Did you know that cats are the most popular pet in the United States? Or that cats can make over 100 distinctive sounds compared to dogs, who make around 10? Or that when a cat is rubbing against your leg, he’s marking his territory?
There’s more to a kitty than simply beauty and agility. Here are just a few of their fascinating physiological facts:
- Ever wonder why your cat doesn’t like water? Scientists believe its because their coats can’t provide adequate insulation.
- There are over 20 muscles that control the movement of a cat’s ears, which makes it possible for cats to move their ears 180 degrees. These muscles also give cats the ability to move their ears separately. Their hearing is so acute that it’s possible for them to hear frequencies as high as 64 kHz.
- Cats “taste-scent” the air with an extra organ. The next time you see a cat grimacing, it’s possible he’s tasting the air!
- A cat’s nose is as unique to them as a human fingerprint is to us.
- Cats sweat through their footpads.
- Giving milk to a cat isn’t such a good thing, as kitties are often lactose intolerant!
- Free-floating clavicle bones between their shoulders and forelimbs allow cats to squeeze through very small spaces.
- A purring cat may be performing an act of self-healing, as the frequency of a domestic feline’s purr is the same frequency at which muscles and bones repair themselves.
Cats have shared their lives with humans for thousands of years. Here are a few interesting historic facts about our feline friends:
- In ancient Egypt, cats were symbols of divinity. The goddess Bastet was commonly depicted as a cat and considered the protector of the home and women.
- Abraham Lincoln was fond of cats, keeping four kitties in the White House during his tenure.
- In ancient Japan, cats were considered guardians of the home.
- During the Middle Ages, feline superstitions flourished, portraying cats as evil or witch-like, and possessing supernatural powers.
- Kitty litter was once sand but was replaced in the 1940s by absorbent clay.
- Recent DNA testing shows domestic cats originated in Mesopotamia and lived with humans over 100,000 years ago.
And let’s not forget some famous or well-known cats:
- A cat named Felicette was the first and only cat to travel to space in October of 1960.
- A cat dubbed “Oscar, Unsinkable Sam”, supposedly survived three separate shipwrecks during the WWII era; he was found clinging to a floating plank during all three rescues!
- There’s a ghost cat that is said to haunt the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. Known as “The Demon Cat” or “D.C.”, sightings reportedly take place prior to national disasters.
- For over 20 years, Stubbs the cat has been the mayor of Talkeetna, Arkansas.He was voted into office in 1997 as a write-in candidate when the voters rejected the pool of human candidates.
- Last but not least, a cat named Tommaso is the richest feline in the world. His owner willed Tommaso, once a homeless stray, a cool $13 million back in 2011.
Don’t forget…May 30th is International Hug Your Cat Day…celebrate by giving your favorite feline an affectionate hug!