Béda révisi "Ucing"

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14 bita dipupus ,  4 tahun yang lalu
Ngarapihkeun éjahan, replaced: oge → ogé , nyaeta → nyaéta, nya éta → nyaéta (2), ea → éa
Tag: Éditan sélular Éditan wéb HP
m (Ngarapihkeun éjahan, replaced: oge → ogé , nyaeta → nyaéta, nya éta → nyaéta (2), ea → éa)
== Anatomi jeung morpologi==
[[Gambar:Scheme_cat_anatomy-su.svg|thumb|350px|Gambaran anatomi ucing sacara umum]]
Gumantung kana spésiésna, awak ucing beuratna 2,5 - 7 &nbsp;kg. Tapi, sababaraha spésiés budidaya, misalna ''[[Maine Coon]]'', bisa nepi ka 11,3 &nbsp;kg. Malah, mun parabna kaleuleuwihi mah beuratna bisa nepi ka 23 &nbsp;kg. Sabalikna, aya ogé ucing pangleutikna nu kungsi kalaporkeun beuratna kurang ti 1,8 &nbsp;kg<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.messybeast.com/dwarfcats.html |title=DWARF, MIDGET AND MINIATURE CATS |accessdate=2007-03-06}}</ref>.
Sakumaha mamalia lianna, ucing miboga tujuh [[cervical vertebrae]], tilu welas [[thoracic vertebrae]] (manusa boga salosin), tujuh [[lumbar vertebrae]] (manusa boga lima), tilu [[sacral vertebrae]] (manusa boga lima sabab bipedal), sarta 22/23 [[caudal vertebrae]] (manusa boga 3-5, ngahiji jadi [[coccyx]]).
==Ras Ucing==
Dumasarkeun kana kaayaan buluna ras ucing kabagi 5 bagian nya étanyaéta <ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"> Susanty, Yuliana.Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan. Agromedia Pustaka.Jakarta Selatan 2007 </ref> :
# Bulu pendék
# Bulu sedeng
'''Bulu pendék'''
* '''''Exotik''''' mangrupa variasi tina ras bulu pendék. <ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
* '''''Chartreux, Russian Blue''' jeung''' Korat'''''. Tilu ras ieu miboga warna bulu anu sarua nya étanyaéta biru atawa hauk. katilu ras ieu mangrupa ras asli, tapi béda asal daérahna, saperti Chartreux anu aslna ti Prancis, Russian Blue asalna ti Rusia, jeung Korat ti Thailand. <ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
* '''''Manx''' jeung '''Japanese Bobtail'''''. Max mangrupa ras anu teu boga buntut, sedengkeun japanese bobtail miboga rupa buntut anu ahéng.<ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
* '''''Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, California Spangled, Bengal'''''<ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
* '''''Siamese''' jeung '''Burmese'''''.Kadua ras ieu téh asalna ti Thailand <ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
*''''' British shorthair, EuropeanEuropéan Shorthair,''' jeung '''American Shorthair'''''<ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
* '''''Abyssinian''''''' dipercaya yén ras ieu ras paling kolot mangrupa ras katurunan Mesir Kuno.<ref name="Memilih dan Merawat Kucing Kesayangan"/>
==Ucing dina kabudayaan Sunda==
Dina kabudayaan Sunda, aya babasan jeung paribasa nu ngandung kecap ucing saperti ''ngabudi ucing'', ''kawas ucing gering'', ''kawas ucing jeung anjing'', ''heunceut ucingeun''.
Dina carita Sunda ogeogé aya carita ngeunaan ucing saperti "candramawat", nyaetanyaéta ucingna Nini Anteh anu aya di [http://su.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulan_(satelit) bulan].
<!--The extra lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's enhanced spinal mobility and flexibility, compared to humans; the caudal vertebrae form the tail, used by the cat for counterbalance to the body during quick movements.<ref>{{cite web | title=Cat Skeleton| url=http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/zoolab/Table_of_Contents/Lab-9b/Cat_Skeleton_1/cat_skeleton_1.htm |accessdate=2006-12-12}}</ref>
Cats have highly specialized [[tooth|teeth]] and a [[gastrointestinal tract|digestive tract]] suitable to the digestion of meat. The [[premolar]] and [[Molar (tooth)|first molar]] together compose the [[carnassial]] pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently functions to shear meat like a pair of [[scissors]]. While this is present in [[Canidae|canines]], it is highly developed in felines. The cat's [[tongue]] has sharp spines, or [[papillae]], useful for retaining and ripping flesh from a carcass. These papillae are small backward-facing hooks that contain [[keratin]] and assist in their grooming.
