Cat senses are adaptations that allow cats to be efficient predators. Cats are good at detecting movement in low light, have an acute sense of hearing and smell, their sense of touch is enhanced by long whiskers that protrude from their heads and bodies; these senses evolved to allow cats to hunt at night. Cats have a tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer behind the retina that sends light that passes through the retina back into the eye. While this improves the ability to see in darkness and enables cats to see using one-sixth the amount of light that people need, it appears to reduce net visual acuity, thus detracting when light is abundant. A cat's visual acuity is anywhere from 20/100 to 20/200, which means a cat has to be at 20 metres to see what an average human can see at 100 or 200 metres. Cats seem to be nearsighted; the ability to see close objects would be well-suited for capturing prey. In bright light, the slit-like pupil closes narrowly over the eye, reducing the amount of light on the sensitive retina, improving depth of field.
Big cats have pupils that contract to a round point. The tapetum and other mechanisms give the cat a minimum light detection threshold up to seven times lower than that of humans. Variation in color of cats' eyes in flash photographs is due to the reflection of the flash by the tapetum. Cats have a visual field of view of 200° compared with 180° in humans, but a binocular field narrower than that of humans; as with most predators, their eyes face forward, affording depth perception at the expense of field of view. Field of view is dependent upon the placement of the eyes, but may be related to the eye's construction. Instead of the fovea, which gives humans sharp central vision, cats have a central band known as the visual streak. Cats can see some colors and can tell the difference between red and yellow lights, as well as between red and green lights. Cats are able to distinguish between blues and violets better than between colors near the red end of the spectrum, but cats can't see the same richness of hues and saturation of colors.
A 2014 study found that, along with several other mammals, cats lenses transmit significant amounts of ultraviolet light, which suggests that they possess sensitivity to this part of the spectrum. Cats have a third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, a thin cover that closes from the side and appears when the cat's eyelid opens; this membrane closes if the cat is sick, although in a sleepy state this membrane is visible. Cats sleep during the day so they can "hunt" at night. Unlike humans, cats do not need to blink their eyes on a regular basis to keep their eyes lubricated. Unblinking eyes are an advantage when hunting. Cats will, however, "squint" their eyes as a form of communication expressing affection and ease around another cat or human. Humans and cats have a similar range of hearing on the low end of the scale, but cats can hear much higher-pitched sounds, up to 64 kHz, 1.6 octaves above the range of a human, 1 octave above the range of a dog. When listening for something, a cat's ears will swivel in that direction.
Cats can judge within three inches the location of a sound being made one yard away—this can be useful for locating their prey. Although it was long thought that cats were unresponsive to music, recent studies have shown that they do in fact respond to music, created with species-specific frequencies. Results suggested that cats do benefit from music therapy when the sounds have been composed to target their auditory senses. Other findings include age-related sensitivity, it is a common misconception. This is not true. However, white cats with blue eyes do have higher incidences of genetic deafness than white cats of other eye colors. White cats having one blue and one other-colored eye are called "odd-eyed" and may be deaf on the same side as the blue eye; this is the result of the yellow iris pigmentation rising to the surface of only one eye, as blue eyes are normal at birth before the adult pigmentation has had a chance to express itself in the eye. A domestic cat's sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as humans'.
Cats have twice as many receptors in the olfactory epithelium as people do, meaning that cats have a more acute sense of smell than humans. In fact cats have 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses where as humans only have 5 million odor-sensitive cells. Cats have a scent organ in the roof of their mouths called the vomeronasal organ; when a cat wrinkles its muzzle, lowers its chin, lets its tongue hang a bit, it is opening the passage to the vomeronasal. This is called gaping, "sneering", "snake mouth", or "flehming". Gaping is the equivalent of the Flehmen response in other animals, such as dogs and big cats. A cat has about twenty-four movable vibrissae, in four sets on each upper lip on either side of its nose. There are a few on each cheek, tufts over the eyes, bristles on the chin, the cat's inner "wrists", at the back of the legs; the Sphynx may have short, or no whiskers at all. The structure of the brain region which receives information from the vibrissae
A bicolor cat or piebald cat is a cat with white fur combined with fur of some other color, for example black or tabby. There are various patterns of bicolor cat; these range from Turkish Van pattern through to solid color with a throat locket. Where there is low-to-medium grade white spotting limited to the face, paws and chest of an otherwise black cat, they are known in the United States as a tuxedo cat. High-grade bicolor results in Van-pattern cats. There are many patterns between, such as "cap-and-saddle", "mask-and-mantle" and "magpie". Bicolors are found in many cat breeds, as well as being common in domestic longhair and domestic shorthair cats. Mostly-solid-color bicolor cats occur because there is a white spotting gene present along with a recessive allele of the agouti gene, which evens out the usual striped pattern of the colors of the coat. In contrast, tabby cats have an agouti gene; the Abyssinian has agouti fur, giving the appearance of color with color-banded hairs. White spotting can occur with any of the tabby patterns, resulting in tabby-and-white bicolors.
