Feline Anatomy & Physiology


Feline Anatomy & Physiology


Feline Anatomy & Physiology



 

Feline Anatomy & Physiology




Feline anatomy is very interesting and it that is seems that their bodies are made for maximum flexibility and speed. Have you ever wondered about how the feline anatomy seems to be boneless? There are several reasons for this.

Cats are naturally slim and their shoulders are unattached to the animal’s main skeletal frame. This allows for the maximum of flexibility. Their frame is also held together with incredibly strong and elastic ligament. Feline anatomy has 3 types of joints:
  • Synovial Joints – These joints are found in the female anatomy where the cat performs the most movement, in the legs. The joint capsule is filled with synovial fluid that lubricates the joint when it is functioning. When cats get older the fluid starts to leave these joints and you animal may experience arthritis.
  • Cartilaginous Joints - The joints in the spine are comprised of a thick cartilage disks that are more supple in cats than in other animals. During infancy these joints are susceptible to injury because they have not yet matured.
  • Fibrous Joints - These joints have no flexibility at all and are found in areas like the jaw or mandible.
Feline Intestinal Tract
The gastric acids and enzymes in a cat’s intestines rapidly break down meat and bones as well as destroying bacteria. This is the part of feline anatomy that protects cats from disease and getting food poisoning from the carrion they ingest. As meat eaters and scavengers this is works well to keep the cat healthy while eating food in the wild. A cat in the wild has a digestive system that digests meat very efficiently. This accounts for their relatively short intestinal tracts. A domestic, housebound cat will have a tract that is slightly longer because of the controlled diet and lifestyle.

Illnesses of the gastro-intestinal tract in the feline anatomy are as follow:
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Worms
  • Distemper
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (very rare)
  • Cancerous tumors
Claws
A cat’s claws are a very important of feline anatomy. They are used for more than scratching; they are used for maintaining balance and grabbing. The claws are retractable and become exposed when the digital flexor muscles in the leg, pulls taut the flexor tendons located under the paw. Many mistakenly think that a cat’s claw is the same thing as a fingernail would be to a human. This is not the case.

The cat’s claw is actually considered a bone in the feline anatomy. This is why so many take issue with de-clawing a cat and feel that it is cruel to do this to the cat. De-clawing is very painful and takes a long time to heal. This is complicated by the fact that cat’s must use their claws to scratch in their boxes. Also a cat will use their claws for balance while jumping and climbing. In many countries it is not legal to de-claw cats and our country seems to be the only one that does this as a commonplace practice in mutilating feline anatomy.