Cats seem so mysterious, but sometimes their mysteries aren't so hard to figure out.
How well do you know cats? Check out these 10 questions, with the answers at the end.
No fair letting your cat help!
1. When used to describe a cat's behavior, "bunting" is when a cat:
a) Uses urine to mark a doorway.
b) Chatters at the sight of a bird.
c) Bumps and rubs its head. on something to leave a scent
d) Bats around its prey.
2. Which of these is not a reason why cats claw things?
a) To keep claws sharp and help remove worn claw sheathes.
b) To leave scent on an object.
c) To provide muscles with a good stretch.
d) To be spiteful.
3. A cat that's getting agitated to the point of lashing out while being petted will often have a tail that is:
a) Twitching and flipping at the tip.
b) Wagging gently from the base.
c) Perfectly still.
d) Carried straight up.
4. Cats purr when they're:
d) All of the above.
5. Most cats have how many whiskers?
6. Which of the following places are not good for petting, in the opinion of most cats?
b) Underside of chin
c) Base of tail
d) Side of face
7. The average cat weighs:
a) Between 12 and 15 pounds.
b) Between 8 and 10 pounds.
c) More than 15 pounds.
d) Between 6 and 8 pounds.
8. Cats start their grooming routine by:
a) Licking their tail tips.
b) Licking their flanks.
c) Licking their lips.
d) Licking their paws.
9. "High-rise" syndrome refers to:
a) A cat's preference for perching on tall objects.
b) The ability of cats to live happily in upper-floor apartments.
c) The survival rate of cats that fall from high places.
d) A cat's enjoyment of a good view.
10. The normal body temperature of a cat is:
a) 97 degrees
b) Between 100 and 102.5 degrees
c) 99 degrees
d) 104 degrees
1. C Every cat lover is familiar with "bunting," which is what a cat does when it bumps and rubs against something, such as your leg or hand.
2. D Contrary to common belief, cats don't destroy your sofa out of spite, but because clawing is natural feline behavior.
3. A You may avoid a nasty bite by watching your cat's tail. When the tip starts to flip, end the petting session.
4. D Although most purring is a sign of contentment, cats have also been known to purr in stressful or painful situations.
5. B In most cats, the 24 whiskers are neatly divided into four rows on each side of the face. Each whisker called a "vibrissa" is imbedded deeper than normal hairs to enhance its sensory input.
6. A Many cats become agitated if petted on the tummy, and they may claw or bite. Save tummy rubs for your dog!
7. B While most average-weight cats will come in between 8 and 10 pounds, some cat breeds will normally be much heavier. A healthy cat should have a little padding over the ribs but not too much.
8. C A cat will generally groom itself in the same sequence, starting by licking its lips, then its paws, then rubbing the paws over its head. The tail is generally last to get cleaned.
9. C Cats can right themselves in midair and brace for impact if they have time, which is why cats have a better chance of surviving a fall from a few floors up than from a balcony closer to the ground. Above a certain height, however, no cat can survive the fall.
10. C Temperatures below 99 degrees or above 103 degrees are reason to worry and to call your veterinarian.
How'd you do? If you got them all right, you really know your cats.
Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet-care experts headed by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and journalist Gina Spadafori. The two are also the authors of several best-selling pet-care books. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.petconnection.com. Back columns: www.sacbee.com/spadafori.