Colorpoint cats can have bicolor points. The body markings of bicolor colorpoints become clearer with age, as the body fur of colorpoint cats darkens as the cats grow older and the white patches become more visible. Bicolor cats that are black and white are sometimes called "magpies"; the cream and white bicolor cat is the rarest of the bicolors, while the black and white or "blue" and white are the commonest. Bicoloration in cats is graded from one to ten with one being black and ten being white. There are several patterns with their own names; the cat labelled. Another type of black-and-white bicolor cat is referred to as a "cow cat" or "moo cat" and includes the magpie, cap-and-saddle and mask-and-mantle patterns. A cow cat does not have the solid black "jacket" of the tuxedo cat. Instead, it has large black patches over a white body with a black mask over the head. "Black-mask cats" are so called because they look like they are wearing a black mask over their head. The Turkish Van is one good example of a bicolor breed.
Van pattern is known to animal geneticists as the Seychelles pattern and is classified into three variants: Seychellois Neuvieme is white with colored tail and head splashes Seychellois Huitieme is white with colored tail and head splashes plus additional splashes of color on the legs Seychellois Septieme is white with splashes of color on the legs and body in addition to those on the head and the colored tailThese are high grade white spotting of types nine and seven. This coloration is not restricted to a specific breed of cat, as it can be found in many different types of pure-breed as well as mixed-breed domestic cats. However, some breeds are noted for having bicolor coats in their breed standards; these include the Turkish Van, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Turkish Angora. In contrast, other common breeds of cat have specific coat patterns specified in their breed standards; these cats are therefore never seen in the bicolor pattern. Cats with such specific coat patterns include the Russian Blue.
The basic colors and patterns of cat fur are defined by fewer than ten genes. Cats with white color in their coats are thought to have a mutant white-spotting gene that prevents the formation of coat color in patches over the cat's body; this gene has been investigated in several species mice, is co-dominant to normal coat color as it prevents the migration of melanocytes into the developing hair follicles. The genetics of this pattern are not as well understood in cats but at least some of the genes involved in melanocyte migration and survival may play a role similar as in other animals. Three genotypes possible with the S gene, with capital S standing for a wild-type copy and lower-case s standing for the mutant. SS results in high grades of white spotting Ss results in medium grades of white spotting ss results in solid color or low grades of white spotting The lack of tabby striping in bicolor cats is controlled by the agouti protein, which inhibits the production of melanin and thus prevents the formation of dark hair colors.
In agouti cats the gene is turned on and off as the hair grows, producing hairs with alternating stripes yellow and black. In domestic cats, inactivation of the agouti gene by a deletion mutation causes all-black coat color. A tuxedo cat, or Felix cat in the United Kingdom, is a bicolor cat with a black coat, they are called "tuxedo" cats because they appear to be wearing the type of black tie formal wear known in the United States and Canada as a tuxedo. The tuxedo pattern is not limited to the color black, but the name is reserved for black and white cats. Most tuxedo cats are black-mask cats, a common name for felines who, due to their facial coloration, look as if they are wearing a black mask over their eyes, over their entire head. To be considered a true tuxedo cat, the feline's coloring should consist of a solid black coat, with white fur limited to the paws, chest and the chin, although many tuxedo cats appear to sport goatees, due to the black coloration of their mandible—that is
Tortoiseshell is a cat coat coloring named for its similarity to tortoiseshell material. Like calicos, tortoiseshell cats are exclusively female. Male tortoiseshells are rare and are sterile. Called torties for short, tortoiseshell cats combine two colors other than white, either mixed or in larger patches; the colors are described as red and black, but the "red" patches can instead be orange, yellow, or cream, the "black" can instead be chocolate, tabby, or blue. Tortoiseshell cats with the tabby pattern as one of their colors are sometimes referred to as a torbie."Tortoiseshell" is reserved for particolored cats with small or no white markings. Those that are white with tortoiseshell patches are described as tricolor, tortoiseshell-and-white, or calico. Tortoiseshell markings appear in many different breeds, as well as in non-purebred domestic cats; this pattern is preferred in the Japanese Bobtail breed, exists in the Cornish Rex group. Tortoiseshell cats have particolored coats with patches of various shades of red and black, sometimes white.
A tortoiseshell can have splotches of orange or gold, but these colors are rarer on the breed. The size of the patches can vary from a fine speckled pattern to large areas of color; the more white a cat has, the more solid the patches of color. Dilution genes may modify the coloring, lightening the fur to a mix of cream and blue, lilac or fawn. Tabby patterns of black and brown and red colors are seen; these patched tabbies are called a tortie-tabby, a torbie or, with large white areas, a caliby. Not uncommonly there will be a "split face" pattern with black on one side of the face and orange on the other, with a dividing line running down the bridge of the nose. Tortoiseshell coloring can be expressed in the point pattern, referred to as a tortie point. Tortoiseshell and calico coats result from an interaction between developmental factors; the primary gene for coat color for the colors brown, cinnamon, etc. can be masked by the co-dominant gene for the orange color, on the X Chromosome and has two alleles, the orange and not-orange, that produce orange phaeomelanin and black eumelanin pigments, respectively.
The tortoiseshell and calico cats are indicated: Oo to indicate. The and genes can be further modified by a recessive dilute gene. Orange becomes cream, black becomes etc.. Various terms are used for specific colors, for example, gray is called blue, orange is called ginger. Therefore, a tortoiseshell cat may be a chocolate tortoiseshell or a blue/cream tortoiseshell or the like, based on the alleles for the and genes; the cells of female cats, which like other mammalian females have two X chromosomes, undergo the phenomenon of X-inactivation, in which one or the other of the X-chromosomes is turned off at random in each cell in early development. The inactivated X becomes a Barr body. Cells in which the chromosome carrying the orange allele is inactivated express the alternative non-orange allele, determined by the gene. Cells in which the non-orange allele is inactivated express the orange allele. Pigment genes are expressed in melanocytes that migrate to the skin surface in development. In bi-colored tortoiseshell cats, the melanocytes arrive early, the two cell types become intermingled, producing the characteristic brindled appearance consisting of an intimate mixture of orange and black cells, with occasional small diffuse spots of orange and black.
In tri-colored calico cats, a separate gene interacts developmentally with the coat color gene. This spotting gene produces white, unpigmented patches by delaying the migration of the melanocytes to the skin surface. There are a number of alleles of this gene that produce lesser delays; the amount of white is artificially divided into mitted, bicolor and van, going from no white to completely white. In the extreme case, no melanocytes make it to the skin and the cat is white. In intermediate cases, melanocyte migration is slowed, so that the pigment cells arrive late in development and have less time to intermingle. Observation of tri-color cats will show that, with a little white color, the orange and black patches become more defined, with still more white, the patches become distinct; each patch represents a clone of cells derived from one original cell in the early embryo. A male cat, like males of other therian mammals, has one Y chromosome; that X chromosome does not undergo X-inactivation, coat color is determined by which allele is present on the X. Accordingly, the cat's coat will be either orange or non-orange.
A male tortoiseshell or calico is born. As in humans, these cats are sterile because of the imbalance in sex chromosomes; some male calico or tortoiseshell cats may be chimeras, which result from fusion in early development of two embryos with different color genotypes.
