OHC Spring Series #7 Mammal Study-Cats

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Spring Series #7 Mammal Study-Cats

“The kittens meantime train themselves to agility and dexterity, by playing rough and tumble with each other, and by chasing every small moving object, even to their own tails….The cat loves warmth and finds her place beneath the stove or at the hearthside. She likes some people, and dislikes others, for no reason we can detect.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 264

Inside Preparation Work:
Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 260-266. Highlight points you would like to share with your children or read to them from the book.

Cat sleeping
Outdoor Hour Time:

“This lesson may be used in primary grades by asking a few questions at a time and allowing the children to make their observations on their own kittens at home…”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 265

Use the suggested observation questions from Lesson 64 to help your child study a cat up close. Perhaps use Observation #5-8 as an investigation of your very own cat. Paws, eyes, teeth, and whiskers are all easy subjects to focus on for now. You can always come back and use the other suggestions at another time.

If you have an outdoor cat, spend some time observing her in her daily activities. Remember to take your 10-15 minutes of outdoor time and let your children explore to see if they can see any other mammals in the neighborhood. Make sure to look for paw prints in the mud or dirt. If you find some tracks, take a few minutes to carefully observe some of the details.

Pet sketch A
Follow-Up Activity:
After your observations and outdoor time, have your child tell you some of the things he remembers about the nature study. Did you observe a cat up close? Offer some time for a journal entry using the notebook page provided with the Spring Series ebook, my free Mammal Notebook Page or a blank nature journal of your own.

Draw the parts of the cat that you observed: paws, claws, teeth, eyes, whiskers, or anything else your child found interesting. You may need to help your children label their entries.

It might be interesting to follow up your cat study with a dog study and compare the two mammals.

If you found paw prints in the mud or dirt, you might enjoy reading this website that compares various feline and canine prints. http://www.bear-tracker.com/caninevsfeline.html

Bookend Cats
More Information about Mammals and Cats
Here is a link to a free Cat Lapbook and Unit Study: Cats on Homeschool Share

If you would like all the Spring Series Challenges in one book, I have an ebook gathered for you to purchase for your convenience. The ebook also contains art and music appreciation plans for the winter months as well. Please see this entry for more details:
Spring Series Cover
Spring Nature Study with Art and Music Appreciation

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy


  1. Tailor-made study for our house! I won’t post the R-rated home video of the cats torturing [and worse] a poor mouse that Patrick took this week!! I was thrilled when we got Comstock to see “regular” wildlife was included–we studied our [now late] dog the first year we ever homeschooled! (Sweet memory).

  2. Oh! Clapping going on over here. Love the resources.

  3. How funny, we just did a nature study on cats back when the ground was still covered with snow. The children enjoyed drawing our housecat. The section on cats in The Handbook of Nature Study is excellent, and rather entertaining. I highly using it!

  4. Oh how fun, our girls are just going to love this one!

  5. LOL…in my previous comment I meant to say “I highly RECOMMEND using it.” :D

  6. We thought we already knew a bunch about our kitties and Nana’s dogs but we, once again, learned so much! Thank you.

  7. this was as much fun as doing the dog study this winter! thanks :)

  8. Still catching up . . . kittens are a favorite animal around out house! Thanks for all the wonderful challenges.

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