Fascinating cat facts

They amaze us constantly with their little habits and ways, but there are many astounding facts you may not know about your cat that will really make you appreciate what fascinating creatures they are. Here are our top 20 facts about your feline friend:

  1. On average, cats spend two thirds of every day sleeping; that means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life!
  2. Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth – scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor.
  3. When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head and eyes level whereas both dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.
  4. A group of cats is called a ‘clowder’.
  5. Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed.
  6. A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on their paw points the same way, so to get down from a tree a cat must back down.
  7. Cats make about 100 different sounds; dogs make only about 10.
  8. A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s and they can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human can hear.
  9. Cats can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
  10. A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
  11. Cats usually have about 12 whiskers on each side of its face.
  12. 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’.
  13. A cat’s jaw can’t move sideways, so cats are unable to chew large chunks of food with a scissor action.
  14. A cat’s back is extremely flexible due to them having up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae, 22 to 23 of which are in their tail.
  15. One reason that kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep. They grow when they are asleep!
  16. Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (humans have only 6), and a cat can independently rotate its ears 180 degrees.
  17. The normal body temperature of a cat is between 100.5 °F and 102.5 °F; a cat is sick if its temperature goes below 100 °F or above 103 °F.
  18. A cat has 230 bones in its body, more than humans who have only 206. Cats have no collarbone; there is no ridged attachment between their fore legs and the body, so they can fit through any opening the size of its head.
  19. A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.
  20. If they have ample water, cats can tolerate temperatures up to 133 °F (but don’t try this at home!).

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