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National Hockey League

The modernized NHL shield logo debuted in 2005, replacing the orange and black shield, which had been used since the league's inception. The silver color is a homage to the Stanley Cup, the trophy awarded to the NHL champion.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional sports organization composed of hockey teams in the United States and Canada, where it is also known by its French name, Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH). It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

History

The beginnings to The Original Six

The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 in Montreal after a series of disputes within the (Canadian) National Hockey Association (NHA) between the Toronto Blueshirts' owner Edward J. Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. Livingstone, unable to attend the meeting because of illness, was shocked to learn that owners had chosen to effectively eject him and the Blueshirts from the NHA. Arguments and discussions ensued which eventually led to the formation of the National Hockey League at on November 26, 1917, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs and newly-renamed Toronto Arenas as founding members.

The classic NHL shield logo, used until the end of the 2004 lockout.

The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. The Wanderers, already a shadow of its former self, folded in the wake of the fire, ending one of the most storied franchises in the early years of Canadian professional hockey. With the Bulldogs and Wanderers out, the NHL operated with just three teams for the remainder of its opening year, and through the second season.

Though the league struggled to stay in business during its first decade, NHL teams were quite successful on the ice, winning the Stanley Cup seven out of its first nine years. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). By 1926, having increased player salaries to a level that couldn't be matched by other Canadian leagues, the NHL was alone in Stanley Cup competition. The league had also expanded into the United States, with the Boston Bruins in 1924, the New York Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925 and the New York Rangers, Detroit Cougars (later to become the Red Wings), and Chicago Blackhawks in 1926. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. With these developments and the onset of World War II, the NHL was reduced to six teams during its 25th anniversary year of (1942) – six teams still known today, if somewhat inaccurately, as the Original Six: The Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Blackhawks.

Expansion: 1967 and beyond

The rise of the Western Hockey League, which many pundits thought planned to transform into a major league and challenge for the Stanley Cup, spurred the NHL in 1967 to undertake its first expansion since the 1920s. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises.

In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. In response to that, the NHL decided to rush its own expansion plans by adding the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames that year, along with the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals two years later. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer. The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL.

In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. Approaching the new millennium, the NHL added another four teams; the Nashville Predators (1998), the Atlanta Thrashers (1999), the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets (both added in 2000) bringing the total to 30 teams.

Labour Issues

There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005.

The first was a strike by the National Hockey League Players Association in April 1992 which lasted for 10 days, but the strike was settled quickly and all affected games were rescheduled.

A lockout at the start of the 1994-95 forced the league to reduce the schedule from 84 games to just 48, with the teams playing only intra-conference games during the reduced season. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004.

Negotiations to replace the contract that expired in 2004 turned into one of the most contentious collective bargaining sessions in the history of professional sports. The league vowed to install what it dubbed "cost certainty" for its teams, but the National Hockey League Players Association countered that the move was little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which the union initially said it would not accept. With no new agreement in hand when the existing contract expired on September 15, 2004, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office, causing the NHL to lose an entire season.

A new collective bargaining agreement was ratified in July 2005 with a term of six years with an option of extending the collective bargaining agreement for an additional year at the end of the term, allowing the NHL to resume as of the 2005-06 season.

Post Lockout

On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. The NHL, despite negative press generated during the lockout, has success attracting fans to the initial games of the season and extends fan bases into non-traditional markets in the US such as Nashville, Atlanta, and the Carolinas.

Current organization

The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. Over the years many different organizations have existed. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams.

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

Season structure

Regular season

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. Teams play 32 games within their division (8 games against four other teams), 40 games against non-divisional, conference opponents (4 games against 10 other teams) and 10 interconference games, 1 game against each team in two of the three divisions in the opposite conference. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball.

Points are awarded for each game as follows:

  • Two points are awarded for a win
  • One point for losing in overtime or a shootout
  • Zero points for a loss in regulation time.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion.

Stanley Cup playoffs

At the end of the regular season, the three division champions and the five other teams in each conference with the highest number of points, 8 teams in each conference, qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The division winners are seeded one through three, and the next five teams with the best records in the conference are seeded four through eight.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination tournament, where two teams battle to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. The first round of the playoffs, or conference quarterfinals, consists of the first seed playing the eighth seed, the second playing the seventh, third playing the sixth, and the fourth playing the fifth. In the second round, or conference semifinals, the NHL re-seeds (unlike the NBA) the teams, with the top remaining conference seed playing against the lowest remaining seed, and the other two remaining conference teams pairing off. In the third round, the conference finals, the two remaining teams in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue - the first and second, and, where necessary, the fifth and seventh, with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue.

During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. Overtimes are also full periods of twenty minutes (of five-on-five hockey), rather than the five minutes (of four-on-four hockey, followed by a shootout) in the regular season. The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal.

Rules

While the National Hockey League follows the general rules of Ice hockey, it differs slightly from those used in international games organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation such as the Olympics.

Game timing

Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials.

Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play.

Hockey rink

The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. The red line is used to judge icing violations. There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. They divide the ice into zones. Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. It is used to judge goals and icing calls.

Scoring and winning

A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5 minute, 4-on-4 sudden death overtime period is played, where the first team that scores a goal wins the game. If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death.

Offside

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone.

The NHL in 2006 removed the offside pass or two-line pass which was a pass from inside a team's defending zone that crosses the red line.

Icing

Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net. When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off.

Under the rules following the 2004-2005 lockout, if a team ices the puck under five-on-five conditions, they are not allowed to make a line change for the following faceoff.

Penalties

A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. A referee makes all penalty calls. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed.

During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends.

Trophies and awards

Stanley Cup on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame

The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players.

Trophies awarded to teams

  • Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion.
  • Clarence S. Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion.
  • Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion.
  • Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team
  • The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season.

Trophies awarded to individuals

  • Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion
  • Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship
  • Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year
  • Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs
  • Frank J. Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season
  • Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman
  • King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution
  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship
  • Lester B. Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers
  • Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season
  • NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic
  • Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper
  • Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender
  • William M. Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them
  • The Lester Patrick Trophy has been presented by the National Hockey League since 1966 to honour a recipient's contribution to hockey in the United States.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted.

NHL: An International League

NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. The league also voluntarily stops its season so that its players can play in the Winter Olympics to have the players represent their own country. While the league has always had a strong Canadian majority, the percentage of Canadian players has gone down slowly in the past 20 years since the arrival of European players.


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While the league has always had a strong Canadian majority, the percentage of Canadian players has gone down slowly in the past 20 years since the arrival of European players. She was depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum. The league also voluntarily stops its season so that its players can play in the Winter Olympics to have the players represent their own country. Bast was also associated with the 'eye of Ra', acting as the instrument of the sun god's vengeance. Since the 1990s, the league has tried to promote itself throughout Europe with ads, media, and magazines. Her cult was centered on her sanctuary at Bubastis in the delta region, where a necropolis has been found containing mummified cats. NHL is very proud of its players coming from all around the world. She was the wife of Ptah and mother of the lion-god Mihos.

After Gretzky's induction, the NHL declared that he would be the last one to have the waiting period omitted. Daughter of the sun god Ra, although sometimes regarded as the daughter of Amun. In 1999 Wayne Gretzky became the last player to have the three years waived. In Ancient Egypt, the cat god, Bast, is a goddess of the home and of the domestic cat, although she sometimes took on the war-like aspect of a lioness. However, only 10 individual have been honoured in this manner. Cats have been kept with humans since at least the days of Ancient Egypt through various cultures. In the past, if a player was deemed significant enough, the pending period would be waived. Main article History of cats.

Three years after retirement, players are eligible to be voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Household cats are divided into:. The National Hockey League presents numerous trophies per year; some are given to teams, and other are given to players. These are physical properties and should not be confused with a breed of cat. If the penalized team is scored on during a minor penalty, the penalty immediately ends. Cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. A team is far more likely to score on a power play than during normal play. In the United States, a non-purebred cat is sometimes referred to in slang as an alley cat, even if it is not a stray.

This is called a power play for the attackers and a penalty kill for the defenders. In the United Kingdom and Australia, non-purebred cats are referred in slang as moggies (also an archaic slang word for a prostitute, probably referring to a female cat's promiscuous habits). Normally, hockey teams have five skaters (excluding the goaltender), so if one penalty is called, play becomes five-on-four. Due to common crossbreeding in populated areas, many cats are simply identified as belonging to the homogeneous breeds of domestic longhair and domestic shorthair, depending on their type of fur. In most cases, the penalized team cannot replace that player and is thus shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. The owners and breeders of show cats compete to see whose animal bears the closest resemblance to the "ideal" definition of the breed (see selective breeding). During a penalty, the player who committed the infraction is sent to the penalty box. Each breed has distinct features and heritage.

In the NHL, the Linesman may call major intent-to-injure penalties that the referee may have missed. The list of cat breeds is quite large. A linesman may call only obvious technical infractions such as too many men on the ice. This name, and its variants Felis catus domesticus and Felis silvestris domesticus, are often seen, but they are not valid scientific names under the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. A referee makes all penalty calls. Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben named the domestic cat Felis domesticus in his Anfangsgründe der Naturlehre and Systema regni animalis of 1777. A penalty is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. catus is still valid if the domestic form is considered a separate species.).

Under the rules following the 2004-2005 lockout, if a team ices the puck under five-on-five conditions, they are not allowed to make a line change for the following faceoff. (F. If the goalie on the side of the ice where the puck is being sent touches the puck, the icing is waved off. silvestris catus for its domesticated subspecies. A short handed team is not penalized for clearing the puck out of its zone during a powerplay. silvestris for the wild cat and F. Play is resumed with a faceoff in the defending zone of the team that committed the infraction. In opinion 2027 (published in Volume 60, Part 1 of the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 31 March 2003 [22]) the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are predated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", thus confirming F.

When icing occurs, a linesman stops play. catus only for the domesticated form. Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the red line and the opposing team's goal line without the puck going into the net. silvestris for the wild species, using F. The NHL in 2006 removed the offside pass or two-line pass which was a pass from inside a team's defending zone that crosses the red line. However, in practice almost all biologists use F. When an offside violation occurs, the linesman blows play dead, and a faceoff is conducted in the neutral zone. catus since Linnaeus published first.

In ice hockey, play is said to be offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck. The domestic cat is now considered a subspecies of the wild cat: by the strict rule of priority of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature the name for the species thus ought to be F. If the game is still tied after the three shootout rounds, the shootout continues, but becomes sudden death. Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber named the wild cat Felis silvestris in 1775. The team with the most goals during this shootout wins the game. The domestic cat was named Felis catus by Carolus Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae of 1758. Three players for each team in turn perform a penalty shot. Experts recommend a gradual transition to indoor life for cats who are accustomed to going outside.

If the game is still tied at the end of overtime, the game enters a shootout. If faced with conflicting evidence, the safe choice is to keep a cat indoors. If the game is tied at the end of regulation time, a 5 minute, 4-on-4 sudden death overtime period is played, where the first team that scores a goal wins the game. FELV (feline leukemia), FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), or rabies may be present in the area. The team that has the most goals at the end of 60 minutes wins the game. Coyotes kill large numbers of housecats in the Southwestern United States, even in urban zones. A goal is scored when the puck passes the goal line and enters the net. Additional concerns include potential dangers from larger predators and infectious diseases.

It is used to judge goals and icing calls. Pet owners can contact veterinarians, ecological organizations, and universities for opinions about whether local conditions are suitable for outdoor cats. Near each end of the rink, there is a thin red goal line spanning the width of the ice. Environmental concerns may be minimal in most of England where cats are an established species and few to none of the local prey species are endangered. They divide the ice into zones. Serious concerns also exist in places such as Florida where housecats are not native, where several small sized endangered species live near human populations, and where the climate allows cats to breed throughout the year. There are two blue lines that divide the rink roughly into thirds. The most severe impact occurs with island ecologies.

The red line is used to judge icing violations. The amount of ecological damage done by indoor/outdoor cats depends on local conditions. The red line divides the ice in half lengthwise. Owners who can no longer keep their cats would do best to give them to friends, rescue organizations, or shelters. The hockey rink is an ice rink which is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall . Nearly all studies agree that abandoned animals lead hard lives. Each team may also take one 30 second time-out which may only be taken during a normal stoppage of play. Part of this stems from humane concern for the cats themselves and part arises from concerns about cat predation on endangered species.

