Cat Glossary Tips

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What is territory?


Territory – area within which a cat lives and hunts

What is tabby-tortie?


Tabby-Tortie – tortoiseshell with tabby markings

What is adolescent?


Adolescent – in British showing, a cat between 9 – 15 months old

What is placenta?


Placenta – organ connecting the unborn kitten to the lining of the mother's womb through which it receives oxygen and nutrients

What is neutered?


Neutered – castrated or spayed

What is lynx?


Lynx – US term for tabby point

What is home range?

Home Range

Home Range – inner area of a cat's territory

What is mutation?


Mutation – change in a gene which results in a change in hereditary characteristics between two generations, also known as rogue gene

What is tortoiseshell?


Tortoiseshell – patched coat pattern, usually made up of black and orange but also seen in other mixtures of colors

What is domestic class?

Domestic Class

Domestic Class – class for household pets at a show

What is amino-acids?


Amino-Acids – organic compounds which are the component molecules of proteins

What is ovulate?


Ovulate – release eggs during oestrus

What is natural breed?

Natural Breed

Natural Breed – breed that has evolved on its own without human intervention

What is an animal´s pedigree?

Pe-Ph Terms

Pedigree: the line of descent of a pure-bred animal or the document recording this lineage

Pewter: British name for shaded silver

Pheromone: a chemical substance released by an animal that influences the behavior of another individual of the same species. Pheromones are involved in territorial spraying and sexual attraction.

What is patched tabby?

Patched Tabby

Patched Tabby – US term for tortie-tabby

What is recognition?


Recognition – acceptance by a cat fancy organization of a breed or color variety

What is veteran?


Veteran – term in British show circles for a cat over seven years old

What is protein?


Protein – chemical compounds associated with the growth and maintenance of the body

What is habitat?


Habitat – natural home

What is cobby?


Cobby – short and compact

What is a cat´s stifle?

Sti- Stu Terms

Stifle: proper name for the knee of a cat's hind leg

Stimulus: an occurrence in the enviroment that evokes a response in an animal

Stop: an abrupt change in the slope of the nose profile-an extreme form of break (Persian breeds)

Stud: a tom kept specifically for breeding

What is displacement activity?

Displacement Activity

Displacement Activity – activity carried on to distract the sufferer's attention at a time of stress

What is a cat´s ´down´?

Da-Dz Terms

Dam: mother cat

Dermatitis: general terms for various inflammatory skin diseases, also commonly called eczema

Down (wool) hairs: short, soft crimped secondary hairs

What is cholesterol?


Cholesterol – chemical occurring naturally in the body which is converted by sunlight to vitamin D

What is white spotting?>

White Spotting

White Spotting – random patches of white on a colored coat varying from small spots to large areas

What is membrane?


Membrane – thin body tissue

What is bi-color?


Bi-Color – patched coat of white and one other color

What is lactation?

La-Lz Terms

Lacatation: production of milk in the queen

Lavender: American term for lilac

Leukemia: cancer of the blood cells

Lilac: pale pinkish-gray, known in North America as lavender

Liquid parafin: a mild laxative known in North America as mineral oil

Litter: a family of kittens, or absorbent toilet material

Lynx point: Amercan name for Tabby point

What is animal protein?

Animal Protein

Animal Protein – body-building constituents of the diet derived from meat, fish, and animal products such as milk

What is vestigial?


Vestigial – non-functioning remnant of an organ

What is acinonyx?


Acinonyx – genus of Felidae which includes only one species, the cheetah

What is the muzzle on my cat?

Ma-Mz Terms

Mask: The darker-colored areas of the face as seen in Siamese and Himalayan

Mongrel; moggy: a cat of mixed or unknown parentage

Molt: periodic shedding

Muzzle: the nose and jaws

What is gene?


Gene – unit of heredity which determines an organism's physical characteristics, growth, and function

What is digitigrade?


Digitigrade – walking on tip-toe

What is standard?


Standard – specification laid down by a cat fancy organization for the ideal specimens of a certain breed

What is panthera?


