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Cats: Felidae

Physical Characteristics

Cats range in color from pale gray to brown, many with rosettes, spots, and stripes that help them blend in with their natural surroundings. The head is rounded, with a short snout. Ears are rounded or pointed. Sensitive whiskers are useful for night movements and for inflicting the fatal bite on a prey's body. Tiny, rough projections on the tongue are used to scrape meat off bones. Feet are padded for quiet stalking of prey. Claws in most species are retractable, or can be pulled back into a sheath of skin, to keep the nails sharp for climbing trees and clasping prey. The cat's ability to land on its feet from a fall is due to a flexible spine that can turn the body around.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsCats: Felidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Cats And People, Lion (panthera Leo:): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS