The cats facts that follow will give you some interesting insights into
the lives of felines – as well as giving you a few surprises. Be prepared to
look at cats in a whole new light!
Cats have been a favored pet in households throughout dozens
of civilizations for thousands of years.
From the royal pets of the
ancient Egyptians to the modern house cats of today, these friendly
creatures have provided warmth and love to their human owners. (Some
cat owners would say their pets actually own them!).
Maybe you think you know cats? Here
some fascinating cat facts some of which you might not have heard before:
Fun and Interesting Facts
carnivores – that means they mostly eat meat. Well, this first one I guess
you already know, but what about the next ones?
2. Cats sleep for a significant
portion of their lives – 16 to 18 hours a day, on average
Cats can move at up
to 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour in little bursts (usually when attacking
4. Cats have excellent hearing, including the ability to hear ultrasonic
sound which even dogs can't pick up
5. More than half the homes in the United
States have a pet cat
6. Cats don't have the taste buds for picking up sweet
7. Every cat has its own unique 'noseprint'
8. France launched a cat
into space in 1963, named Felicette
9. Cat purrs indicate happiness, although in
some cases cats purr when they're stressed or afraid
10. The Turkish van is a
breed of cat with a special, water-resistant coat
11. Cats are well-known for
their impressive jumping abilities, with some cats being able to jump five times
their own height in one leap 12. Isaac Newton is most
famous for his theories about physics and gravity – but he also
invented the Cat Door.
13. A cat's
whiskers are used for feeling in general, but specifically the cat uses them to
judge how much space is available around her and whether or not she can fit
14. The fastest 'big cat,' the cheetah, can run at about 75 miles
(120 kilometers) per hour
There's a few fun facts about cats to get you
started – read on to learn more about different breeds of cats, some interesting
cat behavior facts and why ancient Egyptians became so obsessed with their
Types of Cats
There are 73
recognizable breeds of cat in the world (although some organizations only
acknowledge around 40 of these as official breeds).
This is a much smaller
numbers than dogs (there are over 400 breeds of dog).
The difference comes from
the fact that dogs have been actively used for a variety of different purposes
throughout history, and they have been bred to develop particular traits. Cats,
on the other hand, have generally been either pets or pest control (or a little
of both), so selective breeding has not been as intensive in cats as it has been
There are too many types of cats to go into detail on every one
here – but here are some fun and interesting facts about several particularly
well-known or unusual types of cats:
The Bengal cat is a hybrid breed
famous for its spots, which mini it look like a miniature leopard
The Don Sphynx is a hairless cat breed which originates from Russia
Bobtail is another Russian cat, with a fluffy coat and a short, bobbed tail
which make it resemble a smaller version of a lynx or snow leopard
Munchkin is a breed of American origin known for its short, stubby legs
Oriental short hair is known for its distinctive appearance, with thin body and
limbs, very short coat, narrow pointy nose and large bat-like ears
Singapura from Indonesia has large, pointy ears that stick straight up from its
The Toyger is an American designer breed, created deliberately to
resemble a small tiger
Below you can read about cat training and walking your
cat with a leash, but just for the fun of it, here is a video
with a 7-step guide to walking your human:
about to get into some key facts about common cat behaviors. Be warned though –
you might end up questioning whether your pet loves you as much as you
For example – if you have a pet cat, you've probably
found her rubbing up against your legs on occasion. She does that to show you
affection, right? Well, not necessarily. Cats have scent glands around their
faces which they use to mark their territory. So when your cat rubs on you like
this, he's not just saying hello. In a way, he's actually laying claim to you as
Here's another interesting fact about cats: In addition to
purring when they're happy, cats will also squeeze their eyes shut.
Amongst common cat behavior problems are house soiling and aggression. House
soiling is probably the most common, and also happens to be the easiest to deal
with. Most cat owners choose to house train their cat using a litter box.
A kitten should be house trained when she is taken from her
mother, aged 12 weeks. This is actually the best age to have her,
as she then will have learned what she need to know from her mother,
although kittens are often taken away sooner. This means that you
have to learn her the cat toilet training yourself.
litter train a new kitten you'll need to place her on the litter box regularly
throughout the day, especially after drinking and meals, and give her praise
when she 'goes' in the right place.
When a cat isn't using the litter box
(even though she knows how to), it may indicate the litter isn't being changed
often enough. Cats are picky about going to the toilet in a 'dirty' litterbox!
If a cat has an accident, though, it pays to pick up the 'mess' and put it in
the litterbox before cleaning the litter out to reinforce the training message.
Aggression is a little harder to solve, and may include keeping tight
control over a cat's environment and even enlisting the help of a cat behavior
Many cat owners get
frustrated with the habit cats have of scratching at carpet or furniture. It's a
good idea to buy a scratching post and teach your cat to use it – but why do
cats do this in the first place?
The usual answer given is 'to sharpen their
claws,' and this is true – that is one reason they do it. But research has
indicated that the main reason for scratching is – once again – territory
marking. Cats will scratch up trees, fences and furniture just to let other cats
know that's their turf.
