Below you will find some Cat Facts you may not have known
Translation of the word CAT or FELINE in other countries.
# The penalty for killing a cat 4,000 years ago in Egypt was death.
# Only 4% of the lost cats that enter U.S. animal shelters are returned to their caregivers.
# Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.
# Only 2 out of 10 kittens born in the U.S. ever find a life-long home.
# Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.
# The average outdoor only cat has a lifespan of about three years. Indoor only cats can live sixteen years and longer.
# Having your pet altered will not change its personality, but pets that have been spayed or neutered are less apt to fight or wander off.
# If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using neutering and spaying is so important.
# Kittens are born with both eyes and ears closed. When the eyes open, they are always blue at first. They change color over a period of months to the final eye color.
# The declawing of a pet cat involves surgery called an onychectomy, in which the entire claw and end bone of each toe of the animal are amputated.
# Cat's urine glows under a black light.
# Cats are pure carnivores. They need a high level of protein in their diets - around 30% - and lack the digestive equipment to do well on a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables.
# The normal temperature of a cat is 101.5 degrees.
# Cats lack a true collarbone. Because of this, cats can generally squeeze their bodies through any space they can get their heads through. You may have seen a cat testing the size of an opening by careful measurement with the head.
# The cat lover is an ailurophile, while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.
# If a male cat is both orange and black it is (besides being extremely rare) sterile. To have both the orange and the black coat colors, the male cat must have all or part of both female X chromosomes. This unusual sex chromosome combination will render the male cat sterile.
# A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
# A cat's jaws cannot move sideways.
# Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens' hair from darkening on the points.
# A domestic cat was born in the USA in 1975 with five legs, six paws and 30 toes
# Cats have more than one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
# Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day
# The slightest touch on a cat's whiskers will make its eyes blink.
# Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson's organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth.
# The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was formed in 1866.
# Experiments show that softly talking to kittens as soon as they are born results in their growing up to be more confident and independent adults.
# Cats roll on their backs to show affection. They expose their bellies like this only when they feel totally secure.
# Cats with long, lean bodies are more likely to be outgoing personalities than their stockier cousins. They are also more protective of their home and more vocal and demonstrative.
# When the Black Death swept across England one theory was that cats caused the plague. Thousands were slaughtered. Ironically, those that kept their cats were less affected, because they kept their houses clear of the real culprits, rats.
# Cats respond most readily to names that end in an "ee" sound.
# A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.
# The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.
# Don't give kitty raw egg white. Raw egg whites contain an enzyme that breaks down the vitamin biotin, which is essential to cat health.
# Never give your cat aspirin, unless advised to do so by your vet. Aspirin can cause hemorrhaging in the gastorintestinal tract. It can also depress bone marrow activity, which makes red blood cells and may also damage the kidneys.
# "J'embrasse mon chat sur la bouche" is French for, "I kiss my cat on the lips".
# A group of cats is called a clowder; a group of kittens is called a kendle.
# Cats lose almost as much fluid in the saliva while grooming themselves as they do through urination.
# The notion that cats and dogs are natural enemies (suggested by the phrase,"fighting like cats and dogs") is overstated, if not simply false. Generally speaking, cats and dogs get along better than cats and cats or dogs and dogs.
# Cats can successfully navigate through mazes in complete darkness, but lose that ability if their whiskers are cut off (they wander aimlessly).
# There are about 100 breeds of cats.
# There's a "meow" in the middle of "homeowner."
# Cats prefer to eat their food at 86 F, which is why they don't immediately gulp down the half-eaten can of food from the refrigerator.
# In 1987, cats overtook dogs as the number one pet in America.
# A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.
# After being petted, sometimes you will see a cat cleaning himself. He is trying to get the "person" smell off.
# Cat whiskers are found on the face and on the back of the forelegs as well.
# The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
# In ancient Egypt, entire families would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.
# Cats in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have a very high probability of having six toes.
# Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.
# In North America, a black cat crossing your path is thought to bring bad luck. In Great Britain, a black cat crossing your path is thought to bring good luck.
# Cats have a third eyelid, called a haw, that is rarely visible. If it can be seen, it could be an indication of ill health.
# The Ancient Egyptian word for cat was mau, which means "to see".
# Folklore has it that the tabby cat got the M on the forehead as a gesture of thanks from Mary, the mother of Jesus. She gave this to the kitties to show her appreciation for the kitties purring the baby to sleep.
# Cats can have freckles. They can appear anywhere on a cat's skin and even in its mouth.
# When a domestic cat goes after mice, about one pounce in three results in a catch.
# A white cat sleeping outside your home on your wedding day is said to bring lasting happiness. (now I know why I have been married 3 times)
# A cat's tongue consists of small "hooks," which come in handy when tearing up food.
# There is a species of cat smaller than the average housecat. It is native to Africa and it is the Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes). Its top weight is 5.5 pounds.
# Cat scratch disease, a benign but sometimes painful disease of short duration, is caused by a bacillus. Despite its name, the disease can be transmitted by many kinds of scratches besides those of cats.
# Back in the late 1940s in Buenos Aires, a black female cat climbed a 40 foot tree where she resided for six years. Her name was Mincha and she wasn't lonely for companionship. She had three litters while living in the tree. The local Argentinians fed her by putting her food on poles.
# Cats can hear ultrasound.
# Current domestic cats were the result of genetic mutation so that they would be tame at birth.
# A purring cat doesn't always mean a contented cat. Cats will also purr if they are in pain.
# Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.
# To purr, cats use extra tissue in the larynx (voice box). This tissue vibrates when they purr.
# 40% of all cats are ambidextrous. The other 60% are either "right-pawed" or "left-pawed".
# A cat's arching back is part of a complex body language system, usually associated with feeling threatened. The arch is able to get so high because the cat's spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae.
# In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer.
# Many cat lovers believe cats are intuitive. That's because they are right-brain dominant.
# A cat in a hurry can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.
# Cat's can't taste sweets.
# Black cat superstitions originated in America. In Asia and England, a black cat is considered lucky.
# Non-pedigree cats have an higher incidence of tabby markings than pedigree cats. Non-pedigree cats are also more often more robust than highly bred cats.
# A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf.
White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the ear closest
to the blue eye. White cats with orange eyes do not have this disability.
# Cats rarely meow at each other. Meowing is reserved for "speaking" with humans.
# A cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog.
# Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occuring, relax and correct itself. At about that height it hits maximum speed and when it hits the ground it's rib cage absorbs most of the impact.
# In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
# A fifteen year old cat has probably spent ten years of its life sleeping.
# The cat was domesticated over 9,500 years ago. Today's house cats are descended from wildcats in Africa and Europe.
# Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.
# A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.
# Cats respond better to women than men. One reason this might be is that women have higher pitched voices than men.
# The cat's brain needs so much energy to function that over twenty percent of blood that the heart pumps goes immediately to it.
# The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. Wild cats hold their tail horizontally, or tucked between their legs while walking.
# The catgut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.
# Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
# Electric light or light from your TV set will make your cat shed their fur.
# Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door.
# Despite its reputation for being finicky, the average cat consumes about 127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times its own weight in food and the same amount again in liquids. In case you were wondering, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.
# The Maine Coon cat is America's only natural breed of domestic feline.
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This page last updated 6/15/2005