Some Surprising Facts About Hedgehogs
For a familiar sort of wild animal, hedgehogs are full of surprises. In the past few months, I’ve found a lot of things out about them. One is the popular belief that the first thing you should do if you see a hedgehog is weigh it. A hedgehog that weighs under 600g which will usually be one that has been born late, in June or July might not survive the winter, and needs to be rehabilitated before being released back into the wild.
Sadly, when I saw a hedgehog sitting companionably in my garden with my cat Ralph last summer, I didn’t weigh it. Instead, I tried to make friends with it. Weighing just isn’t the first thing on my mind when I see a wild animal. I don’t spot, say, a skinny muntjac deer and think, “RIGHT! Time to get the scales out.” What I tend to think is, “Maybe this one won’t be like all the others and, instead of running away, will come and live permanently in my garden and let me call it Ron or Clive.”
When I head out into Julie’s garden with her brother-in-law, Phil, George the hedgehog is nowhere to be seen. There is a creature in one of the small, doorless wooden hutches where George likes to sleep, but it’s definitely not him. It’s bigger than any hedgehog I’ve ever seen, hasn’t got spines, and is, it transpires, to all intents and purposes, dead.
Domestic Cats Can Fall From Any Height With A Remarkable Survival Rate
Today I found out domestic cats fall from any height with a remarkable survival rate.; This is, of course, assuming they dont suffocate- say, if you dropped them from 40,000 feet- and that they land on relatively flat ground .
This one seems like it shouldnt be true.; However, it turns out, a typical domestic cats terminal velocity is sufficiently low, around 60 mph, that they can absorb the shock of the landing.; This isnt to say they will absorb the shock without injury; simply that they are more likely to survive the fall than not.
Specifically, according to a study done by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 132 cats falling from an average of 5.5 stories and as high as 32 stories, the latter of which is more than enough for them to reach their terminal velocity, have a survival rate of about 90%, assuming they are brought in to treat their various injuries that may occur because of the impact with the ground.; Of those 132 cats included in the study, about 2/3 required some sort of medical treatment as a result of their fall, and about half of those that required treatment would have died without medical aid.
Now, if you think thats strange.; Heres something even weirder.; The number of injuries a domestic cat has from a long fall actually seems to go down above a certain height, specifically above about seven stories tall.; There are two prevalent theories as to why this is the case.
How Cats Always Land On Their Feet
Many people think that cats use their tails to balance themselves and land on their feet. However, this is not true. While their long tails play a large part in their sense of balance, it isnt the key factor in a cats ability to land on its feet.
What makes a cat so good at landing on its feet is its spine and whiskers. Their spine can twist in multiple directions at once, and cats have whiskers along their cheeks, forehead, forearms, and in front of their ears. Their whiskers aid in their rapid sense of direction, as these sensitive hairs articulate even the slightest change in airflow.
As a cat jumps or falls from any height, their body instinctively twists to the right themselves before they hit the ground. Cats who fall from higher floors have more time to balance themselves out, while cats who fall from lower places have less time to get right-side-up.
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How High Can Cats Fall
Theres some truth to the old saw that cats always land on their feet. Domestic cats can survive falls from terrifying heights; although they may sustain significant injuries, they can make a full recovery from a fall that looks impossibly dangerous.
Its important to state here that falling is never good for cats. Even a poorly landed jump from a modest height can leave your pet with a strained limb or two, while falls from greater heights can cause significant, and even life-threatening, injuries. The falls discussed in this section are presented as examples of what a cat may survive, not what is safe or tolerable for your beloved pet.
Much of the information we have on the domestic cats ability to survive a fall comes from a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. This looked at 132 cats whod been brought to the vet after sustaining a serious fall.
A lot will depend on the cats size, age and state of health. Because the average domestic cat is so small, her terminal velocity is quite low just under 100 kph or around 60 mph. This means that while she may strike the ground with enough force to sustain serious injuries, shes got a good chance of surviving the incident. Cats have even survived falls from tower blocks and other dangerously high locations.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Alright
If your cat has fallenwhether its a seven story drop or just a drop of a few feetits perfectly normal for you to be more rattled than your cat seems to be! Most of the time, especially if its just around the house, your cat should be safe, but it can still be kind of shocking to see them drop so abruptly.
If your cat falls and seems reluctant to get up right away, however, this could be a sign that it was hurt by its fall. Obviously, if you suspect your cat was hurt, any visible blood is a surefire indicator of injury, but some of the other signs can be a little bit more subtle.