Onychectomy, popularly known as declawing, is an operation to remove an animal's claws surgically by means of the amputation of all or part of the distal phalanges, or end bones, of the animal's toes. Because the claw develops from germinal tissue within the third phalanx, amputation of the bone is necessary to remove the claw; the terms "onychectomy" and "declawing" imply mere claw removal, but a more appropriate description would be phalangectomy, excision of toe bone. Although common in North America, declawing is considered an act of animal cruelty in many countries; the amputation of the distal phalanx is indicated in case of chronic inflammatory processes, tumours and severe infections and gangrene that are limited to the distal phalanx. The procedure is limited to the affected claw, leaving the healthy claws intact. In North America, declawing is performed on cats to prevent damage to household possessions by scratching and to prevent scratching of people; the surgery involves amputating the distal phalanges of all toes on the front paws, sometimes the rear paws as well.
Although no precise figures are available, peer-reviewed veterinary journal articles estimate that 25% of domestic cats in North America have been declawed. Some owned apartment buildings in the U. S. ban cats. This is not the case in publicly subsidized housing, because in 2007 the U. S. Congress enacted legislation. Laws have been passed in California and Rhode Island that ban landlords from requiring the declawing cats as a condition of occupancy; some North American veterinarians hold the position that people with compromised immune systems, due to conditions such as AIDS, should have their cats declawed to prevent health risks to themselves. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control affirms declawing as an option, but acknowledges the controversy and offers the alternative of avoiding situations where scratching might occur; the National Institutes of Health suggests avoiding rough play. As a precautionary measure, Familydoctor.org advises people should avoid provoking cats into scratching them.
Despite the prevalence of elective onychectomy in North America, no standard practices exist regarding the surgical techniques or surgical tools used, the administration of post-operative analgesics or other follow-up care, or the optimal age or other attributes of cats undergoing the procedure. There are three surgical methods: scalpel blade, guillotine trimmers, laser. Onychectomy is an orthopedic surgery involving 1 separate phalangeal amputations, which requires general anesthesia and multi-modal pain management before and after surgery. In a survey of 276 cat owners, 34% reported post-surgical discomfort in their cats while 78% reported tenderness. Recovery time took from three days to two weeks. Increased biting strength or frequency was reported in 4% of cats, but overall, 96% of owners were satisfied with the surgery; some other studies found lameness after onychectomy lasting >3 days, >1 week, 8 days, > 12 days, 180 days, 96 months. At one veterinary teaching hospital, between 50 and 80% of cats had one or more medical complications post-surgery.
Other studies have reported medical post-op complication rates as 24%, 53%, 1.4%, 82.5% for blade and 51.5% for shear technique, 80%. Reported medical complications include: pain, laceration of paw pads, reluctance to bear weight on affected limb, radial nerve damage, infection, tissue necrosis, wound dehiscence, incomplete healing, protrusion of 2nd phalanx, claw regrowth, retention of flexor process of third phalanx, chronic draining tracts, self-mutilation, lethargy, palmigrade stance, chronic intermittent lameness, chronic pain syndrome, flexor tendon contracture, cystitis. Claw regrowth has been seen by veterinarians anywhere from weeks up to 15 years after onychectomy.. In post-operation follow ups Yeon, et al. found six of thirty-nine cats were house soiling and seven had increased biting frequency or intensity. The authors concluded based on this and previous studies that "behavioral problems following onychectomy were not pronounced". Follow-ups in this study were conducted an average of eleven and a half months after surgery.