Panthera – genus of Felidae which consists of the six large cat species

What is oestrus?>


Oestrus – period in which a queen can be successfully mated

What is hunting range?

Hunting Range

Hunting Range – outer area of a cat's territory, where it will hunt but not settle

What is genotype?


Genotype – set of genes inherited from both parents

How can a cat be a seal?

Sa-Se Terms

Sable: American name for brown, the darkest coat color in Burmese

Seal: the dark brown color found at the point of the darkest variety of Siamese

Secondary hairs: fine hairs, including awn and down hairs that form the cat's undercoat

Self (solid): having a coat of a uniform color

What is solid?


Solid (color) – US term for a coat of single color

What is ring-spotted?


Ring-Spotted – marked with spots grouped in rings

What is polygenes?


Polygenes – groups of genes that act together to produce hereditary characteristics

What is feral?


Feral – living wild but descended from domestic cats

What is breed?


Breed – group of cats with common ancestry and similar physical characteristics

What is breeches?


Breeches – long hair on the upper part of the hind legs

What is agouti?


Agouti – ground color between a tabby's stripes.
Non-agouti cats can loose this background, so that it becomes the same color as the stripes-resulting in a solid color

What is stud tail?

Stud Tail

Stud Tail – greasy condition at the base of the tail caused by over-active sebaceous glands

What is standard shell?

Standard Shell

Standard Shell – US term for light tipping, mainly on the head and body

What is heredity?


Heredity – process by which physical and other characteristics are passed on from one generation to the next

What is gene pool?

Gene Pool

Gene Pool – extent of genetic variety in a given group of cats, especially a single breed

What is classic tabby?

Classic Tabby

Classic Tabby – cat with clearly defined broad stripes on a lighter agouti ground

What is bite?


Bite – meeting of upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed

What do all those letters mean on my cat´s vaccination record?

Diseases beginning with F

FCV: Feline Calcivirus- one of the viruses that cause upper respiratory disease

FVR: Feline viral rhinotracheitis, the more serious of the two viral causes of feline respiratory diseases

FeLV: Feline Leukemia Virus

FIA: Feline Infectious anemia

FIE: Feline Infectious enterities, also known as panleukopaenia

FPL: Feline panleukopaenia

FUS: Feline urological syndrome

What is undercoat?


Undercoat – layer of the coat consisting of down hairs

What is polydactyl?


Polydactyl – having more than five toes

What is miacid?


Miacid – prehistoric tree dwelling creature

What is stocky?


Stocky – thick-set

What is standard tipped?

Standard Tipped

Standard Tipped – British term for standard shell

What is pet quality?

Pet Quality

Pet Quality – another breeder's term for household quality

What is chintz cat?

Chintz Cat

Chintz Cat – used in Britain for a tortoiseshell and white cat

What is booster?


Booster – injection of a vaccine to maintain immunization against disease given by a previous dose

What is awn hairs?

Awn Hairs

Awn Hairs – secondary hairs in a cat's coat which are bristly with thickened tips

How can a cat be tipped?

Ti Terms

TICA: The Indipendant Cat Assocition (USA)

Ticking: the black flecks seen characteristically on the Abyssinian coat

Tipped: having colored ends to the hairs, the degree of tipping deciding whether the cat is classed as a chinchilla, shaded, or smoke, etc.

What are ghost markings?

Ga-Gz Terms

GCCF: Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, the body controlling cat shows in Britain

Ghost markings: Faint tabby markings seen in some self (solid) colored cats; especially when young.

Gland: an organ that produces a chemical secretion, such as a hormone or an enzyme

Guard Hairs: long bristly hairs forming the outer coat

What is the difference between a feral and a wild cat?

Fa-Fz Terms

Feral- domesticated animls that have reverted to or was born in the wild. Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats, unlike true wild cats.

FIFe: Federation Internationale Feline, the main cat fance organization on the European continent Formerly the Federation Internationale Feline d'Europe (FIFE)

Flehmen Reaction: facial gesture seen when a cat's Jacobson's organ is stimulated.

Frost point: American term for lilac (lavendar) point

What is haw?


Haw – third eyelid

What is tipped?


