Cats are solitary predators unlike dogs which are pack or herd animals.In consequence, Cats don't treat humans as authority figures in the same manner the dogs do. A cat's visual cortex contains more neurons than the equivalent area of a human brain. Typically a cat's brain weighs about 30 gm which is just under 1 percent of its total body weight. Compare this to a human brain which is 2 % of the body weight or to a dog which is 1.2 %. However, the cortex of the cat's brain has high Cortical folding which significantly increases the amount of the cerebral cortex. As a result, a cat has a well developed area of the brain responsible for interpreting sensory information. It can use its paws almost like humans. Cat's night vision is exceptional and their binocular vision is attuned to see in depth and to judge distances accurately. Their night vision is further enhanced by a layer behind the retina called as tapetum lucidum which is the reason why a cat's eyes shine bright golden or green disk when struck by a light. Their eyes detect motion better than actual sharp details. With large eyes it takes more time to focus sharp.
Most cat bites occur because of fear on the cat’s part or a phenomenon known as petting-induced aggression. Petting induced aggression is a behavior in which a cat - usually younger cats that has been apparently enjoying contact with a human suddenly turns on the human and bites. In elderly cats, the aggression may have been induced by pain due to pressure on arthritic joints.
Inflammation is probably the most common sign of infection from an animal bite. The skin around the wound may turn red and warm and over a period of time the wound may exude pus. Nearby lymph glands may become swollen. If not treated in time, complications may arise when the infection spreads deep or to the blood stream. Live disease causing bacteria within the bloodstream or in the tissues may cause major complications further away from the wound site. Such complications include meningitis, brain abscesses, pneumonia, lung abscesses and heart infections which can be fatal at times.
Cat scratch disease is caused by Bartonella Henselae), previously known as Rochalimaeaquintana, a type of bacteria in cat saliva. Infection may occur with a bite or a scratch. As per CDC, in USA alone there are 22000 reported cases. The Cat scratch disease is not normally severe in people with healthy immune systems. However, it can become sever in immunocompromised individuals - acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or those undergoing chemotherapy.
Prevention: Cat bites can easily be avoided by learning about a cat’s body language and recognizing the signs of impending aggression. Look out for signs such as:
Warning Stance: When a cat stands with his rump raised or back arched, it feels threatened and it is a warning that it is about to strike/attack. Sometimes the hair on its body may also be raised. A cat's tail is probably the most significant signal:
|Tail Signal||Interpretation||Flicking from side to side||Irritated||Curved like an “N” or low to the ground and flicking||Feeling aggressive||Strong lashing movements||Don't mess with me! Will attack at the first chance||Arched over the back||All right! I am going to attack now. You asked for it||Hair fluffed out and standing on end||OH ! I am anxious and threatened now||Horizontal or slightly low to the floor||All is well||Erect or with a curl at the tip||I feel friendly now. How are you doing ?||Pointing straight up and vibrating||Quivering with joy and excitement||Tucked between the legs||I am submissive now. Please don't hurt me|
A healthy cat tends to be friendly. An ailing cat can be aggressive or scratch you unintentionally.
Vital signs of Cats
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 6, 2021