27 Interesting Facts About Cats That Might Surprise You

Cats are always mysterious and fascinating creatures, so it wasn’t difficult to collect together these 27 very interesting facts about our feline friends!

1. Not every cat responds to the effects of catnip. If the cat doesn't have a specific gene, it won't react. About 80% cats DO have the gene, and enjoy the effects of catnip, which is purr-fectly safe and non-addictive.

2. People who like cats are called ailurophiles. This word comes from the ancient Greek language. Ailurophobia is the fear of cats.

3. Kittens sleep 18-20 hours a day because growth hormones are released only during sleep.

4. Cats take between 20-40 breaths per minute. Normal body temperature for a cat is 102 degrees F. A cat's normal pulse is 140-240 beats per minute, with an average of 195.

Your cat has more bones than you. Humans = 206, Cat = 230. Almost 10% of a cat's bones are in its tail. Cats have 30 vertebrae, 5 more than humans have. Cats have 500 skeletal muscles, humans have 650.

6. If a cat is frightened, the hair stands up fairly evenly all over the body. When the cat threatens or is ready to attack, the hair stands up only in a narrow band along the spine.

7. The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. Wild cats hold their tail horizontally, or tucked between their legs while walking.

8. Cats lick people as a sign of affection.

9. If a cat is continually exposed to water from a very young age, many times it will develop a fondness for it; but this rarely, if ever, occurs naturally.

Female cats can reach adulthood in as little as five months, but male cats can take nine months to a year to reach adulthood. Most breeds of cats have reached their full growth by two years.

11. The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you. If you do not respond when your cat talks to you, it will soon lose the urge to communicate with you.

12. It is important to include fat in your cat's diet because they're unable to make the nutrient in their bodies on their own.

13. Today, cats are living twice as long as they did just 50 years ago.

14. Relative to its body size, the clouded leopard has the biggest canines of all animals’ canines. Its dagger-like teeth can be as long as 1.8 inches (4.5 cm).

In the 1750s, Europeans introduced cats into the Americas to control pests.

16. A cat’s eyesight is both better and worse than humans. It is better because cats can see in much dimmer light and they have a wider peripheral view. It’s worse because they don’t see color as well as humans do. Scientists believe grass appears red to cats.

17. The Egyptian Mau is probably the oldest breed of cat. In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”

18. The most popular pedigreed cat is the Persian cat, followed by the Main Coon cat and the Siamese cat.

19. When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.

In the 15th century, Pope Innocent VIII began ordering the killing of cats, pronouncing them demonic.

21. It was illegal to slay cats in ancient Egypt, in large part because they provided the great service of controlling the rat population.

22. Cats' collarbones don't connect to their other bones, as these bones are buried in their shoulder muscles.

23. Studies suggest that domesticated cats first appeared around 3600 B.C.

24. Kittens in the same litter can have more than one father. This is because the female cat releases multiple eggs over the course of a few days when she is in heat.

The longest living cat on record according to the Guinness Book belongs to the late Creme Puff of Austin, Texas who lived to the ripe old age of 38 years and 3 days!

26. Their pee smells so bad because cats originated in the desert.

27. Cats' whiskers help with directional orientation and spatial awareness.

Love this post? Please share!