Between stoppages of play, teams have 25 seconds before substituting their players except for referee stoppages for TV commercials. The environmental impact of feral cat programs and of indoor/outdoor cats is a subject of debate. Between each period there is a 15 minute intermission. Many hope to see an end to urban feral cat colonies through these efforts. Each game is 60 minutes composed of three 20 minute periods. In time, if an entire colony is successfully spayed and neutered, no additional kittens are born and the feral colony disappears. While the National Hockey League follows the general rules of Ice hockey, it differs slightly from those used in international games organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation such as the Olympics. Volunteers continue to feed and give care to these cats throughout their lives, and not only is their lifespan greatly increased, but behavior and nuisance problems, due to competition for food, are also greatly reduced.

The overtime is sudden death with the game ending when either team scores a goal. Before release back into their feral colonies, the attending veterinarian nips the tip off one ear to mark the feral as spayed/neutered and inoculated, as these cats will more than likely find themselves trapped again. Overtimes are also full periods of twenty minutes (of five-on-five hockey), rather than the five minutes (of four-on-four hockey, followed by a shootout) in the regular season. However, there are thousands of volunteers and organizations that trap these unadoptable feral felines, spay or neuter them, immunize the cats against rabies and feline leukemia, and treat them with long-lasting flea products. If the score is tied at the end of an overtime period, additional overtime periods are played until a winner is determined. In addition, they have little defense or understanding of the dangers from dogs, coyotes, and even automobiles. During playoff games if the score is tied at the end of the third period an overtime period is played. Although cats are adaptable, feral felines are unable to thrive in extreme cold and heat, and with a protein requirement of about 90%, few find adequate nutrition on their own in cities.

Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue - the first and second, and, where necessary, the fifth and seventh, with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue. Urban areas are not native environments to the cat; most domestic cats were artificially selected from cats in desert climates and were distributed throughout the world by humans, but some feral cat colonies are found in large cities, for example, around the Colosseum and Forum Romanum in Rome. In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. The average lifespan of these feral cats is much shorter than a domestic housecat, which can live an average of sixteen years or more. In the third round, the conference finals, the two remaining teams in each conference play each other, with the conference champions proceeding to the Stanley Cup Finals. Many lost or abandoned pet cats join these colonies out of desperation. In the second round, or conference semifinals, the NHL re-seeds (unlike the NBA) the teams, with the top remaining conference seed playing against the lowest remaining seed, and the other two remaining conference teams pairing off. Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large groups called feral colonies with communal nurseries, depending on resource availability.

The first round of the playoffs, or conference quarterfinals, consists of the first seed playing the eighth seed, the second playing the seventh, third playing the sixth, and the fourth playing the fifth. Not only males will fight; females will also fight over territory or to defend their kittens and even neutered cats will defend their small territories vigorously. The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an elimination tournament, where two teams battle to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. Sexually active males may be engaged in many fights over their lives and often have decidedly weathered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and nose. The division winners are seeded one through three, and the next five teams with the best records in the conference are seeded four through eight. Attacks usually comprise powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as bites, but serious damage is rarely done, and usually the loser runs away with little more than a few scratches to the face. At the end of the regular season, the three division champions and the five other teams in each conference with the highest number of points, 8 teams in each conference, qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Fighting cats make themselves look larger by raising their fur and arching their backs.

At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points in each division is crowned the division champion. Outside of these neutral areas, territory holders usually vigorously chase away strangers, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if that does not work by short but noisy and violent attacks. Points are awarded for each game as follows:. While each cat holds a distinct territory (sexually active males having the largest territories, and neutered cats having the smallest), there are "neutral" areas where cats watch and greet one another without territorial conflict or aggression. The two divisions from the opposite conference which each team plays against will be rotated every year, much like interleague play in baseball. Some breeds like bengal, ocicat and manx are very social, but these breeds are exceptions. Teams play 32 games within their division (8 games against four other teams), 40 games against non-divisional, conference opponents (4 games against 10 other teams) and 10 interconference games, 1 game against each team in two of the three divisions in the opposite conference. Despite its reputation as a solitary animal, the domestic cat is social enough to form colonies, but does not attack in groups as do lions.

Each team in the NHL plays 82 regular season games, 41 games at home and 41 on the road. They may even present such victims, dead or maimed, to a beloved owner, perhaps expecting their owner to praise or reward them, or possibly even complete the kill and eat the mouse. For a list of previous teams see List of defunct NHL teams. Many pet cats successfully hunt and kill rabbits, rodents, birds, lizards, frogs, fish, and large insects by instinct, but might not eat their prey. Over the years many different organizations have existed. Hunting in the barns and the fields, they kill and eat rodents that would otherwise spoil large parts of the grain crop. The National Hockey League currently has 30 teams divided into two conferences, and 6 divisions, an organization that started in the year 2000. In rural areas, farms often have dozens of semi-feral cats.

The NHL, despite negative press generated during the lockout, has success attracting fans to the initial games of the season and extends fan bases into non-traditional markets in the US such as Nashville, Atlanta, and the Carolinas. Indoor confinement of pets and TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) programs for feral cats can help in this situation; some people also use cat deterrents to discourage cats from entering their property. Of those 15 games, 11 were in front of sell out crowds. Unaltered animals can engage in persistent nighttime calling (caterwauling) and defecation or "marking" on private property. On October 5, 2005, the first post-lockout NHL season got under way with 15 games. In urban areas, some people find feral and free roaming pet cats annoying and intrusive. A new collective bargaining agreement was ratified in July 2005 with a term of six years with an option of extending the collective bargaining agreement for an additional year at the end of the term, allowing the NHL to resume as of the 2005-06 season. Recent studies have indicated the humans who are exposed to cats or dogs within the first year of their lives develop few animal allergies, while most adults who are allergic to animals did not have a cat or a dog as a pet in childhood.

With no new agreement in hand when the existing contract expired on September 15, 2004, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office, causing the NHL to lose an entire season. Many chose to cope with cat allergies by taking prescription allergy medicine and bathing their cats frequently, since weekly bathing will eliminate about 90% of the cat dander present in the environment. The league vowed to install what it dubbed "cost certainty" for its teams, but the National Hockey League Players Association countered that the move was little more than a euphemism for a salary cap, which the union initially said it would not accept. However, in some instances, humans find the rewards of cat companionship outweigh the discomfort and problems associated with allergies. Negotiations to replace the contract that expired in 2004 turned into one of the most contentious collective bargaining sessions in the history of professional sports. Allergies to cat dander are one of the most common reasons people cite for disliking cats. The resulting collective bargaining agreement was set for renegotiation in 1998 and extended to September 15, 2004. Some owners like to train their cat to perform "tricks" commonly exhibited by dogs such as jumping.

