What makes a cat….? 58 questions with one line answers

What makes a cat....?
What makes a cat….?
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These are questions that people ask when searching with Google. In fact, Google provides these sample questions from its database. These are just some examples and I would hope to do some more in due course. I am providing one line (almost) answers to each question as a guide for further research and by all means use the search box on this website because there are answers on this website to every question on this page. Feel free to add information in comments.

  1. What makes a cat domesticated?
    1.  Socialization during the first 7 weeks of the cat’s life together with inherited traits.
  2. What makes a Ragdoll cat?
    1.  Selective breeding and hybridization together with registration at a cat association.
  3. What makes someone a cat or dog person?
    1.  The inherited personality of a person together with what has been learned from experience, most importantly in the early years of the person’s life.
  4. What makes a cat different from a dog?
    1.  The genetics of both animals. Genes dictate what an animal looks and behaves like.
  5. What makes a cat better than a dog?
    1.  A cat is not better than a dog. They are just different.
  6. What makes a better pet cat or dog?
    1.  Neither a cat nor a dog make a better pet than the other, in an absolute sense. The circumstances under which the cat or dog lives will make one of them better than the other together with the owner’s preferences.
  7. What makes a dog eat cat poop?
    1.  Cat faeces has some nutritional value and this trait appears to be inherited from the grey wolf scavenging.
  8. What makes the dog eat cat faeces?
    1.  As above.
  9. What makes a cat black?
    1.  The genes that the cat inherits from his or her parents. Each strand of hair has eumelanin, a pigment in it and there is no banding in black hair and so light is absorbed more than otherwise.
  10. What makes a cat bite for no reason?
    1.  Cats do not bite for no reason. The typical reasons are that the cat is in pain and has been mishandled accidentally or the cat is displaying defensive aggression from stress or transferred aggression.
  11. What makes a cat breathe fast?
    1.  If the cat is healthy, the reason is that the cat has just exercised. Rapid breathing can also be caused by pain, stress, fever or overheating. Other causes could be shock, dehydration, heart disease, lung disease, a buildup of toxic substances in the blood due to diabetes, kidney failure or poisoning.
  12. What makes a cat balance?
    1.  The cat’s inner ear contains a mechanism (vestibular system) which is made up of 3 semicircular canals which contain a liquid and hairs, which together provides feedback to the cat’s brain as to the cat’s position and orientation.
  13. What makes a cat’s breath stink?
    1.  Gum disease. Bad breath is called halitosis.
  14. What makes a cat breathe hard?
    1.  Exercise or the cat might be panting because he or she is hot. Panting cools a cat down. Also see below.
  15. What makes the cat become aggressive?
    1.  There are numerous reasons. The cat may be defending territory or maybe stressed or perhaps the cat was attacked and is defending himself. There is always a reason and it is up to people to analyse the reason.
  16. What makes a cat be sick? (quoted verbatim)
    1.  There are numerous reasons just as there are numerous reasons why people can be sick. Some of the most typical reasons are virus and bacterial infections.
  17. What makes a cat’s breath smell bad?
    1.  As mentioned above, gum disease which is called periodontal disease.
  18. What makes a cat blind?
    1.  There are several reasons. Perhaps the most common is a viral infection that becomes a bacterial infection which eats away at the eyeball, if left unattended, leaving the cat blind.
  19. What makes a cat cough?
    1.  There are numerous reasons. You should take your cat to a veterinarian. Coughing can be caused by a respiratory infection, inhaled irritants such as smoke, foreign objects such as seeds, dust and food particles, pressure from a tight collar, growths arising in the bronchial tubes and sometimes an allergic reaction. This is not a complete list.
  20. What makes a cat cry all the time?
    1.  If it is a kitten, it could be as septicaemia. If it is an old cat at night the cat could be confused due to dementia and is crying out because of the confusion. There are other reasons and a veterinarian’s advice should be sought.
  21. What makes a cat calico?
    1.  The cat’s inherited genes which are sex linked. Nearly all calico cats are females.
  22. What makes a cat cry out?
    1.  See above and see a vet.
  23. What makes a cat constipated?
    1.  There are several reasons, one of which is the feline leukaemia virus. There are others and a cat should be taken to a veterinarian.
  24. What makes a cat constantly meow?
    1.  See above. When cats are in pain they are normally silent so constant meowing is not usually a sign of pain.
  25. What makes a cat cry like a baby?
    1.  It is said that some cats have learned to meow in a way which hints at a baby’s cry with the intention of triggering the human’s mother or father response (nurturing response).
  26. What makes a cat’s coat shiny?
    1.  A shiny coat is usually a sign that the cat is healthy and the cat is self-grooming properly and/or is being groomed by his human companion.
  27. What makes a cat cute?
    1.  The cat is cute when she triggers the nurturing response from a man or woman. So a cute cat is one that the person unconsciously sees as a human baby.
  28. What makes a cat drool?
    1.  Drooling is called hypersalivation. There are many reasons. Perhaps the most common medical typical would be periodontal disease. Please see a vet as soon as possible. Sometimes cats drool for psychological reasons and when they are purring and relaxed but healthy cats do not normally drool. Cats with rabies also drool.
