50+ Facts On Cats That You Never Knew

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Cats are beautiful, majestic creatures that have always fascinated human beings in one way or another. Here are some facts about cats that you probably didn’t know.

On an average, a cat sleeps for about two-thirds of the day. Lazy much?

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Cats are most active at night. The time between dusk and dawn are their natural hunting hours, so of course they want to sleep a lot during the day to conserve their energy. Most of these sleeps however, will be the humble catnap where they doze lightly reserve their energy but able to spring up and pounce at any moment. They will have deep sleeps too but these are shorter and more frequent. On average cats can sleep up to 15 hours a day! What a life! Up at twilight for a run, a pounce, climb or a stalk.
They also adjust their sleeping patterns to feeding times, and to coincide with the social times of the humans they love, especially house cats. They will have trained their bodies to have a day more like your own than an outdoor cat that wants to chase the mouse from sun down and come back in the morning for a good lie in.

Most female cats are right-pawed while most male cats are left-pawed. Applauase!

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A study at Queens University in Belfast actually tested the paw use of up to 42 domesticated house cats and found that there was a dominating factor between the use of right or left paw and the sex of the cat. Females are righties and males are lefties! This in turn affects the hunting styles, behavioural patterns and parental care. Only one of these cats turned out to be ambidextrous, cheeky fellow, but all in all, the gender of the cat plays a vital part in which paw dominated its playing, eating, and hunting skill set and this related directly to hormone levels. Studies suggest that in humans, if you were exposed to higher levels of testosterone in the womb, you are more likely to be left handed, regardless of if you are male or female. Seems a bit clear-cut in felines though. Interesting stuff!

Cats are capable of making 100 different sounds. Wonder why they keep so silent then.

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This is not as black and white as is reads. Yes cats have over 100 different sounds, but they are a blend of sounds that they mix and match to get their point across. Some are instantly recognisable to us humans, such as the purr, or the hiss, but others; well you may have to be more of a cat whisperer to understand exactly what they want.
You may have heard a cat whimper when they want attention, they make a murmuring sound when perplexed, and the purr is not just for pleasure, but they use it to comfort themselves too. Somewhere between a purr and meow is what they call a trill, which is thankfully a friendly greeting. There’s a warning growl, and a hiss if they become scared or angry. They chatter through frustration especially, or they may produce a short ‘bip’ like note to get your quick attention. The yowl is reserved for the female feline as a means to getting a males attention. This, along with their body language, can tell us so much more about your cat than you first thought possible.

It would take approximately 24 cats’ skin to make one single coat. Cat-fur coats anyone?

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In the last few decades the western society has stuck to rabbit, mink, fox, chinchilla or seal. Making a coat from cat (or dog) skin is not so popular in today’s fashion age as it was in the 13th century. The actual farming of dog and cats inside the EU was banned in 2001. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t stopped. The import of cat fur is legal in the UK and EU, but traded under misleading titles and labels. Way to get around a loophole if you still really want your pet cat hanging around your neck. If you want a whole coat from cat pelt, it may take up to 25 cats to cover it all. Which is why when cats go missing in a neighbourhood, by colour, you’ll know there’s something fishy going on.
You may not know just by looking, but a DNA test will tell you exactly what fur is on the trim of that winter coat you saw in the department sore.

A cat’s hearing capacity is far more powerful than that of human beings. They can hear sounds up to 2 octanes higher in frequency. That’s better than dogs even. *Woof?

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You always thought dogs had the most amazing hearing? Think again, Cats can actually hear sounds that dogs can’t. Ultrasonic sound! Which basically means really, really high. The sounds cats hear is measured by vibration, the frequency measurement of these vibrations is called the hertz. Cats’ hertz in numbers is pretty impressive. They can hear 100,000 hertz, where as in dogs it’s only up to 40,000. Such a huge difference! A cat’s rotating external ear helps, as it can turn up to 180 degrees to pick up a signal, they also can differentiate between one tenth of a tone in a sound, helping them indentify where, or what, its coming from.

Are you curious as to what we humans hear? Well its pretty embarrassing. We only reach up to 20,000 hertz! Booooooo! And cats can hear sounds up to five times further away than humans. Feeling a little insignificant yet?

A cat is able to jump as high as five times its own height. Now that is one far reaching creature!

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Cats have crazy strong back legs and lots of flexibility, this helps them to be able to jump great heights and as is famously said – always land on their feet. It’s thanks to evolution that house cats today can still jump as their tree bounding big cat ancestors did…..and those is the wild still do. Housed cats will still have that natural jumping, pouncing, hunting instinct that attributes them be the wonderful creatures they are.
Most domestic house cats these days can jump up to 5-6 times their own height, and that’s without a run-up! And how do they land? Fabulously and onto anything: windowsills, high fences, tree branches, and narrow ledges. Nimble and agile, these animals are natural jumpers. Humans? Well, an average sized man can only jump around 30 feet, Olympian jumpers excluded.