A lockout at the start of the 1994-95 forced the league to reduce the schedule from 84 games to just 48, with the teams playing only intra-conference games during the reduced season. finding a bug crawling on the floor for the owner to get rid of). The first was a strike by the National Hockey League Players Association in April 1992 which lasted for 10 days, but the strike was settled quickly and all affected games were rescheduled. The cat may also be capable of learning to communicate with the human using non-spoken language or body language such as rubbing for affection (confirmation), facial expressions and making eye-contact with the owner if something needs to be addressed (e.g. There have been three work stoppages in NHL history, all happening between 1992 and 2005. Other behaviors could include mimicking sounds of the owner or using certain sounds the cat picks up from the human; sounds representing specific needs of the cat, which the owner would recognize. Approaching the new millennium, the NHL added another four teams; the Nashville Predators (1998), the Atlanta Thrashers (1999), the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets (both added in 2000) bringing the total to 30 teams. Such behavior may include a trip to the litter box before bedtime and snuggling up close to its companion in bed or on the sofa.

In 1993, the NHL added an additional two teams, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers. When a cat bonds with its human owner, at times, the cat may display behaviors similar to that of the human. The San Jose Sharks debuted in 1991, a season later the Ottawa Senators would join the NHL along with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Some people (known as cat lovers) go to great lengths to pamper their cats, sometimes treating them almost as if they were children. In the early 90's the NHL expanded further with five new franchises. Some humans keep cats for companionship as pets. As of 2005, the Oilers are the last remaining original WHA franchise still playing in the city where they began in the NHL. Human attitudes toward cats vary widely.

Four of the remaining six WHA teams merged with the NHL: The Hartford Whalers, Québec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets. However, cats can be very affectionate towards their humans, especially if they imprint on them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection. The two leagues fought for the services of hockey players and fans until the WHA folded in 1979. Thus, communicating with such an animal is problematic, and cats in particular are labelled as opaque or inscrutable, if not obtuse, as well as aloof and self-sufficient. The dilution of the talent pool, however, caused the overall quality of play to suffer. No such communications skills are required of the lone hunter. In response to that, the NHL decided to rush its own expansion plans by adding the New York Islanders and Atlanta Flames that year, along with the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals two years later. This requires a cooperative effort, which in turn requires communications skills.

Though it never challenged for the Stanley Cup, its status as a viable NHL rival was unquestionable. A dog's odor, on the other hand, is an advantage, for a dog is a pack hunter; part of the pack stations itself upwind, and its odor drives prey towards the rest of the pack stationed downwind. In 1972, the World Hockey Association (WHA) was formed. The "purpose" of this cleanliness is to help hide the cat's presence while stalking prey. Three years later, the NHL added the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres as franchises. It is no coincidence that cats are also "clean" animals, the chemistry of their saliva, expended in frequent grooming, acting as a natural deodorant. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite occasional cohabitation in colonies, cats are lone hunters.

They were the Philadelphia Flyers, St. The venerable simile "like herding cats" refers to the seeming intractability of the ordinary house cat to be trained in the manner of the dog. Six new teams were added to the NHL roster, and placed in their own newly-created division. A cat that is good at hunting rodents is referred to as a mouser. The rise of the Western Hockey League, which many pundits thought planned to transform into a major league and challenge for the Stanley Cup, spurred the NHL in 1967 to undertake its first expansion since the 1920s. Unlike the dog, which also kills rodents, the cat did not eat grains, fruits, or vegetables. With these developments and the onset of World War II, the NHL was reduced to six teams during its 25th anniversary year of (1942) – six teams still known today, if somewhat inaccurately, as the Original Six: The Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Bruins, Rangers, and Blackhawks. Since the benefit of removing rats and mice from humans' food stores outweighed the cost of allowing a formerly wild animal to enjoy the relative safety of a human settlement, the relationship between cat and human flourished.

However, the Great Depression took a toll on the league; teams such as the Pirates, Americans and Ottawa Senators folded. Cats, however, have done so for a much shorter time than almost all other domesticated animals, and the degree of domestication of cats is somewhat disputed. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the NHL featured a total of 10 teams. Like some other domesticated animals, cats live in a mutualistic arrangement with humans. Canadian additions included the Montreal Maroons and Hamilton Tigers. one blue eye and one amber eye. The league had also expanded into the United States, with the Boston Bruins in 1924, the New York Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925 and the New York Rangers, Detroit Cougars (later to become the Red Wings), and Chicago Blackhawks in 1926. Apart from the Turkish Angora, there are also many non-pedigree white cats that have odd eyes, i.e.

By 1926, having increased player salaries to a level that couldn't be matched by other Canadian leagues, the NHL was alone in Stanley Cup competition. It was not until recently that colored Turkish Angoras were allowed to be shown, making deafness an issue in that breed. (The 1918-19 competition was cancelled because of the Spanish Flu epidemic that had hit Seattle). [21] Some breeds however, such as the Turkish Angora are based on all white cats and produce a higher percentage of deaf cats as a results. Though the league struggled to stay in business during its first decade, NHL teams were quite successful on the ice, winning the Stanley Cup seven out of its first nine years. Many people believe that deaf white cats should not be used for breeding as it is not ethical to propagate such a disability, and instead deaf cats should be spayed or neutered to avoid passing the trait to their offspring. With the Bulldogs and Wanderers out, the NHL operated with just three teams for the remainder of its opening year, and through the second season. Very few survive in the wild because of all the hazards that they cannot avoid as easily as other cats would in the same situation.

The Wanderers, already a shadow of its former self, folded in the wake of the fire, ending one of the most storied franchises in the early years of Canadian professional hockey. Around 5% of all cats are completely white, of which 10%–20% are deaf. On January 2, 1918, the Westmount Arena in Montreal, home to the Wanderers and Canadiens, was destroyed in a fire. Humans with common albinism, white skin and blue eyes generally suffer from visual problems, but in Tietz syndrome they suffer from deafness. The NHL endured a rocky inaugural season in 1917-18, starting with the temporary shuttering of the Bulldogs. This may diminish the cats' visual acuity, but the extent is not known. Arguments and discussions ensued which eventually led to the formation of the National Hockey League at on November 26, 1917, with the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs and newly-renamed Toronto Arenas as founding members. [20] Often, blue eyes will lack a tapetum lucidum and thus will not reflect like colored cat eyes.

