- From "The Encyclopedia Britannica". All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat
family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families. All cats
share certain characteristics that are unique to the cat family. Cats are pure carnivores. They need a high level of protein
in their diets - around 30% - and lack the digestive equipment to do well on a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables. In fact,
if you were to design a creature to live from hunting mammals you would have trouble doing better than the design of the cat.
If you know cats at all, you know that they have powerful jaws, long, sharp teeth, and claws that draw back into their paws
when not in use. Cats hear extremely well. Their eyes are adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and
just after dusk, the prime hunting periods.
- If you have a cat and want to have another cat, it will be easiest to introduce a female kitten. An elderly
cat that is alone, however, should not be bothered with another cat. Let it rest in peace. Bringing a new cat into a household
is always very stressful for all the cats concerned.
- Unlike humans and dogs, cats do not suffer a lot from loneliness. It is a mistake to project our social feelings
onto our cats. Cats are social to a degree, but they are far more concerned with territorial issues than we can even imagine.
- Purring: To purr, cats use extra tissue in the larynx (voice box). This
tissue vibrates when they purr.
- In ancient Egypt, killing a cat was a crime punishable by death.
- In ancient Egypt, mummies were
made of cats, and embalmed mice were placed with them in their tombs. In
one ancient city, over 300,000 cat mummies were
- In the Middle Ages, during the Festival of Saint John, cats were burned alive in town squares.
- The first cat show was in 1871 at the Crystal Palace
- Today there are about 100 distinct breeds of the domestic cat.
- Genetic mutation created the domestic cat which is tame from birth.
- Don't be alarmed when your cats bring you gifts of birds, mice or other wild critters. This is a natural part
of their gift ritual, and they do it to please you.
- Cats purr to
- Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
- Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
- Contrary to popular belief, the cat is a social animal. A pet cat will respond and answer to speech , and seems
to enjoy human companionship.
- If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population
control using neutering and spaying is so important.
- Kittens are born with both eyes and ears closed. When the eyes open, they are always blue at first. They change
color over a period of months to the final eye color.
- When well treated, a cat can live twenty or more years.
- Cats live 14 to 20 years, some 30.
- Cats beat dogs for the #1 spot as the most popular pet in the United States.
- Dogs and cats are color-blind.
- If you sneeze whenever you're around cats, chances are it's not the cat hair that sets you off, but the saliva
that remains on their fur.
- 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.
- Cats have a full inner-eyelid, or nictitating membrane. This inner-eyelid serves to help protect the eyes from
dryness and damage. When the cat is ill, the inner-eyelid will frequently close partially, making it visible to the observer.
- 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.
- A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days. This is roughly two months.
- The two most common problems with cats are aggression, and refusing to use the litter box. Both of these problems
are usually caused by social conflict among cats. To have the fewest problems, have only one cat at a time. The more cats
you introduce into a house, the more likely you are to have difficulties with the cats.
- If you have to break up a cat fight use a broom to separate them.
- Cats land on their feet because they have a flexible spine.
- Cats are attracted to the cave-like appeal of a clothes dryer. Always look inside before closing the door.
- Most lively, active kittens grow up to be friendly, outgoing cats.
- One female cat can give birth to as many as 420 kittens in her lifetime, amd each of those kittens can do the
same after reaching maturity.
- Cats sometimes have a hard time accepting a new cat because cats don't usually crave companionship in quite
the same way a dog does.
- Never let your cat use an old chair for scrathcing. Cats don't know the difference between old and new. Fabric-covered scratching posts even confuse some cats.
- If your cat gets trapped in a tree, put an open can of her/his favorite food at the bottom of the tree and go
inside. Most cats will find their way down within a few hours.
- Many cats cannot properly digest cow's milk. Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.
- Cats lack a true collarbone. Because of this lack, cats can generally squeeze their bodies through any space
they can get their heads through. You may have seen a cat testing the size of an opening by careful measurement with the head.
- Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are very prone to sunburn. Frequent sunburns can lead to skin cancer.
Many white cats need surgery to remove all or part of a cancerous ear. Preventive measures include sunscreen, or better, keeping
the cat indoors.
- Cats can get tapeworms from eating fleas. These worms live inside the cat forever, or until they are removed with medication.
They reproduce by shedding a link from the end of their long bodies. This link crawls out the cat's anus, and sheds hundreds
of eggs. These eggs are injested by flea larvae, and the cycles continues. Humans may get these tapeworms too, but only if
they eat infected fleas. Cats with tapeworms should be dewormed by a veterinarian.
- Cats can get tapeworms from eating mice. If your cat catches a mouse it is best to take the prize away from
- There are tiny, parasitic worms that can live in a cat's stomach. These
worms cause frequent vomiting.
- 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
- Hunting is not instinctive for cats. Kittens born to non-hunting mothers may never learn to hunt.
- Cats bury their feces to cover their trails from predators.
- Mother cats teach their kittens to use the litter box.
- Among other tasks, cats can be taught to use a toilet, come, sit, beg, eat with their paws, heel, jump through
a hoop, play a piano, play dead, roll over, open a door, hide food in boxes, shake, and fetch.
- Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day. When cats are asleep, they are still alert to incoming stimuli. If you poke
the tail of a sleeping cat, it will respond accordingly.
- In Great Britain, black cats are thought to bring good luck.
- Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson's organ, located
in the upper surface of the mouth.
- Cats can't
- Aspirin is poisonous to cats.
- A smooth, shiny coat is the sign of a healthy cat.
- Cat saliva contains a detergent that keeps their fur clean.
