Facts

  • Ailurophilia is the 'love of cats'                                                                                  
  • A group of kittens is called a 'kindle' A group of grown cats called a 'clowder'
  • Grimalkin is an old, female cat or an elderly woman
  • Gib was the old English term for a neutered male cat

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Structure

  • Cats use in excess of 500 muscles to leap, jump and run 
  • Cats have 13 ribs.
  • A cat has five more vertebrae in her spinal column than humans do. Cats have 30 vertebrae, humans have 35
  • A cat has more bones than a human being, humans have 206 and the cat has 230 bones
  • Cats do not have a true collarbone, which allows them to fit through any opening that is the size of their head or larger
  • Cats have 19 pairs of chromosomes
  • A cats normal body temperature is 39 degrees whil that of a human should be 37 degrees.

 

Heart

  • A felines heart beats about twice as fast as a human heart

Nose

  • The sense of smell of a cat is around 14 times more acute than a humans is.
  • The nose pad of a cat is unique, just as a fingerprint is to humans
  • 30% of all cats have little or no reaction to catnip. See Article:Catnip and How It Affects Your Cat
  • Cats have a vomeronasal organ behind their front teeth that heightens their sense of smell

Teeth and Whiskers

  • A cat has 30 teeth in all, 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom.
  • Cats are subject to gum disease and need to be checked regularly. In extreme cases, may cause serious health issues
  • A cat has four rows of whiskers on each side
  • Whiskers act as a radar and help the cat gauge the space it is contemplating to walk through.
  • A cat's jaw has only an up and down motion, it does not have any lateral, side to side motion like humans or dogs.

Eyes

  • A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf.
  • Cats have a third eyelid which is rarely visible. A visible third eyelid is often an indication of ill health and should be checked out.
  • A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This explains why a cat cannot find tidbits on the floor
  • All cats need Taurine in their diet to avoid blindness. Cats must also have fat in their diet as they are unable to produce it on their own
  • Cats are partially colour blind
  • Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal (in relation to their body size)
  • A cat's field of vision is about 185 degrees
  • 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
  • Most cats have no eyelashes
  • Siamese coat colour and crossed eyes is thought to be caused by the same gene
  • Cats cannot see in complete darkness, but they can navigate by sound, smell and the sensitivity of their whiskers.

Voice

  • Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs have around 10
  • Cats greet each other with sounds made with their mouths closed. Open mouthed sounds are used in situations of aggression, defence, fear or pain.

Ears

  • A cat's ear consists of around 32 muscles
  • Most deaf cats do not meow
  •  A cat has 32 muscles in each ear
  • Kittens when they are born have closed ear canals that don't open for 9 to 10 days
  • Cats can rotate each ear independently, so that they can hear noises from two directions at once

Paws/Walking/Speed

  • Cats are unque in that they are the only animal that walks on its claws and not on the pads of its feet.
  • The Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by moving both their left feet, then both their right feet to walk. This ensures speed, agility and silence
  • A domestic cat can run at speeds of 30 mph
  • The cat's front paw has 5 toes and the back paws have 4. Cats born with 6 or 7 front toes and extra back toes are called 'polydactyl'

Tails

  • The domestic cat is the only cat species to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking
  • The cat's tail is used to maintain balance

Ancient Egypt

  • In Ancient Egypt, killing a cat was a crime punishable by death
  • Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the lost their beloved pet
  • In Ancient Egypt, mummies were made of cats, and embalmed mice were placed with them in tombs

Behaviour

  • A cat that bites you after you have rubbed his/her stomach, is probably biting out of pleasure and not out of anger
  • Cats knead with their paws when they are happy
  • A purring cat indicates that a cat is happy. It can also mean that it feels stressed or that the cat is hurt and in pain. Purring may be a way to calm itself down
  • If your cat rolls over on his back to expose his stomach, he trusts you and feels perfectly safe with you. It is also a way of demonstrating pleasure of being in your company.
  • If your cat pushes his face against your head, it is a sign of acceptance and affection
  • When your cat rubs up against you, you are being marked with their scent . You are hers.
  • A happy cat carries its tail upright. A nervous cat holds its tail down low. When a cat fluffs its tail out like a bottle brush, she/he is trying to appear larger, so as to scare off what is frightening him/her
  • Cats can "read" your moods. If you're sad or stressed or even ill, you may also notice a difference in your cat's behavior.
  • if a cat is frightened, place your hand over it's eyes and forehead, or let her bury her head in your armpit to help calm down.
  • A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.

