Communication and Perception
The position of the eyes, farther forward on the head and closer together than those of other cats, maximizes binocular vision, optimizing flat-headed cats for finding and catching food in water. Like other felids, flat-headed cats probably maintain territories by scent-marking. In captivity, both males and females spray urine in a manner that is unusual among felids. Most cats point their rear ends at a tree or bush, raise their tails to an upward position, and spray. Flat-headed cats raise their tails to half-mast, crouch with their hind legs, and walk forward while leaving a trail of urine. The calls of a flat-headed cat cubs are often compared to the vibration made by pulling a thumb along the teeth of a comb, though these vocalizations were also reported to resemble those of the domestic cat. Adults purr and produce other short-range vocalizations. The vocalizations of flat-headed cats have yet to be thoroughly investigated.
Communication Channels: acoustic ; chemical
Other Communication Modes: pheromones ; scent marks
Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic
- Leyhausen, P. 1979. Cat Behavior: the Predatory and Social Behavior of Domestic and Wild Cats. New York: Garland STPM Press.
- Peters, G., B. Tonkin-Leyhausen. 1999. Evolution of acoustic communication signals of mammals: friendly close-range vocalizations in Felidae (Carnivora). Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 6/2: 129-159.
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