The Unique Anatomy of Cats

The Unique Anatomy of Cats

Cats are one of the most fascinating animals that we have the pleasure of calling a pet, companion, or even best friend. On top of being utterly adorable and cuddly, they are also scientific marvels! Their anatomy, characteristics, and physical attributes are what make them some of the most unique creatures!

Skeletal Structure

Cats are indeed very flexible due to their highly unique skeletal structure. The cat’s skeletal design is remarkably like ours, although there are two significant differences. First, a cat’s spine or backbone contains more bones than ours, mainly because of the tail. Their vertebrae are not as tightly connected as ours. Their vertebrae have a special, flexible, elastic cushioning on the disks which makes their spine rotate more than the spines of most other animals. Cats also have no actual collarbone, which allows them to squeeze through the tightest of places and the ability to respond very quickly when falling. The ‘collarbones’ they have are buried in their shoulder muscles. Due to their uniquely built skeletal structure, flexibility is one of the most well-known characteristics a cat has. Speaking of bones, cats have an astounding 230 bones while humans only have 206. An example of this is, cats are supposed to have 18 toes – five toes on each front paw; four toes on each back paw. The front inner toes being responsible for grasping. There are cats who have more than 18 toes. These extra-digit felines are referred to as being polydactyl.


Skills & Characteristics

There are many unique attributes that cats have and often show off. For example, when eating meat, if the meat is on a bone cats’ rough tongues can lick a bone clean of any shred of meat. They are also near-sighted but in comparison to humans, their peripheral vision and night vision is significantly better. As previously mentioned, cats’ paws are already unique since they have 18 toes, but have you noticed that cats make very little noise when they walk around? This is due to the thick, soft pads on their paws that allow them to sneak up on their prey — or you! They also move both of their right feet first, then move both of their left feet. No other animals walk this way besides camels and giraffes.


There are a lot of physical abilities that cats possess and frequently display. One of the main ability’s cats are known for is their ability to jump high, get into narrow spaces, and their reflexes. When jumping, cats can jump up to six times their length! Again, as previously mentioned cats have no collarbones, so this is what allows them to squeeze in narrow spots. Therefore, you may find your cat curled up in a unique position when sleeping. A house cat’s genome is 95.6 percent tiger, and they share many behaviors with these wild animals! These behaviors include scent marking by scratching, prey play, prey stalking, and pouncing. Just like their tiger ancestors, cats are believed to be the only mammals who don’t taste sweetness! Therefore, cats purely crave and eat only meat, they are naturally born carnivores!

The Unique Anatomy of Cats