playful cat

Cats are interesting even when they aren’t acting weird.

Cats are ancient creatures full of mystery and intrigue, yet they also win over our hearts with their endearing mannerisms and lovable ways. Read some of these fascinating cat facts below to learn more about your feisty little fur-ball and his relatives.

  • Cats prove to be a more popular house pet than dogs. In the USA there are said to be around 73 million domestic cats and only about 63 million dogs. An outside cat’s average lifespan is about 3-5 years. An indoor cat’s lifespan can exceed 15 years. (So keep your kitty inside!)
  • Cats sleep about 16 hours a day. All that rest pays off when the cat is awake! Felines can leap up to 5 times their own height on each jump.
  • Cats are very vocal creatures , employing dozens and dozens of sounds in their repertoire. In comparison, dogs are limited to roughly 10 kinds of sounds.
  • Cats have 24 more bones than humans, and their hearts beat nearly twice as fast at 110-140 beats per minute.
  • A female cat is called a “molly” or a “queen.” A group of adult cats is called a “clowder” and a group of kittens is called a “kindle.”
  • In 1994, there was a cat found in Denmark with green fur. Believed to be a simple genetic mutation, scientists later attributed this to the high levels of copper in the water. When the cat was removed from exposure to the polluted water, normal feline coloring was restored.
  • Cats have whiskers on their chins, cheeks, eyebrows, and front legs. These help them navigate through their surroundings, and determine whether or not their bodies can fit into a small space. Cats are severely crippled without the use of their whiskers.
  • A cat’s kidney is a remarkable organ, being able to store a higher concentration of urine than other mammals. Having evolved as desert-dwellers, cats are able to conserve plenty of moisture from their diets. Vets will typically study a cat’s urine sample when she is unwell, in order to assess the status of the kidneys.
  • Cats can “smell” with their mouths. The Jacobson organ, an olfactory structure analyses pheromones, and is located by the nasal septum and hard palate. If your cat ever makes a strange face when she has come into contact with a bizarre smell, she is breathing in the scent and using the flehmen response to send particles to the vomeronasal organ.
  • Cats have a strong aversion to anything citrus; so if you want to discouraged your cat from certain linens, couches or countertops, mix lemon juice and vinegar in a spray bottle to keep your cat away.
  • Cats can drink sea water. Unlike other mammals, cats have uniquely equipped kidneys that are able to retain water from the food cats drink, as well as salt water. Because cats were able to survive in the desert with a diet of limited hydration, the cat’s body is able to retain water for longer periods of time, which is why cat urine has a higher concentration than most creatures. Their kidneys expel the salt and retain the water to help a cat rehydrate itself.
  • Cats don’t sweat the way humans do through sweat glands everywhere on their bodies. Instead, they sweat through their paws. When a cat scratched an unfamiliar tree, or even the carpeted cat furniture in your living room, he is excreting pheromones through the sweat glands in his paws, and marking his territory.
  • Like humans cats can be “righties” or “lefties” favoring one stronger side over the other. Usually males tend to be left-pawed while most females favor the right.
  • Cats are natural sprinters. Felines were built for agility and speed, and are able to run up top 31 miles an hour for a short spurt. Considering their relatively small stature, it is surprising that domestic cats can run almost half as fast as the speediest hunter in the world, the cheetah.
  • Cats are survivors, able to adapt to all kinds of ecosystems. Because they learn to feed on the wildlife around them, cats have collectively been credited for the extinction of over 30 species.
  • Many cats refused to drink from their water bowls if it is set too close to their food tray. This is an aversion caused by a concern which stems from a wildcat’s instinct. They avoid drinking water that is located anywhere near their recent kill, as the carcass of the prey might contaminate the water if too close. While this may not be true of every domestic breed, it will help owners understand why some cats won’t drink next to their food bowl.
  • Cats are brilliant hunters, but the gap between those that kill and those that prefer to be pampered, is enormously wide. The Guinness Book of World records shows that a Glenturret cat named Towser was the world champion mouser. In her lifetime of 24 years, she killed over 28,899 mice in the distillery where she lived in Scotland. To put this in perspective, another cat named Amber lived in the same location for 20 years and did not kill a single mouse.
  • In the UK (a country known for their regard for horses and dogs), if a driver accidentally hits a dog, or farm animal they are legally obligated to report the incident. Tragically, there is no such obligation if they hit a cat.
  • Cats have been known to save people’s lives on numerous occasions. While they are nothing to the record of rescues by dogs, cats have still been known to alert roommates of their owner’s seizures. A group of feral cats once guarded an abandoned infant and kept him alive by sleeping next to him and bringing him scraps of food to eat.

Cats are known for treading lighting, and moving noiselessly around. This they are able to accomplish by walking solely (pun intended!) on their toes. The rest of their feet seldom hit the ground, as tip-toeing allows cats the ability to pounce or spring into action whenever necessary.

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