Quiet and confident, this cat doesn't seem worried about the abyss that opens under its paws. The cat is walking precariously on the railing of a skyscraper in Santiago, Chile, to be precise on the 17th floor. His master had time to take a picture of him before the feline returned home. Cats have a particularly well-developed vestibular organ that allows them to turn over during a fall by first turning the head, then the front legs, then the upper legs, until they land on their feet. Nevertheless, a flight from such a height - but also from a lower height - would be ruinous even for a born tightrope walker.

What's worse than a black cat on day 17? Superstitious? This photo of the day is dedicated to you! Today it is in fact the "black cat day" called by the Italian Association of Animals and Environment (Aidaa) to defend the dignity of the black cat.

But for small cats it is not just a matter of decorum, according to the association, 60, 000 black cats are killed each year due to a silly belief. The rumor that the black cat brings bad luck originates in the Middle Ages when cats were generally considered the diabolical companions of witches, due to their habit of going out at night. Moreover, those of black color, not very visible in the darkness, made the horses run wild and the horses fell from the saddle. Hence the idea that they bring bad luck when they cross the road. In reality the only ones to risk are the cats, which can easily end up under the wheels of some careless driver.

A cat that plays on the snow, strange but true. The cat of the photo, however, is "prepared". It is a Siberian that with its long and water-repellent hair, the long hairs on its legs and the sturdy body can withstand even low temperatures, snow and ice. Descendant of the wild cat that once inhabited Siberia, it is said that the Russian colonists used it as a guard cat, given its size (the male can weigh up to 12 kilos).

Zampetta quiet and silent, yet many still today, if they crossed his path they would make spells. Victims of superstition since the Middle Ages, black cats still suffer a form of discrimination due to the color of their fur.

November 17 is Black Cat Day, set up by AIDAA, the Italian Animal Defense and Environment Association, to protect these cats from a silent extermination that is consumed every year since Halloween. According to the organization, still in 2011, 15 million Italians do superstitious gestures at the sight of a black cat.

Cats, how many do you know? Test yourself with a new test!

The ancient Egyptians thought that cats held the light of day in their eyes to use it in the dark. In reality these felines have eyes suitable for seeing in low light. The retina, in fact, is richer in rods (the receptors of light suitable for night vision). Cats just one-sixth of the light that man needs to see us. But their real secret is the tapetum lucidum, a layer of reflective cells placed behind the retina. It amplifies the light when it penetrates the eye, "providing" more information to the rods and gives the eye the typical phosphorescent green-gold color. At dusk or dawn, when cats usually hunt, the pupil can dilate up to 90% of the surface of the eye to allow as much light as possible.

The odorous signals for cats have an important social function, when a cat marks its territory with urine, the one that will pass later will be able to "read" in that odor a whole series of information that it could not find in other way. Cats have a sense of smell twice as high as man's. But not only urine is a vehicle of information: on the chin, on the tail and on the forehead there are glands that produce odorous substances with which they usually "sign" some objects. Mamma gatta rubs on the little ones to leave her smell on them and often the cats of the house do it with men as a sign of affection and friendship.

If an ancient Egyptian looked at this photo today, perhaps he would think that cats have "softened" over the centuries. This big cat in a garden in Wuhan, China, in fact, instead of being aggressive, appears calm and even intrigued by the mouse.

For the Egyptians the cat was sacred because it freed houses and barns from small rodents.

But unfortunately they didn't think so in the Middle Ages, when millions of cats were killed because they were considered diabolical. And according to some scholars, it was not even a brilliant idea. The decrease in cats caused the mice to multiply, the major diffusers of the plague, thus increasing the epidemics between 1000 and 1700.

And it is precisely against the superstitions about cats that the Black Cat Day is celebrated on November 17th. According to animal welfare associations, still today in Italy every year - even this year unfortunately - tens of thousands of black cats are killed because of the stupid belief that they bring bad luck .

"But who made me do it, " Nicolasa will be thinking, the cat perched on the table of its owner, the Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi. Here they ride together the waves in front of the beach of San Bartolo, in Lima, Peru.

