the short story project


Altair Hernandez Perez

The Domestic Cat

Cats or (Felis Catus) are a domestic specie of a small carnivorous mammal, but did you know? Is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae?

The origin of the word ‘Cat’ at least in English, remotes to the Latin word ‘Cattus’ which used at the beginning of the 6th century but studies suggested that the origin of the word ‘Cattus’ derivates from an Egyptian precursor of Coptic ϣⲁⲩ šau, “tomcat.” A recent study from Claudio Ottoni tells us cat domestication took its place in two strains. However, all domestic cats have a common ancestor, the North African / SouthWest Asian Wild Cat, Felis Silvestris Lybica (Otoni and others 2017). With ancient cat DNA from all around the globe, researchers found that cat domestication began in the Fertile Crescent (in The Neolithic Period) to then accelerated(in the Classical Period) (Ottoni and others 2017).

Ottoni’s study reveals to us some evidence about how cats spread all around the world. By analyzing the DNA of cats remains in port cities, the scientist concluded that cats were brought along on ships to protect their goods from other species like rodents.

We can differentiate wild cats from domestic cats because of the cat coat pattern? Analyzing the patterns of cats coats is one of the best ways for scientists to distinguish between the two kinds since it is one of the few visible differences between the two. Ottoni found that the recessive allele found in most tabby cats today that causes a blotched pattern did not appear in their study until the medieval period. These suggest that selective breeding for coat color did not occur until the medieval period.

Cats have an excellent night vision and can see at only-sixth the light level required by human vision. A result of their eye having a tapetum lucidium, a layer of tissue in the eye of many vertebrates lying immediately behind the retina, reflecting any light that passes through the retina back into their eye, thereby increasing the eye sensitivity to dim light. Their large pupils are an adaptation to dim light. The domestic cat has slit pupils that allow them to focus on bright light without chromatic aberration. In obscurity, cat’s pupils expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes; however, domestic cats have a poor color vision rather.

The acute sense of earing of the domestic cat reaches a range of 500 Hz to 32 kHz and can detect an incredible range of frequencies ranging from 55 Hz to 79,000 Hz. It can hear a range of 10.5 octaves. In comparison, humans and dogs can hear ranges of 9 octaves. Due to its mobile ears, its earing ability enhanced, allowing them to identify where the sound is coming, this is helpful when detecting ultrasonic calls made by rodents.

Cats have an incredible sense of smell due in part of its well-developed olfactory-bulb and large surface for olfactory mucus about 5.8 square centimeters (29⁄32 square inch) in area, which is about twice that of humans. Like many other animals, cats have a Jacobson’s organ that allows them to perceive certain aromas in a way humans can not.

The taste buds on cats are relatively few (470 or so versus the more than 9,000 on humans tongue). Domestic and wild cats share a teste receptor gene mutation. These keep their sweet taste buds from tasting the sugar molecules, leaving them with no ability to taste sweet, however. Their testes respond better to acids, amino acids like proteins, and bitter tastes.
Do cats like to eat their food at 38 °C? Yes, that is the most similar temperature a just killed pray would have in a wild environment.

In order to navigate themself, cats have dozens of whiskers (vibrissae) over their body, especially their faces. These provide information on the width of gaps and the proximity of objects in the dark, both by touching them or sensing air currents.

Most breeds of cats tend to choose high places to sit or perch. A higher place allows the cat to have a better range of vision while hunting. A cat reflexively twists its body and rights itself to land on its feet during a fall from a high place, using its acuating sense of balance and flexibility. This reflex is known as the cat righting reflex.

Until now, we have read about the incredible senses and history of our kitties, but cats are also highly social animals. Domestic cats’ social behavior can range from widely disappearing individuals to feral cat colonies that gather around a food source based on a group of cooperating females. Outdoor cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be more active at night.

Cats communicate many vocalizations, including purring, trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and meowing. Their mood can be determined based on their body language, including the position of ears and tail, relaxation of their body, and kneading of the paws. Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females; between feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is the competition between two males to mate a female.

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