Cats are cute. They are playful and sometimes, they are absolute jerks. But, we still love them and adorn our homes as beloved pets. Their signature ‘purrs’ often make us feel comfortable when we are sad. Their soft fur takes away our stress. So, if you happen to be a cat person, here are 20 interesting cat facts that you will find quite interesting. A warning though! You may just frown after learning a few facts because they are in no way comforting for cat lovers.
Interesting Cat Facts: 1-10
1. Cats are often caught rubbing themselves against humans. That’s not because they want some food or are looking for a nice warm hug. By doing so, they mark the humans as their territory.
2. Cats are capable of producing 100 different types of sounds. Compared to that, our beloved dogs can produce only 10!
3. Cats and humans share the same biological design of brain. Both have exactly identical brain regions for emotions.
4. Male cats are mostly left pawed while females are right pawed.
5. Cat skins are often used for making coats. Nearly 24 cat skins are required for manufacturing one coat.
6. Here is the most disturbing fact – in Asia, 4 million cats are eaten every year! Yes, humans eat cats and you can find this a widely common practice in China.
7. Not just Asia, eating cats and even dogs is practiced is many other countries and that includes United States of America. Here are the nine countries that eat cats (and also dogs):
- The Arctic
- French Polynesia
- United States of America (Hawaii)
8. There is a technical term for the hairball of cats. The term is ‘bezoar’.
9. Unlike humans and dogs, cats maintain a steady level head while chasing prey. Humans and dogs are known for bobbing their heads up and down.
10. Cats don’t have sweet tooth. This simply means, cats don’t really nurture a great liking for food items that are sweet. Dogs however love sweets. Scientists say that cats don’t have a sweet tooth because a particular taste receptor in cats underwent mutation.
Interesting Cat Facts: 11-20
11. Clowder is the technical term used for describing a group of cats.
12. While climbing down a tree, cats will always and always move down head first. They will always climb down with back first. This is because all claws on all their paws point in the same way.
13. Cats spend 2/3rd of their lives sleeping. This means that if a cat is 9 years old, it slept for 6 years and stayed awake for 3 years only.
14. There are 40 recognized cat breeds in world. These 40 breeds in total account for over 500 million pet cats (domesticated cats).
15. Religion and witchcraft (the two most bogus inventions of man) has claimed the lives of millions of cats till date. In Middle Ages in particular, Europeans, on St. John’s Day, would stuff cats in sacks and throw them into bonfires. On other holy days, Europeans would toss cats from the towers of churches.
16. Pope Innocent VIII, during Spanish Inquisition, declared that cats were manifestations of evil and hence, must be killed. Hundreds of thousands of cats were burned alive, thereby dramatically reducing cat population. This helped with the massive explosion in the population of rats. Increased rat population increased the number of casualties because of Black Death.
17. While it is a popular belief that Egyptians were the first people to domesticate cats some 5,000 years ago, a recent archeological find reveals that cats were domesticated as early as 9,500 years ago. Archeologists dug out a grave in Cyprus’ Mediterranean islands in which the remains of a cat were found.
18. Felicette was the first cat that made it to space. Known as Astrocat, this feline was sent in space by the French with electrodes implanted in its brains. Those electrodes sent neurological signals back to Earth. Luckily, Felicette made it back to earth alive!
19. North America prefers cats as pets over dogs. In a survey it was found that North Americans have 73 million pet cats compared to 63 million pet dogs. On an average 30% of North American households have at least one pet cat.
20. The Latin word catus means domesticated cats. The group of words: cats, chat, cath, catt and katze – all stemmed out from the word catus. The Latin word for wild cat is feles.
- Piven, Hanoch. 2009. What Cats Are Made Of. New York, NY: Ginee Seo Books.
- “How Many Dogs and Cats Are Eaten in Asia?” Animal People Online.
- Clutton-Brock, Juliet. 2004. Cat. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc.
- Fogle, Bruce. 2006. Cats. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
- Frith-Macdonald, Candida. 2008. Encyclopedia of Cats. New York, NY: Parragon Books Ltd.
- Viegas, Jennifer. “Female Cats Are Right-Pawed, Males Are Lefties.” Discovery News. July 23, 2009.
- Rochlitz, Irene. 2005. The Welfare of Cats. Norwell, MA: Springer.
- “EU Proposes Cat and Dog Fur Ban.” BBC News. November 20, 2006.
- “Cat.” Online Etymology Dictionary.
- Bidner, Jenni. 2006. Is My Cat a Tiger? New York, NY: Lark Books.