Cats Senses, Whiskers, Tail, Claws and Fur

Cats have almost twelve whiskers under their nose, with some additional ones over their eyes. Whiskers have nerves on the base and can detect the most delicate movement.

Static Reflex
Cats have the ability to walk gracefully through branches, on fences and narrow rooftops because of a highly tuned balance mechanism in their ears. If a cat falls from a high place, often (but not always) it will land safely on all four feet, thanks to "static reflex". The liquid filled cavities which are found inside their ears transmit information to the brain about the position of the head in relation to gravity, and the cat rotates it's body to fall right side up.

Actually, the tail is an extension of the spinal column. It is used as a balance and direction mechanism when the cat climbs and jumps. The tail is also an important medium for communication: if it is erect, it is a greeting sign; if it's balancing from one side to another it is a sign of anger or aggression.

The cats claws are important and necessary tools to fight rivals, catch prey and climb trees. Cats keep their claws in shape by rubbing them against the bark of a tree or posts in a fence, to eliminate the old outer layer of the claw and leave the new one underneath exposed.

Cats can tolerate extreme temperatures because their skin acts as a very efficient insulator. Hairs have touch receptors that are very sensitive. A cat that is on the defensive bushes up it's fur and tail to appear larger.

The Jacobsen Organ
Cats, as well as lions, tigers and horses, have an extra sense that humans don't. Known as the Jacobsen organ, it is located on the top of the mouth and literally lets the cat "taste" smells. A cat puckers it's lips back to let aromas that other cats leave behind penetrate the mouth to go up through two openings that are found behind the front teeth and into a small chamber were they concentrate and are absorbed.

Cat Houses Cat Territorial Instincts Cats Hunting Instinct The Cats Senses, Ears, Eyes, Nose and Teeth Cats Senses, Whiskers, Tail, Claws and Fur Cat Instinct and Behavior