Cats, like dogs, are [[digitigrade]]s: they walk directly on their toes, the bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg. Cats are capable of walking very precisely, because like all felines they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding forepaw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Unlike dogs and most mammals, cats walk by moving both legs on one side and then both legs on the other. Most mammals move legs on alternate sides in sequence. Cats share this unusual [[Gait analysis|gait]] with [[camel]]s, [[giraffe]]s, some horses ('pacers'), and a select few other mammals. There is no known connection between these animals which might explain this.
Like all members of [[family (biology)|family]] ''[[Felidae]]'' except the [[cheetah]], cats have retractable [[claw]]s. In their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the [[paw|toe pads]]. This keeps the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of prey. The claws on the forefeet are typically sharper than those on the hind feet. Cats can extend their claws voluntarily on one or more paws at will. They may extend their claws in hunting or self-defense, climbing, "[[Kneading (cats)|kneading]]", or for extra traction on soft surfaces (bedspreads, thick rugs, etc.). It is also possible to make a cooperative cat extend its claws by carefully pressing both the top and bottom of the paw. The curved claws may become entangled in carpet or thick fabric, which may cause injury if the cat is unable to free itself.
Due to their [[crepuscular]] nature, cats are often known to enter a period of increased activity and playfulness during the evening and early morning, dubbed the "evening crazies", "night crazies", "elevenses" or "mad half-hour" by some.<ref>Animal Doctor (July 9 2002). "Dear Dr. Fox". ''The Washington Post'', p. C10.</ref><ref>* Ring, Ken and Romhany, Paul (August 1 1999). ''Pawmistry: How to Read Your Cat's Paws''. Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, California), p. 10. ISBN 1-58008-111-8</ref>
The temperament of a cat can vary depending on the breed and socialization. Cats with "oriental" body types tend to be thinner and more active, while cats that have a "cobby" body type tend to be heavier and less active.
The normal [[thermoregulation|body temperature]] of a cat is between 38 and 39 °[[Celsius|C]] (101 and 102.2 °[[Fahrenheit|F]]).<ref>{{cite web | title=Normal Values For Dog and Cat Temperature, Blood Tests, Urine and other information in ThePetCenter.com | url=http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/nv.html|accessmonthday=August 8 |accessyear=2005 }}</ref> A cat is considered [[febrile]] ([[hyperthermia|hyperthermic]]) if it has a temperature of 39.5 °C (103 °F) or greater, or [[hypothermic]] if less than 37.5 °C (100 °F). For comparison, humans have a normal temperature of approximately 36.8 °C (98.2 °F). A domestic cat's normal heart rate ranges from 140 to 220 beats per minute, and is largely dependent on how excited the cat is. For a cat at rest, the average heart rate should be between 150 and 180 bpm, about twice that of a human.
====Social behavior====
Many people characterize cats as 'solitary' animals. However, cats are actually highly social. A primary difference in social behavior between cats and dogs (to which they are often compared) is that cats do not have a ''social survival strategy'', or a 'pack mentality'; however this only means that cats take care of their basic needs on their own (e.g., finding food, defending themselves, etc.). It is not the same thing as being asocial. Perhaps the best example of how domestic cats are 'naturally' meant to behave is to observe feral domestic cats, which often live in colonies, but in which each individual basically looks after itself.
Living with humans is a symbiotic social adaptation which has developed over thousands of years. The sort of social relationship cats have with their human keepers is hard to map onto more generalized wild cat behavior, but it is certain that the cat thinks of the human differently than it does other cats (i.e., it does not think of itself as human, nor that the human is a cat). This can be seen in the difference in body and vocal language it uses with the human, when compared to how it communicates with other cats in the household, for example. Some have suggested that, psychologically, the human keeper of a cat is a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother, and that adult domestic cats live forever in a kind of suspended kittenhood.<ref>Meowing is one example of kittenish behavior that persists into adulthood in domesticated cats.</ref>
Cats are highly specialized for hunting, compared to other mammals such as dogs.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} This is now thought to be the indirect result of cats' inability to taste sugars, thereby reducing their intake of plant foods. Since they have a greatly reduced need to digest plants, their digestive tract has evolved to be shorter, too short for effective digestion of plants but less of a weight penalty for the rapid movement required for hunting. Hunting has likewise become central to their behavior patterns, even to their predilection for short bursts of intense exercise punctuating long periods of rest.
