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Top 101 Facts about Cats

Kitten Friends

We all love cats, they are one of our favorite pets and there are approximately 220 million domesticated cats in the world. But how much do we know about our feline friends? Here are some facts that may just surprise you:

  1. Cats are thought to be the most popular pets in North America, and it’s estimated there are a staggering 73 million of them in this part of the world.
  2. Cays can make up to 100 different sounds whereas dogs are only able to make about 10.
  3. The original fairy godmother in Cinderella was in fact a cat.
  4. A Cat named ‘Dusty’ holds the record for giving birth to more than 420 kittens
  5. A cat’s normal body temperature is usually between 100.5 ° F and 102.5 °F. If he or she falls sick it can rise to 103 °F or even become lower than 100 ° F.
  6. We all know cats can run very fast, but did you know they can reach a top speed of 31 mph?
  7. Cats are able to land on their feet even from a great height as their inner ear tells them which direction their feet need to point in.
  8. Until a century ago most peoples’ cats had short hair. When people started to experiment with breeding, all this changed.
  9. Male Ragdolls are thought to be the largest bread of cat, and they can weigh anything between 12 and 20 pounds. The female Ragdoll can weigh between 10 and 15 pounds
  10. While humans only have 6 muscles that control their outer ear, cats have 32, which means they can move their ears a whole 180 degrees.
  11. A group of cats is known as a Clowder.
  12. Persian cats are the most popular pedigree cats, the Siamese and the Main Coon cat follow close by.
  13. Way back in 1888 three hundred thousand mummified cats were discovered in an Egyptian cemetery. Rather than preserving them, their dressings were removed and the cats were used as fertilizer.
  14. Although wildcats are thought to be big, the smallest (The Black footed cat) is less than 20 inches long and weighs just 2.5 pounds.
  15. Every cat has the ability to jump up to five times its height in a single leap.
  16. In ancient Egypt, when a cat died family members would traditionally mourn by shaving their eyebrows. Elaborate funerals were held and the cat was embalmed and place in a tomb or a pet cemetery, often with mummified mice.
  17. Female cats usually give birth to between 1-9 kittens. The largest litter on record was a staggering 19.
  18. Cats do not have a sweet tooth.
  19. Its thought that as many as forty thousand people in the United States are bitten by cats every year.
  20. The oldest breed of cat is the Egyptian Mau. The word ‘Mau’ is Egyptian for ‘Cat’.
  21. Some Siamese cats often look cross-eyed, this is because they frequently have double vision as the nerves from either side of the brain go to the opposite eye. When the cat crosses its eyes it is doing so in an effort to correct their double vision.
  22. Most veterinarians think a cat purrs by vibrating its vocal folds. The muscles are thought to open and close 25 times per second.
  23. A cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave in Cyprus. This cat is approximately 4,000 years older than those depicted in Egyptian art.
  24. It takes around 24 cat skins to make a coat.
  25. A cat can hear frequency’s two octaves higher than humans.
  26. Pope Innocent VIII said cats were evil, and as a result thousands were burned. Because rates were no longer getting killed, they thrived and the Black Death became a lot worse than it would have done.
  27. The modern cat’s earlier ancestor was thought to live about 30 million years ago. The modern day cat is thought to have been around for 12 millionyears.
  28. The word ‘Cat’ comes from the Latin word ‘Catus’ which means ‘Domestic cat’.
  29. An Asian Leopard cat who was also a tenth domestic short haired cat named Zeus was sold for an incredible $154,000.
  30. The word ‘Puss’ is thought to come from the Lithuanian word ‘Puz’.
  31. The correct name for a hairball is a ‘Bezoar’.
  32. Its thought that cats can detect earthquakes a full 10-15 minutes before humans can.
  33. Hamlet is thought to be the worlds’ most traveled cat after getting stuck on a plane. He is thought to have hidden on the plane for almost two months and was found after he had travelled almost 373,000 miles.