Tipped – all over coloring of the ends of the coat hairs

What is nose pad?

Nose Pad

Nose Pad – hardened skin surrounding the nostrils

What is mucous membrane?

Mucous Membrane

Mucous Membrane – membrane coated with fluid that lines passages in the body that are open to the air

What is melanin?


Melanin – pigment which colors the hair and skin

What is down hair?

Down Hair

Down Hair – short, soft hair forming the undercoat

What is bacteria?


Bacteria – micro-organisms some of which produce disease

What is a tom cat?

To Terms

Tom: an entire (uncastrated) male cat

Tortie: tortoiseshell

Tortoiseshell: generaly black and orange, but can also include blue-cream (dilute tortoiseshell), lilac-cream, etc.

Toxin: a poison, particularly one produced by micro-organi

What is a cattery?

Ca-Ci Terms

Calico: American term for tortoiseshell and white coloring; a three colored animal with black, orange and white. Any other combination is considered a tri-color.

Calling: a female cat's behavior during oestrus (ovulation)

Cameo-Chinchilla: shadded or smoked with red or cream tipping to the hairs

Castration: sterilizing a male animal

Cat flu: common term for feline upper respiratory virus

Catnip/catmint: a perennial plant (Nepta cataria) whose smell attacts cats

Cattery: any place where cats are kept. In America the term refers to breeding establishments; in Britain it's used for boarding establishments.

What is euthanasia?

Ea-Ez Terms

Elizabethan Collar: a cone shaped hood worn around the neck to prevent animals from irritating an injury

Entire (cat): not neutered or altered

Euthanasia: Painless killing, commonly called destruction, putting down, or putting to sleep

What is wild type?

Wild Type

Wild Type – basic form of a species in the cat, the wild type is the short haired brown, striped tabby

What is sabre-toothed cat?

Sabre-Toothed Cat

Sabre-Toothed Cat – prehistoric carnivore distinguished by its long curved, upper canine teeth

What is non-pedigree?


Non-Pedigree – one or both parents unknown or unregistered

What is muscular?


Muscular – term applied to breeds such as the Rex breeds whose body form falls between cobby and little in type

What is inbreeding?


Inbreeding – mating of parents to offspring or of siblings

What is entire?


Entire – not neutered

What is chromosomes?


Chromosomes – thread like structures within living cells which carry molecules of DNA and control heredity

What is ticked tabby?


Ticked Tabby – coat with tabby markings on the face, legs, and tail, and a ticked effect on the body

What is spottie?


Spottie – popular term for the spotted tabby

What is shock?


Shock – collapse caused by a failure of circulation or severe lowering of the blood pressure

What is himmy?


Himmy – Himalayan

What is a tumor?

Tr-Tu Terms

Trait: a discrete inherited feature such as color, coat length, etc.

Tumor: any growth (not necessarily cancerous) caused by abnormal cell multiplication

What is split foot?

Split Foot

Split Foot – division of the front paws as a result of a bone deformation

What is odd-eyed?


Odd-Eyed – both eyes are different colors

What is moggie?


Moggie – affectionate British term for a non-pedigree cat

What is household quality?

Household Quality

Household Quality – term used by breeders for pedigree kittens which are not of sufficient quality to be shown or used as breeding stock

What is marbled?


Marbled – coat pattern with irregular dark blotches and stripes on a lighter ground

What is vetting in?

Vetting In

Vetting-In – inspection of cats on arrival at a show by a veterinarian

What is pedigree certificate?

Pedigree Certificate

Pedigree Certificate – document issued by a cat registration organization stating the ancestry of the cat and accepting it as a pedigree cat

What is an Albino cat?


Albino: having little to no colored pigment in the coat, skin and eyes.

What is ticked?


Ticked – coloring at the tips of the coat hairs which gives a flecked effect

What is mask?


Mask – dark colored parts of the face

What is dilute gene?

Dilute Gene

Dilute Gene – gene which results in a paler colored coat

What is spontaneous mutation?

Spontaneous Mutation

Spontaneous Mutation – alteration for unknown reasons in genetic make-up between one generation and the next

What is spotted tabby?

