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Cats are small, furry, carnivorous mammals.[1] Cats can hear up to 64000Hz.[2] Cats have amazing hearing and hear in their sleep.[3] Feral cats, such as those seen in Warriors, are cats born in the wild (as opposed to cats that are lost or released, which are referred to as stray cats). These cats are much more aggressive than their domesticated counterparts, and can be found living in clowders in the wild, using a common food source.[4] Despite feral cats being solitary hunters, they are socialized animals and they have various methods of communication between each other such as purring, hissing, growling and snarling.[5] There are close to 100 breeds of cats in the world.[6]

Description

Cats are small, furry quadrupeds. They possess flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp teeth, retractable front claws, and non-retractable hind claws. Built for hunting small prey, felines have an innate sense of balance aided by their long tails, and excellent night vision.[7] In Warriors, cats are divided into six known groups:

Anatomy

Size

Usually, a domesticated cat weights about 8 to 10 lbs (3.6 to 4.5 kg), and have a body length of about 20 in (50.8 cm). However, cats can get much bigger or smaller, with breeds such as the Maine Coon reaching 25 lbs (11.3 kg).[14][15]

Circulatory System

Like all mammals, cats have a four-chambered heart to pump blood and various veins, arteries, and capillaries branching throughout their bodies. The heart, located in the cats chest between its lungs, spans from around the third to the fourth rib and weighing around 2.5 to 3.0 grams (around the size of a still-shelled walnut).[16] The four chambers of the heart allow oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor to remain separate as the heart pumps blood to the lungs, back from the lungs and to the rest of the body, and then back to the heart and to the lungs again. This provides the cat's body with oxygen for various functions.[17]
Like humans, cats have blood types. Cat blood has three types, A, B, and AB, which are defined by the antigens attached to the cat's red blood cells. A and B are the most common, depending on the cat's breed and location, and AB is the least. Cats with an A blood type can give and only receive blood transfusion to other cats with an A blood type, and the same for cats with a B blood type. The AB blood type can receive blood from both A and B blood types, but can only give blood to itself.[18]

Skeletal and Muscular Systems

Cats have a skeletal system comparable to other creatures of the Felis genus. They have extra vertebrae in their lower back and chest regions, which helps to explain the spinal flexibility and mobility that cats and other species of Felis have. Cat forelimbs are attached by free-floating clavicle bones, which along them to slide into any area their head can fit into.[19]
The skull of a cat is very different from most mammals, as it features large eye sockets and a powerful, specialized jaw, with narrowly-spaced canine teeth — an adaption to help tear the meat of their preferred prey: small rodents.[20]

Respiratory System

Shortly after birth, a kitten will have a fully functioning respiratory system. The respiratory system is composed of the nares (nostrils), nasal cavity, sinuses within the skull, pharynx (back of the mouth), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), bronchi (the branches of the trachea going into the lungs), and the lungs - each of the pair of organs situated within the rib cage, consisting of elastic sacs with branching passages into which air is drawn, so that oxygen can pass into the blood and carbon dioxide be removed. Cats have right and left lungs, just as humans do. Both sides of the lungs are further divided into sections, or lobes. Inside the lungs, the bronchi divide into smaller and smaller tubes, called 'bronchioles', branches of the lungs. The cat's respiratory system serves two purposes - one, for the carbon dioxide in the cat's system to be replaced by oxygen so the cat can breathe.[21]
It also serves as a cooling system, just as humans sweat to cool our bodies. Cats do not have sweat glands on their bodies, only on their feet. They cannot perspire to lower their body's temperature, so to cool their body, they must breathe harder, which is panting. Breathing faster, warmer air is exchanged in the body for cooler air in thus to cool down the cat's body temperature, so the respiratory system is especially useful in greenleaf. Additionally, moisture within the lungs evaporates to cool the surfaces. Without a proper respiratory system, cats could develop asthma, a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing such as Gray Wing. However, an improper working respiratory system can also be caused by several other ailements, such as bleeding in the lungs, infections, diseases of the chest wall, greencough, and the list goes on.[22] Luckily, herbs that can treat an nonworking respiratory system consist of catmint, chickweed, coltsfoot, juniper berries, mallow leaves, and parsley.[23]

