Cat Anatomy

A cats skeleton is very similar to that of a human being, however it does lack the shoulder blade bones. This allows freedom of movement of the foreleg, which can be turned in almost any direction. A human has 206 bones, however a cat has around 290 bones and 517 separate muscles, this makes them very agile animals, they use more than 500 muscles to leap, jump and sprint.

A cat can jump over 7 times its own height. A cat has 13 ribs in its body. Take a look below at the diagram of a cats skeleton.

  • A cat has the largest eyes of any other mammal, they are always blue when they are born. Some eye colours in cats change as they get older, however, it is well known that a white cat with blue eyes is actually deaf. If a white cat only has one blue eye, it will be deaf in the ear on the same side as the blue eye.

  • A cat has a special organ located in the upper surface of its mouth, this is called the ‘Jacobson’s organ’. As well as smelling with their noses, they can also smell with this special organ.

  • A healthy cat has an average body temperature of between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. (100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • A cat has 5 toes on their front paws and only 4 on their back paws. Some cats that are born with 6 or 7 toes and extra back toes are called ‘Polydacti’. (Polydactl means ‘many toes’).

  • Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth – 16 top teeth and 14 bottom teeth. Cats are subject to gum disease. Cats should have their teeth cleaned by the vet or the cat dentist once a year.

  • Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.

  • The life span of a healthy, well looked after cat is about 20 years or more.

  • Cats have the blood group AB, just like humans.

  • Cats cannot digest cows milk. Contrary to belief, milk and milk products can give cats diarrhoea. Cats tend to eat grass to aid their digestive systems and get rid of any fur balls.

  • Cats do not have eye lashes, however, they do have a full inner-eyelid, or ‘nictitating membrane’. Cats have a third eyelid, called a ‘haw’, that is rarely visible. If it can be seen, it could be an indication that your cat is ill. It is claimed that cats are colour blind, however, recent studies reveal that cats can actually see red, blue and green.

  • A cat cannot sweat because it has no sweat glands. (This is the same for a pig) Cats can have freckles which can appear anywhere, even in their mouths, they also get age spots as they get older

  • Cats use their tails to maintain balance. Many of the bones in a cat are found in its tail.