  34. A female cat is known as a ‘Queen’ or a ‘Molly’.
  35. The word ‘Tabby’ is thought to derive from the town of Attabiyah, in Baghdad. Tabby cats are so-called because their coats are similar to the patterned silk that is produced in Attabiyah.
  36. Weighing up to 700 pounds and more than 12 feet long, the biggest wildcat around today is the Siberian Tiger.
  37. In ancient Egypt, smuggling a cat out of the area could result in a death sentence.
  38. People in Asia are thought to eat nearly 4 million cats every year.
  39. Cats cannot chew large pieces of food as their jaws cannot move sideways.
  40. Egyptians used to worship a goddess known as ‘Bast’ she had a cat’s head and a woman’s body.
  41. While humans and dogs bob their head up and down when they run, cats keep theirs perfectly level.
  42. Have you ever seen a cat climb down a tree head first? They can’t because their claws point in the same direction, which means they have to climb down backwards.
  43. A Hebrew legend talks about Noah praying to God and asking for him to protect all of his food from rate. The legend says that God made a lion sneeze, and out jumped a cat.
  44. The prophet Mohammed loved cats and his favorite was a tabby named ‘Muezza’. Legend has it that tabbies have an ‘M’ on their head (Short for Mohammed) because he would rest his hand on the top of his cat’s head.
  45. A cat’s rear claws are not as sharp as those on the front, this is because they don’t retract and inevitably get worn down.
  46. Cats spend on average two thirds of their day sleeping.
  47. Just as we can be either left or right handed, so can cats. Female cats are usually right pawed whereas males tend to be left pawed.
  48. The world’s richest cat is named ‘Blackie’ who was left an incredible $25 million by his owner.
  49. Despite being domesticated, cats have not changed much in the last 9 thousand years.
  50. A cat can pretty much always find its way home. Scientists think cats either use magnetized brain cells that act as a compass or they use the angle of the sun to guide them home.
  51. Cats frequently meow at humans, but they hardly ever meow at other cats. Usually they stick to purring, hissing or spitting at other felines.
  52. According to Spanish/Jewish folklore, Adam’s first wife turned into a black vampire cat who sucked blood from sleeping babies.
  53. Incredibly cats have about one hundred and thirty thousand hairs per square inch of their body.
  54. There are approximately 500 million cats through-out the world and out of that staggering total there are around 40 different breeds.
  55. ‘Felicette’ was the first cat in space; she was sent with electrodes that had been implanted into her brain so that neurological signals could be sent back to earth.
  56. It is thought that there are approximately 60 million feral cats living in the United States
  57. ‘Himmy’ a Tabby cat who lived in Queensland, Australia is thought to be the heaviest cat ever to have lived. He weighed an incredible 47 pounds and lived until he was 10 years old.
  58. A single pair of cats along with their offspring can produce as many as 400,000 kittens in 7 years.
  59. Adult cats have a total of 30 teeth whereas kittens have approximately 26 teeth that will be lost when they reach 6 months old.
  60. Cats can see better in dimmer light than humans cat, but they are unable to see color as well as we do.
  61. ‘Kopi Luwak’ is a form of coffee that is drunk in Indonesia. This coffee is very rare and very expensive as it’s made from cat’s dung. Feral cats eat certain coffee berries and these are collected once the cat has passed them. The coffee is thought to cost as much as $500 for a one pound bag.
  62. It’s though that cats spend a third of their time cleaning themselves.
  63. ’Andy’ fell from the 16th floor of a building and managed to survive despite falling 200 feet.
  64. Sir Isaac Newton may have made a few scientific discoveries, but he was also the man to invent the cat flap. This kept is cats ‘Spithead’ and ‘Newton’ happy.
  65. It is though that ‘Kitty’ is the oldest cat to have ever given birth. At the grand old age of 30 she had 2 kittens, bringing her total to an incredible 218.
  66. Remarkably a cat’s brain is quite similar to a humans. Cat’s and humans both have very similar emotion-related regions in their brains.