The athlete is convinced that the kitten has an innate passion for surfing. Just see how it manages to keep the balance perfectly, without ever falling into the water. Although another possible explanation could be that the pussy is so afraid of getting wet that it clings to the table with its claws, the only dry place in the surroundings.

A cat bath? It seems more like a cruel imposition for our four-legged friends. The system was invented by the owner of this Burmese, Australian Jo Lapidge.

Equally laborious is the attempt to educate human beings to use healthcare: according to Jack Sim, president of the World Toilet Organization, 2 and a half billion people (40 percent of the world population) have no access to adequate health facilities. And to make people aware, the world bathroom day has been established for 4 years, with an official date of November 19th!

Tired of standing in the stands and watching this kitten too, he was able to enjoy a run on the playing field. The set is not that of a stadium in South Africa but of a friendly match in view of the world championships, held between France and Tunisia in Rades (Tunisia) last May 30th. The relaxed atmosphere of the match allowed a Tunisian player, midfielder Yassine Mikari, to rescue the cat from safety before anyone could run him over. And despite the small program, the meeting continued regularly, ending with a Solomonic 1-1.

As we strive to understand them, cats remain some of the most mysterious animals. Not from the genetic point of view, though: the DNA of cats, long under the lens of scientists, has turned out to be a valuable source of information, which puts some order in the cauldron of hypotheses about the origins of the feline. From the genetic analysis conducted on 979 modern cat species it emerged that the "grandfather" of all cats lived 130, 000 years ago in the "Fertile Crescent", an area that included Ancient Egypt, Levant and Mesopotamia. The discovery brings together those who think that the first to domesticate cats were the Egyptians, and those who argue that the cats were first tamed in Cyprus.

In the photo a wild cat (Felis silvestris).

Beautiful, astute cats of all races. But it is above all easier and easier to see them extra large, like this American cat named Zippy which has 18 kilograms on its owner's scale. Even more than the Leo cat (15.8 kilograms) which holds the longest record in the world, obtained with its 121.9 centimeters from the nose to the tip of the tail. Think, in proportion, it is as if this super cat (he too American) was two and a half meters tall.

In ancient Egypt no cat was a victim of "racism" and all were considered superior beings, incarnation of the goddess Bastet, protector of the domestic hearth. Treated with all honors not only by living but also by death: they were washed, perfumed, embalmed and brought as a gift to the temple of the goddess or sold to pilgrims during religious holidays. But here the scam was the order of the day: often it happened that under the bandages there was no hiding a cat but some less "precious" animal, if not even a block of mud.

A Sphynx cat while waiting for his turn to show off at the feline exhibition held in Sofia (Bulgaria) last Sunday. Completely free of hair, this specimen needs special care: every day it must be passed with a buckskin as the empty follicles of its coat have glands that secrete a fat that cannot be absorbed by the hairs. Although countless breeds are recognized, pedigreed cats are less than 10 percent of the world's cat population. Selective breeding was encouraged precisely by the success of the first feline exhibitions in the late nineteenth century that launched the "pure" cat fashion.

All the secrets of the man's best friend purring in the special about cats .

A python swallows a two-month-old kitten. It happens in Australia. And it's not an urban legend. To show that everything is true, the McLarens, owners of the poor cat, presented to the press the x-ray of the snake still engaged in the digestion of the victim.

The macabre image shows the entire skeleton of the Kohl cat in the stomach of the carpet python (Morelia spilota). A decidedly greedy species: just think that the cat's head was three times as large as the reptile's.
To catch the intruder the McLarens had to call in a specialized person. The "acchiappaserpenti" explained that when the mating season is approaching, it often happens that the most enterprising pythons in their wanderings sneak into some private garden.

Quiet and confident, this cat doesn't seem worried about the abyss that opens under its paws. The cat is walking precariously on the railing of a skyscraper in Santiago, Chile, to be precise on the 17th floor. His master had time to take a picture of him before the feline returned home. Cats have a particularly well-developed vestibular organ that allows them to turn over during a fall by first turning the head, then the front legs, then the upper legs, until they land on their feet. Nevertheless, a flight from such a height - but also from a lower height - would be ruinous even for a born tightrope walker.

