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Case-lesson "Cats and cats craze"
Case-lesson "Cats and cats craze"

Category: Science, nature and human

The level (grade): 7+

Subject: Biology

Objective: To learn useful, various information about the family of cats, get an integrated set of knowledge in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology on cat’s example

What information is waiting for me here?

  • What are the cats in biological terms?
  • Are all cats really cats?
  • Why cats are afraid of water and a loud noise?
  • How does cat purr?
  • What fundamental and practical knowledge will be useful to me?
  • Is it true that the cat treats?
6 scans of the subjects, phenomena and practices:

Why does a cat, even falling from a great height, always lands on four paws? Why does a cat, which was brought thousands of kilometers away from home and left there can return some time later? And, finally, why Facebook users have cats craze?


Indeed, the cat became one of the first domesticated animals. It accompanies human almost the entire history of civilization. Although the relationship of people and cats had a lot of changes, the cat has not yet been studied thoroughly; they are still able to surprise not only the owner, but also science.

Let's unravel some of the cat's mystery.



It is known that cats belong to the type of chord (vertebrates). Class - Mammalia; Order - Carnivora; Family - Felidae.


But all cats are cats? We can identify a cheetah in the family of cats. Typically, the animal is a certain genotype type (set of genes - genetic information) and phenotype (set of external characteristics). Genotypically cheetah is cat, but phenotypically is not quite. It has several features characteristic of both cats and dogs. Its legs are longer, torso is shorter, and claws do not retract, just like dogs. In the body type it is closer to a greyhound than to other cats. But leaves cat traces. Sit these animals like dogs, and jump on trees like cats. Coat color is spotted, like cats have, but it is hairless like dogs.

Cheetah is bluff like a dog and tidy, like a cat. Purrs, buy has dog Diseases. In general it is a paradoxical animal.


A cheetah is also known that for centuries faithfully and honestly served man as a dog – helped to hunt.

Do all cats are the same warm? Normal adult cat internal body temperature is 38-39,5 C, and kittens is somewhat higher. Cats that do not have wool, the core body temperature is the same of all cats. We just subjectively feel that they are warmer.


Do cats have blood types? Yes, cats identified three blood groups - A, B and AB. Cats with blood group A have antibodies to blood group B, and vice versa. Cats with blood group AB do not have antibodies to the blood group A or the group B, so that they can be both recipient by transfusion of blood groups. What is the cat's body? Typically, females are smaller than males, like other mammals (sexual dimorphism phenomenon). The cat is a typical small predator with the characteristic features of the anatomy. Cat’s skeleton is formed of approximately 240 bones and is composed of two divisions: the axial and peripheral. Axial skeleton department has the skull, spine and chest. The peripheral skeleton or limb skeleton consists of 2 thoracic (front) and 2 pelvic (hind) legs. Internal organs:


The skull and spine protects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) from damage. Skull cat differs from other mammalian skulls. It has very large eye sockets powerful and specialized jaws, and approximately the same development of the facial and brain sections. The cat has 30 teeth: 16 on one jaw 14 on the other. A cat has claws 18 (on its hind legs 4).

Does the cat see better, than person? Among pets a cat have the biggest eyes relative to body size. Like most predators, cat eyes direct forward, and their visual fields overlap. Therefore cats have stereoscopic vision, allowing estimating the distance to the object of observation. About 60% of cats are able to move their eyes so that their visual axes converge and diverge.


The cats’ field of view is 200 °, against human’s 180 °. The yellow spot on the cat's eye retina has a drive where there are cones. There are 25 times more rods in the retina than cones. This is explained by the fact that the cat is a nocturnal predator, so the ability to see in low light conditions is a priority for it. It is noted that cat treats worse the fixed and standing close subjects than moving. Cats have the ability to focus on objects 2-3 times less than a human.

Can cats distinguish colors? Yes, but in comparison with a color perception of person colors for cats are less contrast and bright.