Digestive System

The digestive system of cats includes the mouth, teeth, pancreas, large and small intestines, salivary glands, stomach, liver and gall bladder, and esophagus. The esophagus is located in the middle of the cat's body, just in their belly. As esophagus leaves the mouth, the esophagus follows a straight path through the neck and chest, passing near the heart through the diaphragm muscle and finally entering the stomach. The walls of the esophagus are composed of muscles, which move in wave-like contractions to push food into the stomach. When there is no food in the esophagus, the walls of the esophagus collapse in on each other, making a closed space in which leads the cat will have belly pains, will lose weight, become malnourished and possibly die if the walls become too close, which is a result of not having food.  The cat's stomach is a sac-like structure designed to store large volumes of food and continue the digestive process. The esophagus carries food to the stomach, where it enters the cardiac, the part of the stomach nearest to the esophagus. The stomach is consisted of a series of folds. These folds function to help grind and digest food. The inner stomach lining secretes acids and  to break down food. Once the initial stomach digestive process is complete, the partially digested food exits the stomach through the pyloric sphincter area and then enters the duodenum (first segment of the small intestine). Once eaten, most food leaves the stomach within twelve hours after entering.[24]

Nervous System

In a cat's nervous system, electrical impulses travel by nerve fibers, which deliver messages to cells and organs. The anatomy of the nervous system contains three parts - the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord. These nerves carry messages from the central nervous system down towards other areas of the body, such as the legs and tails. Nerve impulses travel down the brain and spinal cord, towards the peripheral nerves, to the tissue and back again.[25]
In the peripheral nervous system, nerves that go from the brain or spinal cord are called motor nerves. These nerves affect muscles, so in this sense, they control movements, posture, and reflexes. Peripheral nerves that return from the brain or spinal cord are called sensory nerves. These nerves hold the ability to carry information, such as the feeling of pain, from the body's structures back to the central nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is comprised of another set of nerves. The autonomic nervous system contains nerves in which control movements of specific organs such as the intestinum tenue, heart, blood vessels, bladder, etc. Cats do not have voluntary control over their autonomic nervous system - it functions automatically.[26]
Vision, coordinated movement, and hearing comprise the development of the nervous system. Kittens are born without a fully developed nervous system. The brain, spinal cord, and associated nerves are present at birth, but lack the capacity to properly transmit electrical impulses on their own. As the nervous system grows in the beginning weeks of life, a series of nerve controlled events begin to become visible. During the first week of life, kittens do almost nothing except eat and sleep - although this is not evident in the Warriors series, as kittens come out to play as soon as after two days of being born. Kittens do have some motor activity, moving even while sleeping. By the half moon (two weeks), a kitten still spends a great deal of time sleeping, but the sleep becomes quieter, or more peaceful, with less body movements. Awake moments are typically spent suckling at their mother's belly (nursing). By quarter moon, or three weeks of age, most kittens can maintain an upright posture and begin to spend more time awake. They attempt to move by pushing or sliding, but still unable to stand or walk. The first attempts at 'crawling' are usually short, as the muscles are developed but do not contain much strength After three weeks of age, the kitten will develop the ability to stand, and maybe even walk - but short distances. Eventually, over the next few weeks, the kitten becomes fully mobile and able to walk properly, and even run, although very clumsily.[27]


Reproductive System

Male
The reproductive tract of the tom cat consists of the penis, two testicles, the scrotum, the prostate gland, two bulbourethral glands (Cowper's glands), the epididymis, the ductus deferens (also called the vas deferens), the spermatic cords, and the urethra. The penis is found within the prepuce (a protective tubular sheath of skin). While the penis not erect, it is completely enclosed within the prepuce, which is visible on the posterior of the body between the two hind legs. The scrotum is located beneath the anus and above the prepuce. The scrotum is covered with dense hair. The testicles are normally located within the scrotum.[28] Some cats in the series, such as Smudge and Henry get neutered - in which the scotrum is opened with a small incision, and the testicles are brought it, restricting their ability to get females pregnant. When Bluestar offers Rusty a place in ThunderClan, she tells him he will remain a tom, and Rusty instantly thinks of Henry, who after getting neutered became lazy and idle.[29]
Female
The female cat's reproductive system consists of the ovaries, vagina, vulva, uterus, and mammary glands. The reproductive organs are located in the abdomen and the mammary glands run from the groin to the chest. The ovaries are connected to the uterus. The uterus extends from the ovary to the back of the abdomen in front of the pelvis. The uterus of the cat is Y-shaped. The ovaries contain the eggs that are waiting to be fertilized. During breeding, sperm from a male cat is deposited into the female's vagina. When the uterus is fertilized after intercourse with a male cat, the uterus houses the fetus until it is ready to be delivered. The vulva protects the opening of the vagina and provides external markings that identify the cat as female.[30]

