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Basic Cat Anatomy - Skeleton and muscles

Skeleton and muscles form the important anatomical structures in cat’s body. The cat owners should know the basic anatomical facts on these structures. Nuchal crest is well developed in cats, unlike man and similarly, at the point of symphysis; the mandibular structures are easily separable.

Thirty five to forty separate skull bones are present in cats. The skeleton and muscles comprise the main body regions in cat anatomy.

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The basic anatomy of skeleton relate to the presence of seven cervical vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae, five sacral vertebrae and one to four coccygeal vertebrae.

The cervical vertebrae have atlas, axis etc. and the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae have typical bone processes and the caudal vertebrae and sternum are more important features in cat’s anatomy.

The skeleton and muscles form the main structure and comprises many skeleton components like scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpal, phalanges in forelimbs, hind limb bones like femur, tibia, fibula, tarsal, metatarsal, pelvis etc.

The muscular components like shoulder muscles like teres major, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and fore arm muscles like biceps brochii, triceps brachis etc form the significant muscle related structures in cat’s body. The skeleton and muscles have compactness in configuration.

The thigh muscles like sartoris, gracilis, biceps femoris, adductor longus, iliacus muscle, pectineus muscle etc. and hip muscles like gluteus medius, pyriformis, gluteus minimus, coccygeus etc. are also considered as vital structures in cats.


Head muscles like maseter muscle, which is a heavy muscle posterior to the eye in cheek region of cats. Important ones are abdominal muscles like transverse abdominis, external oblique muscles, rectus abdominis etc. Skeleton and muscles bear many structures that are important for integration of body structures.

Among the skeleton and muscles, structures like clavicle is significant in cats and in case of cat species, the clavicles are present in pair and the edge, particularly the upper part of the clavicle bones are thickened and are larger than the lower bones.

Similarly, the mylohyoid muscles in cervical region of cats assume significance, as the case with cleidomastoid muscles. The skeleton and muscles may get damaged if any accident occurred disturbing the macroscopic and microscopic structures of both skeleton and muscles.

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Basic Anatomy of Mouth and Digestive System of House Cats

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  • For a healthy cat feed your cat a well balanced diet.
  • Keep your cats digestive tract healthy by de-worming on a regular basis.
  • Have a veterinarian give your cat a thorough check up at least once a year.