Much like the [[big cat]]s, domestic cats are very effective predators. They ambush and immobilize vertebrate [[Predation|prey]] using tactics similar to those of [[leopard]]s and [[tiger]]s by pouncing; then they deliver a lethal neck bite with their long [[canine tooth|canine teeth]] that severs the victim's [[spinal cord]], causes fatal bleeding by puncturing the [[carotid artery]] or the [[jugular vein]], or asphyxiates it by crushing its trachea. The domestic cat can hunt and eat about one thousand [[species]], many of them [[invertebrate]]s, especially insects — many [[big cat]]s will eat fewer than a hundred different species. Although, theoretically, big cats can kill most of these species as well, they often do not due to the relatively low nutritional content that smaller animals provide for the effort. An exception is the [[leopard]], which commonly hunts rabbits and many other smaller animals.
Even well-fed domestic cats hunt and kill birds, mice, rats, scorpions, cockroaches, grasshoppers, and other small animals in the vicinity. They often present such trophies to their owner. The motivation is not entirely clear, but friendly bonding behaviors are often associated with such an action. It is probable that cats in this situation expect to be praised for their symbolic contribution to the group. Some theories suggest that cats see their owners gone for long times of the day and assume they are out hunting, as they always have plenty of food available. It is thought that a cat presenting its owner with a dead animal thinks it's 'helping out' by bringing home the kill.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} [[Ethology|Ethologist]] [[Paul Leyhausen]], in an extensive study of social and predatory behavior in domestic cats (documented in his book ''Cat Behavior''), proposed a mechanism which explains this presenting behavior. In simple terms, cats adopt humans into their social group, and share excess kill with others in the group according to the local pecking order, in which humans place at or near the top. Another possibility is that presenting the kill might be a relic of a kitten feline behavior of demonstrating for its mother's approval that it has developed the necessary skill for hunting.
Cats can be fussy eaters, possibly due to the mutation which caused their ancestor to lose the ability to taste sugars. Unlike most mammals, cats can voluntarily starve themselves indefinitely despite being presented with palatable food, even a food which they had previously readily consumed. This can happen when the [[vomeronasal organ|vomeronasal or Jacobson's organ]] becomes accustomed to a specific food, or if the cats are spoiled by their owners, in which case the cat will reject any food that does not fit the pattern it is expecting. It is also known for cats to merely become bored with their given food and decide to stop eating until they are tempted into eating again. Although it is extremely rare for a cat to deliberately starve itself to the point of injury, the sudden loss of weight can cause a fatal condition called [[hepatic lipidosis]], a liver dysfunction which causes pathological loss of appetite and reinforces the starvation, which can lead to death within as little as 48 hours.
Additionally, cats have been known to develop a fondness for prepared human foods, normally preparations which are rich in proteins or fats. However, a diet consisting only of human food (even if high quality meat) is unlikely to contain the balanced nutrition required by the cat. Cats normally are good self-regulators of diet; however, unlimited access to food, or excessive human-food 'treats', will often lead to the cat becoming obese, particularly if it is older or more sedentary. This may lead to several health complications, such as diabetes, especially in neutered males. Such health conditions can be prevented through diet and exercise (playing), especially for cats living exclusively indoors.
Cats can also develop [[Pica (disorder)|pica]]. Pica is a condition in which animals chew or eat unusual things such as fabric, plastic or wool. In cats, this is mostly harmless as they do not digest most of it, but can be fatal or require surgical removal if a large amount of foreign material is ingested (for example, an entire sock). It tends to occur more often in Siamese, Burmese, and breeds with these in their ancestry.
| publisher = ShowCatsOnline.com
| quote = Very small amounts of Minoxidil can result [in] serious problems or death
In addition to such obvious dangers as [[insecticide]]s and [[weed killer]]s, other common household substances that should be used with caution in areas where cats may be exposed to them include [[mothball]]s and other [[naphthalene]] products,<ref name="vetinfo"/> as well as
Cats enjoy heat and solar exposure, often sleeping in a sunny area during the heat of the day. Cats prefer warmer temperatures than humans do. People start to feel uncomfortable when their skin's temperature gets higher than about 44.5 °C (112 °F), but cats don't start to show signs of discomfort until their skin reaches about 52 °C (126 °F).