  67. The Cheshire Cat in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is thought to be the most famous cat in the world.
  68. Russian Biologists discovered that when Siamese kittens change color, they do so due to a change in body temperature.
  69. While we humans have 206 bones in our body, cats have 230.
  70. When a cat rubs against you, it does so to mark is territory but it’s also an act of affection too. Scent glands can be found in the face, tail and paws.
  71. ‘Tinker Toy’ is thought to have been the lightest cat ever to exist. He weighed just 1 pound and was 2.75 inches tall and 7.5 inches long.
  72. In the UK and Australia, black cats are thought to be lucky. In North America and Europe, they are thought to bring bad luck.
  73. Just as our fingerprints are unique so too is the pattern that you can find on a cat’s nose.
  74. ‘Crème Puff’ is thought to be the oldest cat to have lived. She was born in Austin, Texas in 1967 and died 38 years later in 2005.
  75. A cat can live up to twenty years, which is about the equivalent of 96 human years.
  76. ‘Ailurophilia’ is the name given to cat lovers; it means ‘Cat’ and ‘Lover’ in Greek
  77. Every cat typically has 24 whiskers on its face
  78. Buddhists believe the body of a cat is a temporary resting place for very spiritual people. When the cat dies it’s thought they turn into super spirits.
  79. Kittens tend to sleep about 18 hours a day. They sleep so much because when they do a growth hormone is released.
  80. A ‘Singapura’ is known to be the smallest breed of cat. These tiny cats can weigh approximately 4 pounds. The ‘Maine Coon’ cat can weigh as much as 25 pounds.
  81. ‘Ear furnishings’ are those little hairs that can be found inside a cat’s ear. These hairs help to insulate the ears as well as directing sounds into them.
  82. A survey that took place in 2007 showed that men and women were just as likely to own a cat as each other.
  83. In 1891 the very first cat show took place in London, England. This was the first of many cat shows that became a worldwide phenomenon.
  84. Although the appearance of rabbits and cats differ greatly, internally only their kidneys are in different places
  85. ‘Nicky’ was the most expensive cat ever to be owned, as he was the clone of another cat. Nicky’s owner paid a staggering $50,000 for him.
  86. The costliest cat ever is named Little Nicky, who cost his owner $50,000. He is a clone of an older cat.
  87. ‘Mr. Pebbles’ is thought to have been the smallest cat on record. He weighed just 3 pounds and was 6.1 inches tall.
  88. A cat’s back contains 53 vertebrae that are incredibly flexible. We humans only have 34.
  89. Apart from the Cheetah, every single cat has claws that are drawn back in when the cat is resting.
  90. On St. John’s Day way back in the Middles Ages, people would burn cats as they associated them with witchcraft.
  91. Up to 33% of cat owners are sure their cat can read their mind.
  92. ‘Towser’ a cat who lived in Scotland was thought to have caught almost thirty thousand cats, people were so impressed by this that they built a tower in her honor
  93. Cats are able to tolerate high temperatures if they have plenty of water. A cat can incredibly survive 100-130°F.
  94. Cats cannot eat raw potatoes, raisins, grapes, onions, garlic or green tomatoes as they are poisonous to them.
  95. ‘Felix the Cat’ was the very first cartoon cat and was created in 1919.
  96. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical ‘Cats’ is based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T.S Eliot.
  97. We all know cats hate water, but we don’t all know why. It’s thought the reason behind this is their fur doesn’t insulate very well when it gets wet.
  98. In the Dutch embassy in Moscow, Russia, two Siamese cats discovered a set of hidden microphones. After hearing a microphone’s distinct high pitched noise when it’s turned on, the cats would claw at the walls. The cat’s owners finally investigated and discovered the microphones.
  99. Cats were introduced into the Americas by Europeans in the 1750’s as a form of pest control.
  100. Beating at an incredible 110-140 beats per minute, a cat’s heartbeat is thought to be 2 times as fast as a human’s.
  101. Cat’s sweat through their paws as this is the only part of their body that has sweat glands.