Behavior problems are a primary cause of cats being relinquished to shelters. Proponents of declawing argue that declawing reduces undesired behaviors and thus reduces the likelihood of relinquishment. Opponents of declawing argue the surgery itself creates more behavioral problems leading to relinquishment of cats. A study by Patronek et al. found in a univariate analysis that declawed cats were only 63% as to be relinquished as non-declawed cats. A multivariate analysis conducted in the same study shows odds of being relinquished to a shelter were 89% higher for declawed cats; the authors concluded that the conflicting results of the two analysis made it difficult to interpret the effects of declawing. In a shelter setting, more declawed cats were reported by their owners to have problems with inappropriate elimination. However, this study found no association between the declaw status of cats and their aggression towards humans or frequency of inappropriate elimination (hou
A kitten is a juvenile cat. After being born, kittens are dependent on their mother for survival and they do not open their eyes until after seven to ten days. After about two weeks, kittens develop and begin to explore the world outside the nest. After a further three to four weeks, they begin to grow adult teeth. Domestic kittens are social animals and enjoy human companionship; the word "kitten" derives from the Middle English word kitoun, which in turn came from the Old French chitoun or cheton. Juvenile big cats are called "cubs" rather than kittens. A feline litter consists of two to five kittens born after a gestation lasting between 64 and 67 days, with an average length of 66 days, but from one to more than ten are known. Kittens emerge in a sac called the amnion, bitten off and eaten by the mother cat. For the first several weeks, kittens cannot urinate or defecate without being stimulated by their mother, they cannot regulate their body temperature for the first three weeks, so kittens born in temperatures less than 27 °C can die from hypothermia if their mother does not keep them warm.
The mother's milk is important for the kittens' nutrition and proper growth. This milk transfers antibodies to the kittens. Newborn kittens are unable to produce concentrated urine, so have a high requirement for fluids. Kittens open their eyes about seven to ten days after birth. At first, the retina is poorly developed and vision is poor. Kittens cannot see as well as adult cats until about ten weeks after birth. Kittens develop quickly from about two weeks of age until their seventh week, their coordination and strength improves. They begin to explore the world outside the nest or den, they learn to wash themselves and others as well as play hunting and stalking games, showing their inborn ability as predators. These innate skills are developed by the kittens' mother or other adult cats, who bring live prey to the nest; the adult cats demonstrate hunting techniques for the kittens to emulate. As they reach three to four weeks old, the kittens are weaned and begin to eat solid food, with weaning complete by six to eight weeks.
Kittens begin to lose their baby teeth around three months of age, have a complete set of adult teeth by nine months. Kittens live on solid food after weaning, but continue to suckle from time to time until separated from their mothers; some mother cats will scatter their kittens as early as three months of age, while others continue to look after them until they approach sexual maturity. The sex of kittens is easy to determine at birth. By six to eight weeks they are harder to sex because of the growth of fur in the genital region; the male's urethral opening is round. Another marked difference is the distance between anus and urethral opening, greater in males than in females. Kittens are social animals and spend most of their waking hours interacting with available animals and playing on their own. Play with other kittens peaks in the third or fourth month after birth, with more solitary hunting and stalking play peaking at about five months. Kittens are vulnerable because they like to find dark places to hide, sometimes with fatal results if they are not watched carefully.
Cats have a habit of seeking refuge under or inside cars or on top of car tires during stormy or cold weather. This leads to broken bones, heat stroke, damaged internal organs or death. Domestic kittens are sent to new homes at six to eight weeks of age, but it has been suggested that being with their mother and litter-mates from six to twelve weeks is important for a kitten's social and behavioural development. Breeders and foster/rescue homes will not sell or adopt out a kitten, younger than twelve weeks. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to give away kittens younger than eight weeks of age. Kittens reach sexual maturity at around seven months old. A cat reaches full "adulthood" around one year of age. Domestic kittens in developed societies are vaccinated against common illnesses from two to three months of age; the usual combination vaccination protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia. This FVRCP inoculation is given at eight and sixteen weeks, an inoculation against rabies may be given at sixteen weeks.
Kittens are spayed or neutered at seven months of age, but kittens may be neutered as young as seven weeks in animal shelters. Such early neutering does not appear to have any long-term health risks to cats, may be beneficial in male cats. Kittens are wormed against roundworms from about four weeks. Felines have adapted to animal-based diets and low carbohydrate inclusion. Kittens are categorized in a growth life stage, have high energy and protein requirements; when feeding a kitten, it is recommended to use digestible ingredients and various components to aid in development in order to produce a healthy adult. In North America, diets certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials are accepted as adequate nutrition, thus kitten diets should be AAFCO approved to ensure full supplementation. Key components of the diet are high fat content to meet caloric requirements of growth, high protein to meet requirements for muscle growth as well as supplementation of certain nutrients s
Calico cats are domestic cats with a spotted or particolored coat, predominantly white, with patches of two other colors. Outside North America, the pattern is more called tortoiseshell and white. In the province of Quebec, they are sometimes called chatte d'Espagne. Other names include brindle, tricolor cat, tobi mi-ke, lapjeskat; the tri-color calico coloration is combined with a tabby patterning. Among the breeds whose standards allow calico coloration are the Manx, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Arabian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest Cat; because genetic determination of coat colors in calico cats is linked to the X chromosome, calicos are nearly always female, with one color linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second color linked to the paternal X chromosome. Because males only have one X chromosome, they can be orange or black, but a male calico would have to have a rare condition where they have three sex chromosomes in order to be calico.
