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5 Crazy Cat Anatomy Facts

1. Whisker Communication

A cat’s whiskers are like a radar guidance system, with a bundle of nerve endings telegraphing details about everything the cat touches, as well as shifts in air pressure. His whiskers are the same width as his body, letting him know whether he’ll be able to get through a narrow opening or fit behind the TV set.

But whiskers are also navigators. These bristly hairs, found above his eyelids, around his muzzle and on the lower, inside part of his forelegs, help cats move smoothly in darkness. Sensitive to changes in the air current around an unknown object, whiskers enable the cat to avoid the obstacle.

A hunting cat uses its whiskers to zero in on the outline of its prey, letting it know where to strike. Damaged whiskers hamper its aim. A cat’s facial whiskers are also mood indicators. Stiff, forward-pointing whiskers mean the cat is aggressive. An angry cat’s whiskers are tightly pulled back against its face. And a contented cat’s whiskers are picture-perfect, forward, with a slightly downward angle.

Related:
10 Fantastic Cat Facts
Top 10 Cat Health Questions
How Much Do Cats Sleep?

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

By Kathy Blumenstock, Animal Planet

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435 comments

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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

7:03PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

yes, U think that the purring is the biggest mystery of the universe ... after the big bang and it will remain a mystery as ling as life will go on on earth. I can stay hours listening to my kitties purring ...

12:10PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

We call the quivering tail the tail dance. Jake the Kitty often does it when canned food is on the way, or when we come home after being out a long time. In fact, he usually seems to do it to signal excited delight.

Then there was my brother. The first time he saw Jake's tail dance, he started screaming we needed to take him to the vet right away because he was having a 'tail seizure.'

Funny thing, we were both raised with cats. We have both been owned by cats in adulthood. Somehow, though, my brother managed to entirely fail to notice this quite common cat behavior. The only cats I've known who never quivered their tails were all manx, and thus had no tail to quiver.

11:56AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I love the sound of kitty's purring,

12:17PM PST on Dec 28, 2013

TY

5:18AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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