Sometimes just need a dose of cat facts in your life. Here are 25 somewhat interest facts about cats. Also some pictures because it has been a slow news week.
1. When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.
2. A group of cats is called a “clowder.”
3. Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed. Interestingly, while 90% of humans are right handed, the remaining 10% of lefties also tend to be male.
4. A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.
5. A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.
6. The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette (a.k.a. “Astrocat”) In 1963, France blasted the cat into outer space. Electrodes implanted in her brains sent neurological signals back to Earth. She survived the trip.
7. Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due largely to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability.
8. A cat rubs against people not only to be affectionate but also to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face. The tail area and paws also carry the cat’s scent.
9. Cats hate the water because their fur does not insulate well when it’s wet. The Turkish Van, however, is one cat that likes swimming. Bred in central Asia, its coat has a unique texture that makes it water resistant.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. In Holland’s embassy in Moscow, Russia, the staff noticed that the two Siamese cats kept meowing and clawing at the walls of the building. Their owners finally investigated, thinking they would find mice. Instead, they discovered microphones hidden by Russian spies. The cats heard the microphones when they turned on.
13. The little tufts of hair in a cat’s ear that help keep out dirt direct sounds into the ear, and insulate the ears are called “ear furnishings.”
14. The ability of a cat to find its way home is called “psi-traveling.” Experts think cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.
15. A cat almost never meows at another cat, mostly just humans. Cats typically will spit, purr, and hiss at other cats.
16. A cat’s back is extremely flexible because it has up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans only have 34.
17. Approximately 1/3 of cat owners think their pets are able to read their minds.
18. Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (humans have only 6). A cat can independently rotate its ears 180 degrees.
19. One reason that kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep.
20. A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human has 206. A cat has no collarbone, so it can fit through any opening the size of its head.
21. A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human
22. Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies like humans do. Instead, they sweat only through their paws.
23. Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Cats are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.
24. In the 1930s, two Russian biologists discovered that color change in Siamese kittens depend on their body temperature. Siamese cats carry albino genes that work only when the body temperature is above 98° F. If these kittens are left in a very warm room, their points won’t darken and they will stay a creamy white.
25. Cats see so well in the dark because their eyes actually reflect light. Light goes in their eyes, and is reflected back out. This means that their eyes actually work almost like built-in flashlights.