Health Benefits

  • People who own pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer heart attacks

Digestion

  • Most cats are lactose intolerant, so avoid giving your cat cows milk. Problems with digesting it will possibly result in vomiting, diarrhea or excess gas.
  • Cats love to eat grass, as it assists in digestion and helps to eradicate the accumulation of fur in their stomachs.
  • Cats should not be fed raw egg whites because they contain an enzyme that breaks down the vitamin biotin, which is essential to cat health.
  • Never feed your cat dog food. Cats need five times more protein than dogs do. A constant diet of dog food may result in blindness in your cat, as dog food lacks taurine.

     

    Miscellaneous

    • A cat does not have sweat glands like humans, and hence cannot sweat.
    • The two largest cat breeds is the Ragdoll and the Maine Coone
    • The smallest cat breed is the Singapura
    • The oldest cat on record was Puss from England, who lived to the grand old age of 36 and 1 day. She died in 1939
    • Kittens begin dreaming at just over one week of age.
    • During deep sleep, you can see that electrical activity exists in their brain by their twitching whiskers, flexing paws and movement in their tail. Scientists have come to the conclusion that cats can, and do dream
    • Cat gut was formerly used in tennis racquet strings and in musical instruments. Cat gut does not come fom cats as the name suggests, but from sheep, hogs and horses.
    • A cat is pregnant for about 58 - 65 days
    • A female cat can mate with more than one male when she is on heat. So different kittens in the litter may have different fathers
    • The fumes from mothballs destroy a cat's liver cells
    • People with allergies to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander
    • A cats normal body temperature is 102 degrees F
    • Brushing your cat daily reduces hairball formation
    • Australia and Antartica are the only continents which have no native cat species
    • Cats seem to have an instinctive ability to find their way home.They use the magnetic fields on earth, the sun and their own biological clocks
    • Cats have 3 blood types- A. B and AB
    • Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are prone to sunburn. Frequent sunburn, just like with humans, can lead to skin cancer
    • Cats take between 20-40 breaths per minute
    • Cats are the only animals that purr
    • Cats repond better to females than to males, probably because a woman's voice has a higher pitch
    • A form of aids exists in cats
    • Cats bury their faeces to cover their trails from predators
    • Mother cats teach their kittens to use the litter box
    • Pregnant woman should not come in contact with cat faeces, as it may contain an organism that can harm an unborn child or result in miscarriage
    • Cats have extremely sensitive nervous systems
    • Tap water should be allowed to sit for 24 hours before it is given to a cat - the chlorine in fresh tap water can irritate their nose.
    • Cats can predict earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and electrical storms.
    • Most tortoiseshell cats are born female while ginger cats are nearly always male.
    • A female cat can give birth to more than 100 kittens during its life
    • You can tell a cat's mood by looking into its eyes. A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils. An angry cat will have narrow pupils. The pupil size isrelated as much to the cat's emotions as to the degree of light.
    • Cats can get tapeworms from eating fleas. These worms live inside the cat forever, or until they are removed with medication.They reproduce by shedding a link from the end of their long bodies.This link crawls out the cat's anus, and sheds hundreds of eggs.These eggs are ingested by flea larvae, and the cycles continues.Humans may get these tapeworms too, but only if they eat infected fleas. Cats with tapeworms should be dewormed by a veterinarian.
    • Cats can also get tapeworms from eating mice. If your cat catches a mouse it is best to remove the catch from her.
    • The most sensitive places on the cat's body, where the nerve
      cells are concentrated, are the face and the front paws. This is
      because these are the most important body parts the cat
      uses while hunting.
    • The cat's whiskers are the most sensitive of all. The special
      hairs, called vibrissae, are set deep within the skin and
      provide the cat with sensory information about the slightest
      air movement around it - a valuable tool for a nocturnal hunter.
    • Cat coat patterns are combinations of colors in a specific