Another unusual cat behavior many owners are
frustrated by is grass-eating. This can be especially distressing to a cat
owner, because usually the animal throws up the grass again soon after eating
it. The answer to this isn't exactly clear, but it seems there may be a few
reasons cats eat grass. One is to get essential nutrients which they wouldn't
otherwise get enough of from their diet, such as folic acid. It also appears to
be a kind of natural digestive system clean-out. The cat regurgitates grass
because, as a carnivore, it can't digest vegetation – and when the grass comes
back out, it brings with it other indigestibles that may be clogging up the
cat's digestive tract.
Ever heard strange crying noises at night and
wondered what on Earth it could be – only to realize it's a cat? Cats have an
impressive vocal range and are able to create a much wider variety of sounds
than dogs. This is why cats are not only able to create short, sharp 'meows'
when they're hungry, but also screech, howl, and make noises that sound eerily
like a baby crying.
Can Cats Be Trained?
a long-running rivalry between 'cat people' and 'dog people,' and one of the
main arguments dog people often use against owning cats is that they 'can't be
This is one of those facts about cats that isn't really a fact after
all. While many cats are resistant to any form of obedience training, it's not
true that cats can't be trained. They can be trained to perform certain behavior
in exactly the same way dogs are: using associations and rewards to reinforce or
Training a cat successfully simply requires that
you find the right kind of reward, to give the cat enough motivation to take
part in training. The reason many cat owners find their cat 'can't be trained'
is simply that they aren't using treats or rewards that the cat actually cares
If you want to have a cat you can take for a walk, you should
start introducing her to a cat harness and a cat leash as soon as
possible, because if you try that on an adult cat, you will have
huge problems. See this video about how to train your cat to walk
with a cat harness and cat leash:
Our facts about cats page
wouldn't be complete without a look at cat health. Let's now take a quick look
at some common health problems that can affect cats, as well as some methods you
can use to deal with problems like cat constipation.
One of the most
common problems in cat is the UTI – urinary tract infection.
include an apparent loss of bladder control in a cat who is otherwise well house
trained, and blood in the cat's urine. Although they may not seem particularly
serious, UTIs can lead to further health complications if they're left
untreated. Your best bet is to visit the vet for a checkup – if your cat does
have a UTI, the vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics.
constipation can be a symptom of a serious illness, or it can simply be caused
by the cat eating something outside its ordinary diet. When it comes to
constipation, you need to look at what other symptoms are present, if any. If
the constipation is not accompanied by other symptoms, your best initial
reaction is to make more water available to your cat and keep an eye on what
she's eating, then monitor the results. However if other symptoms are
present, such as vomiting, excessive meowing, and loss of appetite,
it might warrant a trip to the vet.
Respiratory infections are another common problem in
cats which every owners should be aware of. While its normal for cats to cough
up the occasional hairball, a cat with a fever, an unusual cough and a runny
nose may be suffering from a respiratory infection. Lethargy and a lack of
interest in food and water can also be symptoms. Again, a trip to the vet should
result in a round of antibiotics being prescribed to clear this up.
Cat deterrents or repellers are devices which
have become popular in areas plagued by stray cats, but some cat owners also use
them around the home.
The device is designed to keep cats away from a particular
area, usually by emitting a high-pitched sound only cats can hear. Other devices
use smells or electricity to keep cats away, rather than sound.
several advantages to cat deterrents – for starters, they can help you protect a
garden. In fact, these devices are most popular with landscapers or hobby
gardeners because they help ensure your well-meaning pet cat doesn't destroy all
your hard work and ruin your flowers or vegetables.
There are also a
couple of points to be aware of if you plan on using a cat deterrent, however.
It's not recommended that you use electric fences, as these can cause harm to
cats and are not particularly humane. The most effective cat deterrents are the
ones which use ultrasound,( this of course won't work if your cat happens to be
If you're using a deterrent at home, you also need to
be aware of the range. You only want the ultrasound to affect the general area
you're trying to keep the cat away from. If the range of the deterrent is too
large, you'll cause your cat unnecessary discomfort even when she's not on your
garden patch, and may even force her to want to stay away from your home.
Also, remember that you don't have to use a device that fixes in one place –
there are now portable cat repellers which achieve the same effect as a fixed
device. Known as 'scatter guns,' these devices also use high-pitched sound and
are often use to get rid of stray cats.
Facts About Cats in Ancient Egypt
As we've already touched on throughout this article, cats played an
important role in ancient Egyptian society, including their myths and legends.
Here are some facts about cats in ancient Egypt.
Cats are believed to
have first been domesticated in the Middle East, later spreading into Egypt and
North Africa. The ancient Egyptians associated each of their gods with a
particular animal, and each god was represented with that animal's head.
Egyptian cats were symbolic in ancient Egyptian culture, representing many positive
traits – which is partly why they were popular pets for important people and
royalty. But they weren't just kept around because they were snuggly and looked
nice – cats also had a practical role to play.
In particular they were given the
task of protecting crops against mice, rats and other creatures that could ruin
a harvest – even snakes.
The cat goddess of ancient Egypt was called
– a figure who represented, among other things, fertility, which may have been
linked to the cat's role in protecting food and crops.
Bubastis was the city
which became the centre of cat worshipping, and this city – along with cat
worship – reached its height around 500-400BC.
The ancient Egyptians are famous
for their practice of mummifying their dead – preserving the bodies for
thousands of years. This practice even extended to their beloved cats, with one
tomb discovered containing 80,000 individual mummified cats.