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5 Crazy Cat Anatomy Facts

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5 Crazy Cat Anatomy Facts

Curiosity about cats has followed humankind since the days before Egyptian pharaohs treasured them as signs of good fortune. Much more is known today about what makes these graceful critters tick, yet we’re still mesmerized by a cat’s nighttime eyes and find comfort in the mysterious vibration of a gentle purr. Taken individually, the bits and pieces of cat anatomy and behavior are a crazy quilt of Morse code, text messaging and DIY survival tips. Together, they’re a medley of fun facts that add up to a fur-covered package of intrigue. Let’s look at five unusual cat anatomy facts.

5. Eyes That Glow in the Dark

Green, gold, blue or yellow, cats’ eyes are fascinating orbs that gleam in darkness. Think of the famous Cheshire cat, whose eyes and grin taunted Alice in Wonderland. Use a flashlight beam to observe your cat in a darkened room. That spooky shine is visible even in dim light.

Cats’ eyes have pupils that are larger than humans’, and are controlled by a pair of shutter-like ciliary muscles, creating the cat’s distinctive slit-like pupil in bright light. In darkness, light hitting feline eyes is reflected from a mirror-like membrane behind the retina. This structure is called the tapetum lucidum, and is present in the eyes of cats, dogs, some fish and birds, and other nocturnal hunting animals.

When light enters a cat’s eyes, it goes through the retina, where light-sensor cells, called rods and cones, absorb it. Any unabsorbed light reaches the tapetum lucidum and bounces back to the retina, enabling it to take in more light. Animals with the tapetum lucidum have greater night vision because it lets them absorb more light. This is a great help when looking for prey at night. Cats need only about one-sixth of the light humans need to function in the dark.

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Do Good, Pets, , , , , ,

By Kathy Blumenstock, Animal Planet

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1:29AM PDT on Sep 17, 2014

Thank you :)

6:14PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

noted

5:48PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Furry facts about cats are always welcome. I have read about these before, but never tire of reading about them again and again.

The power of the purr, purrfectly marvellous.

11:53AM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

sin mis 4 felinos no sabria que hacer

2:29PM PDT on Sep 13, 2014

Beautiful, that´s also why I love cats, I´ve got 3, Gizzy, Thori and Sisi!

6:54AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Awesome, thanks for sharing!

12:48AM PDT on May 7, 2014

The relaxing sound of my beloved cat purring in my arms is one of the most enjoyable sounds in the world for me.

1:42AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

tks

1:40AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

thanx for sharing

8:27PM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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