In the days after its fall, you may notice your cat seems uncomfortable rising or laying down, or that it walks with a stiff gait or even limps. Cats are such naturally graceful creatures that these sights should seem unusual right away, but cats can sometimes hide their symptoms for a few days after the initial injury.
Other changes to watch out for include changes in behavior. If you notice your cat seems more tired than usual, or if they whine and cry for seemingly no reason, these may be signs of a more serious injury. Watch your cats food intake as well, as an injured cat will often eat far less than a healthy cat likes to do.
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Acrobatic And Athletic Abilities Of Cats
These are the other impressive acrobatic abilities of cats aside from jumping that showcase their extraordinary mobility and flexibility:
- they can curl into a perfect circle when they sleep and twitch their tails in a rhythmic way across their nose;
- they can twist into unusual positions
- they can make sudden direction changes when in pursuit of their prey
- they can reorient themselves in midair and land on their feet;
- they can narrow their shoulders and chest to squeeze through tight spaces;
These are some of the most athletic cat breeds around:
- Abyssinian medium-sized breed with muscular and lean bodies;
- Bengal ; very energetic and has an active lifestyle;
- Somali outgoing, friendly, agile and loves to play fetch and other games
- Cornish Rex they have sleek and slender bodies, curious and friendly
- Devon Rex affectionate, intelligent and outgoing breed;
- Egyptian Mau very agile and loves to jump, run and play;
- Ocicat ; very athletic and loves to jump into high places;
- Japanese Bobtail slender, athletic and loves to play in the water;
- Balinese very active and agile, loves to jump and climb;
- Siamese very vocal, active and loves human companionship;
- Singapura has kitten-like looks, active and friendly;
- Oriental Shorthair- very extroverted, loves to play with toys and has a high prey drive;
Cat Falling From High Building
Its said that cats tend to suffer less severe injuries when falling from greater heights, as it allows them more time to right themselves.;
A 1987 study conducted by the New York Citys Animal Medical Center found that out of the 132 cats that fell from high-rise buildings. 90% survived and only 37% needed emergency treatment to be kept alive.;
These cats fell from an average height of 5.5 stories, and some, incredibly, as high as 32 stories. One cat was documented to have fallen as high as 26 stories without a single injury.;
In fact, only 1 of the 13, that fell more than 9 stories, has broken a bone. The cat that survived the longest fall of 32 stories was released from the hospital within 2 days!
Now, this study doesnt imply that cats that fall from any height have an average survival rate of 90%. However, with the large sample size of 132 cats, its safe to say that cats have an extremely good survival rate. Especially when falling off of buildings.;
Interestingly, the number of injuries domestic cats suffer goes down when reached a certain height, specifically above ~7 stories. A story is approximately 10 feet, so this means that injuries decrease when cats fall heights of over 70 feet.;
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Abraham Lincoln Loved Cats
In fact, he had four of them while he lived in the White House. Lincoln’s cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats.
When his wife was asked, “What is your husband’s hobby?” her reply would always be “Cats.”
One day, Lincoln noticed three stray kittens in a telegraph hut. After picking them up and placing them in his lap, he asked about their mother. When informed that their mother was dead, he made sure they were fed and found a good home.
How Does A Cat Jump So High
Cats are very agile and well tuned for jumping and running. Their rear legs are incredibly strong whilst very springy. Also when you remove the masses of hair and fur the cats frame is very lightweight.
Let us not forget where our domestic cats came from and their impressive heritage in the form of big cats. These big cats where the masters of jumping up into and climbing trees. Our little feline friends may be a lot smaller but they still have the ability.
So how does a cat jump so high? Well it is their strong and powerful rear legs and flexible spine. If you watch a cat that is about to make a giant leap you will notice them pushing down first and readjusting. This can sometimes look like nervousness of the jump and second thoughts. However this couldnt be further from the truth! The cat is actually making lots a calculations from the hardness of the jumping surface to the angle and distance needed.
Then when it is ready it will sink back onto its rear legs and then release all of the power like a coiled up spring. The back will straighten and then curve again briging the feet down flat on the landing surface. With complete accuracy and grace the cat can even land high jumps onto narrow objects with ease.
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How High Of A Fence Can A Cat Jump
Cats are excellent climbers as well as jumpers. They are spry, lean, taut, and very eager to perform such a feat. A cat in good health can jump a fence that is anywhere from 6 to 8 feet in height. This means that, if you want to keep them safely inside your yard, you will need to build a fence that is anywhere from 9 to 12 feet high.
