Cat Facts

Cat Facts

Cats really are the most fascinating animals - they’ve been our companions for thousands of years, yet there is always more to learn about these mysterious and enchanting creatures!

This collection of facts about cats explores the interesting and sometimes surprising world of feline behavior, physiology, and history. It also includes fun facts about cats throughout history, and the latest scientific research into their behavior and psychology.

Whether you're a cat owner, a cat lover, or simply curious about these amazing animals, you’re sure to enjoy browsing this large collection of cat facts - that has been broken down into different categories to help you find the cat facts that interest you most! 

And if you’re not already following Hide & Scratch on Instagram, definitely do so - #catfactfriday is a thing 🙂

Facts About Cat Anatomy And Physiology

 1. Cats have a relatively poor sense of taste. 

On average, cats have around 470 taste buds, whereas dogs have approximately 1,700, and humans possess nearly 10,000 taste buds.

While cats outperform humans in terms of their hearing and visual abilities, their sense of taste is generally less refined compared to humans, dogs, and other mammals like pigs. Cats possess taste buds, referred to as papillae, which can 

be classified into four types: filiform, fungiform, falciform, and foliate. However, the primary role of filiform papillae is to detect food texture rather than taste itself, influencing cats' acceptance or rejection of certain foods based on their texture appeal. 

 2. A cat has 230 bones, 18 to 23 are in the tail.

The cat's skeleton is remarkably similar to that of humans, with a notable difference in the number of bones—cats have 230 while humans have 206. Cats possess 13 ribs, one more than humans

The skeleton comprises five main areas: the spinal column, skull, ribs, forelegs, and hind legs.  The spinal column consists of five regions, including the caudal region, which typically comprises 18 to 23 vertebrae, forming the tail.

 3. House cats share 95.6 percent of their genome with tigers! 

The tiger, known as the king of the jungle, not only captivates us with its majestic presence but also shares a remarkable 95.6 percent of its DNA with our cute and furry domestic cats. This close genetic connection means that tigers exhibit many behaviors reminiscent of their wild ancestors. From their agile pouncing and stealthy prey stalking to their instinctual scent marking and affectionate chin rubbing, these fascinating big cats reflect the enduring traits of their jungle heritage.

 4. Male cats are more likely to be left-pawed, while female cats are more likely to be right pawed.

A study examined the paw preference in male and female cats using the food reaching test. Out of the total sample of 109 cats, 49.5% were right-paw-dominant, 40.4% were left-paw-dominant, and 10.1% were ambidextrous. Among females (63 cats), 54% were right-paw-dominant, 36.5% were left-paw-dominant, and 9.5% were ambidextrous. The proportion of right-paw-dominant females was significantly higher than that of left-paw-dominant females. Among males (46 cats), 43.5% were right-paw-dominant, 45.7% were left-paw-dominant, and 10.9% were ambidextrous. 

The proportion of strongly right-paw-dominant females was significantly higher than that of strongly right-paw-dominant males. The study concluded that the distribution of paw preference in cats is influenced by females and the left-paw preference in males. These findings suggest that females play a role in the development of cerebral lateralization and hand preference in animals and humans. It was proposed that a female right-shift factor may be necessary for the emergence of right-handedness.

 5. Cats are believed to be the only mammals who don't taste sweetness; they lack the genes required to do so.

According to a study from an article from National Library of Medicine, cats do not possess an inherent attraction to sweet carbohydrates or high-intensity sweeteners, nor do they exhibit avoidance towards these tastes. However, they do display a preference for specific amino acids, while actively avoiding stimuli that taste bitter or overly sour to humans. This behavioral inclination is consistent with recorded responses from cat taste nerve fibers and geniculate ganglion units, which indicate sensitivity to salty, sour, and bitter tastes, as well as amino acids and nucleotides.

Intriguingly, cats show no response to sucrose and various other sugars, setting them apart from other mammals and highlighting their inability to perceive sweetness.

 6. Cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents in the air, which is why your cat stares at you with her mouth open from time to time.

⁠Cats possess a remarkable organ known as Jacobson's organ, located inside the nasal cavity and opening into the roof of the mouth, just behind the upper incisors. This specialized organ functions as a secondary olfactory system, utilizing dedicated nerves that directly connect to the brain to detect specific chemicals. 

Unlike the olfactory cells in the nose, Jacobson's organ receptors do not respond to ordinary smells; instead, they have the ability to detect odorless chemical substances, essentially detecting "undetectable" odors. Referred to as the vomeronasal organ, Jacobson's organ is part of the chemoreception system found in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, although it is not present in all tetrapod groups.

 7. A cat's sense of smell is 4 times stronger than a human's.

The remarkable ability of cats to detect scents is truly something special. With almost 40 times more odor-sensitive cells than our human noses, a cat's sense of smell is an incredibly intricate and fascinating system. It's no wonder that cats rely more on their sense of smell than on their eyesight to understand the world around them. Whether they're bonding with their adorable offspring, hunting for their next adventure, finding a mate, or simply exploring their surroundings, a cat's sense of smell is its most dependable and trustworthy tool for gathering important information.

Even when it comes to that sneaky stash of cat food tucked away in the far reaches of the kitchen cupboard, rest assured that your clever feline friend's sense of smell has already sniffed it out, regardless of what they can or cannot see!

 8. Cats can move both ears separately and about 180 degrees around.

Cats possess not only exceptional hearing, but also a remarkable ability to rotate their ears 180 degrees. Unlike humans, cats have a much broader range of hearing, enabling them to perceive ultrasonic noises with astonishing accuracy and locate small animals, such as rodents, in their vicinity.

Not only are cats adept at hearing, but their ears also boast an impressive feature—32 muscles—granting them the extraordinary ability to rotate a full 180 degrees. Even more fascinating, each ear can move independently, enabling cats to precisely pinpoint the origin of any intriguing sound they encounter.

 9. Cats are the only mammals that lack the gene to taste sweets.

Cats have far fewer taste buds than humans and even dogs. Humans have about 9,000 taste buds and dogs have only around 1,700. However, cats only have about 470 taste buds. It is believed that cats' taste buds are similar to those of humans; the taste buds can detect sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami (a savory or even meaty flavor). But while cats' taste buds may technically be able to slightly detect sweetness just like humans can, they lack the sweetness receptor that enables their brains to recognize sweet tastes.

Despite having fewer taste buds than other animals, cats seem to be able to taste sour, bitter, salty, and umami flavors well enough. This is likely due, in part, to the cat's highly acute sense of smell.

 10. Cats use their whiskers to determine if they can fit through a small space.

Have you ever noticed your cat sticking its head into an opening before the rest of its body? This peculiar behavior can be attributed to the remarkable function of their whiskers. Acting as a built-in ruler, whiskers provide cats with a unique advantage.

Whiskers, often referred to as "tactile hairs," don't actually perceive physical sensations as we do. Instead, they serve as onduits for transmitting information to sensory cells whenever they detect objects or movements. When air flows or an object brushes against a whisker, it sets the sensitive hair into vibration, stimulating the nerves within the hair follicle. This vibrating action is what gives whiskers their scientific name, vibrissae, derived from the Latin word "vibrio," meaning "to vibrate." By detecting subtle changes in air currents, cat whiskers effectively convey information about the size, shape, and speed of nearby objects, facilitating a cat's navigation through the world.

 11. Cats with "extra" toes are considered "polydactyl".

Polydactyl cats have any number of extra toes and there is no set way these show up. Some kittens come with six toes on every paw, others have eight toes on a single paw. But it does seem that front paws are more commonly affected.

The word ‘polydactyl’ comes from the Greek language and simply means ‘many toes/fingers’. Polydactyly occurs in humans and other mammals too.

 12. Feline tongues have curved and hollow-tipped spines called papillae.

Cats have tiny spines called papillae on their tongues, which are curved and hollow-tipped. These papillae transfer saliva from the mouth to the fur, cleaning the cat's coat and lowering its body temperature. Scientists Alexis Noel and David Hu, have studied cat tongues using CT scans and developed a brush inspired by their design, called the TIGR brush. This brush can remove loose hair from both humans and cats and may help reduce allergies by removing excess dander. The research has also revealed insights into fluid transport and could inspire new methods of applying liquids to hairy surfaces.

 13. Cats' eyes glow in photographs because of a particular type of cell in the backs of their retinas called the tapetum lucidum.

The glowing eyes of cats at night are caused by a special structure called the tapetum lucidum, which acts like a mirror in the back of their eyeballs. This structure reflects light back through the retina, increasing the amount of light available for the cat to see in the dark. The reflected light that doesn't reach the retina creates the appearance of glowing eyes. Humans do not have a tapetum lucidum, so their eyes do not exhibit the same glowing effect. The "red-eye" effect in photos occurs when the flash reflects off the human retina, revealing the red color of the blood vessels.

 14. Cats have 200 million odor sensitive cells in their nose.

Cats experience the world differently than humans do. The main method by which they recognize people and things is by smell.

Humans only have 5 million odor sensors in their nose, compared to more than 200 million in cats. A cat's sense of smell is a fantastically intricate apparatus that some researchers even rank above that of our dependable canines, having nearly 40 times more odour-sensitive cells than our human noses do.

 15. Cats have whiskers on the backs of their front legs.

On average, a cat's face has 24 whiskers. If you own a cat, you've probably noticed the somewhat shorter ones on their chin and immediately above their eyes, but there are other things as well. Cats have whiskers on the backs of their front legs, which are referred to as carpal whiskers.

They act as a further pair of eyes for them while they are hunting.

 16. A cat has 230 bones, that's 24 more bones than the human.

A domestic cat's skeleton has 230 bones, but a human skeleton only has 206. This is despite the fact that domestic cats are significantly smaller than humans. But the feline skeleton, like ours, is a bony framework that supports the body tissues.

The skeleton of the cat is composed of four different types of bones: long bones; short bones; irregular bones; and flat bones. Other skeletal structures protect the vital organs, such as the arched ribcage and pelvis that protect the heart, lungs, and reproductive system, and the rigid skull that shields the delicate brain.

 17. Cats can change the area of their pupils 135 fold.

Researchers from the Universities of California Berkeley and Durham conducted a study on the eyes of 214 terrestrial vertebrates to investigate the relationship between an animal's ecological niche and the shape of its pupils. They found that smaller ambush predators, including domestic cats, are more likely to have vertically narrowing pupils. For example, the study observed that domestic cats can change the area of their pupil gaze by 135-fold. The researchers also discovered that grazing animals, such as sheep, deer, and horses, have horizontally elongated pupils, which rotate by up to 50 degrees to stay horizontal when the animals lower their heads to feed. These adaptations enable grazing animals to maintain panoramic vision on the ground with minimal blind spots. The study highlights the importance of pupils in providing insights into an animal's evolutionary role and behavior, with specific adaptations tailored to their ecological needs.

