The cat is similar in anatomy to the other felid species. It has a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. Its night vision and sense of smell are well developed. Cat communication includes vocalizations like meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting as well as cat-specific body language. A predator that is most active at dawn and dusk, the cat is a solitary hunter but a social species. It can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small mammals.
Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision. Large pupils are an adaptation to dim light. The domestic cat has slit pupils, which allow it to focus bright light without chromatic aberration. At low light, a cat's pupils expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes. However, the domestic cat has rather poor color vision and only two types of cone cells, optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green. Its ability to distinguish between red and green is limited.
Outdoor cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be slightly more active at night. Domestic cats spend the majority of their time in the vicinity of their homes, but can range many hundreds of meters from this central point. They establish territories that vary considerably in size. The timing of cats' activity is quite flexible and varied, which means house cats may be more active in the morning and evening, as a response to greater human activity at these times.
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually between 12 and 16 hours, with 13 and 14 being the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours. The term "cat nap" for a short rest refers to the cat's tendency to fall asleep (lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests they are dreaming.
- How do cats communicate?
- Which is not true about cats?
- Which are cats unable to do well?
- Where do domestic cats usually stay?
- What do cats possibly do when asleep?