Cats are amazing animals that have been living with humans for thousands of years. They are cute, cuddly, and sometimes very mysterious. But how much do you really know about your feline friends? Here are 20 fun facts about cats that will make you love them even more!
- Cats do not have a sweet tooth. Unlike humans and dogs, cats cannot taste sweetness because of a mutation in their taste receptors12. That’s why they are not interested in candies or desserts.
- Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees. Cats have over 30 muscles in their ears that allow them to move them in different directions and hear sounds from far away12. They can also fold their ears back when they are angry or scared.
- Cats have three eyelids. The third eyelid is called the nictitating membrane, and it helps protect the cat’s eyes from dust and dirt. It also helps keep the eyes moist and healthy12.
- Cats can jump up to six times their length. Cats have powerful hind legs that enable them to leap high and far. They also have a flexible spine and a long tail that help them balance in the air12.
- Cats have unique nose prints, like human fingerprints. No two cats have the same pattern of bumps and ridges on their noses. Some cats even have special markings on their noses, like Oz, who has a map of Australia on her nose23.
- Cats can purr to heal their bones. Purring is not only a way for cats to express happiness or contentment, but also a way for them to heal themselves. The frequency of a cat’s purr ranges from 25 to 150 Hertz, which is the same frequency that stimulates bone growth and repair12.
- Cats can drink ocean water without any problems. Unlike humans, cats have kidneys that can filter out the salt from the seawater and use the fresh water for hydration. This is useful for cats that live near the coast or on islands12.
- A group of cats is called a clowder. A clowder can also be called a clutter, a pounce, or a glaring12. A group of kittens is called a kindle or a litter.
- A cat named Stubbs was the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 15 years. Stubbs was elected as a write-in candidate in 1998, after the residents were unhappy with the human candidates. He was a popular and friendly mayor who greeted tourists and locals at his office in a general store. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 2014.
- A cat ran for mayor of Mexico City in 2013. His name was Morris, and he was a black-and-white stray cat who was adopted by his campaign manager. His slogan was “Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat.” He received more than 100,000 votes on Facebook, but did not win the election4.
- Cats only use their meows to talk to humans, not each other. Cats communicate with other cats through body language, facial expressions, scent marking, and vocalizations like hissing, growling, or chirping12. The only exception is when kittens meow to their mother to get her attention.
- Cats sleep 70% of their lives, and in some pretty crazy positions. Cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day, but some can sleep up to 20 hours12. They sleep so much because they are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk when their prey is more available. They also sleep in various positions, such as curled up, stretched out, on their back, or even upside down.
- There are cats who have survived falls from over 32 stories (320 meters) onto concrete. Cats have an amazing ability to survive high falls because they have a low body weight, a large surface area, and a flexible skeleton that can absorb the impact12. They also have a reflex that allows them to twist their body and land on their feet.
- The oldest known pet cat was found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This cat was buried with its human owner, which suggests that they had a close bond. This grave predates the ancient Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more12.
- During the Middle Ages, cats were associated with witchcraft and evil, and were often killed or tortured. This led to an increase in the rat population, which spread diseases like the bubonic plague. Some people believe that the Black Death was partly caused by the killing of cats12.
- The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette (a.k.a. “Astrocat”). In 1963, France sent her into orbit on a rocket. She had electrodes implanted in her brain that sent signals back to Earth. She survived the trip and returned safely12.
- The word for cat in different languages comes from the Latin word catus, meaning domestic cat, as opposed to feles, meaning wild cat1. Some examples are catt in Old English, cath in Welsh, chat in French, katze in German, and gato in Spanish.
- Cats make about 100 different sounds, while dogs make only about 1012. Some of the sounds cats make are meowing, purring, hissing, growling, chirping, trilling, yowling, and snarling.
- Cats are the most popular pets in the world, with over 500 million domestic cats and 40 recognized breeds12. The most common breed is the domestic shorthair, which is a mix of different breeds. The largest breed is the Maine Coon, which can weigh up to 18 pounds (8 kilograms).
- Cats are very smart and can learn tricks like dogs. Some cats can even use the toilet, play fetch, or open doors12. Cats can also recognize their own name and their owner’s voice.
These are just some of the fun facts about cats that show how amazing they are. Cats are wonderful companions who can make us laugh, comfort us, and surprise us with their abilities. If you have a cat or are thinking of getting one, you will never be bored with them around!