 18. A cat is typically pregnant for about 58–72 days.

Cat pregnancies typically last between 63 to 67 days, but the range can vary from 58 to 70 days. Initially, physical signs of pregnancy may not be apparent and may take a few weeks to become noticeable.

Around 15-18 days into a cat's pregnancy, you may notice larger and redder nipples. Some cats may experience morning sickness-like vomiting. Common signs of pregnancy include abdominal swelling, a weight gain of 1-2 kilograms, increased appetite, and more maternal behavior. A veterinarian can use ultrasound to diagnose pregnancy and estimate the number of kittens.

Signs that labor is imminent in a pregnant cat include loss of appetite, restlessness, and seeking a secluded area. There may be a decrease in body temperature, increased vocalization, agitation, and excessive grooming. Labor typically begins with strong abdominal contractions, followed by the onset of discharge. If the discharge is heavy, black, or blood-colored, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. The kittens are expected to be born shortly after these signs appear, and in most cases, the labor progresses smoothly without requiring intervention.

 19. Cats' claws grow continuously, just like human nails.

Claws are pointed, curved appendages made of keratin found in most amniotes, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. They serve various purposes such as catching prey, climbing, and self-defense. 

Claws and nails undergo periodic growth cycles, shedding old layers. Cats often scratch to remove old claw layers, while ungulates' hooves naturally wear down through ground contact. Domesticated equids usually require regular trimming by a farrier. Many predatory mammals, like cats, have retractable claws that can hide inside their paws.

 20. Both male and female cats have nipples.

Cats, like many other mammals, have a varying number of nipples. On average, a cat has between 6 and 8 nipples. However, it's important to note that some cats may have fewer or more nipples than others. It's interesting to know that almost all cats have an even number of nipples. Male cats also possess nipples, even though they do not serve any functional purpose. 

During early development in the womb, cat nipples form before gender is determined. Female cats have more prominent nipples, while male cats have smaller and less noticeable ones. Male cats do not have the ability to produce milk, as that role is exclusive to mother cats. Nipples in both male and female cats are typically located in two rows on the underside of their abdomen. Nipple enlargement can be observed in pregnant cats around the third week, indicating pregnancy. Providing a warm and secure nesting area is important for the comfort of pregnant cats. Understanding the number and characteristics of cat nipples contributes to our knowledge of feline reproductive biology and anatomy.

 21. Cats have a unique sensory organ known as Jacobson's Organ.

Cats have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, much stronger than humans. With 45 to 80 million scent receptors and the Jacobson's organ, they can detect chemicals that are undetectable to us. Smelling each other's head and rear ends is a way for cats to communicate and gather important information about identity, temperament, and health. It also helps establish dominance and set the tone of their relationship.

 22. Cats have specialized scent glands in their paws!

Did you know that cats have specialized scent glands in their toes called interdigital glands?

Interdigital glands are specialized scent glands found in the soft tissue between a cat's toes, and they play a vital role in a cat's olfactory communication system. When a cat scratches or stretches its paws, interdigital glands release a mixture of chemicals that create a distinct odor used by cats to communicate with other cats and mark their territory. 

The composition of these chemicals can vary based on a cat's sex, age, and reproductive status, with male cats producing higher levels of certain chemicals associated with territorial marking and mating behaviors.

 23. Cats have tiny collarbones that give them the flexibility to squeeze through tight spaces with ease.

Cats like small spaces because they make them feel safe and comfortable. Hiding in small spaces allows them to hide from potential predators and avoid surprise attacks. It also helps them feel at ease during changes or conflicts in their environment. Cats' flexibility allows them to fit into small spaces by not having a rigid collarbone and having highly flexible spines. They can contort their bodies into weird shapes and squeeze through openings if they can fit their head and shoulders. To prevent cats from hiding in unsafe places, it is recommended to block or remove entry points and use scent deterrents like cinnamon or vinegar. Creating a safe space with bedding and providing a cat tree can help cats feel secure. Excessive hiding may indicate underlying issues, so evaluating the environment and consulting a veterinarian is advised. Overall, cats seek small spaces for safety, and as long as they aren't hiding excessively or in dangerous areas, it's a normal behavior.

 24. Cat paw pads have sweat glands that help regulate their body temperature.

Did you know that a cat's paw pads have sweat glands that help regulate their body temperature?

Although most of the sweat glands in a cat's body are covered by fur, their paw pads are an exception. These sweat glands are crucial in helping cats stay cool during hot weather by releasing moisture that evaporates and lowers their body temperature. The sweat glands in a cat's paw pads also play a role in marking their territory and communicating with other cats.

So, the next time you see your cat leaving behind damp footprints, remember that it's just their way of staying cool and communicating with their world.

 25. That adorable paunch on a cat’s belly is also found in lions and tigers.

The swinging pouch on your cat’s belly, known as a 'primordial pouch,' is a normal anatomical feature found in all cats, both wild and domestic. It's important, however, to differentiate between this natural pouch and an excessive fat pad, which could be a sign of obesity. Fortunately, your veterinarian can assist in determining if your cat's weight is a matter of concern.

The purpose of these pouches in cats is the subject of various theories. Some experts believe it acts as a protective layer for internal organs during fights. Others suggest it provides extra skin, enabling greater leg extension while running. It might also serve as a space to accommodate expansion after consuming a large meal, typical behavior in wild cats. Regardless of its purpose, this pouch is undoubtedly one of the many charming features of your feline friend, linking them to their wild ancestors.

 26. The technical term for cat whiskers is "vibrissae." 

"Cat whiskers, called vibrissae, contain Merkel cells that provide crucial sensory information to these nocturnal hunters. Their length corresponds to the cat's width, acting as a measuring tool and helping them assess openings. 

Whiskers also detect changes in air currents during fast-paced hunting, compensating for farsightedness. However, excessive contact, like brushing against food bowls, can fatigue whiskers and stress cats. Being mindful of their sensitivity is important for their well-being."

 27. Cats have a specialized gland in their mouth called the vomeronasal organ.

The vomeronasal organ (VNO), also called Jacobson's organ, is a special smell organ found in the nasal septum of animals. It detects certain chemical signals through direct contact with odor sources.

The VNO is functional in snakes, lizards, many mammals (including cats, dogs, cattle, pigs, and some primates), but it is considered vestigial and non-functional in humans. In mammals, the VNO sends signals to the brain areas involved in reproductive functions and behaviors.

 28. Some cats have a condition where the pupils of their eyes are different sizes.

Anisocoria is a condition in which the pupils of a cat's eyes have different sizes, meaning that one pupil is larger than the other. In some instances, the smaller pupil may be the abnormal one, while in other cases, it may be the larger pupil. 

The treatment for anisocoria depends entirely on the underlying cause, and the specific treatment will be customized based on the diagnosis. Your veterinarian will discuss suitable treatment options tailored to your cat's specific situation.

 29. A cat's spine is so flexible because it's made up of 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans only have 34.

Although humans are much larger, a cat possesses roughly 250 bones in its skeleton, as opposed to the 206 bones in the human skeleton. The additional bones in the cat's skeleton are primarily located in the backbone, enhancing its flexibility and agility. Cats have 52 or 53 vertebrae, while humans possess 32 to 34 – a significant distinction. These supplementary bones are spaced out and equipped with extra padding, affording cats the ability to twist, turn, and spring.

Unlike humans, cats lack collarbones; however, they possess a free-floating set of bones in their shoulders, granting them the capability to maneuver into spaces that accommodate their head's size.

 30. Cats hear up to 100,000 Hz, surpassing humans and dogs.

Cats have incredibly sensitive ears and can hear much better than humans and even dogs.

We can hear sounds up to about 20,000 hertz, and dogs can hear up to 40,000 hertz, but cats can detect sounds up to an astonishing 100,000 hertz. This sharp hearing is not just an interesting tidbit; it's vital for their survival. It lets cats hear small critters like mice more clearly, which makes them skilled hunters. However, this also means that loud sounds can be more disturbing to cats than to us since they hear so much more. Knowing this helps us create a quieter and more peaceful home for our feline friends, keeping them from getting overwhelmed by their powerful sense of hearing.

 31. A cat's jaw can't move sideways.

The cat's jaw is a compact yet potent instrument. Its upper and lower sections are joined by a simple hinge, allowing only vertical motion. Cats lack the ability to move their jaws sideways or grind their teeth. When a cat's jaws close, its teeth interlock like scissors, enabling efficient tearing and crushing actions. Although cats don't extensively chew their food, their strong jaws aid in breaking down prey bones forcefully, assisting in the consumption process. This process involves swallowing the food whole, followed by further breakdown through digestive enzymes during digestion.

For hunting and eating, a cat's jaw proves to be a formidable tool. With 30 permanent teeth—16 in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower—cats focus on their jaw's functionality. Notably, the prominent canines, four large, sharp fangs, empower cats to grip, tear, and confront both food and potential opponents. In contrast to other mammals, cats have fewer side teeth designed for grinding, yet they primarily utilize these teeth for cutting.

 32. The cat skull is unusual among mammals.

Cats have a really cool edge in the mammal world, and it's all about the design of their skulls. These little predators are rocking a round skull with a short snout, upping their bite game for a successful hunt. Their headgear is not just fierce but also lightweight, keeping them agile while hosting some heavy-duty jaw muscles for that killer bite. The eye-catching, wide-set eye sockets aren't just for show; they're for an excellent field of view, making sure no prey slips by unnoticed. And those skulls house an advanced sound system (known as auditory bullae), letting them hear the teeniest pin drop or mouse squeak.

The cool part? Not all feline skulls are the same - they're custom-designed based on each cat species' specific hunting playbook and dinner favorites.

 33. Cats are able to see in 1/6th of the light that humans require.

Cats are really cool creatures, especially because they can see super well in the dark, way better than humans! They need only 1/6th of the light that we do. This is because they have special eyes that work like night-vision goggles. Cats were made to hunt when it's a bit dark outside, like at dawn or dusk, so nature gave them these awesome eyes that can take in more light. They even have a special mirror-like layer in their eyes that makes light bounce around inside, helping them see even better in the dark.

And if you’ve ever seen a cat’s eyes glowing at night, that’s why! So, cats are not just cute; they're also perfectly designed night-time prowlers.