All the secrets of the man's best friend purring in the special about cats .

The characteristic "rumbling" that the cat is able to produce for hours and hours, even with the mouth closed or while sucking the milk, is a double throaty sound, both the result of inspiration and expiration. Purring is in fact a signal to tell the mother that the breastfeeding operation is proceeding at its best.

They are usually made when the cat is happy, to express a feeling of friendship, but they can also be emitted when it is sick, injured or dying. In these cases he also wants to send a message.

All the secrets of the man's best friend purring in the special about cats .

The cat in nature is a great predator of small mammals: birds, mice and moles. Most of its sensory organs are therefore predisposed to this type of activity.

The eyes can catch fast and very small movements, and the ears, which if necessary also rotate independently of each other, come to perceive very acute sounds, such as the squeaking of a mouse, with a frequency three times higher than that perceived by us. This is why they don't like loud tones or music.

With vibrissae, that is to say the thick hairs that are found above the mouth (the mustache), on the eyes (the eyebrows) and on the front legs, feel the vibrations of a mouse that moves even at a distance.

Has it ever happened to you in a moment of distraction, to stumble over your four-legged friend? Americans apparently often happen: according to research published a couple of months ago in the Journal of Safety Research, in 2006 only 86 thousand Americans suffered sprains, fractures or bruises due to cats and dogs. While some said he had been pulled by Fido on a leash, most of the respondents said they simply stumbled over their pets. And who knows if this sly-looking cat photographed at a cat show in Ljubljana (Slovenia) has ever made the "tripping" to his young mistress …

All the secrets of the man's best friend purring in the special about cats .

It will not be the Befana but it is still a generous old woman Ding Shiyang, the Chinese woman who welcomed this abandoned (and very sleepy) cat into the house. In addition to him, the lady hosts another 200 dogs and cats without a master in her small apartment in Beijing.

The kitten threatened to be captured by the Beijing authorities, who shortly before the 2008 Olympics decided to "clean up" the streets from strays.

With decidedly Spartan methods, according to animal welfare associations that in February last year reported the situation to the Timesonline website. It seems that thousands of animals have been piled up in tiny cages, transported with trucks in crumbling kennels and left here to die of starvation.

Reserved and indispensable, as fascinating as they are mysterious: you can spend an entire life observing them and studying their behavior without being able to fully understand them. Word of John Bradshaw, English biologist who has dedicated over 30 years to cats and who recently published a new book entitled "Cat Sense" (Allen Lane / Basic Books). Director of the Institute of Antrozoology of the School of Clinical Veterinary Science of the University of Bristol, in an article published in the journal New Scientist the author reveals the reasons for the success of the most widespread pet in the world - the relationship with the dog is 3 to 1 - who would reside in his self-sufficiency and affection for men. Which, however, is never considered by the little tiger as a master or a pack leader, but rather as a larger cat that replaces the mother.

The cat seems designed specifically to move in the environment almost always managing not to get hurt. Even during the most dangerous operations, such as when falling from several meters in height. Paradoxically, however, it is sometimes the short flights that are fatal to him: falling in speed from a few meters, in fact, he has little time to straighten up correctly. While falling from a very high height it can comfortably rotate, even 180 ° if necessary, and relax all the muscles of the body to reduce impact.

The balance in landing is given by the tail, while the front legs independent of the shoulder act as shock absorbers.

When there are men in cages, cats enter the cell to help them. It happens in the Yacolt penitentiary, in the state of Washington, where a cat is given to rehabilitate the prisoners. The project, still in an experimental phase, foresees the cohabitation of some cats, coming from shelters for abandoned animals and stolen from the suppression, with some voluntary prisoners who take care of them.

Having overcome the initial doubts, the initiative has gathered a large number of consents, so much so that over one hundred requests for membership. The project, which has been active for a few months, was born with the aim of promoting socialization, teamwork and sharing of responsibilities, as well as rehabilitating people who are serving a sentence to take care of others and the first results are encouraging.