Livingstone, unable to attend the meeting because of illness, was shocked to learn that owners had chosen to effectively eject him and the Blueshirts from the NHA. [19] However, blindness in cats has not found to be associated with the W gene. The owners met in Montreal's Windsor Hotel to consider the league's future on February 11, 1917. This also occurs with dogs if they have white coat and blue eyes, and in the case of dogs, it can be equally common for them to be born blind. Livingstone and the owners of the other teams. Blue eyes can also result from the form of albinism characteristic of the siamese breed; white cats from this genetic background, sometimes called Foreign whites or Oriental Shorthairs may not have a problem with deafness, but it can happen if the cat inherits the W gene. The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 in Montreal after a series of disputes within the (Canadian) National Hockey Association (NHA) between the Toronto Blueshirts' owner Edward J. [18] Any cat that receives even one W from one parent may exhibit this.

. Blue irises can result, and they are linked to deafness. The NHL is one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

. This gene produces a white coat because it completely masks any other color or pattern the cat has. It is generally regarded as the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. The deafness is an effect of the W gene. The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional sports organization composed of hockey teams in the United States and Canada, where it is also known by its French name, Ligue Nationale de Hockey (LNH). Completely white cats (not due to albinism, but white because of the dominant epistatic white (W) gene) with two blue eyes have a forty percent probability of being born deaf.

The Lester Patrick Trophy has been presented by the National Hockey League since 1966 to honour a recipient's contribution to hockey in the United States. Kittens are weaned at between six and seven weeks, and cats normally reach sexual maturity at six months (females) to seven months (males). Jennings Trophy (1982 - present) -- goalkeeper(s) for the team with the fewest goals against them. The size of a litter averages three to five kittens, with the first litter usually smaller than subsequent litters. William M. The gestation period for cats is approximately 60 days. Vezina Trophy (1927 - present) -- voted to be the most outstanding goaltender. Furthermore, cats are superfecund; that is, a female may mate with more than one male when she is in heat, meaning different kittens in a litter may have different fathers.

Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (2000 - present) -- best save percentage by a goalkeeper. Because of this, females are rarely impregnated by the first male with which they mate. NHL Plus/Minus Award (1968 - present) -- highest plus/minus statistic. The female needs this stimulation for ovulation to begin. Maurice 'Rocket' Richard Trophy (1999 - present) -- to the goal-scoring leader during the regular season. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina. Pearson Award (1971 - present) -- most outstanding player as selected by peers. The male cat's penis has spines which point backwards.

Lester B. A heat period lasts about 4 to 7 days if the female is bred; if she is not, the heat period lasts longer and recurs at regular intervals. Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1925 - present) -- player combining ability and sportsmanship. Cats are seasonally polyestrous, which means they may have many heat periods over the course of a year. King Clancy Memorial Trophy (1988 - present) -- leadership and humanitarian contribution. If a cat is continually exposed to water from a very young age, often it will develop a fondness for it; however, this rarely if ever occurs naturally. James Norris Memorial Trophy (1954 - present)-- most outstanding defenceman. Most cats dislike immersion in water, but one exception is the Turkish Van cat.

Jack Adams Award (1974 - present) -- coach of the year. Although certain breeds such as the Norwegian Forest Cat and Maine Coon have developed more protection than others, they have little resistance against fog, rain and snow and struggle to maintain their 39 °C (102 °F) body temperature when wet. Hart Memorial Trophy (1924 - present) -- most valuable player during the regular season. Being closely related to desert animals, cats can withstand the heat and cold of a temperate climate, but not for long periods. Selke Trophy (1978 - present) -- top defensive forward. People start to feel uncomfortable when their skin's temperature gets higher than about 44.5 °C (112 °F), but cats don't start to show signs of discomfort until their skin reaches about 52 °C (126 °F). Frank J. Cats like to be a lot warmer than humans do.

Conn Smythe Trophy (1965 - present) -- most valuable player during the playoffs. Cats enjoy heat and solar exposure, often sleeping in a warm area during the heat of the day. Calder Memorial Trophy (1933 - present) -- rookie of the year. In North Africa there are still small wildcats that are probably related closely to the ancestors of today's domesticated breeds. Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1968 - present) -- perseverance and sportsmanship. They are able to remain motionless for long periods, especially when observing prey and preparing to pounce. Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1948 - present) -- regular season league scoring champion. Their feces are usually dry, and cats prefer to bury them in sandy places.

The O'Brien Trophy was awarded in the NHL before it was retired following the 1949-50 NHL season. Wild cats are native to all continents other than Australasia and Antarctica. Presidents' Trophy (1986 - present) - best regular season by a team. The wild cat, ancestor of the domestic cat, is believed to have evolved in a desert climate, as evident in the behavior common to both the domestic and wild forms. Prince of Wales Trophy -- Eastern conference playoff champion. One popular, relatively inexpensive alternative to declawing is the application of vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (usually every four to six weeks). Campbell Bowl -- Western conference playoff champion. In Britain, where the prevailing style of ownership is indoor/outdoor, shelters find it difficult to rehome imported cats that had previously been declawed.

Clarence S. Some cats that are not declawed and cannot be retrained are either abandoned or turned in to animal shelters, where they may be euthanized. Stanley Cup -- overall playoff champion. However, many American cats are still declawed, often when the owner finds that it is the only option for keeping the cat (sometimes it is mandated by landlords). Zero points for a loss in regulation time. If a cat is not declawed at an early age, it becomes too dangerous to declaw them when they are older. One point for losing in overtime or a shootout. Additionally, some experts believe that declawed cats are more inclined to bite.

Two points are awarded for a win. Declawing surgery requires anesthesia, which carries with it a small risk of death. Some doctors believe that a loss of the cat's claws causes a loss of its ability to balance on thin objects, such as rails or balconies. Other experts mention difficulties with the cat's typical stretching and exercise habits, which can lead to muscle atrophy. Where it is legal, some cat veterinarians refuse to do this type of surgery because it deprives the cat of its main defense ability, although cats usually learn to donkey kick or rake with their hind claws in defense.

[17]. In Germany and Switzerland, declawing cats is explicitly forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals.[16] In many other European countries, it is also forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless "a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of any particular animal". This operation is rare outside of North America. Declawing is not a simple procedure; serious complications can arise, such as an increased risk of infections, or life-long discomfort in the cat's paws.

