The word cat refers to a
family of meat-eating animals that include tigers, lions, leopards,
Cats have five toes on each front
paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
Cats are sometimes born with extra
toes. This is called polydactly. These toes will not harm the cat,
but you should keep his claws trimmed just like any toe.
Cats have true fur, in that they
have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
Newborn kittens have closed ear
canals that don't begin to open for nine days.When the eyes open,
they are always blue at first. They change color over a period of
months to the final eye color.
Most cats have no eyelashes.
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.
A cat cannot see directly under its
nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.
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.
It is a common belief that cats are
color blind. However, recent studies have shown that cats can see
blue, green and red.
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.
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.
A cat can jump even seven times as
high as it is tall.
The cat's footpads absorb the shocks
of the landing when the cat jumps.
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.
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.
A cat is pregnant for about 58-65
Mother cats teach their kittens to
use the litter box.
The way you treat kittens in the
early stages of it's life will render it's personality traits later
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.
When well treated, a cat can live
twenty or more years but the average life span of a domestic cat is
Neutering a cat extends its life
span by two or three years.
Cats, especially older cats, do get
cancer. Many times this disease can be treated successfully.
Cats can't taste sweets.
Cats must have fat in their diet
because they can't produce it on their own.
Some common houseplants poisonous to
cats include: English Ivy, iris, mistletoe, philodendron, and yew.
Tylenol and chocolate are both
poisionous to cats.
Many cats cannot properly digest
cow's milk. Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.
The average cat food meal is the
equivalent to about five mice.
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
Though rare, cats can contract
canine heart worms.
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
A form of AIDS exists in cats.
The color of the points in Siamese
cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker.
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.
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
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.
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.
The ancestor of all domestic cats is
the African Wild Cat which still exists today.
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 found.
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 in London.
Today there are about 100 distinct
breeds of the domestic cat.
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
Cats bury their feces to cover their
trails from predators.
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.
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.
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.
Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had
four of them while he lived in the White House.
Julius Ceasar, Henri II, Charles XI,
and Napoleon were all afraid of cats.
Cats have an average of 24 whiskers,
arranged in four horizontal rows on each side.
Statistics indicate that animal
lovers in recent years have shown a preference for cats over dogs!
Cats can be taught to walk on a
leash, but a lot of time and patience is required to teach them. The
younger the cat is, the easier it will be for them to learn.
Purring not always means happiness.
Purring could mean a cat is in terrible pain such as during
childbirth. Kitten will purr to their mother to let her know they
are getting enough milk while nursing. Purring is a process of
inhaling and exhaling, usually performed while the mouth is closed.
But don't worry, if your cat is purring while your gently petting
her and holding her close to you - that is a happy cat!
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
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.
A happy cat holds her tail high and
Almost 10% of a cat's bones are in
its tail, and the tail is used to maintain balance.
Cat families usually play best in
even numbers. Cats and kittens should be aquired in pairs whenever
Baking chocolate is the most
dangerous chocolate to your cat.
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.
Jaguars are the only big cats that
A cats field of vision is about 185
Cats have individual preferences for
scratching surfaces and angles. Some are horizontal scratchers while
others exercise their claws vertically.
The Maine Coone is the only native
American long haired breed.
The Maine Coon is 4 to 5 times
larger than the Singapura, the smallest breed of cat.
Tabby cats are thought to get their
name from Attab, a district in Baghdad, now the capital of Iraq.
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.
Not every cat gets "high"
from catnip. Whether or not a cat responds to it depends upon a
recessive gene: no gene, no joy.
A cat can sprint at about thirty-one
miles per hour.
In ancient Egypt, when a family cat
died, all family members would shave their eyebrows as a sign of
Cats have been domesticated for half
as long as dogs have been.
A cat's whiskers are thought to be a
kind of radar, which helps a cat gauge the space it intends to walk
A cat can spend five or more hours a
day grooming himself.
All cats have three sets of long
hairs that are sensitive to pressure - whiskers, eyebrows,and the
hairs between their paw pads.
Both humans and cats have identical
regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
A cat's brain is more similar to a
man's brain than that of a dog.
A cat has more bones than a human;
humans have 206, and the cat - 230.
