History • First cat appeared 35 million years ago. • Cats were domesticated about 4000 years ago. Much later than dogs! • This is probably due to its independent and solitary nature.
All modern cats can be traced to one of these types of cats. • African Wild Cat • Jungle Cat • European Wild Cat
Skeleton and Muscles • Skeleton developed for speed and flexibility. • Their skeleton contains 244 bones • 40 more than humans • Extras found in spine and tail
500 separate muscles, largest in rear for running and jumping. • 150 less than humans • 30 in ears • Large muscles found in hind legs
Ears for hunting and are much more sensitive than a humans. • Cochlea-is an organ within the ear that allows the cat to detect and locate sounds very efficiently. • Nose is especially sensitive, used to investigate food, water, or unfamiliar objects. • Nose receptor- located in the lining of the nose- lets them pick up smell of airborne items. • Olfactory mucosa- this area is almost twice the size of humans.
Eyes • Cats have 3 dimensional vision • THREE eyelids! • Nictating Membrane- it moves diagonally across eye under eyelid to help lubricate cornea. • Kittens’ eyes stay closed for about 10-12 days after birth! • But it takes about 3 months for them to be fully developed!
Cats can be divided into two categories: • Long haired • Short haired • The average cat lives around 12-18 years but healthy, indoor cats are known to live as long as 30 years. • The cat's front paw has 5 toes and the back paws have 4.
Interesting Facts • A cat's hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs. • The cat's tail is used to maintain balance. • Cats see six times better in the dark and at night than humans • On average, a cat will sleep for 16 hours a day. • A domestic cat can run at speeds of 30 mph.
Reproduction • The female cat reaches sexual maturity at around 6 to 10 months and the male cat between 9 and 12 months. • Cats are pregnant for about 63 days. They can have multiple litters in a year. • They typically have 2-6 kittens per litter but can have more. • Kittens nurse for about 6 weeks before being weaned from their mother.
Nutrition • Cats are carnivores- eat small birds, mice, and other small prey. • Average cat eats commercial mixed food that is composed of animal and plant products. • All cats need taurine in their diet to avoid blindness. • Cats must also have fat in their diet as they are unable to produce it on their own. • Cats require about twice as much protein as dogs do. • The best source of protein is found in animal products • Should feed a commercial cat food.
3 Types of Cat food • Canned food • More protein • higher water content. • Higher fat levels • Semi-moist food • less expensive • only 30% water • added chemicals added to • keep from spoiling or drying out!
Dry food • 10% water less fat, but also less protein • Cats on dry food need additional water all the time! • May develop bladder problems- due to not enough water in diet • Keeps teeth clean
Exercise/training • Depends on breed and home life (apartment vs. farm) • Apartment cats may need “toys” to keep active • Train cat to use scratch post instead of drapes/ furniture • Toilet training is easier with cats because the naturally cover up their urine and feces. • Cats can be trained to do tricks, such as jumping through hoops, sitting, begging, and others.
Grooming/Care • Long - haired cats • Need daily care or hair will get tangled and matted • Equipment needed: • Comb • nail clippers • grooming brush made with natural bristles • grooming powder • Comb all areas with a wide-toothed comb • after coat is free of tangles use fine part of comb • brush fur out in opposite direction hair grows • Sprinkle grooming powder in while brushing
Short-haired cats • grooming not necessary every day • Equipment includes: • fine toothed or flea comb • rubber grooming brush • Grooming • comb through hair gently watching for burs, mats, or other foreign objects • avoid over brushing
Ears • check for mites (dark, crumbly residue in ear). This can be treated with ear drops from a vet. • Eyes • should be bright and clear, if staining occurs, gently wash • Teeth and Gums • check for soreness, tartar build up must be treated by a vet • Claws • require trimming, careful not to trim to the pink area as this will cause pain and bleeding. • Cats using a scratching post don’t need trimming very often.
Independent and self-sufficient. • Make excellent companions. • Less care than dogs. • Fit well in most apartment settings. • Total cost is less, compared to a dog! (vet, feed, etc.) • They are clean, very little house training!
Be alert for signs of illness: • Gums should be pale pink. • Eyes bright and clear. • Clean and shiny coat. • Purchase kittens at 8-12 weeks of age.
American Shorthair • American Shorthair • Brought to U.S. from England • Affectionate, great lap cat, easily disciplined and trained • Very large cat, 14 lbs • 34 recognized color patterns
Abyssinian • One of the oldest breeds known • Descendant of Egypt and worshiped as sacred • Extremely affectionate, quiet, highly intelligent, and alert. • Very active and can be taught to retrieve!
Bombay • Cross between Burmese and American Short-hair • graceful, charming, gets along well with others • Medium size • Jet black with copper colored eyes
Burmese • Originated in the U.S.- 1930’s by crossing a Siamese and Burma • sweet disposition, stubborn, bossy. Like to be held • Upper respiratory diseases are common in kittens especially if inbred
Devon Rex • Crossed domestic cat with a feral (wild) • medium size • wide based ears are set low; very characteristic of breed • likes people and can be taught to retrieve • Excellent climber
Japanese Bobtail • Japanese origin; sign of good luck • affectionate, sweet, and loves people • medium to large size • distinctive “short” (bob) tail is kinked and hair forms a “pom” • Care must be taken not to hurt the sensitive tail area.
Maine Coon • Origin unknown- possibly descendents of Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Angoras • Very large and long. Bushy tail, often tufts of fur on ear-tips. • Long hair, helps in Northeastern climate • Prone to hip dysplasia and arthritis • Above average intelligence, affectionate, easy to train
Oriental Shorthair • Multiple colors • vocal, intelligent, witty, elegant, dependent upon people, playful • medium size, can be mistaken for Siamese • Good health, except some respiratory problems
Persian • Oldest and most popular breed • well-mannered, easygoing, quiet, excellent apartment cats • divided into 6 groups for showing purposes, depending on eye and coat color • Some white are born deaf if blue eyed or odd eyed (one blue/one green) • Require daily grooming, often experience breathing problems and clogged tear ducts
Ragdoll • Originated in U.S. in 1960’s • Named for its floppy posture when handled • They have little fear or pain, docile, quiet, and composed • Large and heavy breed
Siamese • One person cat, even within a family • vocal, loyal, fearless, unpredictable • medium size, very long, refined • very little pigmentation; mask, ear, foot and tail tips • Always has blue eyes • Sensitive to vaccinations
Turkish Angora • Polite, intelligent, and very responsive. • Prefers a clean, almost spotless environment • small to medium size • use to be only white, now many colors • Persian cousin
Scottish Fold • Ears are folded downward and forward- Natural Mutation • Excellent family cat, gets along well with other cats or dogs • medium size
Sphynx • Canadian origination- 1960’s • Hairless, indoor cat • Very dependent upon people for survival • Constant purr, affectionate, body contact • Needs to eat frequent meals because of its lack to store body fat • Body temperature is higher than normal