Some people are opposed to declawing, claiming it is inhumane. This major surgery removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat's forepaws. Some cat owners choose to have their cat declawed (onychectomy). Indoor cats will also benefit from being provided with a scratching post so they are less likely to ruin furniture with their claws.[15] Nails can be trimmed, but care should be taken to avoid cutting a vein in the quick of the claw.

[14]. When training is complete, the cat uses the toilet by perching over the bowl. For a short time, an adapter, such as a bowl or small box, may be used to suspend the litter above the toilet bowl. Training involves two or three weeks of incremental moves, such as moving and elevating the litterbox until it is near the toilet.

In addition, some cats may be toilet trained, eliminating the litterbox and its attending expense and odor. Transmission risk may be reduced by daily litterbox cleaning. Litterboxes may pose a risk of toxoplasmosis transmission to susceptible pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals. [13]) A litterbox is recommended for indoor-outdoor cats as well.

It should be cleaned daily and changed often (depending on the number of cats in a household and the type of litter—clumping litter stays cleaner longer, but has been reported to cause health problems in some cats. This arrangement serves the same purpose as a toilet for humans. Indoor cats may be provided a litter box containing sand or similar commercial material (litter). Cats expend nearly as much fluid grooming as they do urinating.

Hairballs can be prevented with certain cat foods and remedies that ease elimination of the hair. Longhair cats are more prone to this than shorthairs. Some cats occasionally regurgitate hair balls of fur that have collected in their stomachs as a result of their grooming. Many cats also enjoy grooming humans or other cats.

Some people who are allergic to cats - typically manifested by hay fever, asthma or a skin rash - quickly acclimate themselves to a particular animal and live comfortably in the same house with it, while retaining an allergy to cats in general. Their saliva is a powerful cleaning agent, but it can provoke allergic reactions in humans. They groom themselves by licking their fur. Cats are known for their cleanliness.

In some cases, cats have contributed to or caused extinctions — for example, see the case of the Stephens Island Wren. Cats can be destructive to ecosystems in which they are not native and whose species did not have time to adapt to their introduction. Because of their small size, domestic cats pose almost no danger to humans—the only hazard is the possibility of infection (or, rarely, rabies) from a cat bite or scratch. Some people discourage the use of laser pointers for play with pets, however, because of the risk of eye damage and the loss of satisfaction (especially for cats) associated with the successful capture of prey.

This is because, if the string is ingested, it can be caught in the cat’s stomach or intestines causing illness or, in extreme cases, death. However, string is more often being replaced with a red dot laser pointer. This propensity is probably related to their hunting instinct. This notorious love of string is often depicted in cartoons and photographs, which show kittens or cats playing with balls of yarn.

Many cannot resist a dangling piece of string, or a piece of rope drawn randomly and enticingly across the floor. Domestic cats, especially young ones, are known for their love of string play. Many "people foods" are not good for cats; chocolate, for example, can be fatal due to the theobromine found in chocolate (see theobromine poisoning). Additionally, cats have been known to develop a fondness for "people food" such as barbecued chicken, bread, french fries, pepperoni pizza, ice cream, tomato soup, carrot juice, olives, and carnitas burritos, as well as cat diet exotica such as corn kernels and diced cantaloupe.

This mostly happens when the vomeronasal, or Jacobson's, organ becomes sensitized to a specific food, at which point the cat will reject any food that doesn't fit the pattern it is expecting. Cats can be fussy eaters. [12]. Eating vegetation in this way may aid the cat's digestive system and can prevent hairballs.

They do not eat a lot in one sitting, but prefer to have it as a snack. Cats are also known to munch on grass, leaves, shrubs and houseplants. Some vegetarian owners feed their cats a vegetarian diet containing supplemental taurine. Despite this, however, the majority of brand-name cat foods are primarily grain based, often containing large amounts of corn or rice and supplemented with meats and essential vitamins.

This contrasts with domesticated dogs, which commonly are fed a mixture of meat and vegetable products and have been adapted in some cases to a vegetarian diet. Lactose-free milk is perfectly safe, but still not a substitute for meat. Cow's milk is a poor source of taurine and adult cats are generally lactose intolerant. This condition is called central retinal degeneration (CRD).

Specifically this applies to taurine, the absence of which causes the cat's retina to slowly degenerate, causing eye problems and (eventually) irreversible blindness. In captivity, cats cannot be adapted to an unsupplemented vegetarian diet because they cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need from plant material. Cats, including the great cats, have a genetic anomaly that prevents them from tasting sweetness [11], which is probably related to their meat-only habits. Whereas bears and dogs commonly supplement their diet of meat with fruits, berries, roots, and honey when they can get them, cats feed exclusively on meat, usually freshly killed.

Unlike most carnivores, cats eat almost no vegetable matter apart from that found in the digestive tracts of their prey. These papillae are small backward-facing hooks that contain keratin and assist in their grooming. The cat's tongue has sharp spines, or papillae, designed to retain and rip flesh from a carcass. While this is present in canines, it is highly developed in felines.

The premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently functions to shear meat like a pair of scissors. Cats have highly specialized teeth and a digestive tract suitable to the digestion of meat. An exception is the leopard, which commonly hunts rabbits and many other smaller animals. Although, theoretically, big cats can kill most of these species as well, they often do not due to the relatively low nutritional content that smaller animals provide.

The domestic cat can hunt and eat about one thousand species—many big cats will eat fewer than 100. They ambush and dispatch vertebrate prey using tactics similar to those of leopards and tigers by pouncing; they then deliver a lethal neck bite with their long canine teeth that severs the victim's spinal cord, or asphyxiate it by crushing the windpipe. Relative to size, domestic cats are very effective predators. The scent glands on the underside of their paws release small amounts of scent onto the person or object being pawed, marking it as "theirs" in the same way they would urinate to mark their territory.

Pawing is also a way for cats to mark their territory. As a result, cats that are hand-raised by humans may lack this reflex. It is instinctive to cats, and they use it when they are young to stimulate the mother cat's nipple to release milk during nursing. The action is often referred to as paddy-pawing, making muffins or treading paws.

Cats often use this action alongside purring to show contentment and affection for their owners. When cats are happy, they are known to paw their owners, or that on which they sit, with a kneading motion. Touching noses is a friendly greeting for cats, while a lowered head is a sign of submission. Tailless cats, such as the Manx (cat), who possess only a small stub of a tail move the stub around as though they possessed a full tail, though it is not nearly as communicative as that of a fully tailed cat.

