Do cats have more bones than humans?

Cat skeleton

Do cats have more bones than humans? Yes, cats have more bones than humans. In fact about 40 more bones. It is the presence of the cat’s tail which makes some of the difference (19 to 23 vertebrae).

“The cat’s skeleton is made up of about 244 individual bones – approximately 40 more than humans have” (page 349 of Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook third edition).

“The cat’s skeleton contains approximately 245 bones and conforms to the general mammalian structure…” (The Cat, It’s Behaviour & Health).

An adult human has 206 bones. An adult cat has 230-250. Yes, the number of bones varies amongst individual cats (source: the internet).

“The human skeleton of an adult [human] consists of 206 bones. It is composed of 270 bones at birth…” (Wikipedia).

Many supernumerary bones are not included in the Wikipedia figure. Supernumerary bones are accessory bones. I hope this answers the question in the title. I don’t think we can conclude anything significant and wonderfully enlightening over this difference. It is evolution. The cat’s skeleton is sturdy and light. It has evolved to allow the cat to enjoy sudden bursts of speed and superb agility.

The domestic cat’s skeleton is almost identical to that of the iconic big cats ‘in both shape and proportion; the only real difference is in size. In all cats, the many vertebrae give superb mobility….(The Encyclopedia of the Cat).

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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