Being closely related to desert animals, cats can easily withstand the heat and cold of a [[temperate]] climate, but not for extended periods. Although certain breeds such as the [[Norwegian Forest Cat]] and [[Maine Coon]] have developed heavier coats of fur than other cats, they have little resistance against moist cold (eg, fog, rain and snow) and struggle to maintain their 39 °C (102 °F) body temperature when wet.
Most cats dislike immersion in water; one major exception is the [[Turkish Van]] breed which has an unusual fondness for water.<ref>http://www.swimmingcats.com/faqs.html</ref> [[Abyssinian (cat)|Abyssinian]]s are also reported to be more tolerant of water than most cats.
The male cat's [[penis]] has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's [[vagina]], which may cause ovulation. Because this does not always occur, females are rarely impregnated by the first male with which they mate. Furthermore, cats are [[superfecundation|superfecund]]; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in heat, meaning different [[kitten]]s in a litter may have different fathers.
The [[gestation]] period for cats is approximately 63-65 days. The size of a [[Litter (animal)|litter]] averages three to five kittens, with the first litter usually smaller than subsequent litters. Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, and cats normally reach sexual maturity at 4-10 months (females) and to 5-7 months (males).
[[Image:Youngkitten.JPG|thumb|220px|right|A kitten which has opened his [[eye]]s for the first time.]]
Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks old (the recommended minimum age by Fédération Internationale Féline), or when they are ready to leave their mother. Cats can be surgically [[spay|sterilized]] (spayed or neutered) as early as 6-8 weeks to limit unwanted reproduction. This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as [[Territorial marking|territory marking]] (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females. If an animal is neutered after such behavior has been learned, however, it may persist.
==Etymology and taxonomic history==
===Scientific classification===
The domestic cat was named ''Felis catus'' by [[Carolus Linnaeus]] in his ''[[Systema Naturae]]'' of 1758. [[Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber]] named the [[Wildcat]] ''Felis silvestris'' in 1775. The domestic cat was considered a subspecies of the Wildcat: by the strict rule of priority of the [[International Code of Zoological Nomenclature]] the name for the species thus ought to be ''F. catus'' since Linnaeus published first, and so almost all biologists use ''F. silvestris'' for the wild species, using ''F. catus'' only for the domesticated form.
In opinion 2027 (published in Volume 60, Part 1 of the ''Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature'', March 31 2003<ref>{{cite journal|last = ICZN|title = OPINION 2027: Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved|journal = Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature|volume = 60|issue = 1|publisher = [[International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature]]|date = March 31 2003|accessdate = July 13 2006|url = http://www.iczn.org/BZNMar2003opinions.htm#opinion2027}}</ref>) the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are predated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", thus confirming ''F. silvestris'' for the Wildcat and ''F. silvestris catus'' for its domesticated cousin. ''F. catus'' is still valid if the domestic form is considered a separate species. Recent DNA and comparative bone research shows that the separate species name ''F. catus'' is correct after all.<ref name=msw3/> The results show little relation to the ''F. sylvestris'' group with ''F. catus'' being derived from ''F. lybica'' 7000 years ago when the very first small felines were domesticated in Asia Minor.
[[Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben]] named the domestic cat ''Felis domesticus'' in his ''Anfangsgründe der Naturlehre and Systema regni animalis'' of 1777. This name, and its variants ''Felis catus domesticus'' and ''Felis silvestris domesticus'', are often seen, but they are not valid scientific names under the rules of the [[International Code of Zoological Nomenclature]].
==Importance to humans==
Because of their small size, domestic cats pose almost no danger to humans — the main hazard is the possibility of infection (e.g., [[cat scratch disease]], or, rarely, [[rabies]]) from a cat bite or scratch. Cats can also potentially inflict severe scratches or puncture an eye, though this is quite rare. Dogs have been known to be blinded by cats in fights in which the cat specifically targeted the eyes of the larger animal with some accuracy.
Cats can be destructive to [[ecosystem]]s in which they are not native and whose species have not had time to adapt to their [[introduced species|introduction]]. In some cases, cats have contributed to or caused [[extinction]]s -— for example, see the case of the [[Stephens Island Wren]].
