I love finding out new facts about my cats, and I thought I’d share with everyone! Be sure to quiz your cats too if they claim to “know it all”!
- On average, cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping. That means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life.
- Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor.
- Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed. Interestingly, while 90% of humans are right handed, the remaining 10% of lefties also tend to be male.
- A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.
- Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
- Cats are North America’s most popular pets: there are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat.
- A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.
- A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
- A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
- The earliest ancestor of the modern cat lived about 30 million years ago. Scientists called it the Proailurus, which means “first cat” in Greek. The group of animals that pet cats belong to emerged around 12 million years ago.
- A cat’s eyesight is both better and worse than humans. It is better because cats can see in much dimmer light and they have a wider peripheral view. It’s worse because they don’t see color as well as humans do. Scientists believe grass appears red to cats.
- The ability of a cat to find its way home is called “psi-traveling.” Experts think cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.
- A cat’s jaw can’t move sideways, so a cat can’t chew large chunks of food.
- A cat’s back is extremely flexible because it has up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans only have 34.
- In the 1750s, Europeans introduced cats into the Americas to control pests.
- A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human has 206. A cat has no collarbone, so it can fit through any opening the size of its head.
- A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.
- Foods that should not be given to cats include onions, garlic, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. Though milk is not toxic, it can cause an upset stomach and gas. Tylenol and aspirin are extremely toxic to cats, as are many common houseplants. Feeding cats dog food or canned tuna that’s for human consumption can cause malnutrition.
- Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies like humans do. Instead, they sweat only through their paws.
- In just seven years, a single pair of cats and their offspring could produce a staggering total of 420,000 kittens.
- Cats spend nearly 1/3 of their waking hours cleaning themselves.
- The claws on the cat’s back paws aren’t as sharp as the claws on the front paws because the claws in the back don’t retract and, consequently, become worn.
- Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Cats are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.
- The Egyptian Mau is probably the oldest breed of cat. In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”
- A cat lover is called an Ailurophilia (Greek: cat+lover).
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