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Why do cats pull their hr out when they are stressed?
by Susan, from the UK
The reason for the behaviour of cats pulling their hr out is to stop the skin being irritated. As cats have short hr, their skin can get scratched easily. So they go into a defensive mode in order to protect themselves. It is the instinct that cats have to scratch to remove parasites or to make themselves feel more secure.
Answer by Kate. Thank you Susan.
The reasons you have given are very good.
Some other good reasons that cats pull their hr out can be to mark their territory, such as when there is fighting between members of the same cat family. Or a cat might pull his hr out for no apparent reason. In this case it might be a sign that he is very annoyed, and if a cat is stressed, there will often be a real reason for his bad temper.
By the way, if you pull your cat's hr out, he will have the same reaction as other animals. It is a signal that you are angry. There are lots of ways to get back at your cat, which do not involve pulling his hr out, such as smacking him, scolding him, shouting, and using your hands to make him jump. (You don't have to do any of these things, but it is important not to punish your cat by doing them.)
Q. Why do cats have different colour eyes?
by Sarah, from the UK
Cats have two kinds of eyes: eyes at the front and eyes at the back.
At the front of their eyes are the pupils, which control the amount of light that is reflected in the eye. These eyes are brownish, and so are the pupils.
Behind the eye are the irises. These are the coloured parts of the eye. All cats have a different coloured iris, but they usually have either one or the other: an orange or a blue iris.
The iris reflects the light so it can be seen in the dark. The cat has an optical trick to help with this.
Cats have a lot of dark pigments in the iris. As well as absorbing light, these make the iris look black. Cats with blue irises are very useful in the dark, but this is because the blue iris absorbs less light than the brown iris. If a cat has a blue iris he may still look brown in the daylight.
Some cats are completely colourblind. Their eyes are different shades of brown, and they have no coloured iris at all. Their eyes are called albino eyes.
There are different reasons why a cat has either brown or blue irises. When the first kittens were born, there were no humans around to look after the kittens, so the mothers had to look after them by themselves. The mothers chose kittens with brown or orange eyes. These were the kittens that looked most like they could be cared for and then left.
The reasons why some cats have blue or green irises are a bit more complicated. Kittens born in the spring or the summer months have irises that are yellow or green. These cats are more common in the north of the country and in the Highlands of Scotland. In summer the kitten’s eyes change colour to green or yellow to help the kitten cope with the sunlight.
If a cat has only a blue iris, it means that the kitten is blind, or nearly blind. It has no dark pigments in the iris. In humans the eye is made up of a mixture of light pigments and dark pigments. Cats have just the same mixture as we do.
One day, a vet told me that she had an eye problem for a kitten, who was only able to see ‘blobs’ of light. Her only chance of seeing something was to put drops in her eyes, or use special coloured sunglasses.
This kitten, with just blue irises, was an albino. Albino means the absence of pigment in any kind of colour. So this kitten could not see normal coloured objects like us and its only chance of seeing was to see blobs of light. This kitten has a form of congenital blindness.
Kittens with a blue eye have blue eyes. The iris has no brown colour.
If a kitten is born with a pale blue eye and another eye has normal brown pigment, it could have problems. One of the blue eyes could have a problem with the pupil or even the lens.
If both eyes are blue, one cat has the congenital form of albinism. This is called the silver or piebald eye. This is not a real colour blindness. Even with the problem of colour blindness, a blue eye would be much easier to spot.
A normal black cat will show a white spot on its chest and sometimes its chest is black.
Blue cats have to be checked regularly by vets, because some blue eye cats have problems with their eyes and heart.
Some blue eye cats have special treatment by vets to get the eyes to develop as normal.
My blue eye cat is a great family pet and is as happy as any other cat.
The eye colour of domestic cats is influenced by where they live. Cats living in southern and tropical parts of the world have mostly grey or blue eyes. Cats living in the northern and temperate parts of the world have more brown, red and orange eyes.
In the northern parts of the world, cats have brown eyes due to their genes, because of the colder climate. This means they need to use more energy to produce more brown pigment in the eye. This means they need more time in the sun.
Black cats are used to protect the eyes. In the sun the black helps to keep glare off of the eyes and protects them. Without the black cat would still have eyes. However, the black cat is not the best cat for the human family, because it doesn't do well in a dark environment.
Grey-eyed cats are usually called blue eyed cats. Blue eyes occur in some animals, but don't occur as often in cats as they do in dogs. Grey-eyed cats occur in many different colours. In the wild, grey-eyed cats often have some spots on their chest.
Some other breeds of cat have eyes with different colour. Like the Siamese eye, which is dark brown. Brown or even red eyes can also be found in the American Shorthr cat, which has deep red eyes. Many short-hred cats can also have brown, grey and blue eye colour.
Blue Eyes and Feline Colour Blindness
Blue eyes are often associated with a genetic condition called feline colour blindness. If you have blue eyes, then you may be feline colour blind. This means that you are born with normal vision but you won't be able to see the blue of a cat's eyes.
A normal (non-colour-blind) person can distinguish differences in light. If you can't tell the difference between the light of one colour and another, then you don't have colour vision. Colour vision helps us see everything around us. Our eyes are not the only thing that have this ability. Many other animals, including dogs and birds, also see in colour. However, cats see the world in black and white.
If you want to know how to tell if you are colour-blind, there are many ways to test for this. There are three tests you can do to see if you are colour-blind.
The first way to test for colour vision is to ask someone to try to find a colour you