 34. A cat has about 24 whiskers on its face!

Cats usually possess 24 mystacial whiskers, with 12 on each cheek, organized in four horizontal rows of three. These represent the longest among the facial vibrissae. Although some cats may have more than 24 whiskers, the total count is always an even number. Symmetrical distribution of whiskers on both sides of the face is crucial, as it enables cats to accurately perceive their surroundings.

 35. There are different types of cat skulls!

Did you know that there are three different kinds of cat skulls? Cats have 3 different kinds of skulls:

  1. Mesocephalic Skulls: These skulls are proportionally balanced in length and width. Cats such as Domestic Shorthairs and Egyptian Maus have mesocephalic skulls, which generally don't have associated health risks.
  2. Brachycephalic Skulls: Characterized by their short, flat faces, brachycephalic skulls are found in breeds like Persians, Exotic Shorthairs, and Himalayans. Health issues can include breathing difficulties, overheating, eye problems, and dental issues due to an underbite. Conditions such as syringomyelia, a neurological issue, are also more prevalent in these breeds.
  3. Dolichocephalic Skulls: These skulls are longer than typical and are seen in cats like Siamese and Abyssinians. They are bred for improved vision and sniffing ability. Potential health concerns include eye problems and dental issues due to overbites.

 36. Cats have the same number of brain cells in their cerebral cortex as brown bears.

Cats and brown bears surprisingly possess a similar number of brain cells in their cerebral cortex, the brain's central hub for processing information. Despite the size of a cat's cerebral cortex being ten times smaller, both animals have approximately 250 million neurons, according to a 2017 study published in 'Frontiers of Neuroanatomy'. The study initially aimed to validate the hypothesis that carnivores would have more cortical neurons than herbivores, given the higher cognitive demands of hunting compared to herbivores' reliance on safety in numbers.

Contrary to expectations, the findings revealed that the neuron-to-brain size ratio in small- and medium-sized carnivores is similar to that of herbivores. This suggests equal evolutionary pressure on herbivores to develop brainpower for evading predators as on carnivores for successful hunting. The bear is a notable case, possessing a brain ten times larger than that of a cat, yet housing a roughly equivalent number of neurons.

 37. Cats have 26 more muscles in their ears than humans!

Cats possess a remarkable anatomical feature, with 32 muscles in each of their ears, far surpassing the six muscles found in human ears.

This significant distinction enables them to rotate their ears up to a full 180 degrees, showcasing an impressive range of motion. Such advanced muscular control not only facilitates expressive communication but also empowers them to precisely locate the source of faint and distant sounds. This specialized ear structure highlights the sophisticated sensory adaptations cats have developed, allowing them to interact with their environment with an extraordinary level of finesse and acuity.

 38. A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s.

Cats' brains are more similar to humans' than to dogs', particularly in the cerebral cortex structure responsible for complex thoughts and decision-making. This biological similarity extends to emotional centers, enhancing social bonds between humans and cats.

Despite their brain's smaller size, cats have advanced cerebral folding, indicating higher cognitive functions. These neurological commonalities don't imply identical intelligence but suggest a sophisticated social understanding in felines.

Facts About Cat Health And Wellness

 1. Remdesivir, an important drug in combating Covid, was first successfully used against a cat disease caused by another coronavirus.

Leslie Lyons, a specialist in cat genetics and a cat owner, emphasizes the importance of studying cat genetics and their diseases, as they offer valuable insights into human diseases. Despite cats being underappreciated in the scientific community, their genomes share similarities with humans, making them valuable models for understanding non-gene regions of mammalian DNA. Veterinary advances, like the use of remdesivir against Covid, have emerged from cat disease research. Lyons and her colleagues have produced detailed cat genomes, surpassing those of dogs, and believe they hold immense potential for medical knowledge. Studying wild cat speci es aids in conservation efforts, and ancient DNA research reveals the lineage of present-day cats. Lyons suggests getting two cats as companions and providing appropriate scratching surfaces to protect furniture.

 2. Neutered males live 62% longer than unneutered cats, and spayed females live 39% longer than unspayed females.

Banfield Pet Hospital's State of Pet Health 2013 Report reveals a correlation between spaying/neutering and the life span of pet dogs and cats. The report analyzed records of millions of pets from Banfield hospitals across the United States. It found that neutered male cats live 62% longer than unneutered males, while spayed female cats live 39% longer than unspayed females. Similarly, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than unneutered males, and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed females. The report also highlights an increase in the life span of cats and dogs in recent years. Banfield emphasizes the importance of regular preventive care in helping pets live longer and healthier lives.

 3. Your average healthy housecat can bolt at an amazing speed of about 30 mph!

Cats are intriguing creatures that possess remarkable physical skills. On average, a house cat can reach speeds of around 30 miles per hour, making them faster than most humans and even some dog breeds. For comparison, the fastest human on record, Usain Bolt, reached 27.33 miles per hour after extensive training.

When it comes to dogs, cats still outpace many breeds, with some exceptions like the Greyhound, which can reach 40 miles per hour. However, considering the difference in size, a cat's speed remains impressive. House cats can even match the pace of some larger wild cat species like the bobcat, proving that their natural strength, agility, and flexibility contribute to their impressive running abilities.

 4. Some cats are born with a rare condition commonly known as “Wobbly Cat Syndrome” that affects their ability to balance.

Cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), also known as wobbly cat syndrome, is a neurological disorder in cats that causes unsteady movements, loss of balance, and jerky motions. It occurs when the brain doesn't develop properly, often due to the mother cat contracting feline panleukopenia virus during pregnancy. There are three levels of severity: mild, moderate, and severe. While severe cases require special-needs care, mild and moderate CH cats can still lead happy lives, engaging in typical cat behaviors like climbing, running, and jumping. 

The diagnosis is based on clinical signs, and while there is no cure or treatment, CH does not impact the lifespan or quality of life of affected cats. Raising awareness about CH is important to save more cats with the condition and change perceptions about their abilities and potential for love and playfulness.

 5. People with cat allergies aren’t allergic to fur, but rather a protein found in a cat’s saliva, urine, and dander.

Contrary to popular perception, cat allergies are not caused by your cat's fur or hair. While the hairs on your cat may contribute to the spread of the allergen, the actual trigger for your symptoms is not the hair itself as stated by the American Lung Association.

The culprit behind cat allergies is a protein called Fel d1, which is present in your cat's saliva, urine, and dander, based from the National Library of Medicine. This protein is nearly impossible to avoid, as it is produced and released during every bodily activity of your cat. So, even if you were to keep your cat meticulously groomed or free of loose fur, the presence of Fel d1 in their saliva and dander would still be the primary cause of allergic reactions.

 6. Cats take between 20 and 40 breaths per minute.

A normal rate for dogs and cats is usually less than 32 to 35 breaths per minute. If their breathing gets faster, it could be a sign of fluid in the lungs due to congestive heart failure.

You can also check their breathing effort by watching their chest and belly movement as they breathe. If they are working hard to breathe or seem to be struggling, it may indicate a problem. In such cases, it's essential to contact your veterinarian to discuss any necessary adjustments to medications. To help you keep track of your pet's health, there are monitoring forms available. Remember, monitoring your pet's breathing and other vital signs at home can be valuable in assisting your veterinarian in providing the best care for your furry friend.

 7. Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are very prone to sunburn.

Solar dermatitis is a skin disease in cats caused by sun exposure, mainly affecting areas like the ears, nose, and eyelids. It starts with pink, scaly skin and can progress to crusted, ulcerated lesions. To prevent it from worsening, cats should be kept indoors during sunny hours or protected with sunscreen. If squamous cell carcinoma is suspected, a tissue biopsy is recommended for diagnosis and further assessment. Histopathology can provide insights into the tumor's behavior.

 8. Panting is not normal for cats.

Panting in cats is not normal unlike with dogs and can be caused by various issues, such as heat, pain, respiratory illnesses, asthma, heart failure, or ingestion of foreign objects. If a cat is panting, it may be overheated, in pain, or experiencing a medical emergency. Providing immediate cooling, seeking veterinary attention, and consulting an emergency vet are essential steps if a cat is panting and showing signs of distress. 

 9. Raw fish isn’t good for your cat.

Raw meat and uncooked fish, similar to raw eggs, may harbor harmful bacteria that can result in foodborne illnesses. Furthermore, a particular enzyme present in raw fish breaks down thiamine, a crucial B vitamin necessary for your cat's well-being. Insufficient thiamine levels can lead to severe neurological issues, potentially causing seizures and a comatose state.

 10. Cats can get high by eating catnip.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), a perennial mint herb, holds a mysterious and captivating allure for our feline companions. The leaves and stems of catnip contain a unique chemical compound called nepetalactone, which acts as a potent attractant for cats. 

When cats encounter catnip, the nepetalactone interacts with receptors in their nasal tissue, triggering a range of intriguing responses. Some cats may become ecstatic and playful, rubbing their faces against the source, rolling in it, and chasing imaginary prey. Others may exhibit a more relaxed and dreamy demeanor. The effects typically last around 10 minutes, and it is estimated that about 50 to 70 percent of cats display a positive reaction to catnip. 

It's a harmless and enjoyable experience for our feline friends, offering them a natural form of mental and physical stimulation.

 11. Cats purr at a frequency of 25 to 150 Hertz, which has been shown to have healing effects on the body.

Cats are unique in their ability to purr, which is a low-frequency vibratory sound produced when the cat breathes in and out. Studies have found that the frequency range of a cat's purr is 25 to 150 Hertz, which has therapeutic effects on the body, including promoting bone density and reducing pain and inflammation. The act of purring may also have a calming effect on the cat, reducing stress and anxiety levels and improving their overall health.

Additionally, listening to a cat's purr can promote relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety in humans.

 12. Spaying and neutering can extend a cat’s life.

Research conducted by Banfield Pet Hospitals, involving a vast database of 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats, unveiled significant findings on the impact of neutering or spaying on pets' lifespans

The study concluded that neutered male dogs live 18% longer and spayed female dogs 23% longer. In cats, the effect was even more pronounced, with spayed females living 39% longer and neutered males a remarkable 62% longer. These findings underscore the health benefits of neutering and spaying, linking these procedures to increased longevity in pets.

 13. White cats with blue eyes are prone to deafness.

According to Cornell University, the genetic peculiarities of white cats, particularly those with blue eyes, have intrigued researchers for years. Studies have shown that the likelihood of deafness in white cats is significantly influenced by their eye color. While only 17 to 22 percent of white cats with non-blue eyes are born deaf, the incidence increases to 40 percent for those with one blue eye. 