Spotted Tabby

Spotted Tabby – tabby in which the stripes are broken into discreet spots

What is registration?


Registration – recording the details of a pedigree kitten's birth and ancestry with an official registration body

What is predatory?


Predatory – habitually hunting and killing other animals for food

What is pack animal?

Pack Animal

Pack Animal – animal that lives in a social group which has a leader

What is humerus?


Humerus – upper bones of the front legs

What is femur?


Femur – upper bone of the hind leg

What is felidae?


Felidae – order of mammals consisting of the genera Panthera, Acinonyx, Neofelix, and Felis

What is fault?


Fault – departure from the breed standard resulting in the loss of points at a show

What is DNA?


DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid, which is contained in chromosomes and is responsible for the transmission of hereditary characteristics from one generation to the next

What is colorpointing?


Colorpointing – having a deeper shade of the body color on the ears, nose, feet, and tail

What is cerebellum?


Cerebellum – area of the brain which controls movement and balance

What is the father cat called?

Sh-Si Terms

Shaded: coloring in which the tips of the hairs are colored, the rest being white or pale, the tipping being intermediate between the chinchilla and the smoke

Shading: gradual variation in coat color, usually from back to belly

Show standard: a description of the ideal cat of a particular breed, against which actual cats are judged. Also called standard of points.

Silver: term applied to shaded silver and silver tabby, both tipped colorings

Sire: father of a litter

What is pinna?


Pinna – ear flap

What is a cat´s inner eyelid called?

Na-Nz Terms

Neuter (alter): A castrated male, outside the USA can include a spayed female

Nictitating membrane- the correct name for the thin opaque membrane that covers the front fo the eyebal under the eyelid.

Nocturnal: Active at night

NZCF: New Zealand Cat Fancy

What is ringworm?


Ringworm – fungal infection resulting in circular patches of inflamed and flaking skin

What is typey?


Typey – US term to describe a cat which conforms exactly with the body type defined in the breed standard

What is mackeral tabby?

Mackerel Tabby

Mackerel Tabby – coat pattern with narrow stripes extending down the spine and flanks

What is litter?


Litter – the kitten born to a queen at one episode of labor; material used to line a tray into which cats can defecate and urinate indoors

What are a cat´s points?

Pl-Pz Terms

Platinum: the American name for lilac (lavender) in Burmese

Points: the extremities of a cat's body-the head, ears, tail, and feet-which are colored in Siamese and other breeds

Premier, grand premier: the equivalent of a champion and grand champion for a neutered animal

Pricked: describes ears held apart

Primary hairs: the same as guard hairs-the outer coat of a cat

Why does my cat open its mouth and breathe funny?

Ia-Jz Terms

ICF Independent Cat Federation (USA)

Inbredding: the maiting of closely related cats such as parents or siblings

Infertile: unable to breed

Jacobson's organ- vomeronasal organ-a sensory organ in the roof of a cat's mouth that responds to chemical stimuli. Using the organ is known a phleming.

What is umbilical cord?

Umbilical Cord

Umbilical Cord – tube connecting a kitten to its mother before and during birth which supplies oxygen and nutrients and carries away waste products

What is senior?


Senior – term used in British show circles for cats over two years old

What is semi-longhair?


Semi-Longhair – British term for breeds of cats which have hair longer than shorthairs but shorter than longhairs

What is self?


Self (color) – British term for a coat of a single color

What is quarantine kennels?

Quarantine Kennels

Quarantine Kennels – boarding catteries in certain countries where cats are kept in isolation for a period to ensure that they are free from rabies and other infections

What is out-crosses?


Out-Crosses – deliberate crosses with another breed

What are carnassial teeth?

Carnassial Teeth

Carnassial Teeth – teeth at the extreme sides of the jaw

What is viral epidemic?

Viral Epidemic

Viral Epidemic – widespread infectious disease spread by an organism which reproduces within the body

What makes a cat´s eyes shine in the dark?