Indoor cats are usually provided with a [[litter box]] containing [[cat litter|litter]], typically [[bentonite]], but sometimes other absorbent material such as shredded paper or wood chips, or sometimes [[sand]] or similar material. This arrangement serves the same purpose as a toilet for humans. It should be cleaned daily and changed often, depending on the number of cats in a household and the type of litter; if it is not kept clean, a cat may be fastidious enough to find other locations in the house for urination or defecation. This may also happen for other reasons; for instance, if a cat becomes [[constipation|constipated]] and defecation is uncomfortable, it may associate the discomfort with the litter box and avoid it in favor of another location. A litterbox is recommended for indoor-outdoor cats as well.
Daily attention to the litter box also serves as a monitor of the cat's health. Numerous variations on litter and litter box design exist, including some which automatically sift the litter after each use. Bentonite or clumping litter is a variation which absorbs urine into clumps which can be sifted out along with feces, and thus stays cleaner longer with regular sifting, but has sometimes been reported to cause health problems in some cats.<ref>{{cite web | title=Suspected bentonite toxicosis in a cat from ingestion of clay cat litter | url=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8888544&dopt=Abstract|accessmonthday=September 10 |accessyear=2005 }}</ref>
[[Image:Toilet_Trained_Cat_22_Aug_2005.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Toilet-trained cat]]
Litterboxes may pose a risk of [[toxoplasmosis]] transmission to susceptible pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals, although this risk is greatly decreased in indoor-only cats which would not normally be exposed to the disease. Transmission risk may be reduced by daily litterbox cleaning by someone other than the susceptible individual.
Some cats can be toilet trained, eliminating the litterbox and its attendant expense and smell. Training involves two or three weeks of incremental moves, such as moving and elevating the litterbox until it is near the toilet. For a short time, an adapter, such as a bowl or small box, may be used to suspend the litter above the toilet bowl; numerous kits and other aids are marketed to help toilet-train cats. When training is complete, the cat uses the toilet by perching over the bowl.<ref>{{cite web | title=Cat toilet-training | url=http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html | accessmonthday=August 8 | accessyear=2005 }}</ref> Occasional accidental dunkings, which can traumatize the cat to the point of its avoidance of the toilet, can lead to urinating and defecating in undesirable locations around the house. This can be avoided by use of a simple insert of one or two crossbars or a widely spaced grid to prevent falling in but allow feces to pass; such safety devices have recently become commercially available. Otherwise, if a cat is not trained to use the toilet, it is wise to keep the lid shut to prevent thirsty or curious cats from falling in.
[[Image:Sok 04.jpg|thumb|Cat scratching wooden post.]] Cats are naturally driven to periodically hook their front claws into suitable surfaces and pull backwards, in order to clean the claws and remove the worn outer sheath as well as exercise and stretch their muscles. This scratching behavior seems enjoyable to the cat, and even [[#Declawing|declawed]] cats will go through elaborate scratching routines with every evidence of great satisfaction, despite the total lack of results. Indoor cats benefit from being provided with a [[scratching post]] so that they are less likely to use carpet or furniture which they can easily ruin.<ref>{{cite web | title=Scratching or clawing in the house | url=http://www.fabcats.org/scratching.html|accessmonthday=August 14 |accessyear=2005 }}</ref> Commercial scratching posts typically are covered in carpeting or upholstery, but some authorities advise against this practice, as not making it clear to the cat which surfaces are permissible and which are not; they suggest using a plain wooden surface, or reversing the carpeting on the posts so that the rougher texture of the carpet backing is a more attractive alternative to the cat than the floor covering. Some indoor cats, however, especially those that were taken as kittens from feral colonies, may not understand the concept of a scratching post, and as a result will ignore it.
[[Image:Cat claw closeup.jpg|left|thumb|Close-up of a cat's claw, with the quick clearly visible]]
Although scratching can serve cats to keep their claws from growing excessively long, their nails can be trimmed if necessary, with a small nail trimmer designed for humans, a small pair of electrician's [[diagonal pliers|diagonal cutting pliers]], or a guillotine type cutter specifically designed for animal nail trimming. Care must always be taken to avoid cutting the [[Wiktionary:quick#Noun|quick]] of the claw, analogous to cutting into the tip of a finger and equally painful and bloody. The position of the quick can be easily seen through the translucent nail of a cat with light colored claws but not in cats with dark colored nails, who therefore require carefully trimming of only small amounts from the nails.