Astonishingly, for all-white cats with both eyes blue, the deafness rate soars to between 65 and 85 percent, highlighting a fascinating genetic link between coat and eye color and auditory health.

 14. Cats may be able to detect pregnancy before you can.

Cats possess an acute sense of smell and hearing, enabling them to detect changes in their human companions' bodies, possibly even before these changes become apparent to the humans themselves. 

This sensitivity may explain why some cats alter their behavior in response to a human's pregnancy, demonstrating the deep, intuitive connection pets can have with their owners. However, responses can vary greatly from one cat to another, reflecting the diverse personalities and temperaments within the feline world.

 15. 90% of cats over the age of 4 suffer from dental problems.

Based on information provided by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, feline dental problems are highly prevalent, impacting anywhere from 50% to 90% of cats aged four or older. While cats don't develop cavities, they are notably prone to conditions such as gingivitis (gum inflammation), stomatitis, periodontal disease, and feline tooth resorption (resorptive lesions). These oral health issues primarily stem from inadequate dental care and the formation of plaque. 

If left unaddressed, these problems can result in a range of symptoms, including bad breath, tooth decay, and loss, as well as the development of various oral diseases.

 16. Cats can become “tuna junkies”, and it’s not good!

That's not a good thing - they might LOVE tuna, but a well-balanced cat meal plan includes protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Tuna alone lacks balance, with too much unsaturated fat and no Vitamin E. Feeding tuna as the primary diet can lead to a Vitamin E deficiency and "yellow fat disease," especially in cats consuming red tuna regularly. Ensure a varied, balanced diet for your cat's health. 

 17. Just like us humans, being a junkie is never good for cats either.

Most adult cats lack the enzymes necessary to digest milk

Despite the popular image of cats enjoying milk, most adult cats are lactose intolerant due to a decrease in the production of the enzyme lactase, necessary for breaking down lactose in milk. 

This natural reduction occurs after weaning, aligning with wild cats' dietary shift from milk to prey. Consequently, when adult cats drink milk, they often experience gastrointestinal discomfort, including symptoms like diarrhea and stomach cramps, due to their inability to digest lactose properly. While some individual cats can tolerate lactose, they are exceptions, leading experts to recommend fresh water and appropriate solid foods as the primary diet, avoiding regular cow's milk. Lactose-free cat milk products are available for those who wish to indulge their cats without causing digestive upset, ensuring adherence to feline dietary requirements.

 18. Purring doesn’t always mean a cat is happy.

Purring is a complex vocalization in cats, often associated with a state of contentment. However, the reasons behind purring can be multifaceted, encompassing not just happiness but also hunger or stress.

Cats do purr when they are content, but they also purr in other situations, such as when they are hungry, stressed, or even in pain. Purring can be a self-soothing behavior for cats in various situations.

 19. Cats spend nearly 1/3rd of their lives cleaning themselves.

Pamela Perry, D.V.M., an esteemed resident in animal behavior at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine and a Camuti Consultant at the Cornell Feline Health Center, sheds light on the integral role grooming plays in a cat's life. Dr. Perry emphasizes that grooming is not just a matter of cleanliness for cats; it's a substantial part of their daily routine

She notes that the meticulous and frequent grooming habits of cats often escape the notice of their owners until they manifest in more conspicuous signs like significant hair loss or the development of skin lesions. This observation underscores the depth of care cats invest in their grooming, a behavior deeply ingrained in their natural instincts.

 20. Cow's milk can be dangerous for cats.

Cow's milk isn't a healthy choice for most cats, especially if it's replacing a balanced meal. According to Purina nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, "Consuming cow's milk alone is not advisable because it doesn't provide the essential nutrition your cat needs."

Furthermore, whole, two percent, and skim cow's milk can introduce unhealthy amounts of fat into your cat's diet. As pointed out by Purina nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, "The fats in milk can lead to weight gain and upset stomach in cats. If your cat experiences loose stool, it could be a sign of lactose intolerance."

 21. Grooming actually has so many benefits!

When cats lick themselves, it does a few important things. First, it helps keep their skin healthy by making sure blood flows well, which brings good stuff like oxygen to their skin. Second, when they spread saliva over their fur, it helps them cool down because they don't sweat like we do. And third, grooming makes cats feel calm because it releases something called endorphins in their brain, making them relaxed. So, when cats are grooming, they're actually making sure they stay healthy and happy.

 22. In the cold, cat fur stands up to insulate!

When it gets cold, their fur puffs up to trap air close to their skin, which acts like a cozy blanket. This fluffing up of fur is called piloerection. Plus, the ends of cats' fur are loaded with special sensors that pick up on the cold. So, cats don't just have their own natural coat for warmth, but they can also feel the coldness around them with their fur. Both these things help cats keep their body heat just right and adapt quickly to cooler environments.

 23. Vitiligo, a unique and rare skin condition, can occur in both humans and cats!

It is a unique condition where their fur and skin develop white or light pink patches due to a loss of pigment. It's especially common in Siamese cats. This harmless condition doesn't affect their health or behavior, but it gives them a distinctive, spotted appearance. While it's nothing to worry about, keeping an eye on any skin changes is always a good idea, especially in older cats.

 24. Cats don't get cavities!

Cats don't typically develop cavities due to their lack of occlusal tables, which are horizontal surfaces on teeth where bacteria can accumulate. Their diet also contributes to this low cavity incidence. However, they are still prone to other dental issues like periodontal disease, oral inflammation, and cancer. While consistent dental care is crucial, some cats may still require tooth extractions. Fortunately, most cats adapt well to eating post-extraction, even dry food.

Regular dental care, including daily brushing, is essential for preventing bacteria build-up and maintaining good oral health. Training cats from a young age for routine dental care can help ensure their lifelong dental well-being.

Facts About Cats Around The World  

 1. Vikings used to give new brides house cats as a wedding gift! 

According to the mythologist and scholar Jakob Grimm, cats were held in high regard as the favored creatures of Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sex, war, gold, and magic for seeing and influencing the future. 

It was believed that treating cats well was essential, as it guaranteed the favor of the goddess. Cats were associated with luck and fortune, and harming them was considered bad luck. They were used in rituals and their fur was used for clothing, but killing a cat was seen as an offense to the goddess.

 2. In Japan, cats are thought to have the power to turn into super spirits when they die.

Japan, like many other countries, has its own reasons for why cats are regarded as important symbols.

For Japanese people, cats are supernatural entities (Bakeneko), and the absence of science is one of the biggest reasons this myth exists.

If you read more about Bakeneko, you will realize that their belief is rooted somewhere else, and at some point, it actually makes sense. It may not be in favor of science, but it's definitely very important to literature.

 3. A ailurophile is a person who loves cats. The word ailuro is the ancient Greek word for cat.

According to Merriam-Webster.com, the word ailurophile comes from the Greek word ailouros, which means "cat," and the suffix -phile, which means "lover." If Egyptian cat-loving sentiments make you uncomfortable and you sympathize with medieval Europeans who saw cats as evil agents of evil, you might prefer the term ailurophobe (from ailouros plus -phobe, meaning "fearing or averse to").

 4. In ancient Egypt, animals were sacred, and shaving hair was part of their customs for tribute and mourning.

According to a passage written by Herodotus from worldhistory.org, ancient Egyptians held animals in high regard as sacred beings. They followed specific customs that involved shaving hair as a form of tribute and mourning. If a house caught fire, saving cats became a priority, showing their special status among animals. When a cat passed away, the household members would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning and continued to do so until their eyebrows grew back.

Upon the death of a cat, a unique ritual took place - they were mummified and buried in sacred chambers in Bubastis. Other animals also received distinct burial practices at different locations. Shaving hair held great significance during these ceremonies, symbolizing deep grief and respect for these cherished creatures. The customs and traditions of ancient Egyptians showcased their profound bond and reverence for the animal companions that were an integral part of their lives.

 5. A green cat was born in Denmark in 1995.

In 1995, the first green cats were born in northwestern DenmarkMiss Greeny was discovered in a hayloft and quickly caused a stir. It is believed that the cat may be suffering from feline 'blue Doberman syndrome’, which causes the hair of Doberman pinschers to turn a grayish blue tint.

She  became famous after being presented at the Natural History Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, in November of 1995.

 6. A stray cat rescued from the streets of Rome inherited a $13 million fortune from its owner.

Maria Assunta, an affluent widow and an Italian property magnate, bequeathed her inheritance to her favorite stray cat, Tommaso, who was rescued from the streets of Rome. Cash, as well as houses in Rome, Milan, and Calabria, are among the feline's unexpected fortunes.

Before she died in 2011, Assunta, who had no children, was looking for a means to ensure that Tommaso was properly cared for. Unable to find a satisfactory association to see to it that Tommaso was loved and cared for, Assunta decided to leave all her money to the cat via her nurse, Stefania (whose last name has not been disclosed), who cared for her until her dying day.

 7. Kishi Station, a train station in Japan, has had a cat as stationmaster since 2007.

Tama, a calico cat, was adopted by the Kishi train station in the small Japanese town of Kinokawa in 2007. The station was facing financial struggles, and the staff thought that adopting a cat might bring some cheer to the dreary surroundings. They named the cat Tama, which means "jewel" in Japanese.

In 2007 she was officially named "stationmaster of Kishi Station" and became the first feline stationmaster in Japan. Tama's friendly demeanor and cute appearance charmed everyone who visited the station, and people started making trips specifically to see her. Her popularity continued to grow and her image was used to promote tourism in the area.

Tama remained in her position until her passing in 2015. During her full reign as stationmaster from 2007 until 2015, it is estimated that she contributed upwards of 1.1bn yen (£7.85m) to the local economy.

Nowadays, one of Tama’s former apprentices, eight-year-old Nitama (literally: ‘Tama Two’), serves as the Kishi stationmaster, with four-year-old Yontama (‘Tama Four’) functioning as her feline assistant five stations away in Idakiso.

 8. Oscar, a feline resident of a nursing home in Rhode Island, possesses the extraordinary ability to forecast the imminent passing of patients.

Oscar the Cat, born in 2005, became famous for his unique abilities at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. 

In 2007, his story was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Oscar had a remarkable knack for sensing when patients were nearing death. He would make his own rounds in the nursing home, observing and sniffing patients. Interestingly, he would only choose to curl up on the beds of certain individuals who would later pass away within a few hours. 

This ability was so accurate that the staff developed a protocol to inform the families whenever Oscar chose a patient's bed. Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician, was inspired by Oscar's story and wrote a touching book called "Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat," which also discussed dementia. 

