Interesting Facts: Cats!

Several of us at Arrowhead are cat owners - well, cat roommates, because we all know no one really owns a cat. Cats are amazingly complex creatures. They are popular amongst pet owners, and some of us are just obsessed with their cute, little squashy faces. Cats are one of nature’s most mesmerizing creatures because of their beauty, grace, and to be honest, their sheer arrogance. Not only are these creatures great pets, but they have some truly interesting qualities.

50 facts about our cat compadres:

  1. There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world.
  2. There are over 70 different cat breeds.
  3. A group of cats is referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring.” A male cat is called a “tom” or “tomcat” (or a “gib,” if neutered), an unaltered female is called a “queen,” and a juvenile cat is referred to as a “kitten.”
  4. A cat lover is called an ailurophile (which is Greek for cat lover). Also called felinophile, philofelist, philogalist. And ailurophobe is a person who fears or hates cats.
  5. It’s no secret that cats sleep a ton. Cats actually spend around 2/3 of every day sleeping. By that math, a 9-year-old cat has only been awake for 3 years total.
  6. How many hours do cats sleep? On average, they sleep fifteen hours a day to conserve energy. Some sleep up to twenty hours in a 24-hour period.
  7. Cats spend nearly 1/3 of their waking hours cleaning themselves and the other ⅔ sleeping.
  8. The body temperature range of a cat is 100.5 ° - 102.5 °F. If a cat is sick, its temperature goes below 100 ° or above 103 °F.
  9. Cats do not have a sweet tooth, even though dogs do. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor. Cats are believed to be the only mammals who can’t taste sweets.
  10. A cat’s tongue can detect different flavors in water.
  11. The claws on the cat’s back paws aren’t as sharp as the claws on the front paws. The claws in the back don’t retract and become worn. The back claws are used for climbing, whereas the front claws are for hunting and to grab their prey.
  12. Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Cats are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.
  13. Cats walk on their toes. (Don’t declaw your cat! The process removes the tip of their toes, and is quite painful).
  14. A cat has about 12 whiskers on each side of its face.
  15. Cats don’t just have whiskers on their face. They also have whiskers on the back of their front legs.
  16. Cats have powerful night vision, allowing them to see at light levels six times lower than what a human needs in order to see, which allows them to hunt in the dark.
  17. Cats have 230 bones, while humans only have 206.
  18. Cats do not have a collarbone, so they can fit through any opening the size of their head. It uses its whiskers to measure the distance so it knows if it will fit through an opening.
  19. A cat’s back has up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae, which makes them extremely flexible. Humans only have 34 vertebrae.
  20. Cat’s groom themselves to stimulate blood flow and regulate body temperature. It’s also a way for them to relax.
  21. A cat’s heart beats around 110-140 beats per minute, nearly double that of a human heart.
  22. A cat can rotate their ears up to 180 degrees.
  23. Similar to a human fingerprint, cats have a distinct pattern on their nose.
  24. Cats walk like camels and giraffes. They move both of their right feet first, then move both of their left feet.
  25. Calico is a color that describes a cat that is mostly white with patches of other colors, typically mottling of brown and black. Calico cats are typically female due to the genetic trait being passed down on the x-chromosome.
  26. Approximately 40,000 people are bitten by cats in the U.S. annually. A cat bite can result in a serious bacterial infection of Pasteurella multocida.
  27. A cat can sprint a short distance at a top speed of approximately 31 mph.
  28. Cats sweat through their paws.
  29. Cats can be left- or right-pawed! Typically, cats are ambidextrous but about 40% of them can have a dominant paw.
  30. Of the cats who are right- or left-pawed, female cats are more likely to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed.
  31. A cat’s brain is amazingly about 90% similar to a human’s brain. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.
  32. While many parts of Europe and North America consider the black cats to be bad luck, in Britain and Australia, black cats are considered lucky.
  33. Cats have a “righting reflex,” where their eyes and balance organs like their inner ear helps them to survive falls over 65 feet, and land on their feet.
  34. In a single jump, cats can jump five times their height.
  35. Cats can survive by drinking seawater if they absolutely had to because of the powerful filtration abilities in their livers.
  36. Cats dream while they sleep. They undergo both REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep.
  37. Spaying and neutering has been shown to significantly increase a cat’s lifespan by over 50%.
  38. Cats have the ability to store both long-term and short-term memories, which means they have a great capacity to learn.
  39. Most cats give birth to a litter of three to five kittens, but can be as little as one and as many as ten kittens. The largest known litter ever produced was 19 kittens, of which 15 survived.
  40. The Mau, the oldest cat breed that originated in Egypt, actually means “cat” in Egyptian.
  41. Cats who live indoors typically live longer.
  42. A cat has “ear furnishings,” which are little tufts of hair in their ears. These tufts help keep their ears clean and dampen sounds to protect their hearing.
  43. Cats are not a native species in North America. In the 1750s, Europeans brought cats to America to aid in pest control.
  44. A cat can’t chew large chunks of food because a cat’s jaw can’t move sideways.
  45. A cat’s meow is a communication tool used only for humans. When communicating with other cats, they will typically use body language signals such as rubbing or cleaning, or they will hiss, purr, or spit.
  46. A cat’s meow will change depending on the situation. When asking its owner for food, they may use a completely different meow.
  47. Feral cats on the other hand, are typically much quieter than domestic cats.
  48. Many experts believe that a cat who covers their waste with litter is a way of showing respect and subservience to its human. If a cat does not cover, it’s a display of territorialism, either towards the human or towards other cats in a multicat household.
  49. When a cat pushes his face or head against you (head butt or head bunt), the cat is marking you with his scent. It’s 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.

Because of the love we have and see others have for our feline friends, we wanted to share with you just how special and unique this little animal is with its feisty attitude, yet loving nature all housed in such a small stature. You can’t help but fall in love with each one you see.


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Do you have any interesting facts to share about cats? Or another animal type? We’d love to hear them. Feel free to share your cat facts or animal facts with us on Instagram! @arrowheadanimalhealth


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