In 2004, a grave was excavated in [[Cyprus]] that contained the skeletons, laid close to one another, of both a human and a cat. The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, pushing back the earliest known feline-human association significantly.<ref name="9500 years"/>
Like some other domesticated animals, cats live in a [[mutualism|mutualistic]] arrangement with humans. It is believed that the benefit of removing rats and mice from humans' food stores outweighed the trouble of extending the protection of a human settlement to a formerly wild animal, almost certainly for humans who had adopted a farming economy. Unlike the dog, which also hunts and kills rodents, the cat does not eat grains, fruits, or vegetables. A cat that is good at hunting rodents is referred to as a mouser.
The [[simile]] "like herding cats" refers to the seeming intractability of the ordinary house cat to training in anything, unlike dogs. Despite cohabitation in colonies, cats are lone hunters. It is no coincidence that cats are also "clean" animals; the chemistry of their saliva, expended during their frequent grooming, appears to be a natural deodorant. If so, the function of this cleanliness is to decrease the chance a prey animal will notice the cat's presence in time. In contrast, dog's odour is an advantage in hunting, for a dog is a pack hunter; part of the pack stations itself upwind, and its odour drives prey towards the rest of the pack stationed downwind. This requires a cooperative effort, which in turn requires communications skills. No such communications skills are required of a lone hunter. It is likely this is part of the reason interacting with such an animal is problematic; cats in particular are labeled as opaque or inscrutable, if not obtuse, as well as aloof and self-sufficient. However, cats can be very affectionate towards their human companions, especially if they [[Imprinting (psychology)|imprint]] on them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection.
Human attitudes toward cats vary widely. Some people keep cats for companionship as [[pet]]s. Others go to great lengths to pamper their cats, sometimes treating them as if they were children. When a cat bonds with its human guardian, the cat may, at times, display behaviors similar to that of a human. Such behavior may include a trip to the litter box before bedtime or snuggling up close to its companion in bed or on the sofa. Other such behavior includes mimicking sounds of the owner or using certain sounds the cat picks up from the human; sounds representing specific needs of the cat, which the owner would recognize, such as a specific tone of [[meow]] along with eye contact that may represent "I'm hungry." The cat may also be capable of learning to communicate with the human using non-spoken language or [[Cat body language|body language]] such as rubbing for affection (confirmation), facial expressions and making eye contact with the owner if something needs to be addressed (e.g., finding a bug crawling on the floor for the owner to get rid of). Some owners like to train their cat to perform "tricks" commonly exhibited by dogs such as jumping, though this is rare.
Allergies to cat [[dander]] are one of the most common reasons people cite for disliking cats. However, in some instances, humans find the rewards of cat companionship outweigh the discomfort and problems associated with these allergies. Many choose to cope with cat allergies by taking prescription allergy medicine and bathing their cats frequently, since weekly bathing will eliminate about 90% of the cat dander present in the environment. Recent studies have indicated that humans who are exposed to cats or dogs within the first year of their lives develop few animal allergies, while most adults who are allergic to animals did not have a cat or a dog as a pet in childhood.{{Fact|date=February 2007}}
;[[Point (coat color)|Colorpoint]]
: The colorpoint pattern is most commonly associated with [[Siamese (cat)|Siamese]] cats, but may also appear in any domestic cat. A colorpoint cat has dark colors on the face, ears, feet, and tail, with a lighter version of the same color on the rest of the body, and possibly some white. The exact name of the colorpoint pattern depends on the actual color, so there are seal points (dark brown), chocolate points (warm lighter brown), blue points (dark gray), lilac points (silvery gray-pink), flame points (orange), and tortie (tortoiseshell mottling) points, among others. This pattern is the result of a [[Mutation#Special classes|temperature sensitive mutation]] in one of the [[enzyme]]s in the [[metabolic pathway]] from [[tryptophan]] to pigment, such as [[melanin]]; thus, little or no pigment is produced except in the extremities or "points", where the skin is slightly cooler. For this reason, colorpoint cats tend to darken with age as bodily temperature drops; also, the fur over a significant injury may sometimes darken or lighten as a result of temperature change.
