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Amazing Cat Facts

A single pair of cats and their offspring can produce as many as 420,000 in just seven years.
That’s the equivalent to 60,000 per year


  • Outdoor intact (Tom Cats) males cover 3 to 5 miles of their trails of previously marked territory.  Daily rounds assure the cat that his turf is well scented
  • 10 million more cats are kept as pets than dogs
  • Every cat carries the Tabby gene
  • Most adult cats lack the enzymes necessary to digest milk
  • Most of a kitten’s growth takes place during sleep
  • As a kitten matures, its 26 milk teeth are replaced by 30 permanent teeth
  • The kitten’s permanent teeth grow in between the ages of 12 to 18 weeks
  • The hunting instinct is buried deeply in the mind of even the youngest kittens.  Rather than just eat its food, a kitten visually examines it and will paw at it, as it would an animal brought back from the hunt, to check if it is safe to approach
  • Cats are most active in the morning and evening (dawn and twilight)—the prime hunting hours
  • After a successful hunt for mice or a toy, many cats engage in a tension releasing dance. It builds the cats self-esteem and confidence
  • Cats prefer foods at body temperature—the temperature of freshly killed prey
  • While hunting the whiskers can reach forward to give information about the prey they stalk
  • The cat’s whiskers have developed into antennae and help detect movement nearby
  • A cat’s sensitive whiskers can detect even slight changes in air pressure and air currents—giving the cat “radar” at night, or insight of a storm about to come
  • Cats are either right- or left-pawed (handed), showing a distinct preference for one paw over the other
  • When cats purr, it is an expression of intense emotion, meaning pleasure or pain
  • The domestic cat is the only feline that can hold its tail in a vertical position while walking, wild cats must hold the tail horizontally or tucked between their legs
  • Cats, Camels and Giraffes walk with 2 right and 2 left legs
  • Humans have 206 bones in their bodies—an average cat has 244 bones. They have 60 vertebrae.  Nearly 20 of these bones are located in the tail for flexibility
  • Cats have 517 muscles—enabling them to move the front and rear halves of their bodies in opposite directions
  • The cat has 26 facial expressions and the same parts of the human and feline brain correspond to emotion
  • Each ear is controlled by 32 muscles and can turn 180 degrees.  Humans have only 6 muscles
  • A cats sense of taste has only 473 taste buds compared to a humans 9,000.  A cats taste buds are located only on the tip of their tongue
  • Cats have 25% less taste buds than humans, and they have NO sweet tooth
  • A cats heart beats 2 to3 times faster than a humans.  A cats heart beats 150 to 210 per minute compared to a humans which is 60 to 80 beats per minute
  • Scent glands are located between the cats eyes and ears, used to mark humans and other cats.  Scent glands located on the mouth, lips and under the chin are used to mark inanimate objects
  • The skin glands of a cat are located at the base of their hair and secrete oils to waterproof their fur while grooming (licking)
  • A cat’s tongue has rows of hooked scales that are used to groom and comb its fur
  • When cats drink water, their tongue curls under and scoops water into their mouths
  • Hair grows for 60 to 90 days then falls out after a 40 to 60 day rest period
  • Shedding is controlled by hormones and ambient temperature as well as outdoor light or artificial light
  • A cat’s fur has 60,000 hairs per square inch on the back and 120,000 hairs per square inch on the underside
  • In cold weather a cat’s hair stands on end to trap a layer of air that acts as insulation, they have receptors at the tips of their fur to sense cold
  • Cats can tolerate temperatures up to 124º
  • A healthy mature cat spends about 15% of its life in deep sleep, 50% in light sleep, and 30% in awake time.  Cats attain full alertness faster than any other creature
  • Cats have 200 million odor sensitive cells in their nose, humans have only 5 million
  • A cats use of smell, when they put their tail in the air, it is an invite for another cat to smell them, a way of saying “hi”
  • A cats smell is 14 more times sensitive than humans
  • Cats walk on their toes which gives them greater speed and agility
  • Cats have an extraordinary ability to grab, cuff, tap, hold, and snatch things.  A cat’s front paws possess a versatility unique to felines
  • Cats have 5 toes on their front paws and 4 on their back paws.  A polydactyl cat has more than the normal number of toes, a genetic anomaly
  • Cats have nails in the front paw that retract.  However the back nails don’t retract at all, they remain visible
  • Of all animals, cats have the most delicate sense of touch
  • When leaping, cats can lengthen their bodies by 11%. The human equivalent of the cat’s ability to leap would be jumping the width of a swimming pool
  • From a stand still a cat can jump 5 times the length of its body
  • A healthy domestic cat can reach speeds up to 31 miles per hour but can’t maintain sprinting speed for more than a minute
  • Neutered cats require fewer calories than intact cats do
  • Cats do not meow to other cats, the meow is reserved for communicating with humans
  • Cats can make 100 vocal sounds compared to a dogs 10 sounds
  • Cats vocalize using 8 consonants, 5 vowels, 2 diphthongs, and 1 triphthong
  • Cats use the same pitch, volume, and intensity of sound as humans use in speech
  • At the higher levels of sound, human beings can hear sounds up to 20,000 cycles per second, dogs can manage up to 40,000 cycles per second, and cats can hear up to 100,000 cycles per second
  • Cats are extremely sensitive to sounds, including frequencies beyond the range of human hearing
  • Cats are color blind, they see red-green equivalent to color blindness in humans
  • They can see very well in low light, with poor detail
  • Cats are able to see in 1/6th of the light that humans require
  • Cats can see up to 120 feet away, especially if there’s movement
  • Cats night vision is 5 times better than a human
  • They can see 280º around – peripheral vision
  • Cats are far-sighted and don’t see well in close range
  • Domestic cats have slit pupils and big cats have round pupils
  • Unlike domestics, the big cats have only hazel or copper eyes
  • The oldest cat on record lived in England and was 35 years old
  • Black cats are considered lucky in Great Britain and France
  • In China cats have been used successfully as earthquake predictors for years
  • The Turkish Van is known as the cat that loves to swim
  • Cats were declared sacred in Japan in 1000 A.D.
  • Many famous people have been cat lovers, including Mark Twain, Auguste Renoir, J.R.R. Tolkien, Teddy Roosevelt, and Britain’s Queen Victoria

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