Cats are mysterious creatures. To people who do not own cats, or to those who have never tried to understand them, they may appear moody, aloof and unfriendly. Anyone who has never lived with one may find them perplexing, mischievous and in some cases as needy as a small child. But a person who understands cats will quickly tell you that they are warm, affectionate companions with a high intellect and an independent spirit.
Cats have a reputation for being antisocial loners, and to some degree, this is true. In the wild, they are solitary hunters who do not seek out other cats for socialization. They live alone, hunt alone, and most of the time prefers to be left alone. Lions are the exception of this rule; they live in prides and hunt together as a unit. This sense of independence and self-reliance is one reason why many cat owners prefer cats as pets. Unlike dogs, they do not mind being left alone all day, and they do not need to be let outside to tend to their bathroom needs.
However, is cats are left completely alone for long periods of time or become bored with their surroundings, they will find interesting ways to amuse themselves. This is why some cats act up or misbehave and do things they should not, like shred toilet paper or explore off limit areas of your countertop.
Despite their independent nature, cats and kittens do love their human companions. Over time, they bond closely to their families and given the right amount of attention, will often communicate with them. Unlike dogs, cats do not see people as part of their pack or consider their owner to be their master. If anything, they consider their human to be an equal or just another big cat.
A cat's teeth are designed for tearing, grasping and shredding prey. Adults have 30 teeth while kittens have 26 deciduous (baby, or milk) teeth. At around three and a half to four and a half months of age, kittens begin teething. By the time they are six months old; they lose all their baby teeth and grow a full set of adult teeth. Some cats may develop problems with their teeth as they age. Common dental problems for seniors include sensitive teeth, gum disease, loose teeth and tooth decay.
If a cat has ever licked you, you know that his tongue feels rough, like sandpaper. The tongue is covered with hundreds of papillae - tiny backward facing hook like structures that act like a natural hairbrush, which a cat uses for grooming the coat. In the wild, cats use their rough tongues to lick meat off bones. Their taste buds are located on the sides, tip, and back of the tongue. Cats and kittens can taste bitter, acids, and salty flavors but not sweet tastes. When drinking, they curl their tongue in at the sides to form a cup or spoon to lap up the liquid.
Anyone who owns a cat or kitten must remember that each is a unique individual. No two cats are exactly alike and they each have their own personality quirks and preferences.
Some kittens and cats crave affection and will curl up on your lap at night, while others will be content to sit next to you on the arm of the sofa. Cats and kitten love to play and enjoy interacting with their owners during their daily playtime.