Image Source: Pixabay.com
Cats are really curious creatures. They tend to like their space and seem to be most content when they’re just lounging by themselves. We can try to understand cats but not many people have gotten very far. Despite their stoic nature, they’re still pretty great pets and we love them with everything we have. Cats take a lot of naps. They love their nap times. But sometimes, when we look at our beloved pets while they’re napping, we can’t help but wonder how they’re twisting their bodies in such ways and still being comfortable. Cats have an interesting anatomy. They never cease to surprise us. Cats are probably one of the most flexible animals out there.
What does their flexibility allow them to do?
Cats used to be predators before they were domesticated. Through the years, they’ve evolved to be as lithe and quiet as can be. They can jump almost nine times their height, run at 30mph, and even land on their feet every single time they take a fall. They have an incredibly long stride and as we all know, they’re very hard to keep up with.
Cats also take their grooming very seriously. They’re neat freaks like that. Their flexibility makes it easier for them to reach those out of reach places on their body. By grooming themselves so thoroughly, they also evade detection from other cats by covering their scents.
Why are cats this flexible?
The vertebrae of a cat is very unique. Each individual bone that makes up the vertebrae has an incredibly elastic cushioning disc between it and the next bone. This allows cats to rate their bodies 180 degrees to the left and right. They can even turn their heads to face the opposite direction with no problem. Humans can only rotate our hips about 90 degrees right or left.
Their bones aren’t the only things that allow them to be this flexible. Their muscles and ligaments are also very flexibly connected. Their flexibility allows them to have an incredibly long stride. They can lengthen their stride by flexing and extending their spine. Their running stride is three times more than the length of their bodies!
A cat’s shoulders also play a pretty big part in their flexibility. The only thing connecting their shoulder blades to the rest of their body is muscles. Humans and canines have bones connecting these joints. This specific connection lets cats extend their stride even more – as if their previous stride wasn’t impressive enough already. It is because of their very loosely attached shoulder blades and their small collar bones that they can fit into even the tiniest spaces.
The next time you have trouble getting your cat into a carrier, or you see him in a contorted, crazy position, thank his shoulder blades and spine for making him this flexible.