What does a huge red cat do in the famous Botticelli's Spring? He comes from St. Petersburg, his name is Zarathustra and, with his 10 kilos of tonnage, he did not have much left of the proverbial feline grace. But for his mistress, the Russian artist Svetlana Petrova, is so irresistible as to want to make him the protagonist of some of the most beautiful paintings in the world, reproducing the works of Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Degas, Dali, Monet, Velazquez and many others with he as the protagonist.

The obesity of animals is often a warning light even for children because, if a pet is overweight, it means that there is not enough movement in that house and the habit of a healthy and balanced diet is lacking.

Extra pounds are very harmful to puppies, both human and animal, as they expose you to the risk of contracting serious diseases such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, hypertension, respiratory problems and kidney diseases.

The most studied animal to check for addictions to intoxicating substances is the cat. Starting from catnip - or cat - which is used to clean the digestive tract, the wild cat develops an addiction to some plants which it will then seek regularly.

Among these, in addition to the aforementioned Nepeta Cataria (catnip, see its effects), there are the Teucrium Marum (camedio maro) and the Valeriana: the first is an aphrodisiac which gives the male more power by prolonging the erection and to the female a voluptuous behavior. Valerian, on the other hand, is a powerful hallucinogen.

This chick can take its first steps outdoors without too many thoughts. To guard his security there is an exceptional "bodyguard": a cat that has taken on the delicate task of protecting it from potential aggressors. The young specimens of Pavlovskaja hen (sp. Gallus Gallus), a variety of Russian origin, are particularly vulnerable to the attack of rats and mice, but you can bet that with the feline watching his back, no rodent will dare approach the new born. That between the cat and the chick, however, is not an exclusive friendship. It seems that Mikeal, this is the name of the cat, is particularly protective of the entire brood. The scene was photographed in Barnaul, Russia.

Predator by definition, homely by choice (ours), the most famous cat in the world and domesticated more than 9000 years ago, has been included in the list of the 100 most harmful alien animals. Cosmopolitan, the cat was missing only in Australia and the nearby oceanic islands. The man thought to bring it to us, as a pet puppy or weapon to eradicate the mice on the ships. Eater of lizards, snakes, small mammals and birds of various kinds, it is estimated that in just over 40 years, the cat has taken out in the peaceful island of Herekopare, a birdwatcher's paradise, about 6 species of birds. Better to keep it in biscuits and milk on the sofa at home.

From the inaccessible African territories the cat entered the world of humans with a hunter's luggage. Over time he has learned to be docile and sociable, while maintaining many of his wild features and between devotion and prejudice has come down to us.

Recent archaeological finds on the island of Cyprus would move the beginning of the encounter between man and cat to the Neolithic period. The Egyptians worshiped cats and for this reason many of their enemies hated them. The Persians even thought of using cats in battle as an improper "weapon": the Egyptian soldiers, who could not kill the small cats, when they saw them on the field, gave up attacking and retreated.

In Italy there is an army of almost 7 and a half million cats waiting every evening for the owner of the hearth. A growing trend that denotes how slanderousness and clichés (disease carriers, ill-advised and opportunists) are outdated. Their therapeutic abilities have also been recognized: the company of a cat is also useful from a psychological point of view (pet therapy), so they are often used in communities of elderly and disabled people. Since 1978 there has been a declaration of the rights of domestic animals, inspiring in Italy of legal provisions such as those against the abandonment and trade of cat fur (to make one we need 24 specimens) and dog.

The wild cat is a shy and solitary animal and neither loves the company of those of its species nor of other animals.

The domestic cat, on the other hand, while maintaining a certain mistrust of strangers, is sociable and lives in the community even when it becomes wild. In fact, stray cats tend to form spontaneous groups. This "social" behavior, the cats have "learned" in millennia of cohabitation with men.

Thailand: a cat and a monkey (pictured), both abandoned by their rightful owners in a temple, have become inseparable friends, an "unacceptable" attitude for a wild cat.

In the "vocabulary" of animals, swelling means "threat in progress". Whether it is for reasons of offense or defense it does not matter, the important thing is to look bigger than you are. The strategy of threatened violence serves to obtain victory (a female, or a territory) but avoiding the struggle in which both contenders could suffer damage, sometimes even fatal.

