Beyond their mischievous demeanor, regal stance, impressive agility and irresistible cuteness, cats are awesome for reasons that we often overlook or do not understand. To evoke a common stereotype about the animal, one can say they are simply… mysterious. The myths about the animal stretch back to ancient history when elegant felines were portrayed among Egyptian royalty and, more ominously, among rumored witches. But what does science have to say?
In reality, cats are fascinating for their incredible biological makeup. Their bodies are rife with natural miracles anyone would marvel at. From the way they navigate their world, to their intricate communication tactics, here are 4 facts that exemplify feline awesomeness.
1. Orienting Whiskers
Feline whiskers are like organic compasses. Each whisker is rooted in a nerve-rich follicle that communicates with the brain, helping cats to orient themselves, even without vision. This mechanism, coupled with other sensory organs in the whiskers themselves, allows cats to gauge distance and navigate their environment. No wonder they’re so agile.
2. Strong Ears
In addition to GPS whiskers, cats also have amazing hearing. Each of their ears is manipulated by 36 muscles, able to orient toward interesting sounds and capture environmental information. The animal can therefore catch prey, avoid hazards and find its family easily. This surely contributes to the animal dexterity.
3. Pesky Purring
The sounds a cat emits are perfectly calibrated to get their owners attention. With frequencies fine-tuned to familiar humans, those cries effectively grab their owner’s attention. Studies have shown that hungry cats produce unpleasant meows that are more likely to get them fed, than non-hungry cats. Previous research even suggests that felines may be imitating baby cries, having learned their owner’s solicitous behavior.
4. Emotional discernment
In addition to learning how to imitate children's cries, cats are also reputed for their ability to read their owners' mood. Their limbic system, the neural network that connects emotional experience to logical thinking processes, is actually really similar to humans'. They also have similar emotions and hormonal systems as humans. These mechanisms coupled he with shared social environment help explain why they can gauge a familiar human's moods.
5. Unique noses
Like human fingerprints, no two cat noses are identical. These one-of-a-kind prints could be used for identification, although no centralized system exists to record such information. Either way, individuality is one more fascinating aspect of the feline makeup.
With such incredible physiological assets, it is hard to deny cats’ greatness. With remarkable agility, compelling communication tactics, unique nose prints and sophisticated hearing, it is no wonder some say that cats own their owners, however intelligent.