The Secret Behind the Flexible Body of Cats

BY | March 07 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

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Cats are really curious creatures. They tend to like their space and seem to be most content when theyโ€™re just lounging by themselves. We can try to understand cats but not many people have gotten very far. Despite their stoic nature, theyโ€™re still pretty great pets and we love them with everything we have. Cats take a lot of naps. They love their nap times. But sometimes, when we look at our beloved pets while theyโ€™re napping, we canโ€™t help but wonder how theyโ€™re twisting their bodies in such ways and still being comfortable. Cats have an interesting anatomy. They never cease to surprise us. Cats are probably one of the most flexible animals out there.

What does their flexibility allow them to do?

Cats used to be predators before they were domesticated. Through the years, theyโ€™ve evolved to be as lithe and quiet as can be. They can jump almost nine times their height, run at 30mph, and even land on their feet every single time they take a fall. They have an incredibly long stride and as we all know, theyโ€™re very hard to keep up with.Cats also take their grooming very seriously. Theyโ€™re neat freaks like that. Their flexibility makes it easier for them to reach those out of reach places on their body. By grooming themselves so thoroughly, they also evade detection from other cats by covering their scents.

Why are cats this flexible?

The vertebrae of a cat is very unique. Each individual bone that makes up the vertebrae has an incredibly elastic cushioning disc between it and the next bone. This allows cats to rate their bodies 180 degrees to the left and right. They can even turn their heads to face the opposite direction with no problem. Humans can only rotate our hips about 90 degrees right or left.Their bones arenโ€™t the only things that allow them to be this flexible. Their muscles and ligaments are also very flexibly connected. Their flexibility allows them to have an incredibly long stride. They can lengthen their stride by flexing and extending their spine. Their running stride is three times more than the length of their bodies!A catโ€™s shoulders also play a pretty big part in their flexibility. The only thing connecting their shoulder blades to the rest of their body is muscles. Humans and canines have bones connecting these joints. This specific connection lets cats extend their stride even more โ€“ as if their previous stride wasnโ€™t impressive enough already. It is because of their very loosely attached shoulder blades and their small collar bones that they can fit into even the tiniest spaces.The next time you have trouble getting your cat into a carrier, or you see him in a contorted, crazy position, thank his shoulder blades and spine for making him this flexible.

5 Facts About Your Catโ€™s Brain That Nobody Will Tell You

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Animal cognition is a hot-button topic among scientists. They, like us, want to know what goes on in our pets' minds and after a few initial discoveries, realized there is a lot to learn. Laboratories are established all around the world to study the minds of pets. Cats are harder to understand than dogs as every cat owner knows: they can be difficult to work with. Some cats were so adamant that they were removed from the studies.

Following signs

Your cat may not understand your verbal language, but they are quick to pick up what you try to say by observing your body language. Your kitty understands what you mean to say when you point at something. Your cat knows you are hinting at something when you point towards it, This is the reason the kitty always walks to the food bowl when you point toward it.

Unfazed at disappearing objects

Any objects moving out of visual sight does not mean it disappeared forever. Humans instinctively understand the truth, but many animals do not. Cats can grasp the concept of an object hiding behind another. This is the reason cats wait for their mouse to reappear. This helps them to be solitary hunters.

Bad memory

Your kitty has a terrible memory. Its memory for short times, or in scientific terms "working memory", is found to decline after 10 seconds. It must be remembered however that the long-term memories of your kitty are excellent. This memory is susceptible to age or disease. Like humans' Alzheimer's, cats can suffer from Feline Cognitive Dysfunction (FCD). It is also known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS. This is noticeable in older cats aged 10 years or more.

Understand time

Cats meow for breakfast almost at the same time every day. Same goes for lunch and dinner. It is evident that cats could understand the lengths of time. Experiments have shown they can differentiate between hours and minutes. This is made possible due to an internal clock which assesses event duration.

Comprehend quantity

Other than time, cats can differentiate between bigger and smaller quantities of the same thing or different objects. They understand that the larger unit contains more than the smaller one. This helps them to choose between two plates. Your kitty will always go towards the bigger plate. This helps cats to maximize food quantity at the time of hunting.

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