A bit of feline anatomy for those who are interested. It is an overview by dint of the fact that it is an infographic with limited space. If you are interested in this important aspect of domestic cat anatomy, I have a page in on cat anatomy for kids. Also, an overview but in more detail.
The fact of the matter is that for the domestic cat their muscles and flexibility are integral to their abilities to hunt so effectively and survive so efficiently. It’s what contributes to that well-known saying that cats have nine lives. It means that they are great survivors. And it is thanks to their persistence, athleticism based upon their anatomy which is so finely tuned to predation and survival which has so impressed humans resulting in them awarding the cat with this accolade.
I haven’t referred to the domestic cat’s jaw muscles! Many cat owners will have felt the effects of them. I certainly have. Domestic cats have a healthy bite force. The important point is that this strong bite is focused on the tip of their canine teeth (the upper canines) which bear down on their prey with great precision and force. It is the reason why domestic cats can thrust those canine teeth into the spine of prey to kill them instantly and regrettably, sometimes, into the hands of their cat owners where they penetrate right to the bone.
There are a few reasons why domestic cats have better balance than people although there is an overlap in the anatomy of cats and people with respect to balance.
Both humans and cats have a vestibular apparatus. It is in the inner ear. It is made up of three fluid-filled semicircular canals. They are lined with fine hairs called cilia. The canals are positioned approximately at right angles to each other. When the cat moves, changes direction and accelerates the tiny cilia are moved by the fluid inside the semicircular canals. This sends sensory information to the brain which allows the cat to orientate themselves. In addition, there are two other chambers in the vestibular organ – the utricular and saccular otolith chambers – which function to provide information to the brain about gravity and linear motion.
Apparently, a cat’s balance is enhanced by the alignment between one of the semicircular canals and the position of the cat’s head.