There are a number of different types of fences that you can build to keep your cat in your yard. We recommend that you start with a high fence equipped with roller bars. If this does not suffice, you can move up to a fence that is equipped with special anti-cat spikes. This should be more than sufficient to prevent your cat from escaping.
Who What Why: How Do Cats Survive Falls From Great Heights
A cat in the US city of Boston survived a fall from a 19-storey window and only bruised her chest. How do cats survive falls from such great heights?
The cat’s owner Brittney Kirk, a nurse, left the window open a crack on Wednesday morning to give Sugar some air. Sugar got out and either fell or leapt off the ledge and hit a patch of grass and mulch.
An animal rescue service found her and traced her back to Ms Kirk through a microchip embedded in her skin.
“She’s a tough little kitty,” Ms Kirk told the Boston Globe newspaper.
Cats’ remarkable ability to survive falls from great heights is a simple and predictable matter of physics, evolutionary biology, and physiology, veterinarians and biologists say.
“This recent story isn’t much of a surprise,” says Jake Socha, a biomechanist at Virginia Tech university.
“We do know that animals exhibit this behaviour, and there have been lots of records of these cats surviving.”
With scientists unwilling to toss cats off buildings for experimental observation, science has been unable systematically to study the rate at which they live after crashing to the ground.
In a 1987 study of 132 cats brought to a New York City emergency veterinary clinic after falls from high-rise buildings, 90% of treated cats survived and only 37% needed emergency treatment to keep them alive. One that fell 32 stories onto concrete suffered only a chipped tooth and a collapsed lung and was released after 48 hours.
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A Cat’s Heartbeat Is Extremely Fast
A cats heart normally beats between 140 and 240 times per minute, with a relaxed cat on the lower end of the scale. You can expect your cat’s heartbeat to be higher in moments where he or she is scared. A place like the veterinarian’s office, when strange people are handling them, is a place you can expect your cat’s heartbeat to skyrocket, just like a human’s would when they are nervous.
You can test your cat’s heartbeat by placing your hand on its side, just behind its front leg. Count how many times his heart beats in 15 seconds and then multiply that by four to get the beats per minute.
Cats Can Also Get Sick Or Die From Eating Chocolate Just Like Dogs
A snack that most humans can consume without fear can actually be lethal to our furry loved ones. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a diuretic as well as a cardiac stimulant. This chemical can cause the animal’s heart rate to increase or beat irregularly, both of which can be dangerous for the animal.
The amount of chocolate that could kill the animal varies directly with their weight and sizethe smaller the animal, the less it would take. To be safe, it would be a smart idea to keep any amount of chocolate far out of reach of your pets.
If you fear that your pet has consumed a large amount of chocolate, or other harmful substance, you should immediately seek the advice of your veterinarian.
They are making a heart :3
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How Can Cats Jump So High
Cats are agile and made for jumping! For cats, the ability to jump stems from how their leg bones and muscles work together. Cats have both long hind limbs and short forelimbs. The longer legs give them the ability for a powerful push-off from their jumping platform, which results in a longer, faster, higher jump!
The cats jump consists of two epochs. First is a preparatory phase where the cat coils its muscles, similar to a spring, and the second is the launching phase where the cat jumps, releasing its muscles. Cats are able to fully activate their muscle fibers when they jump. To put this in perspective, humans activate just 40-50% of their muscle fibers when jumping.
Finally, theres a cats tail, which is strong, muscular and used for balance while leaping. Equally impressive is a cats ability to land on its feet. How do they do this? Cats have a strong sense of balance and extremely flexible backbones, which allows them to twist their bodies in order to correct their balance as they fall. This innate ability is known as their righting reflex.
Keep in mind a cats early cat ancestors lived in the wild and spent a lot of time in trees. They had to be able to leap out of the trees to catch their prey, and then climb back in the trees with the carcass for dinner. While indoor house cats have no reason to stalk their prey from a tree, they still have the ability to do so!
How Ticks Choose A Host
Certain varieties of ticks have preferred hosts. For example, the deer tick , prefers to feed on white-tailed deer. But if a dog presents itself as a convenient host, the tick may feed on the dog.
The American dog tick prefers the dog as a host, but it can feed on a human if need be. These examples simplify the selection process for hosts, which can be quite intricate and can even differ with each type of tick and each stage in their life cycle.
But overall, despite the fact that they might have preferred hosts, ticks are opportunistic creatures. They will get their bloodmeal whenever they can. Its all about what animal happens to brush by them so they can attach and feed.
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