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More Cat Facts


If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using spaying and neutering is so important.

If your cat is in the habit of rolling over and exposing his stomach, you can be sure he feels perfectly safe with you. It’s also a way of demonstrating his pleasure in your company.

If your cat snores, or rolls over on his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you.

In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer.

In addition to using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson’s organ which is located in the upper surface of the mouth.

In ancient Egypt, the entire family would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.

In cats, the calico and tortoiseshell coats are sex-linked traits. All cats displaying these coats are female… or occasionally sterile males.

In general, cats live longer than most dogs. An average life span might be 12 to 14 years. Some cats are reaching 20 or more. A cat’s longevity depends on feeding, genetics, environment, veterinary care and some other factors. It is also important whether or not the cat lives indoors or is allowed outdoors (outdoor cats live an average of eight years). The general consensus is that at about age seven the cat can be considered as “middle-aged”, and at age 10 and beyond – old.

In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.

In the Middle Ages, during the Festival of Saint John, cats were burned alive in town squares.

In the midst of building the Grand Coulee Dam in the state of Washington, engineers were stymied by the problem of threading a cable through a pipeline until an anonymous cat saved the day. Harnessed to the cable, this unknown hero crawled through the pipeline maze to successfully finish the job.

It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one’s blood pressure.

It is a common belief that cats are color blind; but recent studies have shown that cats can see blue, green, and red.

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It is estimated that cats can make over 60 different sounds.

Jaguars are the only big cats that don’t roar.

Julius Caesar, Henri II, Charles XI, and Napoleon had aelurophobia, the fear of cats.

Kittens can clock an amazing 31 mile per hour at full speed, and can cover about three times their body length per leap.

Kittens remain with their mother till the age of 9 weeks.

Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth’s magnetic field. A cat taken far from its home can return to it. But if a cat’s owners move far from its home, the cat can’t find them.

Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of Rutherford Hayes, is the first person recorded to own a Siamese in the U.S.

Many cats are unable to properly digest cow’s milk. Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.

Many of a cat’s bones are found in its tail.

Many people fear catching a protozoan disease, Toxoplasmosis, from cats. This disease can cause illness in the human, but more seriously, can cause birth defects in the unborn. Toxoplasmosis is a common disease, sometimes spread through the feces of cats. It is caused most often from eating raw or rare beef. Pregnant women and people with a depressed immune system should not touch the cat litter box. Other than that, there is no reason that these people have to avoid cats.

More than 30 percent of American households have a cat as part of the family

Morris, the 9-Lives cat, was discovered at an animal shelter in New England.

Most cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.

Most cats have no eyelashes.

Mother cats teach their kittens to use the litter box.

Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.

Never pick a kitten up by the neck. Only a mother cat may do this safely.

Newborn kittens have closed ear canals that don’t begin to open for nine days.

Normal body temperature for a cat is 102 degrees F.

Nostradamus, the French Astrologer, 1503-1566, had a cat named Grimalkin.

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Not every cat gets “high” from catnip. Whether or not a cat responds to it depends upon a recessive gene: no gene, no joy.

Of all the species of cats, the domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All species of wild cats hold their talk horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.

One litter box per cat, plus an extra box, is the best formula for a multi-cat household.

Orange and lemon rinds are offensive to cats. A light rubbing of orange peel on furniture will discourage your cat from using it as a scratching post.

People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or cat dander. If the cat is bathed regularly, allergic people have better tolerance to it.

Perhaps the oldest known female cat was Ma, from Devon, who was 34 when she died in 1957.

Purring is part of every cat’s repertoire of social communication, apparently created by the movement of air in spasms through contractions of the diaphragm. Interestingly, purring is sometimes heard in cats who are severely ill or anxious, perhaps as a self-comforting vocalization. But, more typically, it is a sign of contentment, first heard in kittens as they suckle milk from their mother.

Retractable claws are a physical phenomenon that sets cats apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. I n the cat family, only cheetahs cannot retract their claws.

Siamese cats originated in Siam—modern day Thailand. Legend has it that they were the companions of kings and priests and that they guarded temples. Some trace Siamese origins to Egypt and Burma, but many dispute this idea. Siamese were first brought to England in the late 1800s.

Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother’s uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens’ hair from darkening on the points.
Sir Isaac Newton, who first described the principle of gravity, also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats.

Some common houseplants poisonous to cats include: English Ivy, iris, mistletoe, philodendron, and yew.

Tests done by the Behavioral Department of the Musuem of Natural History conclude that while a dog’s memory lasts about 5 minutes, a cat’s recall can last as long as 16 hours.

The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wild Cat, which still exists today.

The Ancient Egyptian word for cat was mau, which means “to see”.

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The average canned or dry cat meal is the nutritional equivalent of eating five mice.

The cat family split from the other mammals at least 40 million years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.

The cat has 500 skeletal muscles (humans have 650).

The cat is the only animal that walks on its claws, not the pads of its feet.

The cat lover is an ailurophile, while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.

The cat was domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Today’s house cats are descended from wildcats in Africa and Europe.

The catgut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.

The catnip plant contains an oil called hepetalactone which does for cats what marijuana does to some people. Not all cats react to it those that do appear to enter a trancelike state. A positive reaction takes the form of the cat sniffing the catnip, then licking, biting, chewing it, rub & rolling on it repeatedly, purring, meowing & even leaping in the air.
The cat’s footpads absorb the shocks of the landing when the cat jumps.

The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can’t retract its claws.

The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker. In fact, Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother’s uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens hair from darkening on the points.

The declawing of a pet cat involves surgery called an onychectomy, in which the entire claw and end bone of each toe of the animal are amputated.

The different types of tabby patterns that are seen in domestic cats also occur in wild cats.

The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking. A tail held high means happiness; a twitching tail is a warning sign; and a tucked tail is a sign of insecurity.

The first cat show was in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London.

The giraffe, camel, and cat are the only animals that walk by both their left feet, then both their right feet when walking.

The heaviest cat ever recorded weighed 46 lbs.

The Maine Coon is 4 to 5 times larger than the Singapura, the smallest breed of cat.

The Maine Coon is the only native American long haired breed.

The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak back. The normal temperature of a cat is 101.5 degrees.

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The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.

The penalty for killing a cat, 4,000 years ago in Egypt, was death.

The Persian cat has the longest and thickest fur of all domestic cats. The topcoat may be up to 5 inches long.

The phenomenon of cats finding their owners in a place where they have never been before is scientifically known as Psi-trailing. Many well-documented stories tell of cats that have walked hundreds, even thousands of miles to find their owners.

The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained “cats and dogs” and led to the current expression.

The red tabby cat is a Sarman.

The silver tabby cat is a Teku.

The Turkish Van, a very old rare breed that originated in Turkey, is quite different from other breeds because of its unusual love of water. Known as “the swimming cat,” the Van is strong, quick and agile. He makes a devoted and loyal companion–on land or at sea.

There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States.

There are more than 500 million domestic cats, with either 35 different breeds (according to The Cat Fanciers Association, the world’s largest cat registry), or 38 breeds (as recognized by The International Cat Association, the second largest registry).

There is a species of cat smaller than the average housecat. It is native to Africa and it is the Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes). Its top weight is 5.5 pounds.

Those dark lines connecting to a cat’s eyes are called mascara lines.

Though rare, cats can contract canine heart worms.

To drink, a cat laps liquid from the underside of its tongue, rather than the top.

When you find your cat glued to the window intently watching a bird, making a strange chattering noise and clicking his or her jaws oddly, your cat is merely acting on instinct. What your cat is doing is directly related to the killing bite that all cats (both domestic and wild cats) use to dispatch their prey.

When your cats rubs up against you, she is actually marking you as “hers” with her scent. If your cat pushes his face against your head, it is a sign of acceptance and affection.

Winston Churchill, adored cats. Churchill used to refer to his cat, “Jock”, as his special assistant. “Jock” was reported to be on the bed with his master on the day the great British statesman died.

You can tell a cat’s mood by looking into its eyes. A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils. An angry cat will have narrow pupils. The pupil size is related as much to the cat’s emotions as to the degree of light.

You check your cats pulse on the inside of the back thigh, where the leg joins to the body. Normal for cats: 110-170 beats per minute.

Young cats can distinguish between two identical sounds that are just 18 inches apart at a distance of up to 60 feet.