:The tryptophan pathway also produces [[neurotransmitter]]s, thus mutations in the early parts of that pathway may affect not only pigment, but also neurological development. This results in a higher frequency of [[strabismus|cross-eyes]] among colorpoint cats, as well as the [[Melanin#Melanin deficiency in genetic disorders and disease states|high frequency of deafness in white cats]] and the [[White tiger#Inbreeding depression|high frequency of cross-eyes in white tigers]]. (This is not related to [[albinism]]).
[[Image:Feral cat gl3.gif|thumb|right|Feral cats are thought to be a major predator of [[Hawaii]]an coastal and forest habitats, and are one species among many responsible for the decline of endemic forest bird species as well as seabirds like the [[Wedge-tailed Shearwater]].<ref>http://www.birdinghawaii.co.uk/XShearwaterkills2.htm</ref> In one study of 56 cats' [[feces]], the remains of 44 birds were found, 40 of which were [[Endemic birds of Hawaii|endemic species]].<ref>http://www.earlham.edu/~biol/hawaii/mammals.htm</ref>]]
[[Feral cat]]s may live alone, but most are found in large groups called [[feral cat colony|feral colonies]] with communal nurseries, depending on resource availability. Some lost or abandoned pet cats succeed in joining these colonies, although Animal welfare organizations note that few are able to survive long enough to become feral, most being killed by vehicles, or succumbing to [[starvation]], [[predator]]s, exposure, or [[disease]]. Most abandoned cats probably have little alternative to joining a feral colony. The average lifespan of such feral cats is much shorter than a domestic housecat, which can live sixteen years or more. Urban areas in the developed world are not friendly, nor adapted environments for cats; most domestic cats are descended from cats in desert climates and were distributed throughout the world by humans. Nevertheless, some feral cat colonies are found in large cities such as around the [[Colosseum]] and [[Forum Romanum]] in Rome.
Although cats are adaptable, feral felines are unable to thrive in extreme cold and heat, and with a very high protein requirement, few find adequate nutrition on their own in cities. They have little protection or understanding of the dangers from dogs, [[coyote]]s, and even automobiles. However, there are thousands of volunteers and organizations that trap these unadoptable feral felines, [[spaying and neutering|spay or neuter]] them, [[immunization|immunize]] the cats against rabies and [[feline leukemia]], and treat them with long-lasting [[flea]] products. Before release back into their feral colonies, the attending veterinarian often nips the tip off one ear to mark the feral as spayed/neutered and inoculated, since these cats will more than likely find themselves trapped again. Volunteers continue to feed and give care to these cats throughout their lives, and not only is their lifespan greatly increased, but behavior and nuisance problems, due to competition for food, are also greatly reduced. In time, if an entire colony is successfully spayed and neutered, no additional kittens are born and the feral colony disappears. Many hope to see an end to urban feral cat colonies through these efforts.
====Environmental interaction====
There are two divergent views about cats’ relationship with the [[natural environment]]. The first says, The environmental impact of feral cat programs and of indoor/outdoor cats is a subject of debate. Part of this stems from humane concern for the cats themselves and part arises from concerns about cat predation on endangered species. Nearly all studies agree that abandoned animals lead hard lives. Owners who can no longer keep their cats should do best to give them to friends, rescue organizations, or shelters. The amount of ecological damage done by indoor/outdoor cats depends on local conditions. The most severe effect occurs to island ecologies. Serious concerns also exist{{Fact|date=March 2007}} in places such as Florida where housecats are not native, where several small-sized endangered species live near human populations, and where the climate allows cats to breed throughout the year. Environmental concerns may be minimal in most of the UK where cats are an established species and few to none of the local prey species are endangered. Pet owners can contact veterinarians, ecological organizations, and universities for opinions about whether local conditions are suitable for outdoor cats. Additional concerns include potential dangers from larger predators and infectious diseases. Coyotes kill large numbers of housecats in the Southwestern United States, even in urban zones. FELV (feline leukemia), FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), or rabies may be present in the area. If faced with conflicting evidence, the safe choice is to keep a cat indoors. Experts recommend a gradual transition to indoor life for cats who are accustomed to going outside.
Those opposing this view stress this allegation has never been proved. They say that damaging effects do not follow necessarily from the fact that cats are predators. They point out that cats have played a useful role in vermin control for centuries, and that for many animals, especially in urban areas, cats are the only animal available to fill the vital role of predator. Without cats these species would overpopulate.
*''Cationary: Meaningful Portraits of Cats'' by Sharon Montrose, ISBN 0-670-03059-7


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