  29. What makes a cat drink a lot of water?
    1.  The cat might be dehydrated and a common medical reason is kidney disease which when chronic and terminal can cause the cat to drink and urinate excessively.
  30. What makes a cat dehydrated?
    1.  It is said, that cats who only eat dry cat food are permanently slightly dehydrated. Excessive vomiting and diarrhoea causes dehydration. The symptoms would be due to an underlying illness. When kittens stop nursing they dehydrate quickly.
  31. What makes a cat dribble?
    1.  See above.
  32. What makes a cat dizzy?
    1.  This is probably due to an inner ear infection that affects the vestibular system, mentioned above, which maintains a cat’s balance and orientation.
  33. What makes a cat depressed?
    1.  There are numerous reasons for feline depression, the most common of which would be illness.
  34. What makes a cat drowsy?
    1.  Once again, there are many reasons but if a cat is healthy it is normal to be drowsy sometimes but if a cat is lethargic and appears to depressed and is drowsy, he may be ill.
  35. What makes a cat’s eyes glow?
    1.  Behind the retina of the cat’s eye is a reflective layer which reflects incoming light, that has passed through the retina, back onto the retina and thereby amplifying the reception of light and therefore the image, which is why the cat is able to see well in dark conditions. This reflective layer means that the cat’s eyes glow at night when looking directly into the eye.
  36. What makes the cat’s eyes water?
    1.  Once again, there are many reasons but perhaps the most common would be an upper respiratory infection which may in turn be partly a symptom of an underlying more serious illness.  Conjunctivitis can cause a cat’s eyes to water. Sometimes a cat’s eyes water when the cat is healthy just like ours do.
  37. What makes a cat eat grass?
    1.  People are not sure why cats eat grass but one theory is that it allows a cat to ingest folic acid and when a snow leopard eats foliage, my theory is that it is done to increase the amount of oxygen that the cat can absorb into its bloodstream.
  38. What makes a cat’s ears hot?
    1.  The upper half of a cat’s ears are very thin and there is very little hair in that area and consequently the small blood vessels in the ear are near the surface which means that a person can feel the core temperature of the cat at that point which feels hot. This would be normal.
  39. What makes a cat eat a lot?
    1.  The classic reason for this is that the cat is suffering from a condition called hyperthyroidism. Alternatively, the cat may be overfed as some bored cats will eat what is put in front of them.
  40. What makes a cat’s ears itch?
    1. Please see a veterinarian. A typical cause of this might be an allergy or perhaps the ear has been scratched and there is an abscess.
  41. What makes a cat’s eye cloudy?
    1.  This may be the 3rd eyelid protruding over the eye or may be due to a corneal abrasion. Certain diseases change the clarity of the eye: keratitis, glaucoma. Cataracts are the most likely cause when the eyes not painful. See a vet ASAP.
  42. What makes a cat feral?
    1.  A cat born in the wild, meaning outside of domestication, will not be socialized to humans and other animals and therefore be feral and domestic cats who go outside and do not come back, i.e. living outside can become semi-feral or feral in due course.
  43. What makes a cat fart?
    1.  Flatulence is caused by eating highly fermentable foods and/or swallowing large amount of air during meals. High-carbohydrate and high-fiber diets contribute to it
  44. What makes a cat friendly?.
    1.  Excellent socialization in combination with excellent cat caretaking in an environmentally rich situation from the cat’s standpoint.
  45. What makes a cat fat?
    1.  Overeating and lack of exercise.
  46. What makes a cat foam at the mouth?
    1.  One reason is ingesting a poisonous substance. A veterinarian should be consulted ASAP.
  47. What makes a cat’s fur soft?
    1.  This is both an inherited (genetic) condition together with good grooming and a healthy cat.
  48. What makes a cat’s fur fall out?
    1.  There are several reasons for this and perhaps the most common is a problem with the cat’s endocrine system, possibly the thyroid gland.
  49. What makes a cat feelgood?
    1.  Good health and living in a good home with good cat caretaking.
  50. What makes a cat fit?
    1.  Cats can be fit and lazy at the same time. Cats do not exercise with the intention of being fit. Nonetheless, exercise through play or going outside in a supervised and controlled environment will help to keep a cat fit.
  51. What makes a cat go crazy?
    1.  A cat going crazy usually refers to someone describing a cat that is highly stressed and has become aggressive because of it. The cat is not crazy. The person just doesn’t understand the cause of the cat behaviour.
  52. What makes a cat go into heat?
    1.  This is called oestrus. Cats are polyoestrus which means that they have repeated heat cycles over a year until they are bred and the cycles are influenced by the seasons. Cats going to heat to procreate for survival.
  53. What makes a cat growl?
    1.  Growling is an aggressive vocalisation. For some reason the cat needs to be aggressive. It is normally a defensive aggressive behaviour. The reason should be assessed.
  54. What makes a cat go bald?.
    1.  See above for losing hair.
  55. What makes a cat go outside the litter box?
    1.  There are many reasons which include: stress, incorrect litter, litter tray badly positioned, declawing, bullying by dominant feline and other reasons.
  56. What makes a cat go crazy catnip?
    1.  Catnip, which is a plant, contains a chemical which affects the way the brain works. It is essentially a drug induced form of behaviour.
  57. What makes a cat gassy?
    1.  See above.
  58. What makes a cat get bold spots?
  59.  See above.