A cat marks its territory by rubbing its face against thing for that’s where its scent glands are. That’s why it rubs its face against its owners.

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A typical cat greeting when you get home from work is a nice loud meow and a friendly rub against your ankles as you are trying to get your coat off and put your keys down. Affectionate much? Well, yes but they are also claiming you! You probably smell quite different from your day out of the house and your cat is bringing you back into the fold.
Cats have scent glands along their faces and tails and the act of rubbing themselves up against you is transferring this scent to you, marking their territory. Of course, they are also saying, “Hello, where have you been all day? Where is my dinner?”

A typical cat litter comprises of one to 9 cats. The record-holding count is a whopping 19 kittens, 15 of which survived.

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It’s true, cats can have lots of kiddies in one pregnancy. But how can this be? An average size of kittens in a litter would be from 3 -5 cats, sometimes up to 9, but things like age and health of the mother, plus the type of cat can vary this number. Not to mention how many times the female cat has bred. A cat who is bred less regularly will have smaller litters, and those who are bred up to three times a year, larger ones. Certain breeds of cat also bring about slightly different numbers. For example and Abyssinian cat will average 3.5 in a littler, the Burmese cat average 5 kittens in one pregnancy. You never really know what you are going to get, except that there will be kittens, and a home needed for them all! So make sure you are prepared for what’s coming!

The most popular pedigree breeds of cat include the Persian cat, the Maine Coon cat and the Siamese cat.

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Apparently it is difficult to say an exact number of cat breeds in the world today, but its estimated there is anywhere from 80-100 pedigree breeds around. In the domestic cat world, only around 3/4 percent of cats are pure breed, the rest are mixed, this is because neighbourhood cats on heat, tend to go with whoever they like the look of, rather than sticking to their own type, hey, free love! You can’t stop it. This results in at least one new breed of cat being registered yearly.
As well as the Persian, the Main Coon and the Siamese, other popular pure breeds are the Exotic, the Abyssinian and the Ragdoll, All beautiful cats.

The oldest known cat breed is the Egyptian Mau.

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This exotic cat is said to be the oldest breed of cat in the world. The Egyptian Mau is one of the few breeds of cats with spots, domestic cats that is. From ancient artworks up to 3,000 years ago, we see that this type of cat looks much the same as it does today, except back then they were used as hunting cats, not couch buddies. The Egyptian Mau is also an extremely fast runner, their eye colour can change form green to turquoise and they are rather musical, in their speech I mean, not on the violin.
Other cat breeds in history that are still around today include the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Siberian Cat and the Korat. I just wonder what number of their 9 lives they are on today.

Typically, a cat has about 12 whiskers on each side of its face. Oh, so symmetrical!

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Whiskers are amazing things, on cats at least. Not only symmetrical, they serve a purpose that goes deeper than any good-looking surface moustache. These long, stiff whiskers, also called Vibrissae, go deeper than fur does into the skin, and are also located not just on the upper lip, you’ll find them above the eyes, on their jaw line and on the back of the front legs. Ok, so that is where they are, but why they are is very interesting.
At the end of each whisker there is a sensory organ, which sends signs to the nervous system and brain. This helps them gauge the size of space to fit in, vibration in the air, and measuring distance. These tactile hairs are so important to the functioning of cat; you should never ever cut them off, respect the whisker!

Cats have better eyesight than humans in terms of ability to see in low light and width of peripheral vision. But their perception of colour is not as astute. Hah, found your weakness!

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Cats have simply awesome breadth of eyesight. Spaning around 200 degrees (humans can only get to around 180), even though they may not be able to make out a clear focus at 20 feet, the upside to this eyesight con is that basically they can see in the dark. Where we souls have to don a pair of night vision goggles, cat’s retinas are full of photoreceptors, and rod cells, therefore, able to see in dim lighting and pick up rapid movement quickly. They have a reflective layer than sits behind the retina, reducing when there is too much light, which is why the pupil forms a narrow slit in direct light, and enlarging in darkness.
Interesting to note that cats have a second eyelid. This thin membrane closes over from the side of the eye, you may catch a glimpse of it when they open their eye or are asleep.

A cat can’t chew very huge chunks of food since its jaw cannot move sideways. Kitty got to eat small meals, eh?

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Even though you may see some impressive fangs on a cat, these are mostly there for catching and killing and preparing their prey, eating is a different story. After their prey is dead, they tear the flesh into pieces with their scissor teeth to then be able to swallow. So, no chewing as such, their jaws aren’t formed that way. Cats can actually swallow and digest their food without chewing it and a lot of domesticated cats that have been can fed soft, wet food for most of their lives, haven’t used their set of teeth for their original purpose, therefore, their teeth decay and fall out form lack of use Not so bad as they can still eat without teeth, however not so great for an impressive hiss or two at those threatening neighbourhood cats. Plus, teeth are rather good for helping to carry things around, like their kittens!