While some may find it unusual to rely on a cat for predictions in a modern healthcare setting, the families of patients who experienced Oscar's presence found solace in his conviction and dedication. As of January 2010, Oscar had accurately predicted the deaths of 50 patients.

 9. Talkeetna, Alaska had a cat as honorary mayor for 20 years.

Stubbs gained widespread attention when claims arose that he had been elected as mayor through a write-in campaign by dissatisfied voters who were unimpressed with the human candidates.

In an effort to protest the 2014 United States Senate election in Alaska, supporters actively encouraged voters to write Stubbs's name on the ballot. Stubbs even made an appearance in a video where he criticized both the Democratic and Republican candidates for Senate.

However, NPR disputed these claims by pointing out that since the small town lacked an official mayor, there couldn't have been a legitimate election.

Despite the considerable buzz surrounding Stubbs, an opinion writer for the Alaska Dispatch News vehemently declared the entire story as false, firmly stating that Talkeetna did not have a cat mayor.

Nevertheless, during Stubbs's tenure, Nagley's General Store faithfully served as his "mayoral office."

 10. The first cat show was held at New York's Madison Garden in 1895.

The first National Cat Show was held at Madison Square Garden in 1895, where a brown tabby Maine Cat named Cosey won Best in Show. My journey into this historical event began in 1990 when I discovered a silver medal, a cat collar, and a photograph at an antique shop in New Jersey, all marked "National Cat Show, 1895." These items, in mint condition, were crafted by Whiting Mfg. Co. and had been preserved in an attic near Lambertville, New Jersey. A reference in "That Yankee Cat" and a New York Times article confirmed Cosey's victory. In 1992, the CFA Foundation acquired these artifacts, now displayed at the Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, Ohio. 

This discovery not only highlights the importance of preserving historical artifacts but also honors Cosey's legacy in cat show history.

 11. The wealthiest cat in the world, Blackie, had a fortune of £7 million, or $12.5 million in US dollars.

In 1988, a remarkable event in the annals of pet inheritances occurred when Blackie, a cat, was left a staggering £7 million ($12.5 million) by a millionaire antiques dealer. 

This inheritance not only transformed Blackie into the world's wealthiest cat by the Guinness World Records but also set a record that has stood the test of time. Adjusting for inflation and economic changes, the value of Blackie's inheritance today would approximate £18.5 million ($32 million), a testament to the extraordinary legacy bestowed upon this feline.

 12. Disneyland employs a small army of cats!

Since 1955, shortly after Disneyland opened, there have been sightings of feral cats roaming the park. When Walt Disney discovered a feral cat colony living in the Sleeping Beauty Castle, he couldn't bring himself to remove them and instead adopted them as Cast Members. This not only solved the flea infestation problem but also allowed the cats to keep the rodent population in check, as they were excellent hunters. Some cats found homes in other areas of the park, and the idea of allowing them to stay proved successful. 

Today, Disneyland is home to over 200 felines who continue to roam the park, providing an extra touch of charm for visitors. So, keep your eyes peeled for these adorable cats with their whiskers and fluffy tails during your next visit to the happiest place on earth.

 13. Japan's "cat island" has 6x as many cats as humans! 

Aoshima, known as "Cat Island," stands out as Japan's most famous feline haven. With a mere 15-20 human residents, the island's nickname is no exaggeration, as it hosts over 120 cats, a staggering six times the human population. Nestled in the Ehime Prefecture, this 1.6 km long island initially introduced cats to combat a rodent issue. The feline population then thrived, resulting in an almost exponential increase.

However, Aoshima Island isn't your typical tourist destination. Lacking cars, hotels, restaurants, and even vending machines, it's primarily inhabited by elderly residents. While visitors are allowed to interact with the cats, the local residents' peace should not be disrupted. Feeding the cats is discouraged, as they receive daily sustenance from the island's inhabitants. Although transportation to the island is limited to two ferry trips each day, for those with a deep affinity for cats, Aoshima presents an intriguing destination to consider exploring.

Facts About Cats That Made History

 1. President Abraham Lincoln was bestowed a pair of cats when he won the presidency.

Cats were occasionally kept as pets by U.S. presidents during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. President Abraham Lincoln and his wife had a genuine fondness for these graceful creatures. After Lincoln won the presidency, he left his loyal dog Fido behind in Springfield, Illinois. Soon after, Secretary of State William Seward bestowed upon him a pair of cats named Tabby and Dixie.

 2. The oldest cat lived to 38 years old.

Creme Puff, a mixed Tabby cat owned by Jake Perry of Austin, Texas, holds the record as the oldest cat ever recorded. She lived for an impressive 38 years and 3 days. Perry also had another long-lived cat named Granpa Rex Allen, who lived for 34 years and 59 days. Creme Puff's longevity was attributed to a diet of dry cat food supplemented with broccoli, eggs, turkey bacon, and occasional red wine. Perry kept her active and engaged with a specially designed home environment that included a movie theater and wooden climbing steps.

On Oct. 18, 1963, a French cat named Félicette became the first and only feline to ever travel to space.

Félicette, a stray Parisian cat, made history as the first and only cat launched into space on October 18, 1963, as part of the French space program. She was one of 14 female cats trained for the mission, with electrodes implanted in her brain to monitor neurological activity during the flight. Félicette survived the suborbital flight and was recovered safely after 13 minutes in space. However, she was euthanized two months later for a brain examination. Post-flight, she was initially called "Félix" by the media, but the official name "Félicette" was later adopted.

Félicette's mission marked a significant milestone for France in the space race. She has been commemorated on postage stamps around the world, and a bronze statue in her honor was unveiled at the International Space University in December 2019. While she played a vital role in scientific research, her flight was met with less popularity due to images of her with implanted electrodes and the emerging animal rights movement at the time. Despite this, her legacy remains as an important contributor to early space exploration involving non-human animals.

 3. The first known pet cat existed 9,500 years ago.

French archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a remarkable bond between humans and cats dating back 9,500 years on the island of Cyprus. In a burial site, the remains of a human and a cat were found together, accompanied by decorative artifacts. This discovery suggests that this cat may be the oldest known pet cat in the world, predating ancient Egyptian depictions of cats by over 4,000 years. While cats are often associated with ancient Egypt, earlier engravings and pottery indicate their presence and spiritual significance during the Neolithic period. Cats were likely introduced to Cyprus by humans, although the extent of their domestication remains uncertain. This finding provides insights into the long history of companionship and reverence between humans and cats.

 4. NASA once brought cats on a plane to test their skills in zero gravity.

Cats are renowned for always landing on their feet after being dropped, but the video clip on the link below from the Insider, shows that those cat-like reflexes are completely gone in a weightless environment.

Two cats were launched into space by the French in 1963 in order to test the durability of their rockets. The two 'chat espaces' were launched less than a week apart, so it seems unlikely that even Felicette, one of the two, would have made it and made it back to Earth with the rocket splashdown capsule.

However, AIRBOYD claims that the U.S. was more advanced 16 years prior. This classic video of a cat completely lost in zero gravity is allegedly from an Air Force recording.

 5. Mrs. Norris from the Harry Potter movies was played by three Maine Coons.

Mrs Norris, the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had a strong bond with her master. She played a significant role in the school by alerting Filch to any misbehaving students within the castle. Mrs Norris resembled Filch in appearance, with bulging yellow eyes, a scrawny body, and dust-colored fur.

 6. Tesla wrote that his childhood pet Mačak was the source of his fascination with electricity.

According to the great scientist Nikola Tesla, his fascination with electricity began with a curious incident involving his pet cat, Mačak. As a young boy, while stroking the cat's fur, he witnessed tiny sparks flying, resembling miniature lightning bolts. This intriguing observation led him to contemplate whether nature itself could be likened to a colossal cat. This initial curiosity about the cat's sparks eventually served as the inspiration for his invention of the Tesla coil, a remarkable device capable of generating immense voltages and producing some of the most impressive man-made lightning bolts ever witnessed.

 7. During World War II, a cat named Unsinkable Sam survived three separate shipwrecks.

Unsinkable Sam, also known as Oscar or "Sam the Cat", was a cat that reportedly served aboard three different ships during World War II. The first ship he served on, the German battleship Bismarck, was sunk in May 1941. Sam was found floating on a board by the crew of HMS Cossack, a British destroyer that rescued 110 survivors. Sam was then transferred to the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, which was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in November 1941. Once again, Sam survived and was rescued by a British destroyer. Sam's final ship was the HMS Amethyst, which was hit by a Chinese communist artillery fire in 1949. Sam was one of only a few survivors and was then transferred to shore duty.

 8. Tama, a Japanese cat, was knighted by the Governor of the Prefecture of Wakayama in 2007. 

In 2007, a cat named Tama was adopted by a staff member at Kishi train station in Kishigawa, Japan. The hope was that Tama would bring some much-needed cheer to the station, which was struggling financially at the time.

With her friendly nature and adorable looks, Tama quickly won over the hearts of everyone who visited the station. People even started making special trips just to see her. As her popularity soared, she became a symbol for promoting tourism in the area.

Due to Tama's wholesome contribution in boosting local tourism, she was knighted and awarded the title of "Wakayama de Knight" by Governor Yoshinobu Nishizaka.

Tama's legacy lives on through her successors Nitama and Yontama, who are also serving as stationmasters in different parts of Japan. They continue the tradition of bringing joy to travelers, just like their predecessor did.

 9. Cats were used in ancient Rome to control birds in the Colosseum.

In 31 BC, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, introducing cats to Roman society. These feline companions gradually spread throughout Europe by the 4th century AD, as evident from a cat skeleton displaying the characteristic skull shape seen in modern domestic cats.

Interestingly, despite the ancient Egyptians' veneration of cats and their continued popularity as pets in present-day Italy, there is no historical evidence indicating that cats held a particularly esteemed position in ancient Roman society. However, cats were frequently utilized in ancient Rome to manage the bird population in the Colosseum, ensuring a more pleasant experience for spectators during events. Additionally, if cats were kept as pets at all during that era, their value likely stemmed from their effectiveness in controlling rodents and aiding in pest management.

 10. Cats "served" in the trenches during WWI!

During World War I, around 500,000 cats were deployed to the trenches in Europe, playing a vital role in the war efforts. Their primary task was to eliminate the rats that plagued the front lines.

Interestingly, these resourceful felines went beyond their rodent extermination duties. They exhibited remarkable abilities by aiding in the detection of odorless gasses that soldiers were unable to perceive with their naked eyes.