      layout. There are six basic varieties : Solid, Tabby, Bicolor,
      Tortoiseshell, Tricolor, and Colorpoint.
    • To stop inappropriate behaviour, effective punishment may include a spray of water or to rattle a can of coins or other noisy items. For any punishment to be effective, it's got to occur while the cat is in the act. A delay, even of a few seconds, will render the punishment ineffective. You want the cat to be scared of the noise or the water spray, and not to be frightened of you.
    • Cats are one of the oldest mammals on the earth. African wild cats were found in fossil form as early as thirty eight million years ago.
    • The earliest ancestor of the cat was the miacis, which lived over fifty five million years ago. The miacis had a long body and tail, short legs and looked somewhat like a weasel.
    • The ancestor of all domestic cats is African wild cat.
    • All domestic cats are members of same species, Felis Catus.
    • The small patch of white fur on a cat's chest is known as a "locket".
    • Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
    • The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker.
    • The fumes from moth balls destroy a cat's liver cell. Use cedar in your closet instead.
    • Cat bites are more likely to become infected than dog bites.
    • The cat appears to be the only domestic animal not mentioned in the bible.
    • A cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog.
    • Cat's purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, about 26 cycles per second.
    • Chemicals can be absorbed through a cat's paws. Floor waxing and cleaning solutions pose a particular danger. My cat was continually getting eye infections, and once I stopped washing the floor with Pine-O-Clean and a weak solution of bleach, and started steaming the floor only, my cat has not had an infection since.
    • Tylenol and chocolate are poisonous to cats. The darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is.
    • Neutering a cat extends their lifespan by two or three years.
    • The Cheetah is the world's fastest animal and is the onlycat that can't retract its claws.
    • In multi-cat households, cats of the opposite sex usually get along better.
    • Cats only sweat from the pads of their paws.
    • Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain reposible for emotion.
    • Human pain killers are highly toxic to cats.
    • Plastic dry cleaning bags can cause suffocation.
    • Cat families interact best in pairs. Wherever possible cats and kittens should be purchased in pairs.
    • Hunting is not instinctive for cats. Kittens born to non-hunting mothers may never learn to hunt.
    • A cat will kill it's prey based on movement. They may not recognise that prey, as food. This realisation is a learned behavior.
    • Genetic mutation created the domestic cat which is tame by birth.
    • Tiger stripes are like human fingerprints; no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes.
    • In the animal kingdom, the cat's IQ is surpassed only by that of monkeys and chimps.
    • Cats get feline acne.
    • The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice.
    • When your cat brings home dead prey, such as a mouse or a bird or a fish, she is bringing you a present and you should be thankful.
    • Cats are more active during the evening hours.
    • The female cat reaches sexual maturity between 6 and 10 months of age. Most vets suggest spaying at 5 months, before her first heat period.
    • The male cat reaches sexual maturity between 9 and 12 months.
    • Cats are more aggressive when they are not neutered or spayed.
    • A cat is pregnant for abot 58 to 65 days.
    • Cats lose almost as much fluid in the saliva while grooming themselves as they do through urination.
    •  The hair on a frightened cat stands up fairly evenly all over her body. A cat that threatens or is ready to attack has only a narrow band along the spine and tail that stands up.
    • Tests done by the Behavioral Department of the Museum of Natural History conclude that "while a dog's memory lasts about 5 minutes, a cat's memory can last as long as 16 hours.
    • A falling cat will always right itself in a precise order. The head will rotate first, the spine will twist and the rear legs will align. The back will then arch so as to lessen the impact of the landing.
    • A cat toy should be chosen carefully. Choose light toys for tossing and soft toys for claws and teeth. Toys need to be large enough so they cannot be swallowed and items such as beady eyes should be removed for the same reason.
    • The largest recorded litter born, with all the kittens surviving was to a Siamese- Burmese cat that had 19 kittens.