28 July 2015

Feline Furses Human Anatomy and Physiology - The Skeleton

Please enjoy the next installement of our Feline Furses Human Anatomy and Physiology series: The Skeleton!

The Skeleton

The skeleton is the framework that supports and protects the vital organs, enables movement to the muscles, produces red and white blood cells as well as stores fat and nutrients for the body. The skeletal system is broken down into three subunits and can be classified according to shape.


  • The bones of the limbs (appendicular skeleton)
  • The bones of the skull, spine, ribs and sternum (axial skeleton)
  • The bones that form part of an organ, such as the middle ear (visceral skeleton).


  • Long (example: bones of the limbs)
  • Short (example: bones of the wrist and ankle)
  • Sesamoid (example: bones of the knee, hand and foot)
  • Flat (example: bones of the skull and pelvis)
  • Irregular (example: bones of the spinal column).

The human skeleton contains 206 bones, whereas the cat skeleton contains around 245 bones. This number is variable in cats. Firstly, due to the cat spinal column containing more bones than the human spinal column. This is due to the fact that a cat has a tail, and a human does not! Secondly, due to the number of toes a cat may have (example: cats with polydactyly will have more than the usual number of toes).

Seven cervical bones
Seven cervical bones
Thirteen thoracic bones
Twelve thoracic bones
Seven lumber bones
Five lumbar bones
Three sacral bones
Five sacral bones
Around twenty-two tail (caudal) bones (except the Manx cat).
Five bones fused together to form the coccyx.

Comparable information of the cat and human spinal columns

Another difference between the cat skeletal system and the human skeletal system is that the cat clavicle does not connect with other bones but is buried in the muscles of the shoulder region. This allows the cat to squeeze through narrow spaces. The human clavicle connects the arm to the body.


Please leave any comments below about your thoughts or how we can improve this post. Please let us know if you would like us to cover a specific topic.

Purrs and Headbutts

Nishiko and Mummy (aka Kitty) xxx

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