In addition to other symptoms caused by the condition, these male calicos are sterile. There is a type of calico cat referred to as a dilute calico. Dilute calicos are not rare, they are recognized by their grey and gold colors instead of the traditional white, brown or red patched coat of a calico. Dilute calicos are called light calicos, because they have no dark-colored fur; the coat pattern of calico cats does not define any breed, but occurs incidentally in cats that express a range of color patterns. However, the existence of patches in calico cats was traced to a certain degree by Neil Todd in a study determining the migration of domesticated cats along trade routes in Europe and Northern Africa; the proportion of cats having the orange mutant gene found in calicoes was traced to the port cities along the Mediterranean in Greece, France and Italy, originating from Egypt. In genetic terms, calico cats are tortoiseshells in every way, except that in addition they express a white spotting gene.
There is however one anomaly: as a rule of thumb the larger the areas of white, the fewer and larger the patches of ginger and dark or tabby coat. In contrast a non-white-spotted tortoiseshell has small patches of color or something like a salt-and-pepper sprinkling; this reflects the genetic effects on relative speeds of migration of melanocytes and X-inactivation in the embryo. Serious study of calico cats seems to have begun about 1948 when Murray Barr and his graduate student E. G. Bertram noticed dark, drumstick-shaped masses inside the nuclei of nerve cells of female cats, but not in male cats; these dark masses became known as Barr bodies. In 1959, Japanese cell biologist Susumu Ohno determined. In 1961, Mary Lyon proposed the concept of X-inactivation: one of the two X chromosomes inside a female mammal shuts off, she observed this in the coat color patterns in mice. Calico cats are always female because the locus of the gene for the orange/non-orange coloring is on the X chromosome. In the absence of other influences, such as color inhibition that causes white fur, the alleles present in those orange loci determine whether the fur is orange or not.
Female cats, like all female placental mammals have two X chromosomes. In contrast, male placental mammals, including chromosomally stable male cats, have one X and one Y chromosome. Since the Y chromosome does not have any locus for the orange gene, there is no chance that an XY male could have both orange and non-orange genes together, what it takes to create tortoiseshell or calico coloring. One exception is that in rare cases faulty cell division may leave an extra X chromosome in one of the gametes that produced the male cat; that extra X is reproduced in each of his cells, a condition referred to as XXY, or Klinefelter syndrome. Such a combination of chromosomes could produce tortoiseshell or calico markings in the male, in the same way as XX chromosomes produce them in the female. All but about one in three thousand of the rare calico or tortoiseshell male cats are sterile because of the chromosome abnormality, breeders reject any exceptions for stud purposes because they are of poor physical quality and fertility.
In any event, because the genetic conditions for calico coloring are X linked, a fertile male calico's coloring would not have any determination in the coloring of any male offspring. As Sue Hubble stated in her book Shrinking the Cat: Genetic Engineering before We Knew about Genes, The mutation that gives male cats a ginger-colored coat and females ginger, tortoiseshell, or calico coats produced a telling map; the orange mutant gene is found only on the female, chromosome. As with humans, female cats have paired sex chromosomes, XX, male cats have XY sex chromosomes; the female cat, can have the orange mutant gene on one X chromosome and the gene for a black coat on the other. The piebald gene is on a different chromosome. If expressed, this gene codes for white, or no color, is dominant over the alleles that code for a certain color, making the white spots on calico cats. If, the case, those several genes will be express
Cat communication is the transfer of information by one or more cats that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal, including humans. Cats use a range of communication modalities including vocal, visual and olfactory; the communication modalities used by domestic cats have been affected by domestication. Cat vocalisations have been categorised according to a range of characteristics. Susanne Schötz categorised vocalizations according to three mouth actions: sounds produced with the mouth closed, including the purr, the trill and the chirrup, sounds produced with the mouth open and closing, comprising a large variety of meows with similar vowel patterns, sounds produced with the mouth held tensely open in the same position uttered in aggressive situations. Brown et al. categorised vocal responses of cats according to the behavioural context: during separation of kittens from mother cats, during food deprivation, during pain, prior to or during threat or attack behavior, as in disputes over territory or food, during a painful or acutely stressful experience, as in routine prophylactic injections and during kitten deprivation.
