground with their whole paw. What a gracious little animal it is! 
  • The stomach of a cat is an unprotected store of primal important organs. As in other mammal anatomy, ribs are only bones that protect a small part of the stomach- heart, and lungs. The rest is easily hurtful and must be protected from injury. This is the reason why cats must hide from touching. The only exception is if having an extremely high level of confidence so allows stomach petting.
  • Shorter or longer, the tail of a cat looks like an antenna on its rounded body. The thing is cats need it. It helps with maintaining balance while walking, running, and jumping. It is a very sensitive part of the body as it is the end of the spine, the end of the skeleton. Some experiments showed that tail injury can cause cat urination control issues. The fun fact is that cats often show their emotions and moods by the position of a tail so observe it and find out what your small friend feels about you.

Why do cats have whiskers? 

Did you ever saw a cat whose whiskers are trimmed? This cat should probably be disoriented, and can’t walk straight. Without it, the cat feels lost. Whiskers are more sensitive types of hair than fur hair, it is some kind of cat sensor. It helps to detect the environment and move around. Whiskers are some form of transmitter of information from outside to the brain. For that reason, it is important to protect those mustaches and let them grow wild as they are.

Why does cat’s tongue feel like sandpaper? 

You must have felt a cat’s lick at least once until now. It is like scratching sandpaper on your skin. Thanks to the keratin-made filiform papillae tongue cover, a cat’s tongue is made to be rough. Papillae are backward-facing positioned which helps this little creature to properly clean the fur, touch the deepest part of the hair, and teazle it. Also, a rough tongue is supposed to make feeding easier since cats are carnivores and must be able to separate the flesh from the bone. 

Why do cat’s eyes glow in the dark? 

If you ever took a picture of a cat in the dark, you probably noticed two lighting dots instead of the eyes. Now you wonder what is the reason for this phenomenon? Well, to frighten us, humans, with their laser-eyes superpower every time we wake up in the night is not the reason. Even if it sometimes seems like that. 

cat's eyes

The truth is, cats’ eyes are supposed to be effective in the dark since they are small predators who hunt for food. They are nocturnal animals, mostly active at the night. Since the body is adjusted to living in the wild, eyes are made to be functional for a night hunt. The eyeball is structured to reflect the light so the view could be good in dim light. Unfortunately, this requires the sacrifice of acuity level. The solution is changing eye-pupil width which might help to see clearly.

Do you know what a cat’s Vomeronasal Organ is? 

Also called Jacobson’s organ, it is positioned at the top of the mouth but you can’t see it. Its function is to analyze the scents from the environment. It helps male cats to find females for mating. Also assists in meeting the surroundings through the sense of smell. Sniffing is the way how cat takes information and recognizes the intention of another being. When they use the Vomeronasal organ it’s called the flehmen response and you can easily notice when cats do that. 

To resume, cats are incredible animals. Both dangerous and gentle creatures. Their bodies are made to be strong and functional. It is important to know about their anatomy to understand their needs and behavior. Admit it, after this article you love cats even more!

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