Beyond their wartime contributions, cats have long been cherished companions. Their loyalty and companionship continue to enrich the lives of people around the world.

 11. The longest domestic cat currently alive measures almost 4 feet long!

According to Guinness World Records, the longest domestic cat alive measures 120 cm (3 ft 11.2 in) is a cat named Barivel in Vigevano, Pavia, Italy, as verified on 22 May 2018.

Barivel (barivel_maine_coon) is a Maine Coon, who despite his size, is a very quiet and shy cat. He has his own Instagram profile and receives many comments asking about his size. His favorite dishes include fish (especially tuna) and chicken.

In his owners’ local Italian dialect, Barivel means clown or jolly.

 12. Cats served as mascots and companions during WWI!

During World War I, cats served as valuable morale boosters and honorary regimental mascots for soldiers. They shared rations, played with soldiers during breaks, and were commonly seen in trenches and on ships. Besides hunting rodents, cats were embraced as pets and mascots by soldiers and sailors. Around 500,000 cats were sent to the trenches, where they helped control vermin and even acted as gas detectors. 

Cats on ships, a tradition dating back millennia, provided companionship and protection from pests. Sailors believed cats brought luck and often adopted them as souvenirs from foreign lands. These feline companions played a significant role in providing comfort and camaraderie amidst the challenges of war.

 13. Karl Lagerfeld's cat Choupette was left a $1.5 MILLION inheritance!

After the passing of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld at the age of 85, it was assured that his beloved cat, Choupette (@choupetteofficiel), would continue to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle she became accustomed to under his care. Choupette, a Burmese cat, inherited a significant portion of Lagerfeld's estimated $300 million net worth, as he included her in his will back in 2015. Even before Lagerfeld's death, Choupette was famous in her own right and had her own income stream, featuring in advertisements for cars and beauty products, serving as an ambassador for Opel, being the subject of books, and having her own makeup line with Shu Uemura. 

Facts About Cat Communication

 1. Your cat sticks his butt in your face as a way to show you he loves and trusts you.

When cats put their butt in your face, it's actually a friendly greeting and a sign that they love you. According to cat expert Amy Shojai, raising their tail and presenting their butt is a display of trust. It allows you to access their scent, which is a way of bonding and exchanging information. Dr. Zay Satchu, co-founder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, also confirms that cats exhibit this behavior towards each other. While it may seem strange, it can be compared to how humans greet each other with a hug or a kiss. So, when your cat presents their butt to you, it's a unique yet affectionate gesture.

 2. Cats are digitigrades, that makes them move fast and swiftly!

Cats are digitigrade animals, which means they walk and run on their toes. Unlike dogs and horses, cats move by alternating the front and back legs on each side. Their bodies have remarkable elasticity, thanks to the muscles that hold their vertebrae together, allowing them to elongate, contract, and curve their backs. Cats' shoulder joints are highly flexible, enabling them to turn their forelegs in various directions. With their powerful build and exceptional coordination, cats almost always manage to land on their feet when they fall or are dropped.

Due to their toe-walking, digitigrades typically move swiftly and quietly compared to other animals. This locomotion style, observed in birds, cats, dogs, and many other mammals, involves walking or running on the toes while lifting the rest of the foot off the ground.

 3. Scientists suggest that a cat's purr is a method of self-healing!

The unique characteristic of a cat's purr is that it occurs throughout the entire respiratory cycle, unlike other vocalizations such as the "meow" which only happens during expiration. While it was previously believed that purring was caused by blood flow in the inferior vena cava, current research suggests that the internal laryngeal muscles are the likely source. The laryngeal muscles control the opening and closing of the glottis, resulting in the separation of vocal cords and the production of the purring sound. Studies indicate that the movement of these muscles is regulated by a specific "neural oscillator" located in the cat's brain.

During both inhalation and exhalation, cats purr in a consistent pattern with a frequency of 25 to 150 Hertz. Sound frequencies in this range have been found to improve bone density and assist healing by a number of researches. 

 4. Cats involuntarily open their mouths after smelling something.

While it may seem as though your cat is staring blankly with his mouth open in amazement sometimes, there is really a purpose for this amusing expression—and that is your cat assessing a novel or unfamiliar smell by "scent-sucking" through the roof of his mouth rather than through his nostrils.

This is called the Flehmen response.

According to anthrozoologist John Bradshaw, this causes two tiny ducts on the roof of your cat's mouth, behind the incisors, to open. The vomeronasal organ, also known as Jacobson's organ, located on the roof of the mouth, can then be reached by the fragrance as a result.

 5. Cats need to scratch on things.

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, but it can be problematic for cat owners when it damages furniture and walls. Understanding why cats scratch, such as for claw maintenance, stretching, and marking territory, is important in finding solutions. Providing suitable alternatives like scratching posts, understanding the cat's motivations and anxiety levels, and making changes in the household can help prevent scratching issues. Redirecting the cat's behavior through training, using pheromones or catnip, and employing aversion techniques can be effective. Regular nail trimming and applying soft plastic caps to the claws are additional options to consider. 

Overall, a combination of understanding feline behavior, providing appropriate outlets, and addressing underlying causes can help manage and prevent scratching problems.

 6. Cats knock objects over and off edges to test for hidden prey.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), cats knocking things over is normal behavior rooted in their natural instincts. Cats use their sensitive paws to explore and swat objects, driven by curiosity, their hunting instinct, and a desire for attention. Exploring their environment, simulating hunting prey, seeking attention, and combating boredom are common reasons behind this behavior. Cats also have a basic understanding of cause and effect, realizing that knocking things over elicits a reaction. While it can be amusing, it's important not to encourage this behavior and provide appropriate mental and physical stimulation.

Facts About Cat Breeds

 1. The smallest cat breed is a Singapura. They stand between 6 and 8 inches tall.

The Singapura is the tiniest cat breed. They stand between 6 and 8 inches tall. They have huge eyes and ears, a ticking coat, and a blunt tail. They're adorably cute.

It was later discovered that the cats were first imported to Singapore from the United States before being transferred back to the United States. They were first imported to Singapore in the 1970s.

 2. Siamese cats are born white and do not develop markings until several weeks after birth.

Siamese kittens are born pure cream or white and develop visible points in colder areas as they grow. Siamese cats tend to darken with age, and the coat color can vary depending on the climate. The original Siamese colors were seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac points, but breeding programs have led to the development of other colors and patterns. In the UK, all pointed Siamese-style cats are considered Siamese, while the Cat Fanciers' Association in the US recognizes only the four original colors as Siamese. The kinked tail, once common in Siamese cats from Thailand, is now considered a flaw and has been largely eliminated by breeders, although it still persists in street cats in Thailand.

 3. One of the more surprising things about Sphynx cats is that they aren’t from Egypt.

The Sphynx cat is a hairless breed that originated in Canada through selective breeding of naturally occurring hairless cats. They have a unique appearance with skin that feels like chamois leather and come in various colors and patterns. Despite their lack of fur, they possess whiskers and have specific breed standards defined by cat associations. Sphynx cats require regular bathing and protection from sun exposure. They are known for their extroverted behavior, high energy levels, intelligence, and affection towards their owners. However, they may still trigger allergies in some individuals. Sphynx cats need grooming and care for their ears and nails. They can be prone to health issues like skin cancer and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Reputable breeders screen for these health problems.

 4. 99.9% of calico cats and tortie cats are female.

Male calico cats are extremely rare, with only 1 in 3,000 calico cats being male, according to a study by the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine. The majority, 99.9%, of calico cats are female due to their unique genetic makeup. However, with proper healthcare and a balanced diet, calico cats, like any other cat, can live longer than average.

 5. There’s no such thing as a tuxedo cat breed.

Like tabby, calico, and tortie, “tuxedo” is not a cat breed. Instead, this fur pattern describes a bicolor cat with a black and white coat. Tuxedo cats typically display a solid black coat with white patches on their chest, belly, paws, and sometimes the chin.

Although there is no such thing as a tuxedo cat breed, the bicolor (also called piebald) pattern arises more often in the following cat breeds: Domestic Shorthair, Turkish Van, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Exotic Shorthair, Maine Coon, and Manx.

 6. The Scottish Fold, a breed of cat with folded ears, was first discovered in Scotland in the 1960s.

The Scottish Fold is a cat breed with folded ears that was discovered in the 1960s by a Scottish shepherd named William Ross. Over time, the breed gained popularity for its unique appearance and friendly personality, and it has been officially recognized by cat fancier organizations worldwide.

However, concerns about health problems associated with the breed's ear shape have led to restrictions on breeding or bans in some cat associations. Despite this, the Scottish Fold is still a beloved and unique breed.

 7. Sphynx cats are prone to heart disease.

Sphynx cats, like other purebreds, are prone to genetic health issues, with their lack of fur – usually offering protection, temperature regulation, and communication – being a point of breeding controversy. 

Known for their energetic and intelligent demeanor, they share common feline conditions but are particularly vulnerable to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This disease, characterized by an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, can lead to heart failure and typically does not manifest until adulthood, despite the genetic mutation being present from birth. The onset age of HCM in Sphynx cats varies, with many showing signs between 2-3 years of age, while others may develop it later in life, around 8-10 years old. Therefore, regular veterinary examinations are essential for early detection and management of this condition.

 8. Only ~20% of orange cats are female.

Female cats, with their two X chromosomes (XX), contrast with male cats that have one X and one Y chromosome (XY). Cat coloration is largely determined by genes on the X chromosome. In male cats, the presence of the orange gene on their single X chromosome results in an orange color. Consequently, if an orange female cat gives birth, all her male kittens will inherit this trait, regardless of the father's color. Conversely, a female cat will be orange only if both X chromosomes carry the orange gene, implying that both parents must be orange.

Although the exact proportion of orange cats in the overall population is not precisely known, it's estimated to be between 2-5%. This rarity makes orange female cats a part of a rather exclusive and unique group.

 9. The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed.

The Ragdoll breed originated in Riverside, California, by Ann Baker from a white domestic longhaired cat named Josephine, who was not of a specific breed. Josephine's offspring, particularly Daddy Warbucks and Blackie, became the foundation of the Ragdoll breed, known for their docile and affectionate nature.

Baker uniquely trademarked the 'Ragdoll' name, establishing her own registry, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), in the early 1970s. She enforced strict standards for breeding and selling these cats. After her death in 1997, the IRCA remained small.

