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Cat Anatomy

A cat is able to move each ear independently of the other. The majority of cats have straight ears pointing upward. When a cat is angry or frightened, it will lay back its ears, to accompany the growling or hissing sounds it makes. Cats turn their ears back when they are playing, or to listen to a sound coming from behind them. The angle of cats' ears is an important clue to their mood.

Cats have protractable claws, in their relaxed position the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the toe pads. Keeping their claws covered keeps them sharp as it prevents any wear from contact with the ground and allows them to walk silently to stalk prey.

Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals. The daily sleep of a cat varies, usually 12–16 hours, with 13–14 being the average. The term cat nap refers to the cat's ability to fall lighty asleep for a short period of time.

Cat prowling

Cat Behaviour

Cats will express affection towards human companions, especially if they imprint on them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection.

Regardless of the average sociability of any given cat or of cats in general, there are still any number of cats that are poorly socialised. Older cats have been reported to sometimes develop aggressiveness towards kittens.

Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behaviour mimics hunting. The behaviour is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture and kill prey.

Most cats cannot resist a dangling piece of string randomly and enticingly across the floor. This is probably related to hunting instincts, including the common practice of kittens hunting their mother's and each other's tails.