Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world. Their adorable appearances, sweet voices and unique personalities facinate people of all age. But in some cultures and stories cats are also considered mysterious. Even if you live with a cat every day, you don’t necessarily know everything about them.
Let’s check 20 fun facts of cats to see how many of them you already know.
1. Long Time Sleep
Cats spend an average of two-thirds of their time sleeping – you’d even think they were sleeping all day long.
But in fact cats are often in a shallow sleep, waking up at the first sign of trouble and putting their bodies on the first alert. This is due to their wild ancestors’ propensity to defend themselves against predators and to deal with uncertainties in their environment.
2. Preferred Paw
Do you know there’re also left-handed cats and right-handed cats? Overall, 75% of the cats in the study showed a preference for a single paw and 25% did not. Gender has a strong influence on cat’s paw preference, with female cats more likely to show right-paw preference than male cats.
3. Variety of Sounds
Cats can make hundreds of different sounds, while dogs can only make a dozen. In other words, cats make different noises when they are happy, when they are sad, and when they are whining, but it is often difficult for humans to tell the difference.
4. Rightwing Reflex
You should have seen the videos or news that cats jump from a great height but remain safe. This is actually because they have the “rightwing reflex”, which enables them to know their positions in the air and reorient themselves to finally land with feet.
But please do not neglect the safety of the cats because of this, or even deliberately throw them from the air. Accidents can happen at any time. It’s the obligation of owners to try their best not to let the pets get hurt.
5. Cross Eyes
Cross Eyes may occur on some cats because the left side of their brains control their right eyes and vice versa, which can lead to the double vision. When cats want to correct it, they become cross-eyed.
6. Coat Color Change
Back in the 1930s, Russian biologists discovered that some cats change color due to their body temperature.
Some breeds of cat carry the albino gene, so the color changes occur when their body temperature is above 37 degrees. If the kittens stay in a warm room, their color will not dim and their bodies will still be milky white.
7. Kitten’s Pupil
For a newborn kitten, its eyes are usually blue for the first three months. And when it grows up, the eye color changes.
This is because the pigment in the iris of a kitten’s pupil is not yet formed and appears cloudy, so its eyes are either dark blue or light blue.
8. Cat’s Bone
The cat is a very flexible animal which can shape itself into any shape according to its container. This is mainly due to its 230 bones, to let you know, even human has only 206 bones all over body.
9. Sense of Taste
It’s true that cats have lovely tongues, but that doesn’t mean they have good sense of taste.
You may have seen your cat showing an interest in sweet foods, but it’s not because of the sweetness – cats are very insensitive to sweetness. Remember, cats have only 800 taste buds, while humans have about 9,000. They don’t recognize as many different flavors as we do.
Cats are carnivores, and protein is their energy source, so if a cat like cream, it’s not the sweetness of the cream that attracts it, but the fat content.
10. Fast Speed
Cats can run up to 50 kilometers per hour. If you think your cat is ridiculously slow, it’s probably because it’s too lazy. Cats are equally quick to react, typically between 50 and 70 milliseconds, which is 2 to 4 times faster than humans.
11. Cat’s Eyes
A cat’s slow blinking indicates kindness, closeness, and friendliness, while staring is a prelude to aggression and fighting. So don’t rivet your eyes on the cat all the time, otherwise your cat might think you’re going to make an attack.
In addition, most cats have presbyopia because their eyes can’t focus at close range. So if you put your face too close, they can’t see you clearly.
12. Sensitive Nose
Cats have 200 million olfactory receptors in their nasal passages, more than some breeds of dogs. Why does a cat have such a strong sense of smell? Because cats are predators in the wild, they rely on their sense of smell to determine whether a food is edible or toxic.
A cat’s sense of smell is much stronger than its sense of taste, and the smell can stimulate its appetite. This also explains why cats stops eating when they have a cold.
13. Perking UP Tail
Generally, only domestic cats walk with their tails up, indicating that they are secure enough in their environment. Feral cats don’t do this. They usually walk with their tails flat or down.
14. Poor Environmental Adaptability
Even a well domesticated cat has relatively strong sense of territory, especially male cat. Only a familiar and fixed place can give it sense of security. If there is a sudden change of environment and a lot of furniture, your cat will feel threatened by the unfamiliar smell easily get nervous.
15. Leaping Ability
Everybody knows cats have hunting instinct. So when they see a small bug in home, they will jump highly to catch it. Studies have shown that cats can jump up to 5 times their own body height.
Cats spend much time licking hair everyday. Not only this behavior can clean their hair, but also helps tidy the hair to optimize the heat preservation effect. And in summer, considering cats have less sweat glands, they can achieve the effect of relieving the heat by the means of water evaporation on their fur.
Cats also do more grooming when they are anxious. The practice is called “vicarious grooming,” and its purpose is to reduce the stress of intense social conflictf, just as we often scratch our heads when we’re in a conflict situation.
17. Narrow Space Dependency
Cats usually feel safe in narrow and closed spaces. For wild cats, they tend to choose holes on trees or on the ground as their nests for security reasons. This instinct makes domestic cats for today also like to find hidden and narrow spaces to shade themselves. That’s why your cats can’t help jumping into any small bags or boxes at first sight.
In normal circumstances, animals in nature carry only one father’s child at a time. Cats, on the other hand, are able to conceive more than one male cat at the same time, a condition known as “simultaneous reproduction”. Thus when a mother cat gives birth to more than one cub, it’s natural for the kitten to have different coat colors because the genes come from different males.
But conversely, if a litter of kittens is different in color, it’s not necessarily due to a simultaneous pregnancy, but may also related to the parents’ coat color genes.
19. Eating Grass
Have you ever seen your cat eat grass? Grass contains plant fiber, which helps them digest meat and bones, as well as cyanophyll, vitamin c, etc. which are insufficient in their daily diet. In addition, cats often groom themselves. After a long time, the hair tends to be accumulated in their belly, and grass will play a role in the urge to help them smoothly spit out them.
Note, however, that cats do not eat all kinds of grass. Some plants, such as scindapsus, white palms, spring plumes, and chrysanthemums, are highly toxic to cats and should never be allowed to eat.
20. Climbing the Tree
Climbing is a cat’s instinct, but after climbing up a tree, it’s often difficult for them to get down, because the structure of their claws means they can only climb down trees with their heads up, which is not what a novice cat can do at first. And that’s why so many cats climb up high and get stuck on top.