Cats (and most other mammals except primates) have two types of cones - sensitive to the longer wavelength and short-wavelength light.

Why do cats sleep so much? Do they have dreams? Cats conserve energy by sleeping a greater extent than the majority of animals. Duration of sleep per day is 12-16 hours. Some cats sleep 20 hours a day, but the average duration of sleep is 13-14 hours. During sleep cats periodically comes REM sleep, accompanied by eye movements and muscle contraction, which indicates that cats have the ability to dream.


Is it true that the white blue-eyed cats are deaf? Among the cats completely white color meet cats with blue eyes and different-eyes cats. The reason for this is the dominant epistatic gene W absence in the cats’ genotype. Such cats with a probability of 40% are born deaf.

Deafness can be on both ears (the cat will be completely deaf), or may be one-sided (the cat will hear). About 5% of all cats have a white color; among white non blue-eyed cat fully 17-22% of them are born deaf. Among the completely white cats numbers of deaf cats increases to 40% if cat has one blue eye, and up to 65-85% if white cat has both eyes blue. Some white cats are deaf in one ear only.


Is it true that three-colored cats-male do not happen, only cat-female? No. Due to the genetic relationship of color wool and chromosome, which determines gender, in most cases, there are tricolor cats-female, not male. Tricolor males born extremely rare, but still occur. And they have two X-chromosomes. Why do cats purr? Surprisingly, but scientists can not give a definite answer to this question for a long time. Cats do not have special organ responsible for purring. According to recent studies, purring is made by following mechanism: in the cerebral cortex appear electrical impulses that come to be located near the vocal cord muscles and make them shrink. Actually "purr machine" is located in the cat between the skull base and the base of the tongue and is subtly associated sublingual bone. The contractions of muscles near the vocal cords make them to be vibration.

Purring cat sound emits mouth and nose, and vibration spreading all over its body, while, and during the purr it is impossible to listen to the lungs and the heart of the animal.


Name properties that have cats, but humans do not have.



It wasn’t so easy to find the answer on many simple, at first glance, "cat" questions. But we will try.

Why does cat lapping water not like a dog? Tongue and the cat's mouth are designed so that it is the most convenient way to drink for an animal. When the cat drinks the water its tongue pulls at a speed of 1 m / s, and a down turned in regard to the liquid surface. But unlike dogs, cats don’t dip their tongues into the liquid like ladles. The cat’s lapping mechanism is far more subtle and elegant. The smooth tip of the tongue barely touches the surface of the liquid before the cat draws its tongue back up. As it does so, a column of liquid forms between the moving tongue and the liquid’s surface. The cat then closes its mouth, pinching off the top of the column for a nice drink, while keeping its chin dry.

When the cat’s tongue touches the liquid surface, some of the liquid sticks to it through liquid adhesion, much as water adheres to a human palm when it touches the surface of a pool. But the cat draws its tongue back up so rapidly that for a fraction of a second, inertia — the tendency of the moving liquid to continue following the tongue — overcomes gravity, which is pulling the liquid back down toward the bowl. The cat instinctively knows just when this delicate balance will change, and it closes its mouth in the instant before gravity overtakes inertia. If the cat hesitated, the column would break, the liquid would fall back into the bowl, and the tongue would come up empty.

How can cats see in the dark? Cats perfectly see in low light conditions. Behind the retina is a special layer - tapetum that contains a large amount of luminescent pigment (tapetumlucidum). Tapetal function is to reflect back part of the retina of the light that passes through translucent layer of light-sensitive cells and which would be irrevocably lost without tapetum.

Due to the tapetum and other mechanisms, cat eyes photosensitivity is 7 times higher than humans’, and cats can see in low light conditions, but in bright light they see worse that people. Contrary to popular belief, cat can not see in absolute darkness.


Why do cats’ eyes glow in the dark? Why is the color of "glow" different?

