Mummy and I didn't know what to do our first Feline Furses Human Anatomy and Physiology post on until our lovely furiends from The Island Cats suggested the spinal cord! Thank you to Wally, Ernie and Zoey.
The Spinal Cord
The spinal cord forms part of the nervous system and carries information from the brain to various parts of the body and back again. The spinal cord starts at the base of the skull and runs to the middle of the tail in cats and measures around 34 cm (13 inches), whereas, in humans, it starts at the base of the skull and runs only to the middle of the spinal column with a measurement of around 44 cm (17 inches). The spinal cord is protected within the spinal column and is surrounded by the spinal fluid - a clear liquid that cushions the brain and the spinal cord against physical trauma and transports nutrients and waste products to and from the brain and spinal cord into the bloodstream.
The spinal cord is composed of millions of nerve fibres that send electrical impulses to and from the limbs, trunk and organs of the body, back to and from the brain. The nerves that carry information from the body to the brain are called sensory neurons and carry information about sensations of touch, pressure, vibration, limb position, heat, cold and pain. The nerves that send information from the brain to the muscles are called motor neurons and help with the control of movement. The spinal cord helps to control both automatic and voluntary reflexes, such as blinking, twitching the ears and wagging the tail.
The spinal cord is divided into segments that contain paired spinal nerves. These segments are different for each species. The cat spinal cord has 8 cervical, 13 thoracic, 7 lumber, 3 sacral and 5 caudal bringing it to a total of 36 pairs of spinal nerves. The human spinal cord has 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 1 coccygeal bringing it to a total of 31 pairs of spinal nerves.
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Purrs and Headbutts
Nishiko and Mummy (aka Kitty) xxx