Science Studies

Cats (Animals Animals) by Renee C. Rebman

By Renee C. Rebman

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Fangs—Long, sharp teeth. feral—Having escaped from domestication and turned wild. flehmen breathing—The lip curl response to odor that allows a cat to draw scent particles into its mouth. fossilized—Remains of plants or animals preserved in the earth. gestation—The time when an animal is pregnant. groom—To make clean and neat. 42 Jacobsen’s organ (vomeronasal organ)—An organ on the roof of a cat’s mouth that is used for tasting and smelling. irises—Dark portions of the center of the eye that regulate the amount of light that enters the eyeball.

For females) and neutering (for males) are medical procedures that make the animals unable to have kittens. These procedures are extremely important in preventing further overpopulation of cats. Abandoned pets are only part of the problem. Feral cats number in the millions. There are perhaps as many, or more, feral cats than domestic cats. Feral cats grow up without human contact. They are often the second or third generation of abandoned cats. These cats quickly return to a wild state and view On March 30, 1996, an abandoned garage in Brooklyn, New York, went up in flames.

Some feral females will even nurse and raise orphaned feral kittens within the colony. Still, because of poor living conditions and malnutrition, more than half the kittens born within a colony will die. These feral cats will spend their lives together in a group, looking for food where they can. Feral colonies can cause problems for humans who live nearby. Toms protecting their territory may fight other cats. Combat over females also occurs frequently, and the noise can be very loud. Cats marking their territory leave terrible odors.

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