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Cat Glossary – S

Glossary of Cat Terms:


Sable: A term referring to the color black, the darkest coat color in Burmese.

Scratching Post: A tower-like structure typically covered in burlap allowing cats to safely scratch or rub their nails.

Scottish Fold Cat: A breed of cat with a natural mutation to its ears with the ear cartilage containing a fold so the ears bend forward and down towards the front of their head.

Seal: A term referring to the dark brown color found at the point of the darkest variety of Siamese.

Secondary Coat: The fine hairs which make up the undercoat.

Self: Also known as solid, a term used to describe a coat of a single, uniform color.

Selkirk Rex Cat: A breed of cat with highly curled hair, including the whiskers.

Semi-Feral: A cat which, though not domesticated, still lives near and is accustomed to humans, such as barn cats.

Semi-Longhair: A type of longhair cat without an extremely long coat, such as the Maine Coon.

Senile Cataracts: Occurring in elderly animals, a lens opacity in the eye that does not interfere with vision.

Shaded: A term referring to the coloring pattern in which the tips of the hairs are colored.

Shading: A term referring to a gradual variation in coat color, typically from back to belly

Shelter: A local organization dedicated to the rescue and care of stray or otherwise homeless animals and also seeks to find them permanent homes.

Shock: A generally temporary massive physiological reaction to severe physical or emotional trauma, usually characterized by marked loss of blood pressure and depression of vital processes.

Shorthair: A term used to describe a cat with a fairly short coat.

Show: An exhibition of cats in which judges evaluate and award prized to cats according to their conformance to breed standards.

Show Cat: A cat exhibited in a show.

Show Quality: A cat that can compete in shows because it meets its breed standards.

Show Standard: Also known as standard of point, a term referring to the description of the ideal cat of a particular breed against which actual cats are judged.

Siamese Cat: A slender, elongated cat with a creamy base coat with colored points on the muzzle, ears, paws, lower legs and tails.

Siberian Cat: A breed of moderately long to longhaired cat with a tight undercoat.

Silver: A term describing shaded silver and silver tabby, both tipped colorings.

Singapura Cat: A shorthaired breed of cat with a very short and close-lying coat that is fine in texture.

Sire: The male parent.

Smoke: A term describing a coat color in which most of the hairs are colored with the roots being white or pale.

Snowshoe Cat: A breed of cat with large ears, blue eyes, a triangular head with black marking, and a shorthaired, white and gray coat.

Solid: Also known as self, a term referring to a coat of a single color.

Somali Cat A longhaired breed of cat similar in appearance to the Abyssinian though with a different coat length.

Spay: To remove a female cat’s ovaries to prevent conception.

Species: A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding.

Sperm: A male gamete or reproductive cell; a spermatozoon, semen.

Speuter: A blending of spay and neuter.

Sphynx Cat: A rare breed of cat with extremely little fur, or at most a short fuzz all over the body, and no whiskers.

Spotted: A term describing a coat pattern with many dark, rounded spots, especially at the rear of the body.

Spotting: A term referring to the white patches on the coat.

Spray: Behavior of a cat (typically male) who emits a stream or spray of urine to mark its territory.

Steatitis: An inflammation of fatty tissue. In cats, often caused by a vitamin E deficiency and causing a sensitivity to touch, fever and poor appetite.

Sterilize: To make sterile or unproductive; spay or neuter.

Stereoscopic Vision: Three-dimensional vision produced by the fusion of two slightly different views of a scene on each retina.

Sterilization: The act or procedure of sterilizing.

Sterling Cat: A silver, longhaired chinchilla cat, similar to a Persian cat but without the squashed face.

Stifle: The proper name for the knee of a cat’s hind leg.

Stimulus: An agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response.

Stop: A term referring to an abrupt change in the slope of the nose profile as seen in Persian breeds.

Stray: A domestic cat with no home or owner.

Stud: A whole, unneutered male cat (tom) used as part of a breeding program.

Subcutaneous: Located or placed just beneath the skin.

Svelte: A term referring to cat’s body type that is fine boned and narrow in shape.