Cats are our little furry friends. Aside from giving us companionship, they are also excellent in hunting down vermin, such as rats, which are a nuisance to our homes. Over 88 million cats are owned by people in the United States; this is the reason why they top the list of “Most Popular US Pets”.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, and it seems that this hasn’t changed even in this digital age. If you also own a cute little pet cat, you should read these interesting facts to know what that feline friend of yours really is:
1. A Pack of Kittens is Called A Kindle
A “kindle” is a group of kittens, especially ones who were born to a single momma cat. Meanwhile, a group of full-grown cats is called a clowder. So, next time if you hear the word “kindle”, it can be a group of cute little kittens rather than an e-book reader.
2. Cats Are the Most Popular Pet in The United States
Yes, they beat dogs as the number one pet animal in the US. At present, there are over 88 million pet cats (compared to 74 million pet dogs). If you have a pet cat, feel lucky that you own the most popular US pet.
3. Isaac Newton is Credited with Inventing the Cat Flap
The cat door which is a simple hole, usually located at the base of the door, allows pets such as cats to go in and out of the house without needing their owners to open the door for them. Urban legend states that the famed English physicist Isaac Newton created a large hole for his pet cat and a small one for his kittens, only to realize that the kittens would always follow their mother through the bigger hole.
4. Cats Have Over One Hundred Vocal Sounds
Cats have over a hundred vocal sounds, unlike dogs that have only 10. Meowing is a form of communication mostly reserved for humans, but cats can also howl, moan, chatter, scream, caterwaul, hiss, squeak, etc. Adult cats never “meow” to fellow cats.
5. Cats Have About 20 Muscles That Control Their Ears
Not only 20, but some sources say that cats even have 32 muscles to move their ears!
6. Cat’s Bodies Are Extremely Flexible
Jumping through the gaping railings of a gate? No problem. Fitting inside a glass bowl? No problem too! Leaping very high into the sky and landing down to the ground unscathed? No sweat! That’s because cats have flexible bodies, being made up of 53 loosely-jointed bones (compared to only 34 in humans).
7. A Cat Can Jump as much as Seven Times Its Height
It seems your cat has it all — speed, agility, and high-jump ability. Your feline can do a vertical jump about five feet high or more, which even can be five to seven times its height.
8. The Nose Pad of Each Cat Has Ridges in A Unique Pattern like A Person’s Fingerprints
No two cats have the same nose-prints. Even the cats that look alike, also have dissimilar ridges on their nose pads, and in the same manner, even the identical twins have unique fingerprints to each other’s.
9. An Adult Can Run Up to About 12 Miles Per Hour, And Can Sprint at Nearly Thirty Miles Per Hour
The Egyptian Mau breed can run up to about 30 mph, making it the fastest domesticated cat breed on the planet.
10. Cats Are Really Cool
Cats are known for their seemingly cool disposition. Even if your feline knows you’re calling its name, it will still act too cool to pay you any attention.
11. Cats Do Not Have Sweat Glands
Sweating helps us, humans, to cool down in severe heat. But your cat isn’t equipped with sweat glands as we have. That’s why some cats have no problem of lounging themselves directly under the sun. But to prevent themselves from overheating, they sweat only through their paws.
12. Abraham Lincoln Kept 4 Cats in The White House
Abraham Lincoln loved cats and would spend hours and hours playing with them. His pets include cats named Tabby and Dixie. He would also bring some alley cats into the White House.
When his wife Mary Todd Lincoln was asked about her husband’s hobby, she answered, “cats.” Although he also loved dogs and even turkeys, cats still had a special place in his heart.
13. Cats Spend 70% of Their Life Sleeping
Cats are one of the sleepiest animals in the world, sleeping as much as 11 to 12 hours a day. Plus, they spend about 15% of the day grooming.
14. Cats Have Five Toes on Each Front Paw, But Only Four Toes on Each Back Paw
The cat’s bigger relatives, the tiger and the lion, also have five toes on their front paws and four on their back paws. Another interesting fact: females are mostly right-pawed while most males are left-pawed.
15. A Cat’s Tongue is Scratchy Because it is Lined with Papillae – Tiny Elevated Backward Hooks that Help in Holding Prey in Place
The cat’s rough tongue also has another purpose — it acts like a comb that the cat uses to groom itself.
16. Adult Cats Only Meow to Communicate with Humans
This is quite interesting. Adult cats never actually “meow” at each other, but only to humans. Kittens would only “meow” to their mothers when they feel cold or hungry, but as they grow older, they will no longer say “meow” to other cats.
Cats “meow” to humans depending on their mood — they can be friendly, welcoming, asking for attention, hungry or demanding.
17. Cats Can Drink Seawater
We humans do not have kidneys that are capable of filtering out salt from seawater, this is why it is hazardous for our health. On the other side, cats can easily drink seawater without any potential health hazard because their kidneys can filter out salt and use the water content to keep their bodies hydrated.
18. Cats Have A Filter On the Inside of Their Ears
Those flurry tufts on the inside of your pet cat’s ears are called ear furnishings – they help insulate the ears and keep direct sounds and debris from entering.
19. Cats Cannot Detect Sweetness
If cats have the super kidneys that allow them to drink seawater without any problem, then there are some things as well that they are unable to do. For instance, they cannot detect sweetness. This pretty much explains why your cat isn’t drawn to sweet stuff at all.
20. Cats’ Cerebral Cortex Consists of Twice as Many Neurons as Dogs
Cats rule in this area too! They have 300 million neurons in their cerebral cortex while dogs have about 160 million only, which is twice as many as dogs’.
21. A Cat’s Strongest Sense Is Its Smell
We smell delicious food and run towards the kitchen to grab it first before anyone else does. Just think about cats; they have a 14x better sense of smell than us humans. In fact, cats rely on this sense to identify people, objects, food, and much more.
22. Cats Grow Faster Than Humans, Mentally
This fact might sound weird, but it is true – in terms of mental development, a cat’s mental growth rate is a lot faster than humans. The first year of a cat’s life is equal to 15 years of human life. The next year, a cat is 25 in human years. Once a cat passes its 3rd birthday, each year of its life will be equal to about seven human years.
23. Cats can’t move their jaws side-to-side like humans – they can only move them up and down
24. Back then in Ancient Egypt, if a person’s house cat would pass away, the owner showed his grief by shaving off his eyebrows.
Read more here.
25. A cat is unable to see things that are directly under its nose. This is the reason why your cute little companion ignores the food that is right under his nose.
Find it interesting? Read more of these amazing facts here in this book “1106 Fascinating Facts About Cats” by Emma Boyes.