The typical posture of the angry cat: arched back, raised and straight tail, bristled hair, high head, fixed gaze and low ears. Cats also like many other animals emit sounds useful to scare the opponent using the scream as a kind of test of strength.

Spilling over onto your back with your legs in the air is an unequivocal sign of trust. In nature, in fact, showing the abdomen which is the most vulnerable part of the body indicates total abandonment. A young cat thus expresses respect for an older or submissive entering the territory of another.

When a cat is relaxed or happy it often also purrs: a way of "making" the body that accompanies the physical contact between mother and puppies and then also that between cat and man. The dull vibrations of the purrs are produced by the diaphragm and vocal cords and controlled directly by the central nervous system.

Who knows what a cat who lived a few millennia ago in the jungle would say about this lazy descendant who, sitting comfortably at the table of a cat restaurant in Ukraine, waits for his meal as he once waited for the mole outside the den.

But as spoiled, lazy and fondled, house cats maintain their fundamental characteristic: the predatory instinct. Cats hunt and kill regardless of their hunger, the predatory response to small animals is almost an instinctive and automatic reflex.

The cat remains a terrestrial animal, which has developed mostly in dry and desert areas and therefore, except for a few exceptions, does not like water.

Everyone has heard how rough a cat's tongue is and to understand why just take a look at this magnified image under a microscope. Its surface is covered with hooked papillae that act as a brush to clean the coat of the coat or a bone from the pulp.

Small domestic cats, even if they do not hunt all day and do not get very dirty, spend most of their time licking their bodies to clean themselves and to keep their body temperature regular. For cats, cleanliness also has a social function, cleaning between "family", cats, humans, etc.

Cats are able to spend many hours motionless in long stalking to catch a mouse and then, to ease the tension, they make long runs leaping here and there. A wild version of those raids that sometimes do even at home.

And then finally the well-deserved rest to which the cats dedicate 16 hours a day. But only a quarter of them are in deep sleep. In the remaining hours they have alert ears and the brain is always alert, ready to react immediately to danger.

When you wake up they iron with care, to reactivate the circulation of the muscles, ready for a new hunt.

The fact that they were sacred to the Egyptians, pagans and polytheists, did not make life easy for the cat on Christian soil, where in the Middle Ages it was the protagonist of a true persecution. The cat was considered, in fact, an animal to be feared because it possessed magical evil powers and "relative" of witches. A prisoner of slander and superstition, the cat was often used to drive away bad luck, for example by burying it in a wall of a house under construction.

The black cat in particular has been reviled for a long time and is still thought to bring bad luck. But not everywhere: in Britain, getting a black cat across the street is a good omen.

Bastet, sacred goddess to the Egyptians, had the appearance of a beautiful woman with a cat's head … Nothing to do with this monumental cat that the master wanted to erect for the future memory of his beloved cat.

Cats, like all animals, do not have the concept of death and do not know that one day they will die. When they are ill they associate pain with aggression, as if a dark force was challenging them. Faced with a threat, cats always react with attack or flight, in this case the aggressor is invisible and therefore "unassailable", the only thing to do is to escape. This is why many cats hide when they suffer and often die alone.

For Valentine's Day we asked our readers to send us some photos that describe the feeling. Bipap told us so … Through the tenderness that the female dog and Attila the male cat expressed at this moment Aria. Two animals that we are usually used to thinking that they can't stand … This is a "love" outside the rules.

You might also like: Who's afraid of my shadow? Cats: how many do you know? Hair-raising Dusty, the kleptomaniac cat Do you know what your cat eats? Quiet and confident, this cat doesn't seem worried about the abyss that opens under its paws. The cat is walking precariously on the railing of a skyscraper in Santiago, Chile, to be precise on the 17th floor. His master had time to take a picture of him before the feline returned home. Cats have a particularly well-developed vestibular organ that allows them to turn over during a fall by first turning the head, then the front legs, then the upper legs, until they land on their feet. Nevertheless, a flight from such a height - but also from a lower height - would be ruinous even for a born tightrope walker.