How many bones does a cat have?
Actually, the answer to that question is dependent on the individual cat. The range across felines is 230 to 250, with the average cat having 244 bones. The factor that throws the count off from one animal to the next is length of the tail and number of toes.
Cats who have extra toes are called polydactyl and will obviously have more bones, but so will long-tailed cats as opposed to breeds without any tail at all like the Manx and the Cymrics.
Ten percent of a cat’s bones are in his tail, which is used to maintain balance on narrow spaces and while making turns and as a rudder when jumping or falling. Additionally, the tail sends messages to other cats by conveying mood and attitude.
The design of the feline skeleton is looser than that of a human, especially in the vertebrae. A cat’s spine is highly flexible, which contributes to the animal’s superior agility and his almost preternatural ability to twist and right himself when falling.
Also, cats do not have a collarbone or clavicle. This reduces the cat’s body width, allowing him to get through very narrow spaces and also increases the length of his stride.