Ta Terms

Tabby: striped, blotched, or spotted

Tabby Tortoiseshell: a tortoiseshell with tabby rather than self (solid) black patching; also called patched tabby or torbie

Tapetum lucidum: the mirror-like layer at the back of a cat's eye that produces the characteristic shine.

What is ringed?


Ringed (tail) – marked with circular rings extending round the tail

What is nurture?


Nurture – training of young by their parents

What is necklaces?


Necklaces – stripes encircling the chest and upper neck

What is laces?


Laces – markings extending from the paws up the back legs, almost to the hocks

What is valerian?


Valerian – also known as allheal, a plant whose scent is attractive to cats

What is tortie?


Tortie – tortoiseshell

What is parasite?


Parasite – creature that lives on or inside another and feeds off the host's tissues

What is zoonoses?


Zoonoses – infections and diseases that can be transmitted to humans from other animals

What is mitted?


Mitted – white markings on the front and hind paws

What is jacobson´s organ?

Jacobson's Organ

Jacobson's Organ – also known as vomero nasal organ; found at the back of the mouth and sensitive to airborne chemicals

What is plume-like?


Plume-Like – feathery

What is homozygous?


Homozygous – identical alleles from each parent for a particular characteristic

What is boarding cattery?

Boarding Cattery

Boarding Cattery – establishment where cats are cared for in the absence of their owners

What is blaze?


Blaze – marking in the center of the forehead

What is lordosis?


Lordosis – crouched position in which a queen presents herself to indicate that she is ready for intercourse

What is jugular vein?

Jugular Vein

Jugular Vein – vein in the neck that returns blood to the heart from the head

What is foreign?


Foreign – fine-boned and elegant, also known as Oriental

What is crossbreeding?


Crossbreeding – mating of cats of two different breeds

What is classic?


Classic – conforming entirely with the body type defined in breed standards

What is a carnivore?


Carnivore – meat-eating animal

What are antibodies?


Antibodies – substances produced in the blood which neutralize or destroy bacterial infections

What does spraying mean?

Spe-Spr Terms

Species: The basic unit of a biological classification, consisting of similar indiviuals that are distinctively different from all other species and can breed together to produce fertile offspring like themselves. All domestic cats (off all breeds) belong to one species.

Sperm: the male reproductive cell

Spotting: the occurrence of white patches in the coat

Spraying: the instinct of urinating (mainly by toms) to mark out territory

What is a Piebald cat?

Pi Terms

Piebald: specifically black and white, but also applied to white spotting with other colors

Pigment: coloring matter

Pinking up: primarily a British term for the characteristic coloring of the queen's nipples about three weeks after a successful mating

Pinna: the ear flap

What is colostrum?

Ch-Cz Terms

Champaign: American name for the chocolate color in Burmese and the lilac color in Tonkinese

Chinchilla: Coloring in which only the outermost tips of the hairs are colored black or another color; the rest of the hair being white or pale.

Chocolate: Medium to pale brown; in Siamese distinctly paler than seal.

Cobby: having a short compact body shap, with broad shoulders and rump, a short tail, and large rounded head.

Colostrum: the first ‘milk' produced by the dam

What do the letters CFA stand for?

Associations starting with C

CCA: Canadian Cat Association

CFA: Cat Fancier's Association

CFF: Cat Fancier's Federation (USA)

What is smoke?


Smoke – coat coloring in which the roots of the hair are pale and the remainder colored

What is pricked?


Pricked – upstanding

What is points?


Points – head, ears, feet and tail

What is declawing?


Declawing – surgical removal of a cat's claws

What is congenital?


Congenital – inherited or resulting from abnormal development in the womb

What does spaying mean?

Sm-Spa Terms

Smoke: coloring in which most of the hairs are colored, the roots being white or pale

Solid: American term for self- all one color

Spaying: the sterilization of a female animal

What is torbie?


Torbie – tabby tortoiseshell, known in North America as patched tabby

What is coccyx?


Coccyx – last vertebra of the spine

What is cat flu?

Cat Flu

Cat Flu – also known as upper respiratory virus infections

What is barred markings?

Barred Markings

Barred Markings – dark stripes

What is weaned?


