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Publication: Cat Nips
Your cat's detective skills

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             CAT NIPS - Friday, May 9, 2008
  "Stories, Facts & Tips on the World's Most Popular Pet"

Dear Fellow Ailurophile!  

Before we go on with todays'CatNips, I'd like to start 
by wishing all my MOM readers out there a very HAPPY 
MOTHERS DAY (On Sunday)! I want you to know you ARE 
appreciated TODAY and EVERYDAY. Now On With Today's 

Cassie Cattails  

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             Your cat's detective skills

Has your cat ever displayed a facial expression that 
resembles a grimace? Has he sniffed something and then 
held his mouth in a half-opened position, leaving you 
to wonder just what was going on in that brain of his?

Cats have a special organ located in the roof of the 
mouth known as the Jacobson's Organ. It goes between 
the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity. The 
Jacobson's Organ allows the cat to smell and taste a 
scent. Why would a cat need to do this? For a thorough 
scent investigation. 

When a cat comes across an interesting scent, he flicks 
the odor up from his tongue to the roof of the mouth. 
During this investigation process, his facial expression 
looks like a grimace and is known as a flehmen reaction. 

The Jacobson's Organ helps a cat determine the scent 
originator's sexual availability, gender, and status. 
This is important during the mating search. It also 
can help prevent physical confrontations as a cat 
explores unfamiliar territory.

Cats will also flehmen other interesting scents as well, 
and it's very likely you've seen your own cat exhibit 
this behavior around the house. 

The Jacobson's Organ is a sensory organ that is not 
connected with hunting prey, but rather, with social 

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                  Your cat's eyes
Your cat's eyes are more than just beautiful; they're 
exquisite sensory tools. Here are some interesting 

There's a reflective layer at the back of the eye. It 
reflects light that wasn't absorbed at first pass. This 
layer provides about 40% more efficiency. When you drive 
at night and come across that glow in the dark look in 
an animal's eyes due to your headlight beam, that's the 
work of the reflective layer.

Cats have a 285 degree visual field. Ours is 210 degree.
Movements across a cat's visual field are easier to see 
than movements heading toward him.

The prey drive is triggered by movements going away from 
him. The pupil can open wider and constrict more tightly 
than a human's because the light path to the retina is 

Cats can't see in total darkness but they can see in 
low-light conditions that humans consider totally dark.

Cats have limited color vision. They see blues, grays, 
yellows, and greens. Their eyes are geared for movement 
rather than color since prey tends to appear during low-
light conditions.

A third eyelid, called the nictitating membrane sits 
hidden in the lower corner. Its purpose is to shield 
the eye from injury. When a cat walks through brush
or twigs, the third eyelid unfolds to cover the eye. 
The nictitating membrane is very sheer so the cat can 
still see. The third eyelid also is visible when the 
eye is injured or when a cat is sick. In a healthy cat 
the eyelid isn't very visible. If you notice it staying 
in the unfolded position, it could mean your cat is ill 
or injured. A trip to the veterinarian is necessary.

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Cats can't taste sweets


Be Back With You On Tuesday --- Stay Safe - Cassie Cattails  

Questions? Comments? Email Cassie: mailto:
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