A scared cat may puff up its tail and the hair along its back and turn its body sideways to a threat in order to increase its apparent size. A tail held high is a sign of happiness, while half-raised shows less pleasure, and unhappiness is indicated with a tail held low. Cats will twitch the tips of their tails when hunting or angry, while larger twitching indicates displeasure. Shorthair cats are more prone to this problem.

Although this condition can be treated through the addition of a small amount of bran to each meal, it may require veterinary attention. Anal irritation, possibly shown by the cat rubbing its bottom on the floor and frequent licking of the area, can be a sign that the cat's anal sacs are not being emptied when waste passes [10]. During moments of excitement or other strong emotions, a cat's anal sac may discharge, releasing a foul-smelling brown liquid. These scent-producing anal sacs are found in all predators; those of the skunk are used for self-defense, for example.

When passing solid waste, cats, like many types of predators, release from anal glands a small amount of liquid that scents their feces, to mark their territory. Since this feline expression often involves a mouth movement similar to the one they would use to kill their prey (their "killing bite"), they may be trying to practice this mouth movement in anticipation. When directed at out-of-reach prey, it is unknown whether this is a threatening sound, an expression of frustration, or an attempt to replicate a birdcall (or replicate the call of a bird's prey, for example a cicada). Cats are also known to make chirping noises when observing prey, or as a means of expressing interest in an object to nearby humans.

Cat scratches can easily become infected, and in extreme cases can result in cat scratch fever. With cats who are improperly socialised and do not know their own strength, this can result in inadvertent damage to human skin. Some may engage in nipping behavior or batting with their paws, either with claws extended or retracted. Most cats growl or hiss when angered or in danger.

For example, cats have been known to purr when hurt. However, purring may also be a way for the cat to calm itself down. In addition to purring, happy cats may blink slowly or partially close their eyes to break any possible stares and communicate their ease in the situation. It is possible for a cat to call out and purr simultaneously, although this is typical only in very vocal cats.

Currently, though, it is believed that purring is a result of rhythmic impulses to the cat's larynx. Until recently, there were many competing theories to explain how cats purr, including vibration of the cat's false vocal chords when inhaling and exhaling, the sound of blood hitting the aorta, vibration of the hyoid apparatus, or resonation directly in the lungs. Cats purr among other cats—for example, when a mother meets her kittens. Cats can also produce a purring noise that typically indicates that the cat is happy, but also can mean that it feels distress.

Some cats, however, do not exercise their voices a lot, so their call may remain similar to that of a kitten through adulthood. A kitten's call first starts out as a high-pitched squeak-like sound when very young, and then deepens over time. Cats are capable of about 100 different vocalisations, compared to about 10 for dogs. Some cats are very vocal, and others rarely call out.

Usually cats call out to indicate pain, request human attention (to be fed or played with, for example), or as a greeting. The cat's pronunciation of this call varies significantly depending on meaning. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, was written as "blert", while the sound made by Bill the Cat in Berkeley Breathed's comic strip Bloom County was generally described as "ack". The sound of an increasingly annoyed cat is transcribed in James Joyce's Ulysses as "mkgnao", "mrkgnao" and "mrkrgnao" [9], and the sound made by Pixel, the title character of Robert A.

The unique sound a small cat makes is written onomatopoeically as "meow" in American English; "meow" or "miaow" in British English; "miaou" or "miaw" in French; "miao" in Mandarin Chinese and Italian; "miau" in German, Spanish, Finnish, Lithuanian, Polish, Croatian, Romanian and Portuguese; "miau" or "מיאו" in Hebrew;"miyav" in Turkish; "mjäu" in Estonian; "mowa'a" in Arabic; "nyaa" or "nyan" in Japanese; "meong" or "ngeong" in Bahasa Indonesia; "ngiau" in Malay; "yaong" or "nyaong" in Korean; and various ways in other languages. Some scientists believe this is related to the cat's diet being naturally high in protein, though it is unclear whether it is the cause or the result of it. According to National Geographic (December 8), cats cannot taste sugary foods due to a faulty sweet receptor gene. Whiskers point forward when the cat is inquisitive and friendly, and lie flat on the face when the cat is being defensive or aggressive.

Whiskers are also an indication of the cat's attitude. The whiskers also spread out roughly as wide as the cat's body making it able to judge if it can fit through an opening. It is thought that a cat may choose to rely on the whiskers in dim light where fully dilating the pupils would reduce its ability to focus on close objects. The upper two rows of whiskers can move independently from the lower two rows for even more precise measuring.

Whiskers may detect very small shifts in air currents, enabling a cat to know it is near obstructions without actually seeing them. Whiskers (technically called vibrissae) can aid with navigation and sensation. Whiskers may also be found on the cat's "elbows." The Sphynx (a nearly hairless breed) may have full length, short, or no whiskers at all. Cats generally have about a dozen whiskers in four rows on each upper lip, a few on each cheek, tufts over the eyes and bristles on the chin.

Gaping is the equivalent of the Flehmen response in other animals, such as dogs and horses. This is called gaping. When a cat wrinkles its muzzle, lowers its chin, and lets its tongue hang a bit, it is opening the passage to the vomeronasal. Cats also have a scent organ in the roof of their mouths called the vomeronasal, or Jacobson's, organ.

Cats have twice as many smell-sensitive cells in their noses as people do, which means they can smell things we are not even aware of. A domestic cat's sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than a human's. Cats can judge within three inches (7.5 cm) the location of a sound being made one yard (approximately one meter) away. When listening for something, a cat's ears will swivel in that direction; a cat's ear flaps (pinnae) can independently point backwards as well as forwards and sideways to pinpoint the source of the sound.

Cats can hear 2 octaves higher than humans, and one-half octave higher than dogs. Humans and cats have a similar range of hearing on the low end of the scale, but cats can hear much higher-pitched sounds, even better than dogs. If a cat chronically shows the third eyelid, it should be taken to a veterinarian. This membrane partially closes if the cat is sick; although in a sleepy, content cat this membrane is often visible.

Cats have a third eyelid, the nictitating membrane, which is a thin cover that closes from the side and appears when the cat's eyelid opens. Cats can apparently differentiate among colors, especially at close range, but without appreciable subtlety. Instead of the fovea which gives humans sharp central vision, cats have a central band known as the visual streak. Field of view is largely dependent upon the placement of the eyes, but may also be related to the eye's construction.

