Measuring the senses of any animal can be difficult because there is usually no explicit communication (e.g., reading aloud the letters of a Snellen chart) between the subject and the tester.
While a cat's senses of smell and hearing may not be as keen as, say, those of a mouse, they are superior in many ways to those of humans. These along with the cat's highly advanced eyesight, taste, and touch receptors make the cat extremely sensitive among mammals.
Relative to size, domestic cats are very effective predators. They ambush and dispatch vertebrate prey using tactics similar to those of leopards and tigers by pouncing; they then deliver a lethal neck bite with their long canine teeth that severs the victim's spinal cord, or asphyxiate it by crushing the windpipe.
The domestic cat can hunt and eat about one thousand species—many big cats will eat fewer than 100. Although, theoretically, big cats can kill most of these species as well, they often do not due to the relatively low nutritional content that smaller animals provide. An excep...
Tigers in the Wild:Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal
Most Bengal tigers live in India, and some range through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Their esimated population is approximately 3,250-4,700 tigers, with roughly 333 in captivity, mostly in zoos in India. White tigers are basicaly a color variant of the Bengal tiger and are rarely found in the wild.
The Bengal tiger is found mainly throughout India, with smaller populations in southern Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and western Myanmar.The Cat Specialist Group IUCN reported an approximate total of 3,250 to 4,700 Bengal tigers throughout the range in 1995. For several decades, the st...
In 1983 a farm cat named Blacky had a tryst with the resident male in the area, Smokey, and gave birth to a litter that included one brown kitten, Brownie. What the names of these cats lacked in originality, the kitten herself made up for with her unusual coloring and charming personality.
Brownie had a litter the next summer that included Minky, a longhaired black male. In 1985 Brownie and Minky produced two kittens: Teddy Bear, a solid brown male, and Cocoa, a brown and white female.
When the Ark arrived at Mount Ararat some 5,000 years ago, Noah must have been a bit busy keeping the animals from stampeding in their eagerness to touch dry land. In the hustle and bustle, two white and red cats leaped into the water and swam ashore. When the flood receded, the cats set out for Lake Van, located about 75 miles (121 km) to the south of Mount Ararat, where they have lived ever since.
The Chantilly’s long road to acceptance started in 1967. The breed’s originator, Jennie Robinson, bought two cats, an 18-month-old male and a 6-month-old female, from a pet shop in White Plains, New York. She was told the cats had belonged to someone who had recently died. Several years later, ACA registered the cats, Thomas and Shirley of Neotype, as “Sable Foreign Longhairs.”
The Sphynx is not the first instance of hairlessness in domestic cats. This natural, spontaneous mutation has been seen in various locations around the world for at least the last ninety-something years, and probably longer. The Book of the Cat (Simpson, 1903), mentioned a pair of hairless cats belonging to a New Mexico fancier. Called the “Mexican Hairless,” these cats supposedly were obtained from Indians around Albuquerque.
No one knows for sure when and where the first Somali appeared; some proponents think that the long coat was a spontaneous natural mutation in the Abyssinian. Genetic studies indicate, however, that the Somali probably originated around the turn of the century in England when breeders, low on breeding stock, used longhaired cats in their Abyssinian breeding programs. In the late 1910s and in the late 1940s, during the aftermath of World Wars I and II, when so many breeds had dwindled to near extinction, breeders were forced to mix other breeds into their Abyssinian bloodlines to keep the breed...
Singapore, an island spanning 226 square miles (585 sq. km) perched off the tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, has scores of feral felines, as do many seaports. These cats make their livings off the leavings of the fishing trade, and in the past were not paid much attention unless they became nuisances, and then they were picked up by the cat police and summarily dealt with. It is a hard life for these nomads and, far from being praised as pedigrees, they were disparagingly known as “drain” or “sewer” cats by the denizens of the island.
This breed may be new to the United States, but it’s far from new to the Asian continent and to Europe. Exactly when and how the Siberian made its way to Siberia (and subsequently to Moscow and St. Petersburg) is not known, but it is theorized that the breed arrived with Russian emigrants. The cats survived and developed into a hardy, longhaired breed able to withstand the unforgiving conditions of the region. The breed then spread throughout Europe, and the Siberian was noted in Harrison Weir’s late nineteenth century book, Our Cats and All About Them, as one of the three longhairs represente...
The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds of domestic cat and has a history as long and colorful as the cat itself. The Siamese is also (arguably) the most recognizable breed on the planet. These sleek cats with the beautiful baby blues and outspoken nature originated in Thailand (formerly Siam, thus the breed’s name), where they were treasured by members of royalty as companions and were thought to inherit the transmigrated souls of royalty en route to the hereafter.
The most commonly held theory regarding this breed’s origin is that Russian Blues were brought to Great Britain in 1860 by British sailors from the White Sea port town of Archangel (Arkhangelsk) in northern Russia. Whether this story is true—and if true, whether the cats really originated in that area—is anyone’s guess. Their thick coats give credence to the theory that they developed in a cold climate, and, according to accounts, blue shorthairs still exist in Russia.
We don’t know exactly when cats first arrived in America, but we can take a pretty good guess. Cats appear in American paintings and needlework samplers of the 1600s and 1700s, indicating that cats may have arrived with the Pilgrims. Cats probably voyaged on the European fishing boats that worked the coastal waters of America and came to shore when the boats put in to dry their catches. It is thought that cats may have arrived even earlier; evidence suggests that cats may have sailed over with Columbus in 1492—bones of domesticated cats have been found at sites Columbus visited.
In the past, blue-eyed, colorpointed cats were owned by royalty and were kept in the Royal Palace of Siam. The Siamese breed, however, is only one of several varieties native to the area. The Cat-Book Poems, a manuscript written in Siam (now Thailand) some time between 1350 and 1767 A.D., describes and shows a variety of cats native to the area, including solid black, black and white bicolor, solid brown, blue/gray, and shaded silver, as well as cats bearing the point-restricted color pattern. The cats portrayed in the book had slim bodies and legs, large ears, and tapered muzzles, much like t...
The Norwegian Forest Cat, called the skogkatt (forest cat) in Norway, is a natural breed and despite its feral appearance is not a descendant or a hybrid of any wild cat species. Forest Cats probably arrived in Norway from Europe, descendants of domestic cats introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. It is supposed that the Norwegian Forest Cat has existed for a long time, since several mentions of large, longhaired cats exist in Norse mythology.
The Manx has existed for many centuries on the Isle of Man, located in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. Since the Isle did not have an indigenous feline species from which the Manx could develop, it is surmised that domestic cats were introduced by human settlers and explorers. Exactly who and when is uncertain.
The Javanese is one breed in a line of designer Siamese-style cats that includes the Balinese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair, and Oriental Longhair. These breeds were inspired by breeders who wanted to take the qualities of the Siamese and alter the coat and colors to their liking. All of these breeds share similar conformations and personality types. The differences between these breeds lie in the coat length, colors, patterns, and the cat association to which you happen to subscribe.