In 1975, Denny and Laura Dayton left the IRCA to gain mainstream recognition for the Ragdoll. They developed the breed standard now recognized by major cat registries. The Ragdoll's popularity in America during the 1960s led to its introduction in the UK, where it was established and recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

 10. The Turkish Van is known as the cat that loves to swim.

The Turkish Van cat is a real standout because it actually likes water and is known for enjoying a good swim, which is pretty rare for cats. 

These cats originally come from around Lake Van in Turkey, and they have a cool look with a mostly white body and different-colored spots on their head and tail. Some people think they started swimming way back in their history, maybe to stay cool or catch fish to eat. They're not just about swimming, though; they're also strong, smart, and full of energy but like doing their own thing sometimes. So, it's not just their love of water that makes them special, but also where they come from and how they behave.

 11. Bengal cats are completely banned in Hawaii and New York!

Bengal cats are super cool because they're a mix of domestic cats and wild Asian leopard cats. But, you can't have them as pets in some places like New York City and Hawaii.

Why? Well, because they're part wild, some people worry they might be a bit unpredictable or could cause trouble for local animals. Especially in Hawaii, there's fear about Bengals hurting the area's special plants and animals. So, if you want a Bengal cat, you've got to think about where you live and the rules about pets there. It's a bummer for Bengal fans in those areas, but these rules are there to keep everyone safe, including the cats.

 12. Towser, a Scottish cat that lived in a whisky distillery, holds the record for being "the worlds greatest mouser".

Glenturret distillery, located near Crieff, Scotland, is one of the oldest whisky distilleries dating back to 1717. It's known for The Famous Grouse whisky and the world's greatest mouser, Towser. Towser, a long-haired tortoiseshell cat, was highly skilled at catching mice and had around 28,899 kills during her life. Distilleries attract mice due to barley used in whisky production, prompting the use of mousers like Towser to minimize losses. Towser's exceptional hunting skills were attributed to her warm home at Glenturret and her nightly patrols. 

Towser's kill count is estimated from observations and her longevity is associated with occasional whisky consumption. Towser's legacy endures with her paw prints on Fairlie’s Light Highland Liqueur bottles and a statue at the distillery. With changes in distillery practices and hygiene regulations, mousers became less necessary, and Towser's successors were more for attracting visitors than hunting mice.

 13. Persian cats have won Best in Show at the CFA International Cat Show a whopping 17 out of 24 times.

The CFA International Cat Show, an annual event organized by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) since 1994, is a prestigious showcase of various cat breeds. Remarkably, Persians have secured an impressive 17 "Best in Show" victories out of 24 total shows, solidifying their dominance. Regarded as the premier cat exhibition in the US, it's often likened to the "Rolls-Royce" of such events. The show, renamed over the years, features diverse cat categories judged across two days, culminating in the highly sought-after "Best in Show" title. Proceeds contribute to the Winn Feline Foundation's valuable cat health research, with over $2 million raised since its inception. 

The CFA International Cat Show, marked by its evolution from an educational initiative to the Feline Historical Museum, stands as a remarkable celebration of feline excellence, notably demonstrated by Persian cats' exceptional performance.

 14. Bombay cats aren’t from Bombay.

The Bombay cat, resulting from crossbreeding sable Burmese and black American Shorthair cats, showcases a sleek, panther-like black coat that primarily resembles the Burmese type. The breed's name signifies the classification for black cats within the Asian group. Originating in 1958 through breeder Nikki Horner's efforts in Louisville, Kentucky, the Bombay's development succeeded in 1965 after an initial setback. Official recognition came in 1970 and 1979 from the Cat Fanciers' Association and The International Cat Association, respectively. 

These cats feature an all-black appearance with captivating copper or gold eyes, a glossy close-lying coat, and a medium muscular build typically weighing 8 to 15 pounds. They boast a graceful medium-sized body with amber eyes and a dense, lustrous coat adhering closely to the body. While they can live 15 to 20 years, potential health issues include nasal problems, sinus issues, and gingivitis, warranting controlled food intake to avoid overfeeding.

 15. Tabby is a pattern and not a breed.

Tabby is a pattern and not a breed. It refers to a specific coat pattern characterized by stripes, swirls, spots, or lines on a cat's fur. Tabby patterns can be found in various cat breeds, and it's not exclusive to any particular breed. In fact, Tabby is a common and diverse coat pattern seen in domestic cats worldwide, regardless of their breed or ancestry.

It's important to distinguish between a cat's coat pattern (Tabby) and its breed (e.g., Siamese, Maine Coon, Persian), as breeds can have a wide range of coat patterns, including Tabby.

 16. Maine Coons take top prize when it comes to setting records for "longest domestic cat”.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, consecutive Maine Coons have held the title for the longest domestic cat. Currently, Barivel holds the title. Barivel is from Vigevano, near Milan, and secured the record on May 22, 2018. Prior to Barivel, Ludo from the UK claimed the top spot on October 6, 2015. Going further back, there was Stewie, a spectacular Maine Coon from Nevada, USA, who made history as the longest domestic cat EVER recorded, preceding both Barivel and Ludo. 

Sadly, Stewie's journey was cut short by cancer in 2013, but he left a lasting legacy for cat lovers everywhere.

 17. Peterbald cats are actually born with hair!

These little guys are actually born with a coat of fur, but they don't keep it for long. As they get older, they lose their hair, ending up almost bald, and their skin can even feel a little sticky to touch. This isn't something you'll find in your everyday house cat because it's a special trait just for Peterbalds. But there's more to them than how they look. They're also known for being really social and loving, making them great pals to have around the house.

 18. Russian Blue cats can be tolerated by people with allergies.

If you're considering adopting a Russian Blue cat but have allergies, it's important to know that while no cat breed is completely hypoallergenic, Russian Blues are one of the few breeds considered nearly hypoallergenic. They produce less Fel d 1, a common allergen, due to their genetic makeup. Most people with cat allergies experience minimal reactions to Russian Blues, although severity can vary based on individual sensitivities and factors like extreme allergies, other cat allergens, seasonal shifts, and the sterilization status of the cat.

Before adopting, it's advisable to spend time with a Russian Blue to test your allergic response. If you decide to bring one home, managing allergies involves personal precautions, environmental safety measures, and proper feline grooming and nutrition. Russian Blue cats are known for their strong attachment to humans and can be a suitable choice for those with mild to moderate allergies.

 19. The Iriomote cat is a leopard cat subspecies found only on Japan's Iriomote Island.

The Iriomote cat, scientifically known as Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis, is an exclusive subspecies of the leopard cat found solely on Japan's Iriomote Island. Its critically endangered status, declared on the IUCN Red List since 2008, stems from a population of fewer than 250 adult individuals, which is in decline. Iriomote Island, with an area of about 290 km² (110 sq mi), predominantly comprises low mountains ranging from 300–460 m (980–1,510 ft) in elevation. This terrain features subtropical evergreen forests, with extensive mangrove belts along waterways. Remarkably, it holds the title of being the smallest habitat for any wild cat species globally.

The Iriomote cat primarily inhabits the subtropical forests covering the island up to an elevation of 200 m (660 ft). It exhibits a preference for areas near rivers, forest edges, and locales characterized by low humidity.

Interesting Cat Facts

 1. Cats can jump 6 times their length. 

In explaining the ancestry of domesticated cats, it is noted by Rowyn C. Rose, a science communications specialist at Basepaws, that they descended from tree-dwelling North African/Near Eastern wildcats

Cats possess remarkable jumping abilities, leaping vertically up to 5-6 times their body length (about 8 feet) and covering similar distances horizontally. The record for the longest cat jump is held by Waffle the Warrior Cat at 7 feet

While certain breeds, such as Munchkins with shorter legs, may have more limited jumping capabilities, the overall agility of cats is a testament to their evolutionary heritage.

 2. A group of cats is called a “clowder.”

According to Collins Dictionary, a group of cats is known as a "clowder," a term first recorded during the period of 1795-1805. Coincidentally, several other words, including hopscotch, mannerism, oxidize, sensitivity, and wrecker, also made their way into the English language around the same time.

 3. Cats can drink seawater!

A review conducted by a working group of the Scientific Advisory Board of FEDIAF reveals that high sodium intake does not have detrimental effects on the renal function of young, healthy cats or older cats at higher risk of renal disease over the medium and long term. This indicates that cats exhibit a remarkable tolerance for salt water, aligning with their unique physiological adaptations that enable them to safely handle higher sodium levels. 

It is important, of course, to ensure that cats have access to fresh water to maintain proper hydration and overall health.

 4. Pet cats have up to 10-times larger impact on wildlife than wild predators.

Together with researchers from six other nations, researchers from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences gathered GPS cat-tracking data and prey-capture reports from 925 domestic cats.

The study found that domestic cats kill between 14.2 and 38.9 prey items per 100 acres (or hectares) per year. The study also demonstrated that disturbed ecosystems, such as housing complexes, are where cats cause the majority of their harm to wildlife.

"Add to this the unnaturally high density of pet cats in some areas, and the risk to bird and small mammal populations gets even worse," said Roland Kays, the study's primary author.

  5. Cats dream just like us.

Yes, cats do dream.

Cats do experience REM sleep, according to 1960s research. According to clinical psychologist John Cline, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, compared to humans, cats exhibit low voltage EEG (brain electrical activity) during REM sleep along with the typical eye movements.

 6. Studies show that cat owners have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than people who don't own cats.

For several decades, researchers and medical professionals have explored the notion that owning a cat may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. The first study to investigate the relationship between cat ownership and cardiovascular health was conducted in 1980 by University of Minnesota researchers. Since then, many studies have been conducted on the health benefits of pet ownership, including research focused on cats. The theory that cat ownership can lower the risk of heart attack and stroke is based on the established link between chronic stress and cardiovascular disease.

Chronic stress can lead to various health problems, such as high blood pressure, inflammation, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. By reducing stress levels, cat ownership can be beneficial in mitigating these risks.

 7. Cats walk on their toes and not on the soles of their feet.

Cats, unlike humans, possess a unique style of locomotion, gracefully walking on their toes instead of relying on the soles of their feet. This behavior, known as digitigrade locomotion, is observed in terrestrial vertebrates and involves walking or running primarily on the toes, derived from the Latin words 'digitus' for 'finger' and 'gradior' for 'to walk.' 

Digitigrade animals, including birds, cats, dogs, and various other mammals, have the remarkable ability to stand or walk with their toes, particularly the phalanges, touching the ground while the rest of their foot remains raised. This adaptation allows them to move swiftly and silently, setting them apart from other animals."

 8. In a Hebrew legend, God created cats to safeguard the food on Noah's Ark from rats by making a lion sneeze out a pair of cats.