See Cat Facts

16 thoughts on “What makes a cat….? 58 questions with one line answers”

  1. Lots of questions and lots of sensible, well thought out answers, this is an article to share for simple education, which works far better than any technical explanations.

    • Thanks Kylee, writing the page was just a product of building and managing this website the 7 years. You just acquire knowledge. What is interesting is that you acquire knowledge about other things as well such as about cats. I have been forced to learn about the geography of Asia, for example, because a lot of wild cats species have their habitat there. I have also learned quite a lot about America – geography and the laws of America. Basically, I have had to acquire a lot of spin-off knowledge from reading and writing about the domestic and wild cat.

      • yea you have built this website beautifully. Its prob why so many of us here love it here as helps answer the questions that we have, but didn’t know where to look.

  2. Questions and answers that everyone should read.
    See, you really need to write a book, Michael.

    And, enrich even more:
    Why do some cats have many toes?
    Why does my cat raise his backend when I pet all the way?
    Why does my cat sleep with his tongue out?
    Why does my cat not want me to mess with his tail?

    You could be such an author with your knowledge.

    • Yes why DO they raise their backend? And why do they get up so early? And why do they like X brand of food today and hate it tomorrow 🙂

      • Well, Babz, this is what I found out about the backend raising:

        LOL! LOL!
        So, when I pet my cats all the way, they think I’m an “ass licker”!
        That explains so much about what goes on here!

        • Ha ha Dee, well much as I love the boys I’m not going to clean their bums for them.

          I bet even cats don’t know why they do it, because I really think they’d remove the cleaning bits of anyone who tried to interfere with their mucky bits with their sharp bits!

    • Thanks for those extra questions, Dee. I am sure there are thousands more questions and I’ll probably have a go at some of them in the near future. The questions listed were just from a drop-down list that Google presents to anyone when you do a search in the Google box so they are the kind of questions that people actually ask. It is interesting, in fact, to find out what sort of questions people like to ask about cats.

      Why do some cats have many toes?
      These are polydactyl cats and polydactylism is a genetically inherited condition which causes an anatomical defect (in essence) but which is benign, meaning that it does not carry associated health defects.
      Why does my cat raise his backend when I pet all the way?
      This is a throwback to when the adult cat was a kitten when he is nursed by mother. His bottom is licked to make him defecate. When we stroke our cat we are replicating the mother’s lick of the body which prompts the cat to raise his bottom for it to be licked as an automatic response.
      Why does my cat sleep with his tongue out?
      I do not think there is any literature on this but the reason is probably because the cat is relaxed and his mouth is open when asleep (as is the case with humans sometime) and the tongue drops out slightly.
      Why does my cat not want me to mess with his tail?
      This probably comes down to vulnerability. The entire rear end of a cat is relatively vulnerable and quite hard to defend and so a cat does not like, or likes less, to be touched there.

      • LOL! LOL!

        So, when I pet my cats all the way, they think I’m an “ass licker”!
        That explains so much about what goes on here!

        • LOL. This is one of the surprising behaviour traits of the cat. As I recall the answer comes from Dr Desmond Morris who is a well-known biologist and scientist. It makes sense to me because all of the behavioural traits really come from the wild cat species and survival instincts. A kitten needs to defecate the sake of health and this procedure encourages that! 🙂

    • Most of it came out of my head! Beware 😉 I figured that in running the site for 7 years I had acquired knowledge that I could just spill onto the page. So when I saw the questions I just thought I’d try and answer them quickly. I did check some and used a reference on some. I dictated it which speeds things up a lot. It wasn’t that hard really. About 2 hours.


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