Due to the tapetum intense pigmentation cat's eyes when they are illuminated in the dark become glow to yellow-green colour. Tapetum pigmentation is closely linked to pigmentation of the iris. Blue-eyed cats (as well as dogs), regardless of the color of wool, has slightly pigmented tapetum and their pupils gleaming red and less pronounced. Humans have such situation (tapetumnigrum). This suggests that the night vision of blue-eyed cats is also weak as a human.


All kittens are born blue-eyed, with a slightly pigmented iris and, respectively, with weakly pigmented tapetum. After a while pigmentation of the iris changes, and a night "cat" eyes is developed.

But the color of the "glow" is dependent on the angle of light incidence, as the tapetum pigmentation decreases in the direction from the back wall of the eyeball to the front and its tone changing gradient: yellow-green, turquoise, blue, purple, red, black. But if the light is shining directly into the eyes of a cat (front view), then cats eyes with well pigmented iris pupils glow yellow-green.

Why does the cat’s pupil change size and shape? This is in order to reduce the luminous flux on the retina in bright light. Iris compressed using muscle fibers unevenly; it serves as a diaphragm controlling the amount of light entering into the eye.


Why cat wool is electrified? Researchers in the US claim that the charge appearing at friction of two materials against each other (including when we pat the cat) due to the interpenetration of tiny particles of friction material with each other.

This effect causes a "conversion" normal charge polarity: materials that frictional generally acquire a positive charge may be negatively charged, and vice versa.

Over the last few years the situation has cleared up completely: the formation of the charge at the point of contact of the two materials has more connected with the properties of the surface of the material, rather than to the material itself.


However, until now it was not stopped the debate what the charge transfer between different materials - electrons, ions, or they "work" together. At the same time it was expressed the thought that the nano-sized fragments of the material may be transferred from one surface to another, thus bringing its own charge.

Why a cat always lands on its paws? At first glance, falling on its paws, cat violates the law of conservation of angular momentum. Scientists, based of it, claim that create a rotation out of nothing is not possible. Simply, the body can’t roll in space without the support. So first the researchers thought that the cat is able to roll over, because it is repelled from the surface, and make the right rotation. Cat can not violate the laws of animal science, can’t it? However, experiments have shown that the cat lands on its feet, not even being able to push off.

Cat's secret remained undiscovered for a long time, until appliances helped. It turned out the cat rotates the individual parts of the body in different directions. It bends, changing "form" and as a result, turns, while maintaining unchanged the total torque.


Bend in the middle so that the front half of their body rotates about a different axis from the rear half.

Tuck their front legs in to reduce the moment of inertia of the front half of their body and extend their rear legs to increase the moment of inertia of the rear half of their body so that they can rotate their front further (as much as 90°) while the rear half rotates in the opposite direction less (as little as 10°).

Extend their front legs and tuck their rear legs so that they can rotate their rear half further while their front half rotates in the opposite direction less.

Depending on the cat's flexibility and initial angular momentum, if any, the cat may need to perform steps two and three repeatedly in order to complete a full 180° rotation.

Here is 'cat fall schedule":


Sometimes cats don’t have enough time to roll over in the right direction. The minimum height required for turning the cat is 30 cm. If the cat does not unfold, it can land on the back or side - absolutely not suitable for this. Thus, a fall from a low height can be even more dangerous to cats than from a height of several meters.



Why cats are allergic? Lovers of animals, particularly cats, often do not even know that their immune system is not able to withstand the harmful substances that are released by cat. The body fights and the result of the struggle is an allergy.

Sadly, but all cats, short-haired and hairless, are distributors of the glycoprotein. This allocation of sebaceous glands is a powerful allergen that causes the body's protest. Glycoproteins, chemical connectings, which molecules residues oligo- or polysaccharides covalently linked (O- or N-glycosidic linkages) with the polypeptide chains of the protein. Example of glycoprotein:


Everywhere where is a cat, it spreads allergens. Furthermore, a glycoprotein is in saliva, other substances, in the roots of wool. It may spread through saliva, when a cat washes. Then the saliva gets on the carpets, curtains, furniture.