Cats have 30 vertebrae--5 more than
The cat has 500 skeletal muscles
(humans have 650).
Cats have 32 muscles that control
the outer ear (compared to human's 6 muscles each). A cat can rotate
its ears independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of
sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
Cats' hearing stops at 65 khz
(kilohertz); humans' hearing stops at 20 khz.
In relation to their body size, cats
have the largest eyes of any mammal.
Cats have 30 teeth (12 incisors, 10
premolars, 4 canines, and 4 molars), while dogs have 42. Kittens
have baby teeth, which are replaced by permanent teeth around the
age of 7 months.
When a cat drinks, its tongue -
which has tiny barbs on it - scoops the liquid up backwards.
Cats purr at the same frequency as
an idling diesel engine, about 26 cycles per second.
Cats step with both left legs, then
both right legs when they walk or run.
Cats walk on their toes.
Cats take between 20-40 breaths per
Normal body temperature for a cat is
102 degrees F.
Cats respond most readily to names
that end in an "ee" sound.
A cat will tremble or shiver when it
is extreme pain.
When a domestic cat goes after mice,
about 1 pounce in 3 results in a catch.
Declawing a cat is the same as
cutting a human's fingers off at the knuckle. There are several
alternatives to a complete declawing, including trimming or a less
radical (though more involved) surgery to remove the claws.
Preferably, try to train your cat to use a scratching post.
Cats with long, lean bodies are more
likely to be outgoing, and more protective and vocal than those with
a stocky build.
A steady diet of dog food may cause
blindness in your cat - it lacks taurine.
It has been scientifically proven
that stroking a cat can lower one's blood pressure.
If your cat snores, or rolls over on
his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you.
Cats respond better to women than to
men, probably due to the fact that women's voices have a higher
Florence Nightingale owned more than
60 cats in her lifetime.
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.
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.
Has your cat ever brought its prey
to your door? Cats do that because they regard their owners as their
"kittens." The cats are teaching their "kittens"
how to hunt by bringing them food. Most people aren't too delighted
when a pet brings in their kill. Instead of punishing your cat,
praise it for its efforts, accept the prey, and then secretly throw
Cats can predict earthquakes. We
humans are not 100% sure how they do it. There are several different
A queen (female cat) can
begin mating when she is between 5 and 9 months old.
A tomcat (male cat) can begin
mating when he is between 7 and 10 months old.
Tomcats can mate at anytime, while
quenns can only mate during a period of time called heat or estrus.
Heat occurs several times a year and
can last anywhere from 3 to 15 days.
At 4 weeks, it is important to play
with kittens so that they do not develope a fear of people.
Kittens remain with their mother
till the age of 9 weeks.
It is estimated that cats can make
over 60 different sounds.
The cat's footpads absorb the shocks
of the landing when the cat jumps.
Ailurophile - that's what we're
officially called. It's what cat lovers are known as.
A cat that bites you for rubbing his
stomach is often biting from pleasure, not anger.
The more cats are spoken to, the
more they will speak back. You will learn a lot from your cat's wide
vocabulary of chirps and meows.
Cats often overract to unexpected
stimuli because of their extremely sensitive nervous system.
Kittens who are taken along on
short, trouble-free car trips to town tend to make good passengers
when they get older. They get used to the sounds and motions of
traveling and make less connection between the car and the visits to
Cats, just like people, are subject
to asthma. Dust, smoke, and other forms of air pullution in your
cat's environment can be troublesome sources of irritation.
Since cats are so good at hiding
illness, even a single instance of a symptom should be taken very
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
A tortoiseshell is black with red or
orange markings and a calico is white with patches of red, orange
The Ancient Egyptian word for cat
was mau, which means "to see".
Cats that live together sometimes
rub each others heads to show that they have no intention of
fighting. Young cats do this more often, especially when they are
In 1987 cats overtook dogs as the
number one pet in America.
Kittens lose their baby teeth!! At
three to four months the incisors erupt. Then at four to six months,
they lose their canines, premolars and molars. By the time they are
seven months old, their adult teeth are fully developed. This is one
of the ways a vet (or you) can tell the age of a kitten.