Weaned – having had the diet changed from mother's milk to solid food

What is nocturnal?


Nocturnal – active by night

What is marsupial?


Marsupial – mammal that is born immature and continues its development in the pouch of the mother

What is flanks?


Flanks – sides of the body

What is guard hairs?

Guard Hairs

Guard Hairs – long, bristly hairs making up the outercoat

What is felis?


Felis – genus known as small cats

What is dominant gene?

Dominant Gene

Dominant Gene – gene which passes on a physical characteristic even if it is in the genotype of only one parent

What is the technical word for one who loves/hates cats?

Ailurophile and Ailurophobe

Ailurophile: one who loves cats
Ailurophobe: one who hates cats

What is small intestine?

Small Intestines

Small Intestine – part of the digestive system where the breakdown of food into nutrients and waste matter takes place

What is plantigrade?


Plantigrade – walking on the soles of the feet

What does altering mean?


Alter: American term for sterilization of animals.

What is register?


Register (sound) – tone

What is nutrient?


Nutrient – substance that contributes to the growth, development and maintenance of a living creature

What is junior?


Junior – British show term for cats over 15 months but under two years old

What is frills?


Frills – long hair growing from the chest between the front legs

What is cell?


Cell – basic structural unit of all living things

What is ruff?


Ruff – long hair round the neck

What is provisional recognition?

Provisional Recognition

Provisional Recognition – stage in the recognition of a breed where specimens may compete in shows, but not in championship classes

What is championship status?

Championship Status

Championship Status – second highest level of awards at a show

What is canine teeth?

Canine Teeth

Canine Teeth – sharp, pointed teeth at the front of the mouth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower

What is alleles?


Alleles – pairs of genes that produce alternative physical characteristics

What is scapula?


Scapula – shoulder blade

What is gloves?


Gloves – markings on paws

What is hybrid breed?

Hybrid Breed

Hybrid Breed – breed originally produced by crossing two other breeds

What are a cat´s vibrissae?

U-Z Terms

UCF: United Cat Federation (USA)

Van pattern: Bicolor in which most of the body is white, the color being restricted to the extremities

Variety: strictly, a subdivision of a breed, such as a particular color form. The term is, however, sometimes used interchangably with breed.

Vibrissae: whiskers

Vomeronasal organ: also known as the Jacobson's organ.

Wild type: the basic unmutated form of a creature that is found in the wild: in the cat, this is the short-haired brown stripped tabby.

What is a queen cat?

Q-Rz Terms

Queen: an un-neutered femal cat, particularly one kept for breeding

Rangy: describes a cat with long slender legs

Recognition: the official acceptance of a breed, color, etc. for show under the rules of a cat fancy organization. There may be different degrees of recognition.

Registration: recording the particulars of a cat's birth and ancestry with an official organization

Roman: describes a nose with a high, prominent bridge, characteristically in Siamese

What is back crossing?


Back-Crossing – mating a cat to one of its parents

What is the extra piece of skin in my cat´s eye?

Ha-Hz Terms

Haw: third eyelid or nicitrating membrane

Heat: common name for oestrus/ovulation

Hock: proper name for the ankle of a cat's hind leg.

Honey mink: the name given to the intermediate brown color of Tonkinese, corresponding to chocolate

Hormone: a chemical messinger secreted into the bloodstream by a gland in order to affect another part of the body

Host: the animal upon which a parasite lives

What is vestibular apparatus?

Vestibular Apparatus

Vestibular Apparatus – an organ in the cat's inner ear which enables it to maneuver so that if the cat falls it will land on its feet

What is cat fancy?

Cat Fancy

Cat Fancy – organization of pedigree cat breeders, exhibitors, and owners

What is snub nose?

Snub Nose

Snub Nose – nose which is fore-shortened and turned up

What is conformation?


Conformation – body type, size, and shape

What is ovulation?