There is an opinion, albeit erroneous, that bred breed cats without wool do not cause allergies (emphasis on the lack of wool as such). But these cats also have sebaceous glands and saliva. It turns out that they have all of the allergen. Quite another thing is that care for such cats is much easier, and bathing them twice a week, you can minimize the glycoprotein secreted.



Psychology studies not only human. The psychology of animals can answer a lot of the "cat" questions.

Why cats are afraid of water? Are they afraid? Cats are excellent swimmers, and if animal are afraid of the water, it can not swim. If you closely examine the situation in which the cat has a negative attitude to the water, it turns out that there is not the fear of the water. Firstly, cat reacts negatively to the water when it is washed, because it is the observer instead, not the contactor. There are two negative factors in bathing for cat: the imposed contact with the person and totally meaningless (in its understanding) of the washing procedure. It can clean up itself well, and perfume additives present in detergents, from the point of view of the cat, smell disgusting. And it is nervous and wants to run away because of this, not from the water.

Second, the bad moment is wet coat after a bath: it starts to smell stronger. Wet wool helps the skin hypothermia, and to reduce this effect, the body is "warming up" warms much as 5-7 degrees. Cat, unlike the dog, does not drive its victim, but traps. Efforts smell can scare away the victim, and this, according to the logic of the cat, can not be allowed. If the dog is due to the peculiarities of their hunting skills can run around and dry off, the cat do not use this method. Therefore it dries longer than dog.

So the cat is not afraid of water, and the troubles that await it in this case.

Cats owners are always surprised at their reaction to the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer. Why cats are afraid of the vacuum cleaner?

In fact, cats are afraid of almost any noise, they immediately run away and hide. The main role is played by the noise, and vibration. Vacuums for cats are the same, that the planes a few meters above the roof of your house. Unpleasant, deafening and uncomfortable? That is roughly the same emotions experienced cat. By the way, these animals are afraid of even the quietest vacuum cleaners, although there are exceptions.

Some cats can see in the vacuum cleaner not the noisy mechanical monster, but its sizzling opponent's.

That's why some of the cats do not just run away from the room, but left to look at the "monster." Sometimes they even try to fight with it, showing their superiority. But every rule has exceptions.

If we talk about human psychology and health, it immediately becomes a reasonable question: why it is believed that the cats are treated? Treatment with cats called Feline therapy. When our body or smth around us have any violations, it is like catching certain energy or signal tends to this place.


Different diseases cats treat differently. Finding a sore spot, some cats fall on it, trying to warm up. Others releasing their claws like acupuncturist’s needles starting to make kind of massage. Human skin is connected through nerve receptors to the brain. Stroking a cat, through the skin of the fingers and the autonomic nervous system signals are transmitted to the brain, with feeling of relaxation and tranquility there.

When a cat or dog fondles, a person strokes its wool - this is nothing like the electrostatic effect of weak currents. So the cat - is, in fact, home physical therapy apparatus.

Physicists have found that the sound of "mur-mur" is sounded in the frequency range from 25 to 150 Hz. Medical uses these frequencies for healing damaged bone tissue.

Scientists have suggested that the purr is similar to the ultrasonic treatment. It was found that the impact of sounds in this range increases wound healing, growth and bones strengthening. How? Professor Clinton Rubin found that exposure to sound in the range 20-50 Hz increases bone growth and strengthens by 20 percent. In this case the animal practically does not spend energy on the emission of sound healing. Moreover, the sound vibrations are something like a simulator-massager for the cat's body. As we have said, the cat's lifestyle involves a dream for most of the day, but animal muscles do not weaken. Zoologists believe that purring plays the fitness function for the fans to sleep.

