From cats being eaten as food to those cuddly little animals being burned alive in name of religion, we have learned quite a few interesting facts about one of the most famous pets in world. If you are a cat person then we bet, you are hungry for more facts. We will not let you down! Here is our second instalment of 20 interesting cat facts that you probably never knew.
Interesting Cat Facts: 1-10
1. Do you know how cats evolved in Hebrew legend? So, there was Noah and his ark that stored life and food. The problem was that the bad boys – the rats were all having a feast on the stored food. Noah was worried and prayed to God – ‘Hey God! Can you do something about these rats? These freaking creatures are eating up all the food stored in this big wooden box!’ The all merciful good Lord heard the desperate call for help and made a lion sneeze. Guess what? A cat just popped out of its nose!
2. We really don’t know whether the cat is a byproduct of a lion’s sneeze or not but we do know that felines can jump 5 times their own height in one bound. They are pretty good acrobats.
3. 49 kilometers or 31 miles an hour is the top speed a cat can attain over a short distance. They can’t really sustain this speed for long.
4. Cats have acute sense of hearing. In fact, they beat the dogs in this area. They can hear two octaves of higher sound in comparison to humans.
5. Cats are known for surviving high altitude drops. They have survived a fall from a height of 65 feet or 20 meters. So, how do they do that? Their inner ears are equipped with what is known as balance organs. Using these balance organs and their eyes, cats are capable of knowing their exact position is space. This allows them to land on their feet.
6. Additionally, cats have high surface area for the body compared to weight. They use this feature along with the parachute effect they produce by spreading their legs out to minimize the force with which they hit the ground. This is why they manage to survive falls from great heights.
7. Scientists are still not sure of the mechanism that cats use to purr. Some however believe that vocal folds deep inside their throats vibrate, allowing them to purr. In order to create the vibrations, the larynx muscles rapidly open and close the air passage. This opening and closing takes place about 25 times every second.
8. Ancient Egyptians elaborately mourned the deaths of their family cats. Their mourning process involved shaving their eyebrows, then holding highly elaborate funerals for the dead cats. During the funerals, they would drink wine and publicly beat their breasts to express grief.
9. As if that wasn’t enough, they would embalm their cats using wooden masks and place the cat mummy in family tombs. If the mummified cats didn’t make it to the family tombs, they would surely make it to cat cemetery where the mummies would be placed with even smaller mummies of, guess what? Rats!
10. In ancient Egypt, people found guilty of attempting to smuggle cats out of the country were punished by death. However, those who managed to smuggle out the cats, sold the felines at higher price to rich Athenians and other rich people in important cities.
Interesting Cat Facts: 11-20
11. 300,000 cat mummies were dug out from Egyptian graves in year 1888. All the wrappings were stripped off of those mummies and the remains were British and US farmers. The farmers utilized those mummified cats as fertilizers!
12. Usually 1-9 kittens are born in a single litter. However, the largest litter ever was that of 19 kittens. Four of those 19 didn’t make it. The remaining 15 survived.
13. Proailurus is the earliest known ancestor of modern felines. The Proailurus lived some 30 million years ago. However, the animals group from which the pet cats eventually evolved hanged around on earth some 12 million years ago. Proailurus is the Greek for ‘First Cat’.
14. We know that the Egyptians loved cats but they even had a goddess named Bast. She had a cat’s head and a woman’s body!
15. Several areas in North America, Asia and Europe, black cats are synonymous with bad luck. In Australia and England, it is just the opposite. These black fur balls are considered lucky in those two places.
16. Persian Cat is the most popular among all pedigree cats. The second spot is taken by Maine Coon Cat and the Siamese Cat takes the third spot.
17. Singapura is the smallest know pedigree cat with a maximum weight of 1.8 kg or 4 pounds. Maine Coon Cat is the largest known pedigree cat with the maximum weight of 11.3 kg or 25 pounds.
18. Black-footed cat is world’s smallest wild cat. Females are smaller than males and weigh just 1.2 kg or 2.5 pounds. The females grow to the length of 50 cm or 20 inches.
19. The Siberian Tiger is the largest known wildcat on planet. The southern cousins, Bengal Tigers are second largest. The Siberian Tigers are only slightly larger than Bengal Tigers.
20. Fur of cats don’t insulate very well when wet. This is the reason why cats hate water. However, there is one cat breed that loves swimming. It is the Turkish Van. This breed is known for its unique water-resistant coat texture. The cat is usually bred in Central Asia.
- 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.