Less recorded calls from mature cats included purring, conspecific greeting calls or murmurs, extended vocal dialogues between cats in separate cages, "frustration" calls during training or extinction of conditioned responses. Miller classified vocalisations into five categories according to the sound produced: the purr, call and growl/snarl/hiss. Owens et al. categorized cat vocalisations based on their acoustic structures. There are three categories: tonal sounds, pulse sounds, broadband sounds. Tonal sounds are further categorized into groups of harmonically structured sounds or regular tonal sounds. Pulse vocalisations are separated into hybrid pulse bursts with tonal endings. Broadband sounds are separated into four groups: non-tonal broadband sounds, broadband sounds with tonal beginnings, broadband sounds with short tonal elements, broadband sounds with long tonal endings; the purr is a continuous, vibrating sound made in the throat by most species of felines. Domestic kittens can purr as early as two days of age.
This tonal rumbling can characterize different personalities in domestic cats. Purring is believed to indicate a positive emotional state, but cats sometimes purr when they are ill, tense, or experiencing traumatic or painful moments such as giving birth. A more expansive definition is "purring signals a friendly social mood, it can be given as a signal to, say, a vet from an injured cat indicating the need for friendship, or as a signal to an owner, saying thank you for friendship given."The mechanism of how cats purr is elusive. This is because cats do not have a unique anatomical feature, responsible for this vocalization. One hypothesis, supported by electromyographic studies, is that cats produce the purring noise by using the vocal folds and/or the muscles of the larynx to alternately dilate and constrict the glottis causing air vibrations during inhalation and exhalation. Combined with the steady inhalation and exhalation as the cat breathes, a purring noise is produced with strong harmonics.
Purring is sometimes accompanied by other sounds. Some may only purr, while other cats emit low level outbursts sometimes described as "lurps" or "yowps". Domestic cats purr at varying frequencies. One study reported that domestic cats purr at average frequencies of 21.98 Hz in the egressive phase and 23.24 Hz in the ingressive phase with an overall mean of 22.6 Hz. Further research on purring in four domestic cats found that the fundamental frequency varied between 20.94 and 27.21 Hz for the egressive phase and between 23.0 and 26.09 Hz for the ingressive phase. There was considerable variation between the four cats in the relative amplitude and frequency between egressive and ingressive phases, although this variation occurred within the normal range. One study on a single cheetah showed it purred with an average frequency of 18.32 Hz. A further study on four adult cheetahs found that mean frequencies were between 19.3 Hz and 20.5 Hz in ingressive phases, between 21.9 Hz and 23.4 Hz in egressive phases.
The egressive phases were longer than ingressive phases and moreover, the amplitude was greater in the egressive phases. It was once believed. However, felids of the genus Panthera produce sounds similar to purring, but only when exhaling; the subdivision of the Felidae into'purring cats' on the one hand and'roaring cats' on the other goes back to Owen and was introduced by Pocock, based on a difference in hyoid anatomy. The'roaring cats' have an incompletely ossified hyoid, which according to this theory, enables them to roar but not to purr. On the other hand, the snow leopard, as the fifth felid species with an incompletely ossified hyoid, purrs. All remaining species of the family Felidae have a ossified hyoid which enables them to purr but not to roar. However, Weissengruber et al. argued that the ability of a cat species to purr is not affected by the anatomy of its hyoid, i.e. whether it is ossified or has a ligamentous epihyoid, that, based on a technical acoustic definition of roaring, the presence of this vocalization type depends on specific characteristics of the vocal folds and an elongat