Some psychologists believe that status of the tail and character movements can help to "read" cat's mood. That's one option, "decrypt" the cat's body language:


The modern world became cat crazy: social networks are full of pictures of cats; Cats are in blogs tops, cats are "style icon" in Twitter; cats have their own channels on YouTube with a millions audience:

Cole and Marmalade:




Famous ‘Angry Cat’, the owner of the top Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheOfficialGrumpyCat/timeline and site www.grumpycats.com/ and many others.

And what about Simon’s cat, who became a very popular www.youtube.com/user/simonscat

What makes cats so popular? The answer lies in the field of psychology:



Try to hold a contest: who will show the best story about cats from social networks?



Cats were not always just pets. And the modern domestic cat is rather spoiled "little god", firmly confident in its right to adoration. And were there places where cats really worshiped as gods? Yes they were. In ancient Egypt flourished the cult of the goddess Bast (Bastet) - the cat-goddess, the goddess-lioness.


Egypt Bastet was the goddess of joy, fun and love, feminine beauty, fertility and the hearth. Bastet served as a counterpoint to the violent Sekhmet, who also had the head of a lioness and was a goddess of war. Sekhmet was the punishing eye of Re, whereas Bastet was the gentle one. Bastet is usually represented as a cat-headed woman, with a kitten or kittens at her feet and sometimes a basket, perhaps in which to carry them. She holds in one hand a systrum, a kind of musical instrument associated with Hathor, goddess of love, and in the other an aegis, a symbol of Sekhmet.

Where else cats are revered? In Japan. The maneki-neko is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat (traditionally a calico Japanese Bobtail) beckoning with an upright paw, and is usually displayed—often at the entrance—of shops, restaurants, pachinko parlors, and other businesses.


Do we have cats holiday? Yes, there is such a holiday.

National Cat Day was founded by animal welfare advocate Jason Merrill. It is a celebration that takes place on October 29, every year in the United States. The National Cat Day website states that the holiday was first celebrated in 2005 by Obi, "to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate cats in their life for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us." The day is supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a nonprofit organization which also works to encourage pet adoption.

A World Cat Day, August 8th, was created in 2002, by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. World Cat Day is celebrated on 17 February, in much of Europe and on 1 March, in Russia and Ukraine.

Is cat a musical inspiration?

Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Cats introduced the song standard "Memory".



Not house for cats, but cat-houses. Is this possible? Maybe! CatShapedSchool is a unique school with a playful architecture in Karlsruhe (Germany). In an effort to create a cheerful mood, the architects decided to let the appearance of the building simulates a giant cat-eye windows and a mouth-door:


Although cats figures may be used like "decorative elements". One of the most legendary buildings in Riga, namely its old part, is a building called "The House with black cats." The idea of architect F. Scheffel realized in the form of a house with turrets, where "walk" two black cats.


A cat can inspire to create the interior. For example, cat's sofa:



Do you want to go to school-cat? And sit on the "catcouch"? Suggest your architectural design or "catideas".

So, here we have unraveled some the mysteries of the cat:


It's time to take stock.

Lesson summary






As a result of Case Knowledge Hypermarket can add the following findings of students:



What are the 3 most significant sites help getting information?






To help the student and coach:







Where to take information for the Case:





















Locations of the lesson:


Case lesson takes place in the classroom. Carrying classes at the museum, park, library...



Teams of boys and girls.

1. Which team will name more chemical elements and compounds «realized» in cats?

2. What cat especially would be useful in human activities?
Which of them is implemented (for example, in the art)?




Make 5 questions to the case lesson material (individual task).


Duration of Case:


90 minutes(double lesson).



Ability to circuit classes with student-double for:




The results produced and competence:

The study of diverse comprehensive information about the representatives of the cat family.

Examination of the integral knowledge on the example of the cat, when one effect has
a multifaceted explanation from the point of view of several sciences (such as physics and
biology, chemistry, biology, physics and psychology).




cat, cheetah, tapetum, genotype, phenotype, blood group, dimorphism, stereoscopic vision,
tapetum, opsin, epistatic gene





Took part in case apgrade:


The End

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