We all know that cats have nine lives and that they're fluffy and cute, but there is much more to learn! We have compiled a list of facts about our feline companions that are sure to surprise even the most avid cat lover. See how many you know!
1. Abraham Lincoln had four pet cats in the White House during his presidency. In fact, when asked about Lincoln's hobbies, his wife replied "cats".
2. Cats change their meow depending on who they're 'talking to' and many times in an effort to manipulate humans into giving them what they want.
3. Cats are known to rub against people to mark their territory, not necessarily to be cute or lovable. (Although, it's pretty dang cute too.)
4. Cats sleep for nearly 70% of their lives! That means that if a cat is 10 years old, they have only been awake for 3 of those years... and what a life well lived! ;)
5. Cats cannot taste sweet things because their tongues do not have the ability.
6. Cats are often times lactose intolerant, which goes directly against the stigma that cats love drinking milk.
7. Only 50-60% of cats can feel the euphoric effect of catnip. Cats who don't react to catnip almost always love the effect of valerian or silver vine which make fantastic catnip alternatives!
8. During the 15th Century, many people thought that cats were demonic creatures and would try to kill them.
9. Cats can jump up to 6 times of high as their own body length. To put that in perspective, that would the equivalent of a 6ft tall man jumping to the top of a 3 story building with one leap.
10. Cats are able to squeeze through tight spaces because they have 'free-floating' clavicle or collar bones. This allows them to collapse their bodies into very flat or small shapes.
11. The largest recorded litter of kittens produced 19 kittens. I bet mama was tired!
12. Cats are the most common pet in the United States as there are 88 million pet cats and only 74 million pet dogs.
13. A cat's ear is powered by over 20 muscles and it able to turn 180 degrees.
14. A cat's purr can be a sign of contentment, but also a sign of nervousness or anxiety. Some experts believe that purring is a form of self-healing for cats.
15. Male cats tend to be left paw dominant, while female cats tend to be right paw dominant.
16. Cats and humans have nearly identical sections of the brain that control emotions and feelings, which is why many people think cats have such distinct personalities.
17. Often when cats grimace, they are 'tasting' the air. They have an extra organ which, with some breathing control, allows a cat to taste-sense the air surrounding them.
18. When cats leave their poop uncovered in the litter box or outside, it's a sign of aggression. It's a sign that they do not fear you or your authority.
19. There has been a cat in space. Felicette or "Astrocat" was a French cat and she survived the trip into and back from space.
20. A cat's nose has a unique pattern, similar to a human fingerprint.
21. Cats clean themselves to remove other animals (or humans) scent from their fur.
22. The Egyptian Mau is the oldest breed of cat known.
23. Less than 12% of people in the United States consider themselves 'Cat People'.
24. Many cats do not like water because their coat doesn't provide enough insulation from the cold.
25. Cats have scent glands along their tails, front paws, forehead, chin and lips.
26. Whiskers are actually packed with extremely sensitive nerve endings and help cats 'see in the dark'. NEVER trim or clip their whiskers as this will be incredibly painful for them.
27. Adult cats ONLY meow to communicate with humans.
28. Owning a cat cat reduce the risk of heart attack or stoke by up to a third.
29. A cat named Stubbs has been the mayor of a city in Alaska called Talkeetna for over 15 years.
30. Cats have been known to survive falls from over 32 stories on to concrete. Not worth a try though, as these cases are very few and far between, but Impressive nonetheless. They use what's referred to as a 'righting reflex' to re-orient their bodies while falling to make sure they land on their feet.
31. The world's largest house cat measured at 48.5 inches long. That's over 4 feet!
32. Cats can only sweat through their paw pads.
33. Black cats represent bad luck in the United States, but are a symbol of good fortune in the UK and Australia.
34. Only 24% of cats that enter shelters in the United States are adopted. Let's get that number up people!
35. The technical term for hairball is 'Bezoar'. Many times, only long haired cats get hairballs as they tend to swallow much more hair while grooming.
Are you looking to adopt a cat of your own? Try visiting a local animal shelter, rescue or humane society first. There are thousands of cats in the United State looking for a loving home and they would be so grateful to go home with you!
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