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  • The internet loves cats, but did you know the print on the cats nose has a unique

  • rigid pattern just like a fingerprint? Or that catnip really is like a

  • drug for cats? One of its volatile oils called nepetalactone enters

  • the cats nasal tissue and acts like an artificial cat pharamone. The sensory neurons are

  • stimulated and ultimately trigger a behavioral and sexual response in the

  • brain and body in around 80% of cats. Which must be nice considering

  • cats spend around 85% of their day doing absolutely nothing.

  • Drinking, eating, defecating and even mating only take up about 4%

  • combined. But when they are moving, they always seem to land on their feet. This

  • is because of something called the "Righting Reflex". Not only do cats have very

  • sensitive motion and gravity sensing abilities allowing them to determine

  • which way is down, they also have an extremely flexible backbone and no

  • collarbone.

  • By bending in the middle and using fast twitch muscle fibers they can whip

  • around without ever changing their net angular momentum. And did you know that

  • when a cat lifts its tail while being pet it's really inviting you to smell it's

  • behind?

  • Cats use sent to communicate and this exposes glands and pheromones holding

  • their signature smell. A nice alternative to a hug or a handshake. They also

  • rub up against you to spread these pheromones. The glands on their face, tail and

  • body help them to claim you with their scent, while also leaving nearby cats

  • signals about their identity, sexual availability and territory. On the other

  • hand, cats bury their poop in an attempt to hide its smell. This evolutionary

  • instinct is not only to avoid attracting predators

  • but to show that they're submissive to a dominant cat in the wild. In the case of

  • your house, this is your cats way of recognizing you as dominant.

  • Also in complete darkness cats can't actually see, though they can see much

  • better than you and I in dim light. Cats have a layer of cells behind the

  • retina called the "Tupetum Lucidum" which acts like a mirror reflecting extra

  • light back at the retina. In near darkness this gives their eyes a second chance to

  • pick up more light, but without any light present they can't see anymore than we can.

  • And if you ever see a cat with three distinct colours, often called a Calico

  • or Tortoise Shell cat you can bet it's female. The fur colour gene is located on

  • the "X" chromosome. This means females can have two colours in addition to white

  • because they have two "X" chromosomes. The male "Y" chromosome, on the other hand,

  • does not have any colour genes, as a result males will generally only have

  • one colour along with white

  • though in rare genetic cases it is possible for them to have more. Interestingly we still

  • don't really know why cats purr. In fact cats purr both during pleasurable

  • situations but also while they're in duress or injured. While many believe

  • it's a means to communicate passivity or pleasure,

  • one interesting theory suggests that the frequency that purrs occur at

  • (24 - 140 Hz) promotes healthy bone growth and healing. Because cats have

  • adapted to a lifestyle with frequent rest and sleep, this may be a low

  • energy mechanism to promote muscle and bone health.

  • Got a burning question you want answered? Ask it in the comments, or on facebook and twitter.

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos.

The internet loves cats, but did you know the print on the cats nose has a unique

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B2 colour purr smell chromosome retina muscle

The Science of Cats

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    VoiceTube posted on 2013/04/04
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