How does a cat respond to other cats? It will hiss, purr or spit. Apparently, meowing is only for humans. Purfect.

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Although your kitty cat may love a good purr or sweet meow as you scratch their stomach or behind the ear, hell even just a good sleep on your chest can bring about the best and loudest purr from your feline friend, those purrs are really just for when they are comfortable, and just for you. A cat will never meow at another cat. If you think you’ve heard it though it may be a morph of a meow, one of their 100 sounds we’ve talked about, and it is likely they are saying something completely different than a usual ‘hello’. If they feel their territory is being threatened there will be a lot of who-ha about defending themselves and their rightful place. Usually cats will try to avoid any physical fighting with all the pre fight business of hissing, clawing and spitting until the message gets across and they can go back to lying on your chest for a good scratch.

Ever wonder why a kitty’s back is so flexible? It has up to 53 loose-fitting vertebrae to help it stretch all it likes.

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Not only for a good stretch, a cat’s skeleton is made to be bendy and adjustable. As they began as predators in the wild, their bodies were made to be quick, powerful and very moveable. They can rotate their spines to a greater extension any other animal, and they can manipulate their shoulders and chest to be able to fit through small spaces, extend their running stride or make changes in direction suddenly when stalking their prey. Their back even extends to its fullest length when they jump, helping to propel them up to three times the length of their body.
Cats are also rather graceful when you see them fly through the air, pirouette and then land on their feet on a narrow ledge. Its almost as if they should then take a bow, don’t you think?

The dictionary term for a cat lover is Ailurophilia and the roots of this word are Greek.

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A healthy cat has 230 bones in its body. Outdoing humans again these kitties!

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The original Cinderella tale, which is known to have Italian origins, had a cat as the figure of the fairy Godmother. Furry fairy, we guess.

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Cats have no collarbones and so can fit into any opening that is bigger that the size of their head.

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Every cat’s nose has a unique pattern on it, just like the fingerprints of a human.

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Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet-tooth at all. Cats like it spicy, huh?

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A cat’s heart beats at the count of 110 – 140 beats a minute. Guess their heart’s racing all the time.

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Cats do not have sweat glands all over their bodies. They only sweat through their claws. Lucky them kitties!

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These furry creatures can detect earthquakes up to 15 minutes before humans for they are far more sensitive to vibrations than them.

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The highest record for breeding is held by a cat named Dusty who produced 420 kittens in her lifetime.

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The largest breed of cat is the Ragdoll where the average male weighs between 12 – 20 lb and average female weighs between 10 – 15 lb.

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What do you call a female cat? “Queen” or “Molly”. Not kidding. Female cats are Queens!

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Unlike us humans and our favourite pets – dogs – cats don’t bob their heads while chasing prey. They keep their heads level, the confident studs that they are.

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The world’s richest cat – Blackie – was left £15 million by Ben Rae, his owner.

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There is a dictionary term for a cat’s hairball, i.e., “bezoar”.

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Research shows that a cat’s brain is more similar to the human brain than to a dog’s.

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In 1963, France sent the first cat ever to enter space. Her name was Felicetti and she survived the trip.

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Cats are speedy creatures – they can travel at a speed of up to 31 mph over short distances.

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In ancient Egypt, the death of a family cat was mourned by shaving off of the eyebrows.

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Amongst the most popular goddesses in Egypt was Bast who had a woman’s body and cat’s head.

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While black cats are considered unlucky in parts of North America and Europe, while the British and Australians maintain they are very lucky.

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The hair on a cat’s ear is called “ear furnishings” and helps keep out dirt, while also insulating the aural cavity against direct sounds.

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About one-third of cat owners across the world believe that cats are mind readers.

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All cats other than the cheetah keep their claws sheathed when at rest.

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Till about a century ago, most cats had short hair. That’s around the time keeping them as pets became fashionable and well, that’s when all the experimenting began.

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The average cat has about 130,000 hairs per square inch of its body. No wonder they shed so much!

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Cats were first introduced into the Americas by Europeans in the 1750s for the purpose of pest control.

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A cat’s body temperature ranges between 100.5 ° and 102.5 °F. If it’s temperature is below 100 ° or above 103 °F, the cat is sick.

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Cats can tolerate a temperature of up to 133 °F, provided they have access to ample amount of water.

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The oldest cat in recorded history to give birth was Kitty. She produced two kittens at age 30.

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The back paws of a cat do not have claws as sharp as the front paws.

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More than 300,000 mummified cats were found in an Egyptian cemetery in 1888. They were then used by farmers as fertilizer in Europe and America.

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Scientists are still not sure of exactly how a cat purrs. They are theories yes, but none are yet confirmed.

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Killing a cat or even smuggling it out of Egypt was punishable in ancient Egypt.

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Cats have a special dislike for water because their fur does not insulate well against it.

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