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Health & Care

How Many Bones Does a Cat Have? Here is An Amazing Fact

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Between you and your cat, who do you think has more bones in the body? It may sound like an odd question when someone asks you, “how many bones does a cat have?’ Most cat owners don’t always see the need to know the anatomy of their cats. On the contrary, knowing your cat’s anatomy is highly important.

If you understand the structure and function of the skeleton and bones of your cat, you would be in a better position to be able to understand the diseases and complications that your cat may experience. So allow me to answer this one important question; how many bones does a cat have?

Some of you may decide to become so cheeky and deny your cat food so that she can become skinny to allow you count her bones. If you do this, then you’ll be considered as the stupidest person ever. This can only be done if you smoke some toxic substance from the alien world. Your feline friend will also abandon you without any doubt if you dare do something like that.

Some of you may decide to become so cheeky and deny your cat food so that she can become skinny to allow you count her bones. If you do this, then you’ll be considered as the stupidest person ever. This can only be done if you smoke some toxic substance from the alien world. Your feline friend will also abandon you without any doubt if you dare do something like that.

Functions of a Cat’s Skeleton

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Functions of a Cat’s Skeleton

All vertebrates have skeletons that usually have the same function, which is, providing support for the muscles that aid in locomotion. Just like for the rest of the animals that have skeletons, the feline skeleton provides your cat with the system of levels that are necessary for locomotion.

The skeleton also plays other important roles that include the production of red blood cells, support of the entire body and as an important storehouse for minerals like phosphorus and calcium. These minerals are very important in the body. So how many bones does a cat have from its head to tail? Let’s find out.

The Total Number of bones in Your Cat’s body

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The Total Number of bones in Your Cat’s body

When it comes to human beings, the number of bones in our body is usually the same for each and every individual. I’m talking about every human from planet earth. Otherwise, if you come from Mars, then that might be a different case altogether.

When it comes to cats from planet earth, the story is a bit different. In other words, the number of bones in cats’ bodies varies with each and every cat. This is why it’s normal to wonder, “How many bones does a cat have?”

Typically, this number usually ranges from 230 to 250. However, on average, this number is usually 244 bones. You might be wondering, why is there a variation in the number of bones that cats have in their body? What determines this variation?

Well, there are two important factors that determine the number of bones that your cat will have in her skeleton. The first factor is the number of toes that a cat has and the second one is the length of the cat’s tail.

Extra Toes

v  Extra Toes

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Front paws

Most cats usually have 18 toes. Their front paws usually have five toes each while their back toes usually have four toes each. However, some cats usually have a few extra toes. Your cat having a few more digits may seem to be something that is very interesting. This is because there is more to your cat having many toes than meets the eye.

Cats that have extra toes are referred to as polydactyl. This condition is usually as a result of a genetic mutation that is usually passed down through a dominant gene. For example, if a cat that is polydactyl and one that is not polydactyl mate, 50% of their kitten will be polydactyl.

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Back toes

Is your cat polydactyl? If so, then there is no need to get worried since the condition is harmless. The only challenge you will face if your cat has extra toes is when you will be trimming his nails. You will have some extra toes to trim.  I can see some lazy cat owners with grins on their faces, how can show love to your cat anyway if not by properly grooming her?

How many bones does a cat have if she is polydactyl? Well, having these extra toes will mean that the number of bones in your cat’s body will also be extra. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of extra bones that your cat will have, just know it at the back of your mind that she will have extra toes.

Longer Tails

Longer Tails
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Longer Tails

The lengths of cats’ tails also vary from one cat to another. Did you know that 10% of all the bones in your cat’s body are found on her tail? Well, now you know. The tail plays a very important role in your cat’s movement. Sincerely speaking, have you ever thought of the importance of the tail to the cat? I believe most people normally just think the tail is useless.

The bones in your cat’s tail play a very important role in your cat’s locomotion as they help in maintaining their balance. The bones on your cat’s tail also swing into action whenever your cat jumps or falls by acting like as a rudder.

Therefore, if your cat has a long tail, then just be sure that she has some extra bones in her skeletal structure. So how many bones does a cat have if she has a tail that is longer than the average length? Well, that will depend on how long the tail is.

How the Bones Are Placed in Your Feline’s Body

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How the Bones Are Placed in Your Feline’s Body

Now that you have a rough idea to answer the question “how many bones does a cat have,” let’s now take a look at how the various types of bones are placed or arranged within your feline’s body.

First of all, let’s start from the head. In your cat’s head, there are a total of 29 bones. These bones are of different types and include the skull, the mandibles, the jaw bones, the cheekbones, the eye orbit and the nasal bones. As you move down the head, there are 7 bones in the neck.

On the backbone, there are 13 bones arranged along it. When you move to the tail, there are around 23 bones. On the rib cage, cats have 13 pairs of bones. The other bones are scapula, the shoulder bones, the sternum and the bones on the leg.

General Characteristics of the Cat Skeleton

General Characteristics of the Cat Skeleton

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General Characteristics of the Cat Skeleton

Your cat’s skeletal structure is a bit different from yours. If you look at how the bones are arranged, your cat’s skeleton is much looser along the vertebrae. This is why your cat’s spine is more flexible as compared to yours. The main reason why these bones have to be arranged much loosely is so that a cat can be agile.

However, this loose arrangement of bones along your cat’s vertebrae has its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that your cat can be prone to certain bone disorders. Such disorders include Osteodystrophy, which is a bone disorder that is usually characterized by certain deformities found in the bones around the wrist and ankles, including the tail.

Winding Up

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So, how many bones does a cat have? There is no fixed number since the number of bones that your cat has will depend on the breed. However, the number ranges from 230 to 250. The breed of your cat affects the number of bones that your cat will have in his or her body. This is because the breed of your cat will determine how long her tail will be.

However, regardless of the number of bones that your cat has in her body, it is important that you give your cat proper nutrition and care so that your cat will have healthy bones. You can comfortably do this by educating yourself on the nutritional needs of your cat, paying close attention to any deformities you see in her body and by taking your cat for checkups to see if she has vitamin D deficiencies.

There you have it on “how many bones does a cat have.” If you have any questions, go ahead and let us know in the comment section below.
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