Cat owners know that their pets are fascinating creatures, but here are some cat facts that you may find interesting.
Cats have been domesticated since around 2000 BC. They were once valued more for their hunting abilities but now are valued for their companionship and their loving behavior.
Did you know that the collective nouns for cats and kittens are a clowder of cats and a kindle of kittens?
Our domesticated cats are known as small cats. They differ somewhat from large cats such as lions and pumas etc. mainly because they are more naturally active at night.
Cats are deemed to be the most popular household pet in the United Kingdom and in the USA.
There are around 50 recognized breeds of cats plus an huge combination of cross bred cats it’s quite amazing just how different cats can look and behave so differently, but there are a lot of amazing characteristics that all cats have.
Cats have 30 teeth (dogs have 42) and we all know how sharp they can be!
Cats have an amazing reflective layer in their eyes which is known as the tapetum lucidum, this magnifies incoming light which allows them to see 5 or 6 times better than humans can see in low light. Both cats and dogs also have a ‘third eyelid’ which is called the nictitating membrane, this is on the inside corner of the eye which gives an extra protective layer to the eye.
We humans have 12 muscles in our hearing system, cats have 32 muscles in their ears. This gives the ear amazing mobility, enabling them to precisely locate their prey such as mice or hearing their meal being prepared!
Cats also hear frequencies that are below and also above those that we humans hear. Their ears also have a second function of helping to maintain balance which give them the ability to right themselves when falling – which is obviously where the saying “Cats always land on their feet” originates.
More cats are “left-pawed” than right unlike us humans, but then we only have two anyway…:-)
Cat food texture is more important to cats than taste, they say, but not according to our Bengalese……. cats can also be quite fussy about the smells of food.
If you have ever been licked by a cat, you will know that it feels very rough….. this is because a cats’ tongue is covered with many backwards facing barbs that are designed to guide food to the back of the mouth plus they are perfect for grooming and lapping up water.
Cats rub around us and also scratch us as a form of communication because they have scent glands on their cheeks and paws, and so rubbing against us or scratching on any surfaces transfers their scent.
Cats can withdraw their front claws.
This helps to keep them sharp so they can be used both for climbing and as effective weapons!
More than 70% of cats respond to the herb catnip, they appear to be generally genetically programmed to respond to this herb.
Their long whiskers around their mouths and face form vital touch sensors. Their whiskers are attached to nerve cells which are used to judge the size of openings etc. as well as giving information to the cat about everything it touches, plus incredibly, shifts in air pressure.
These amazing felines can travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
The largest breed of cat is generally the Maine Coon, which can quite often look more like a wild cat. The males can weigh up to 5-6 pounds!
Cats are really good for our health. Cat owners generally have a lower risk of heart disease than non-cat owners and elderly cat owners appear to suffer less from depression and loneliness than non- owning counterparts.
Cats can be trained extremely well. Although I have witnessed where many cats have trained their owners too…:-)
Teach your cat to share a “high five” with you by rewarding her with a special treat when she lifts her paw.
Cats have the need to interact with people from a very early age enabling them to be social towards humans. Once past the age of around 4 months it becomes very difficult to tame a cat.
Many psychological studies show that cat owners are more logical and practical than dog owners. They also tend to be more introverted than dog owners, but cat owners are more prolific in reporting the antics of their feline companions than dog owners!
The amazing record number of cats kept by any one person was by an owner named Jack Wright, from Ontario, Canada who kept an incredible 689 cats!