As with most predators, their eyes face forward, affording depth perception at the expense of field of view. Average cats have a visual field of view estimated at 200°, versus 180° in humans, with a binocular field (overlap in the images from each eye) narrower than that of humans. Variation in color of cats' eyes in flash photographs is largely due to the interaction of the flash with the tapetum. The tapetum and other mechanisms give the cat a minimum light detection threshold up to 7 times lower than that of humans.

In very bright light, the slit-like iris closes very narrowly over the eye, reducing the amount of light on the sensitive retina, and improving depth of field. While this enhances the ability to see in low light, it appears to reduce net visual acuity, thus detracting when light is abundant. Cats, like dogs, have a tapetum lucidum that reflects extra light to the retina. Testing indicates that a cat's vision is superior at night in comparison to humans, and inferior in daylight.

These along with the cat's highly advanced eyesight, taste, and touch receptors make the cat extremely sensitive among mammals. While a cat's senses of smell and hearing may not be as keen as, say, those of a mouse, they are superior in many ways to those of humans. Measuring the senses of any animal can be difficult, because there is usually no explicit communication (e.g., reading aloud the letters of a Snellen chart) between the subject and the tester.. Thus extending the claws is an involuntary action.

It is only by stretching, such as swatting at prey, that the connecting tendons are pulled taut, forcing the claws to extend. This is done to keep the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground. This is actually a misnomer because in their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the toe pads. Like many predators, cats have retractable claws.

They are capable of walking very precisely, placing each hind paw directly in the print of the corresponding forepaw, minimising noise and visible tracks. Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades: they walk directly on their toes, the bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg. Certain breeds that don't have a tail are a notable exception, since a cat moves its tail and relies on conservation of angular momentum to set up for landing. [8] It always rights itself in the same way, provided it has the time to do so during a fall.

During a fall, a cat can reflexively twist its body and right itself using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. They do usually, but not always. A popular belief holds that cats always land on their feet. For a cat at rest, the average heart rate should be between 150 and 180 bpm, depending upon level of activity.

A domestic cat's normal heart rate ranges from 140 to 220 beats per minute, and is largely dependent on how excited the cat is. Comparatively, humans have a normal temperature of approximately 37 °C (97 to 100 °F). The normal body temperature of a cat is between 38 and 39 °C (101 and 102.2 °F).[7] A cat is considered febrile if it has a temperature of 39.5 °C (103 °F) or greater, or hypothermic if less than 37.5 °C (100 °F). Shorter haired cats tend to be skinnier and more active, while cats with longer hair tend to be heavier and less active.

Cats' temprament can vary depending on the breed and socialization. The term cat nap refers to the cat's ability to fall asleep for a brief period; someone who nods off for a few minutes is said to be "taking a cat nap". Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period. Daily durations of sleep are various, usually 12–16 hours, with 13–14 being the average.

Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. (Scottish Folds are one such exceptional genetic mutation.) When angry or frightened, a cat will lay its ears back, to accompany the growling or hissing sounds it makes. Unlike dogs, flap-eared breeds are extremely rare. Most cats have straight ears pointing upward.

Thus a cat can move its body in one direction and point its ears in quite another direction (such as pointing backward toward its owner). Thirty-two individual muscles in the ear allow for a manner of directional hearing; [6] the cat can move each ear independently of the other. The oldest feral cat was Mark who was maintained by the British charity Cats Protection and who reached 26 years of age. Feral cats in maintained colonies can live much longer; the British Cat Action Trust reported a 19-year-old feral female.

Spaying and neutering a cat also decreases the risk of testicular and ovarian cancer, and female cats spayed before their first heat or litter benefit from reduced risk of mammary cancer.[5] Feral cats living in modern urban environments often live only two years, or less. In captivity, indoor cats typically live 15 to 20 years, though the oldest-known cat lived to age 36.[4] Domestic cats tend to live longer if they are not permitted to go outdoors (reducing the risk of injury from fights or accidents) and if they are spayed or neutered. This is very unhealthy for the cat, and should be prevented through diet and exercise (playing), especially for cats living exclusively indoors. Some have been known to reach up to 23 kg (50 lb), due to overfeeding.

Cats typically weigh between 2.5 and 7 kg (5.5–16 lb); however, some breeds, such as the Maine Coon can exceed 11.3 kg (25 pounds). . The cat's association with humans leads it to figure prominently in the mythology and legends of several cultures, including the ancient Egyptians, Vikings, and Chinese. Because the domestication of the cat is relatively recent, cats may also still live effectively in the wild, often forming small colonies.

They communicate by calling ("meow"/"miaou"), purring, hissing, and gesturing. They are also intelligent animals: some are able to manipulate simple mechanisms such as lever-handled doors and flush toilets. They are skilled predators and have been known to hunt over one thousand different species for food. There are dozens of breeds of domestic cats, some hairless or tailless, and they exist in a variety of different colors including multicolored.

The ratio of pedigree/purebred cats to random-bred cats varies from country to country. Purebreds are less than one percent of the total feline population; cats of mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic longhairs and domestic shorthairs or commonly as random-bred, moggies, mongrels, mutt-cats or alley cats. A pedigree cat is one whose ancestry is recorded, but may have ancestors of different breeds. In strict terms, a purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed.

A cat whose ancestry is formally registered is called a purebred cat, a pedigree cat, or a show cat (although not all show cats are pedigree or purebred). An immature cat is called a kitten (which is also an alternate name for young rats, rabbits, hedgehogs, beavers, and squirrels). A group of cats is referred to as a clowder, while a male cat is called a tom, and a female is called a queen or quean. The history of the domestic cat may stretch back even further, as 8,000-year-old bones of humans and cats were found buried together on the island of Cyprus[3].

The cat has been living in close association with humans for at least 3,500 years; the Ancient Egyptians routinely used cats to keep mice and other rodents (mostly rats) away from their grain (and also believed that cats were sacred to the goddess Bastet). Its most immediate pre-domestication ancestor is the African wild cat, Felis silvestris lybica. The cat, also called the domestic cat or house cat, is a small feline carnivorous mammal of the subspecies Felis silvestris catus. URL accessed on November 29, 2005..

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^  Felidae World - Catnip and Grasses for Cats. URL accessed on August 8, 2005.. ^  PLoS Genetics: Pseudogenization of a Sweet-Receptor Gene Accounts for Cats' Indifference toward Sugar. URL accessed on October 24, 2005..

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Domestic longhaired.

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