According to a Hebrew legend, God created cats in response to Noah's prayer for help in safeguarding the food stores on the Ark from being consumed by rats. As a solution, God caused a lion to sneeze, giving rise to a pair of cats. 

In the passage from "Legends of Old Testament Characters, Chapter 14," it is recounted that following the Ark's journey, rats became a nuisance by consuming food and leaving filth behind. Seeking assistance from Noah, the voyagers complained about the rodents damaging their provisions and belongings. In response, Noah summoned a lion, from which a cat emerged after a sneeze. These cats effectively resolved the rat problem by devouring the pests.

 9. The Hungarian word for "quotation marks," macskaköröm, literally translates to "cat claws."

The Hungarian word for "quotation marks" is "macskaköröm" When translated literally, "macskaköröm" breaks down into two parts: "macska," which means "cat," and "köröm," which means "claw" or "nail." So, the term "macskaköröm" in Hungarian humorously likens quotation marks to the sharp and curved appearance of a cat's claws.

It's a unique and creative way to describe this punctuation symbol in the Hungarian language!

 10. Cats were Catherine the Great's favorite pet.

Catherine the Great, a legendary Russian ruler, had a strong affection for cats and even honored them as "official rat-catchers" during her reign. The former Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, now a museum, showcases artworks and artifacts. Interestingly, the museum itself is cat-friendly and houses numerous of these "official rat-catchers," eliminating the need for their services. Catherine the Great favored Russian Blues as indoor palace cats, and during a significant historical event, the cats played a vital role.

Amid the three-year siege of Leningrad, when most animals perished, cats were sent to the city afterward to combat the overwhelming rat population. This showcases the enduring connection between humans and cats, even in times of crisis.

 11. Cats have a free-floating clavicle!

Ever wondered how your cat fits into small spaces like boxes or jars? 

It's because of their flexible spine, extra vertebrae, and special shoulder bones. Unlike humans, cats have free-floating clavicle bones that allow them to wiggle through tight spots as long as their head can squeeze in.

 12. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida, is home to around 60 polydactyl cats.

About half of the cat population at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida sports more than the normal number of "5 in the front, 4 in the back" toes. Interestingly, all of them carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that even those with four or five toes can still produce six-toed kittens.

Ernest Hemingway received a white six-toed cat as a gift from a ship's captain, and today, some of the cats residing on the museum's grounds are descendants of that original cat, known as Snow White. Due to Key West's relatively small size, it's quite possible that many of the island's cats share a common lineage. It's essential to note that polydactyl cats aren't associated with a specific breed; this trait can manifest in cats of various breeds, including Calicos, Tabbies, Tortoise Shells, White cats, Black cats, and more. As a result, they come in a diverse array of shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities.

13. Thieving behavior is not uncommon among cats.

Cats frequently display behaviors that resemble thievery, which stem from their inherent predatorial inclinations, not naughtiness. They use common household objects as stand-ins for their natural prey to hone their predatory abilities. Such actions can also be a form of playful amusement or a bid for their owner's attention.

It is important for those who care for cats to recognize the distinction between these innocuous behaviors and those that may arise from stress, ensuring they offer suitable toys and activities to satisfy the innate urges of their feline companions.

14. Cats’ rough tongues can lick a bone clean of any shred of meat.

The anatomy of a cat's tongue, equipped with backward-facing papillae, plays a crucial role in their feeding behavior. These papillae are adept at shredding meat and efficiently lifting it into the mouth, illustrating the cat's predatory efficiency.

When a cat captures prey, these spiky projections assist in pulling flesh from bones and cleaning the bones meticulously. This adaptation showcases the intricate relationship between a cat's physiological traits and its survival strategies.

 15. A cat's back has 60,000 hairs per square inch, and its underside has double that!

Cats have about 60,000 hairs per square inch on their back, and even more on their belly, with around 120,000 hairs per square inch. The reason a cat's fur varies in thickness in different areas is to help keep it warm, safe from things like rain or branches, and to help control body heat where it's needed most.

This cool feature of their fur isn't just about comfort, though. It shows how tough and flexible cats are, letting them live in lots of different places. The huge amount of hairs packed into a tiny spot just goes to show how nature pays attention to even the smallest details.

 16. Cats are true carnivores!

Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining a cat's health, as they are obligate carnivores requiring a meat-based diet   with minimal carbohydrates. In the wild, cats meet their nutritional needs through hunting small prey, such as mice and birds.

However, domestic cats often rely on canned food, which may not fully mimic their natural dietary preferences. Therefore, it's essential for cat owners to provide a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that resembles what their pets would naturally consume. This dietary approach ensures the well-being and vitality of domestic cats.

17. Cats can sleep from 12 to 16 hours a day.

Cats are renowned for their sleeping habits, often resting for 12 to 16 hours a day.

This extensive sleep requirement is attributed to their crepuscular nature, meaning they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. This behavior is rooted in their predatory instincts, allowing them to conserve energy for hunting. Additionally, cats are extremely particular about their hygiene, especially when it comes to their litter boxes, preferring a clean and individualized space for each cat in the household.

 18. Copy Cat, also known as Carbon Copy, was the first-ever cloned cat.

CC, nicknamed "CopyCat" or "Carbon Copy," was the first cloned cat, a brown tabby and white domestic shorthair.

CC was created by scientists at Texas A&M University in collaboration with Genetic Savings & Clone Inc. CC was cloned from a calico domestic longhair named Rainbow, and her distinct fur pattern resulted from X-inactivation and epigenetic reprogramming. In a landmark event for cloned animals, CC gave birth to four kittens in December 2006, fathered by Smokey, a fellow lab cat. This marked the first time a cloned pet had successfully reproduced. CC lived a healthy life, free from cloning-related issues, as noted by her owner, Shirley Kraemer.

Genetic Savings & Clone Inc. also produced "Little Nicky" in 2004, the first commercially cloned pet, from a deceased Maine Coon cat. CC passed away in 2020 at 18 years old in College Station, Texas.

 19. In 2004, the first 'commercially' produced clone of a cat was created.

Little Nicky, born on October 17, 2004, is the first commercially cloned cat, created using the DNA of a 17-year-old Maine Coon named Nicky who died in 2003.

Little Nicky's cloning was performed by Genetic Savings & Clone, a California-based company, using a chromatin transfer technique. The procedure, part of the company's "Nine Lives Extravaganza" program, cost Little Nicky's owner, Julie from North Texas, $50,000. Little Nicky shared many characteristics, including personality and appearance, with the original Nicky. However, the cloning sparked ethical debates, with animal welfare groups arguing that the funds could better serve existing shelter animals. Little Nicky experienced health issues, though it's unclear if these were related to the cloning process.

Facts About Kittens

 1. As kittens, they have 26 deciduous, or “baby” teeth. As adult cats, they have 30 permanent teeth.

Cats, like humans, have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. Their kitten teeth are also referred to as primary, milk, or deciduous teeth, and then their permanent, or adult teeth.

Kittens are born without visible teeth. Around three weeks of age, their kitten teeth will begin to erupt. By four months of age, all of their 26 primary teeth should be visible. By the time a kitten reaches six to seven months, all of their 30 permanent teeth should have erupted.

 2. If you've ever seen a litter of cute kittens and wondered how they could possibly be related, you may have witnessed a phenomenon known as superfecundation.

Superfecundation is the fertilization of a female cat by multiple males during a single mating cycle. This phenomenon is observed more frequently in stray cats and unspayed females living with intact males. Cats have a shorter fertile period compared to dogs, and if a female cat mates with multiple males during this time, the resulting litter can have multiple fathers. 

Identifying if a litter has multiple fathers in cats can be challenging due to limited physical variation, but noticeable differences in appearance can suggest superfecundation. This occurrence is more common in cats that have the freedom to roam.

 3. Kittens remain with their mother till the age of 12-13 weeks.

Kittens should remain with their mothers for 12 to 13 weeks to ensure proper physical and behavioral development. It is crucial to wean the kittens before placing them in a new home since a significant portion of their nutrients is derived from their mother's milk. Premature weaning can jeopardize their future health and necessitate additional veterinary visits.

During the recommended period with their mother, kittens receive essential nutrients for healthy development and acquire necessary socialization skills. Only at the five to seven weeks old they should have successfully transitioned to solid food and should be fed high-quality kitten food. 

 4. Cats are part of global warming.

Feeding cats in the US contributes to approximately 64 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is equivalent to the impact of 13.6 million cars. Despite this environmental impact, owning pets, including cats, offers significant physical and mental health benefits. To reduce the environmental impact of cats, it's crucial to understand their dietary needs. Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat in their diet, making it important to feed them an appropriate and nutritionally balanced diet. While alternative food options like lab-grown meat and insect-based pet foods are emerging for dogs, switching a cat's diet away from meat is not recommended.

Minimizing waste associated with cats is another way to mitigate their environmental footprint. Choosing eco-friendly cat litter made from organic materials rather than clay can help reduce soil erosion, habitat destruction, and groundwater contamination.

 5. A newborn kitten's heart beats twice as fast as a human's.

While a typical human resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute, the heart of a newborn kitten beats at a remarkable rate of 200 to 300 beats per minute at birth. Within just two weeks, their heart rate decreases to approximately 200 beats per minute, showcasing the astonishing speed of their early development.

 6. Kittens can be spayed or neutered when they are only eight weeks old.

Kittens can actually be spayed or neutered at a very young age — as early as eight weeks old

Doing this surgery when they're little has a lot of perks. For one, tiny kittens bounce back faster after surgery, meaning they heal quicker. Also, getting female kittens spayed before they ever go into heat means they have a way lower risk of getting breast cancer later on, and they can't get ovarian or uterine cancers at all. For little guys, early neutering means no testicular cancer and less chance they'll start habits like spraying or trying to wander off. Plus, vets say this early surgery doesn't mess with their normal growth or development. On top of the health stuff, spaying or neutering kittens early helps with the bigger issue of too many cats ending up in shelters because it stops unexpected litters from adding to the problem.

 7. Only small cats can purr.

While big cats like lions have a mighty roar, it's actually the smaller cats that hold the unique ability to purr.

The secret to purring lies in the rapid twitching of muscles in a cat's voice box, specifically around the vocal cords, happening at 25 to 150 vibrations per second. This phenomenon occurs during both inhalation and exhalation, creating a consistent, soothing sound. In contrast, big cats' different larynx structures enable them to roar but prevent them from making this continuous purring sound. This distinction in vocal capabilities highlights nature's specialization in evolution, allowing different species within the same family to use distinct methods for communication, comfort, and territorial expression.

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