- Dogs and cats that are not around people before they reach the age of three months seldom turn out to be good
- A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
- The gene in cats that causes the orange coat color is sexed linked, and is on the X sex chromosome. This gene
may display orange or black. Thus, as female cat with two X chromosomes may have orange and black colors in its coat. A male,
with only one X chromosome, can have only orange or black, not both.
- If a male cat is both orange and black it is ( besides being extremely rare ) sterile. To have both the orange
and the black coat colors, the male cat must have all or part of both female X chromosomes. This unusual sex chromosome combination
will render the male cat sterile.
- Cats have AB blood groups just like people.
- A form of AIDS exists in cats.
- If you take kitten away from its mother before it is 8 weeks old, she may not have enough time to train it properly
to use a litter box.
- A healthy kitten has clear, bright eyes and clean ears.
- A happy cat carries its tail upright, while a nervous one holds it down low. When a cat fluffs out its tail,
it is to appear larger and scare off whatever is frightening it.
- If your cat hides and then runs out and pounces on you, she is acting out her instinctive hunting ritual.
- Cats act reserved because their ancestors hunted and lived alone. They did not live in packs and therefore depend
less on others.
- Cats' eyes don't glow in the dark; they only reflect light.
- In relation to body size, a cat's eyes are bigger than most mammals.
- Siamese coat color and crossed eyes may be caused by the same gene.
- The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas
- 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.
- There are many myths about cats. Check this page to see some of them discussed, and to find out the true facts.
- Cats don't scratch furniture to get attention, they scratch to groom their claws.
- When a cat swishes its tail back and forth, she's concentrating on somthing; if her tail starts moving faster,
she has become annoyed.
- Cats rub to mark ownership. They have glands on their lips as well as at the base of the tail just so they can
mark their territory.
- Only a mother cat should pick a cat up by the scruff of the neck.
- Brushing your cat daily will cut down on hairballs.
- A cat is but a small lion who socializes with humans.
- Multi-colored male cats are very rare. For every 3,000 tortoiseshell or calico cats born, only one will be male.
- Most cats do not like to be held by the shoulders with their hind legs swinging loose.
- A cat's whiskers are actually sensory organs that provide feedback on how near objects are.
- In England, the government owns thousands of cats. Their job is to help keep the buildings
free of rodents.
- Cats knead you lap because they're happy.
- If you do not respond when your cat talks to you, it will soon lose the urge to communicate with you.
- Some cats, males in particular, develop health problems if fed dry food exclusively.
- A little vegetable oil daily will help to prevent fur-balls and bring a shine to your cat's coat.
- Cats can rotate each ear independently, so they can hear noises from two directions at once.
- Cuddle your
- The Cat family includes about 39 species of cat, ranging from the tiger to the domestic cat. Agile, athletic
predators, all of them are excellent hunters. They combine speed and strength with a highly developed sense of sight and hearing.
- The chlorine in fresh tap water irritates sensitive parts of the cat's nose. Let tap water sit for 24 hours
before giving it to a cat.
- The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice.
- 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.
- A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf. White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the
ear closest to the blue eye. White cats with orange eyes do not have this disability.
- Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.
- Pregnant women are advised not to come in contact with cat feces, because it can contain an organism which can
affect the unborn child and even cause miscarriage.
- Ten human years translate to about 60 cat years. A one year old cat is similar in age to an 18 year old human.
- Australia and Antarctica
are the only continents which have no native cat species. It is believed cats were living in parts of Australia before European settlement, possibly escapees from
shipwrecks or traders' boats where they had been employed to catch rats.
- Cats have the best vision and in the dark their eyes become more like "Ears", the reason being that their pupils
can pick up acoustic vibrations.
- Cats have the ability to see color.
- Cats are able to hear sounds that move faster than 45,000 hertz. They
could hear the sound of a bat.
- Kittens when they are born have closed ear canals that don't begin to open for nine to ten days.
- Though rare, cats can contract canine heart worms.
- People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander. If the resident cat is
bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better.
- Studies now show that the allergen in cats is related to their scent glands. Cats have scent glands on their
faces and at the base of their tails. Entire male cats generate the most scent. If this secretion from the scent glands is
the allergen, allergic people should tolerate spayed female cats the best.
- Cats lick people as a sign of affection.
- Cats do not think that they are little people. They think that we are big cats. This influences their behavior in many ways.
- Cats are subject to gum disease and to dental caries. They should have their teeth cleaned by the vet or the
cat dentist once a year.
- Cats, especially older cats, do get cancer. Many times this disease can be treated successfully.
- Most cats have no eyelashes.
- A cat's night vision is six times better a human's.
- A cat retracts its claws by flexing its toes. This protects their sharpness and lets him walk quietly when stalking
- Cats have a vomeronasal organ behind their front teeth that heightens their sense of smell.
- Cats born without tails genetically have a shorter spine and longer rear legs than other cats.
- Most deaf cats do not meow.
- Although milk is okay for kittens, it is not easy for an adult cat to digest. Cottage cheese and yoghurt can be more easily digested.
- Cats eat grass to keep their digestive systems clean. The regurgitation brings up hair and other irritants.
- A helthy cat's nose is cool.
- When a kitten is born they are unable to hunt as this must be taught to them by their mothers.
- The average cat food meal is equivalent to five medium-size mice.
- Cats are unable to eat many things such as Chocolate, Tylenol, avocado, poinsettia, lily-of-the-valley, and
morning glory are all poisonous and sometimes deadly to cats.
- Cats can taste sweet things.
- A can't will not eat its food if is unable to smell it. The cat has 17 million nerve cells in its nose, which
are used to trace smells around its environment.
- The indoor cat has a longer life span than an outdoor cat.
- A one year old cat is equivalent to an 18 year old human.
- Cats are able to find their way home using the magnetic fieldon earth, the sun, and their own biological clocks.