Who is the cat?
Let’s start by evoking the animal itself. To say that the domestic cat is a carnivorous mammal of the family Felidae, that is banal … Add that the word cat comes from the low-Latin cactus, which means wild cat, is a little less known, and if you say that cactus derives from the verb cattle, which means to watch, then I see your whiskers stand up.
The cat is a twilight predator. If he accepts the appetizing bowl of Pacific salmon with dill topped with cocktail sauce (I barely exaggerate), it’s good to please his host. Because a good little rodent freshly dislodged would please him more, we can not have everything. During the course of evolution, he acquired meanings that make him perceive the universe differently than humans, to the point that they have often attributed supernatural powers to him. In fact, his sense of hearing is particularly developed.
While a young human perceives sounds up to a frequency of 20,000 hertz, the cat’s ear climbs up to 30,000 and more. Twenty-seven muscles orient its horn with great precision, which gives it a real sound vision and three dimensions. The weakest tremor is thus immediately located in space.
The sense of vision also has some interesting features. The angle of vision, 287 ° against 180 ° in the man, is not only superior but also much more powerful than ours in the weak light. But he does not perceive colors or movements in the same way as we do. It would seem that red is unknown to him, and that his granular vision only very imperfectly accounts for immobile details, as well as many other predator-hunters. His sense of smell, on the other hand, compensates for this deficiency by being forty times more developed than ours (which will make him disdainfully refuse a slightly damaged food), but his sense of taste is nearly five times less developed than in humans. The taste of sweet is totally unknown to him, needless to add in his tea …
Jacobson’s organ: the sixth sense of the cat
The cat has an organ of Jacobson, just like the dog and the horse. Two small canals that rise behind the incisors lead the odor to two fluid-filled sacs in the nasal cavities. When in doubt about food or any other unknown substance, he rolls up his lips and the odorous particles are sucked towards these two glands, which allow him to taste the smells.
The weightlessness and the reflex of the cat
Our apartment feline also has a very particular gift, that of changing the orientation of his body in a state of weightlessness. This may surprise … and yet, who does not know that a cat always falls on its feet?
When he falls on his back more than two meters (less high, it does not work …), the cat performs all the gymnastics, arching entirely belly in the air, rolling on itself, then turning around again, gathering his paws under him, which dampens the landing … to a certain extent. It should be noted that the man is also able to change the orientation of his body in space, according to a technique developed … in the space station Skylab, in 1973. The cat, he ‘s has gone from the space station. He has never made a space flight.
Where does the purr come from?
The purring of the cat is produced by a synchronized movement of the pharynx, the larynx and a whole series of muscles that interest the whole body. His reason is still a mystery, but the researchers think it could be a restorative movement for the body, a role similar to that of the dream for the brain. Purring also stimulates the production of endorphins (soothing substances), which would explain why a cat can purr not only pleasure but also when he is suffering, injured or even dying. Finally, the word purr comes from the word cat in Arabic: (ar) hi-rone.
The cat’s dietary needs
As described above, the cat is a hunter and a diet similar to ours could not suffice. He needs taurine, an amino acid derivative that his body synthesizes, but in insufficient quantity and found in compensation in meat. Taurine deficiency causes ocular, cardiac, severe immune deficiency and reproductive problems in animals.
Note that if taurine (which owes its name to the bile of the bull where it was detected for the first time in 1950) is synthesized in humans, its addition to the human diet is prohibited because of neurological disorders. – Behavioral unwanted which it is accused, especially through some drinks called “energizing”. Experimentally used to increase GI mental alertness during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, it was abandoned due to headaches and brain hemorrhages…
On the other hand, the cat’s prepared diet (croquettes or preserves) usually contains it as an indispensable dietary supplement.