Category Archives: Information about Cats

Why do House Cats Have Slit Pupils?

Cat EyeHave you ever admired your cat’s eyes and wondered why their pupils look like narrow slits rather than round circles like ours? If you’ve visited the zoo recently or caught a wildlife show on TV, you may have even noticed that big cats like lions and tigers don’t have slit pupils either.

So why do our miniature tigers have slit pupils when their wild cousins do not?

According to a study published in Science Advances, our cats’ pupil shape is the result of their unique ecological niche. In this study, a team of scientists analyzed the pupil shape and ecological roles of 214 different species of land animals. Based on their results they found that animals with vertical slit-shaped pupils tend to be ambush predators, but animals with circular pupils tend to be active foragers that chase their prey. Vertical pupils allow ambush predators to see clearly in both bright and dim lighting conditions, and they create an astigmatic depth of field that helps them judge the distance to their prey.

“For species that are active both night and day, like domestic cats, slit pupils provide the dynamic range needed to help them see in dim light yet not get blinded by midday sun,” said study lead author Martin Banks of UC Berkeley.

They also found that predators that are closer to the ground are more likely to have slit pupils as well. This distinction explains why house cats have slit pupils, while larger cats that are further from the ground do not. Although our cats have a great deal in common with lions and tigers, their pupil shape is the product of a different course of evolution that benefits smaller predators that hunt close to the ground.

Speaking Cat – Translating Your Cat’s Mews, Meows and Mewls

“Oh, if only she could talk!” How many times have you said that about your feline friend? The truth is that your cat talks to you all the time, but you just don’t speak the same language. While you might have dismissed the sounds your cat makes as meaningless, a recent article in Better Homes… Continue Reading

Allergies: What Can Affect Your Cat?

While you may know about people being allergic to cats, you may not know about the different allergies that cats can have to the work around them. Although not all cats will experience allergies in their lifetime, all cats can be at risk for developing them. Allergy symptoms typically appear in cats after exposure to… Continue Reading

Five Most Common Cat Health Concerns

Your cat is a part of your family and just like your other family members, you will want to keep him or her happy and healthy. No matter your cat’s age, it is important to be aware of the symptoms your cat may display when his or her health is in jeopardy. With February being… Continue Reading

Trending Cat’s Names for 2015

Everyone has read an article about the top trending baby names for the year, but have you ever wondered about the most popular cat names? Rover.com compiled a list of 2015’s most popular names for your furry friends. Did your cat’s name crack the list? Ranking at the top slot for the female cats for… Continue Reading

Avoid a Christmas Cat-Astrophe

With December comes the Christmas season, and many families will soon be putting up their trees to celebrate the season. However, not all members of the family may understand that the tree is a decoration – not a climbing post or new toy. Cats and Christmas trees have been the punch line of countless holiday… Continue Reading

Black Cats and Bad Luck

Beyond ghosts and specters, another symbol of the Halloween season is the black cat. A mixed sign of both good and bad luck, black cats mean different things to different cultures depending on the context. For example, here in the U.S., a black cat crossing your path means bad luck is coming, but British and… Continue Reading

Color Changes in Cats’ Gums

Damage to your cat’s tongue, teeth, palate and gums can lead to many health risks. Color changes in your pet’s mouth can indicate dental and other medical issues. Your cat’s gums should be firm and pink, says WebMD’s pet section, not white, black or red, and should show no signs of swelling. The teeth should… Continue Reading

Cat Scratch Fever – What Is It, Really?

Sixteen years ago this month, the movie “Detroit Rock City” landed in theaters, bringing with it Ted Nugent’s classic “Cat Scratch Fever” as covered by Pantera, reviving the 1977 classic and bringing it a new following at the turn of the millennium. While the song’s themes are a bit risqué, the song’s name does relate… Continue Reading

When to Spay or Neuter

The decision to spay or neuter your pet is one that is often easy to make. As Bob Barker always closed out each episode of “The Price is Right,” having pets spayed and neutered can help control the pet population, but beyond that it can also be beneficial for your pet’s health and eliminate “bad”… Continue Reading