Genetics

Cat genetics are the study of inheritance in cats.[31]
Cats have 20,000 genes and 38 chromosomes. 250 inheritable disorders are known in cats, many similar to that of humans.The high amount of similarity among the metabolisms of mammals allows many cat diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for humans.[32]
In some cat breeds, deafness is prone. Cats with white fur and blue eyes are more likely to be born deaf than other cats of different fur and eye color. The genes responsible for this disorder are unknown, but it is being studied in the hope that scientists may come closer to curing deafness in humans.[33]
As there is a large variety of coloration in cats, they are an excellent creature to study coat genetics of fur length and color. Several types of genes interact to produce fur color and length, and different combinations give different phenotypes. Albino cats, such as Pink Eyes, lack all pigments, explaining their pelt and eye colors. Hair length is determined by the genes, such as fibroblast growth factor 5.[34]

Defined Groups

A group of feral cats is called a clowder, which is similar to the warriors' world of Clans. Clowders can range from 3-25 cats. Locations can vary - some can be found in alleys, or in large parks. Members consist of adult females, children, and adult males. Unneutered males in a clowder can fight others for territory and females, and if they lose, they can be driven out to find another place to live.[35] This varies differently in the Clans, as all members look out for each other.

Warriors Inspiration

"I grew up on a farm and love all animals, including cats, but most especially dogs and horses. This comes in very handy when I need to send cats to a sticky end; I'd have a lot more trouble killing off a dog or a horse! I love being one of the Erins, and frequently dream of being a cat running through a forest when I am coming up with the new storylines. Teaming up with Kate and Cherith on the Warriors books is an unconventional way of working, but we love writing the books together and it means we can produce them much faster than a single writer could. We each have our favorite characters and ideas for what could happen next, which means the stories have three times as much energy and passion!"[36]

See Also

Translations

All Translations | Edit | Purge

Englishcat
Czechkocour(tom-cat) kočka(she-cat)
GermanKatze
Spanishgato
Finnishkissa
Frenchchat
Hungarianmacska
Japanese
Korean고양이
Lithuaniankatinas
Dutchkat
Norwegiankatt
Polishkot
Russianкот (tom-cat)/кошка (she-cat)
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional

References and Citations

  1. As shown here
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. As explained here.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat#Sociability
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cat_breeds
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat
  8. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 155
  9. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 9-10
  10. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 151
  11. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 148
  12. Revealed in Long Shadows, page 207
  13. Revealed in Thunder Rising, page 4 (Bonus Scene)
  14. English Grammar Online
  15. Pet Obesity Prevention
  16. Newton.dep.anl.gov
  17. Petplace.com
  18. Cornell
  19. Info from " bioweb.uwlax.edu
  20. Info from skullsite.co.uk
  21. revealed on http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/anatomy/cat_resp.aspx
  22. http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/anatomy/cat_resp.aspx
  23. Revealed in the books in general, see Medicine
  24. Described on http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ClientED/anatomy/cat_digest.aspx
  25. Revealed on http://www.merckvetmanual.com/pethealth/cat_disorders_and_diseases/brain_spinal_cord_and_nerve_disorders_of_cats/parts_of_the_nervous_system_in_cats.html
  26. Revealed on http://www.merckvetmanual.com/pethealth/cat_disorders_and_diseases/brain_spinal_cord_and_nerve_disorders_of_cats/parts_of_the_nervous_system_in_cats.html
  27. Revealed on http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2231&aid=328
  28. Revealed on http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/diseases-conditions-of-cats/body-structure-function/structure-and-function-of-the-male-feline-reproductive-tract
  29. Revealed in Into the Wild, page Chapter 2
  30. Revealed on http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/diseases-conditions-of-cats/body-structure-function/structure-and-function-of-the-female-feline-reproductive-tract
  31. Revealed on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_genetics
  32. Revealed on http://cfa.org/breeders/catcolorsgenetics/basicfelinegenetics.aspx
  33. Revealed on http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/162/987/147.abstract
  34. Revealed on http://www.fanciers.com/other-faqs/color-genetics.html
  35. Revealed on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_cat
  36. Revealed on www.warriorcats.com

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