Oa-Oz Terms

Odd-eyed: Having eyes of different colors, usually one blue and one orange or copper

Oestrus (estrus) regularly occuring periods of sexual receptivity seen in female cats-during ovulation-commonly known as in heat

Olfactory: relating to the sense of smell

Olfactory mucosa: the area of the nose responsible for the detection of smells

Omnivore: an animal that eats meat and plant foods

Oriental: a term often used interchangeably with ‘foreign,' particularly of extreme type. Specifically relating to the Oriental Shorthair.

Ovulation: release of eggs in female mammals

What is sebaceous glands?

Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous Glands – organs in the skin secreting an oily substance known as sebum, which lubricates the hair and gives protection against bacterial infection

What is reflex action?

Reflex Action

Reflex Action – automatic response to a stimulus

What is preliminary recognition?

Preliminary Recognition

Preliminary Recognition – stage in the recognition of a breed where specimens may be exhibited but are not eligible for competition

What is follicle?


Follicle – the point on the skin from which a hair grows

What is break?


Break – change in direction of the nose, also called the stop

What is bile?


Bile – fluid in the digestive system which aids the digestion of fats

What is dinicitis?


Dinicitis – group of prehistoric carnivores from which the Felidae evolved

What is a parasite?

Pa Terms

Panleukopaenia: another term for FIE-feline infectious enteritis. (preferred in North America)

Papilla: small finger-like tissue projection as found on the tongue and lining the gut.

Parasite: any animal or plant that lives inside or on the skin of another animal (host), from which it obtains food and nourishment and generally does harm to the host.

Parti-color: term encompassing bicolors, tortoiseshells, and tortie & whites

What is receptor?


Receptor – nerve ending that receives information through the sense organs and transmits it to the brain

What is molt?


Molt – shed hair

What is heterozygous?


Heterozygous – two different alleles for a particular characteristic, one from each parent

What is frost?


Frost – US term for pinkish dove grey, also known as lilac or lavender

What is variety?


Variety – division within a breed, usually related to color

What is olfactory?


Olfactory – related to the sense of smell

What is ligament?


Ligament – fibrous tissue forming part of the joints in the body

What is muzzle?


Muzzle – nose and jaws

What is body language?

Body Language

Body Language – movements of parts of the body which convey meaning

What is rosette?


Rosette – spots arranged in a circular pattern enclosing a patch of the basic coat color

What is alley cat?

Alley Cat

Alley Cat – non-pedigree cat

What is hairball?


Hairball – mass of compressed hair which has been ingested

What is shaded?


Shaded – coat which shows a gradual variation in color from one part of the body to another

What is declawing?


Declawing – surgical removal of a cat's claws

What is vertebral column?

Vertebral Column

Vertebral Column – spinal column

What is tapetum lucidum?

Tapetum Lucidum

Tapetum Lucidum – reflecting layer at the back of the cat's eye whose function is to increase the intensity of vision

What is metabolism?


Metabolism – chemical processes in an organism which control growth and functions

What is animal shelter?

Animal Shelter

Animal Shelter – an organization which looks after strays and other homeless pets and finds new homes for them

What is calico?


Calico – tortoiseshell and white

What is catnip-?


Catnip – a herb whose scent is attractive to cats

What is subspecies?


Subspecies – division within a species with slightly different characteristics usually caused by the isolation of its members

Are there really blue cats?

Ba-Bz Terms

Bi-color: having a patched coat of white and a second color

Blaze: a contrasting marking down the the center of the forehead

Blue: color ranging from blue-grey to slate-grey.

Break: a distinct change in the direction of the nose profile (used mainly in the Persian breeds)

Bloodline: a ‘family' of cats related by ancestry or pedigree

Breed: a group of cats with similar, defined phyiscal characteristics and related ancestry

What is incisors?


Incisors – teeth between the canines, six in each jaw

What is recessive gene?

Recessive Gene

Recessive Gene – gene that will pass on a characteristic only if another identical gene appears in the allele

What is flehman behavior?

Flehmen Behavior

Flehmen Behavior – grimacing expression, where the cat tests airborne chemicals using the Jacobson's organ

What is hocks?


Hocks – joint on a cat's hind legs corresponding to the ankle in humans

What is sprayed?


Spayed – neutered of a female

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William Pirraglia