41 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Your Cat

Kittens with their mother catYou spend hours with them every day.  They’re adorable, cuddly, funny, soft.  At times they can be infuriating, but you love them anyway.  Every feline has peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, but domestic cats also have a lot in common… and some of these generalities, you might not be aware of.

Below are 41 things you (probably) didn’t know about your cat.

  1. While you may think your cat is narcoleptic, it’s natural for them to spend a lot of time napping.  The average cat spends roughly 2/3 of its life sleeping.
  2. Cats don’t have collarbones – this allows them the flexibility to fit through openings the size of their heads.
  3. In North America, there are more cats than dogs.  In fact, according to the Encyclopedia of Cats, over 30% of households own at least one cat.
  4. A group of cats is called a clowder.
  5. According to Tips for Cats, all kittens are born with blue eyes.
  6. According to two psychologists at Queen’s University Belfast, female cats tend to be right-handed, while male cats favor the left.
  7. There are 40 recognized breeds of domestic cats in the world.
  8. According to Love Meow, “Cats can purr while inhaling and exhaling. This is a technique that we simply cannot imitate.”
  9. According to Jenni Bidner, author of Is My Cat a Tiger?, a “cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph over a short distance.”
  10. Also according to Bidner: “A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.”
  11. Egyptians were serious about their cats: they held funerals for their dead feline friends, then entombed them either in the family crypt or a pet cemetery, often surrounded by tiny mummies of dead mice.
  12. Also in Egypt, smuggling out a cat was punishable by DEATH.
  13. According to The Telegraph, the British government feeds 100,000 cats to keep down mice population on government property.
  14. The first cloned cat was named “Little Nicky” and cost $50,000.
  15. The world’s biggest wildcat is the Siberian Tiger.
  16. The largest litter on record is 19 kittens, 15 of which lived.  They probably had to eat in shifts.
  17. According to Random Facts, “In Holland’s embassy in Moscow, Russia, the staff noticed that the two Siamese cats kept meowing and clawing at the walls of the building. Their owners finally investigated, thinking they would find mice. Instead, they discovered microphones hidden by Russian spies. The cats heard the microphones when they turned on.”
  18. Also per Random Facts, “One reason that kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep.”
  19. A cat named Andy fell 16 apartment stories and survived – the record height for a cat fall.
  20. Kittens lose their “baby” teeth at around 6 months old.
  21. Cats are CLEAN – probably cleaner than you.  They spend 1/3 of their “awake time” grooming.
  22. According to the Way of Cats, our furry friends must learn to climb down a tree, whereas climbing up is instinctive.  They also can’t climb down head-first because their paws point the same direction, so they are forced to back down.
  23. According to 25 Strange But Interesting Facts About Cats, “Cat urine glows in the dark when a black light shines on it. If you think your cat or kitten has had an accident in your home, use a black light to find the mishap.”
  24. The world’s first cat show occurred in London in 1871.
  25. After a cat named Hamlet escaped his carrier on a flight, he travelled an estimated 373,000 miles before being discovered seven weeks later.
  26. The average cat has about 130,000 hairs per square inch.
  27. The biggest domestic cat breed is the Maine Coon.
  28. According to Science Kids, “The heaviest domestic cat on record is 21.297 kilograms (46 lb 15.2 oz).”
  29. It’s not just Amazon’s idea:  a group of baby cats is sometimes called a kindle.
  30. According to Catster, “A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 during its first year, then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, it ages approximately four ‘cat years’ for every calendar year. Thus, a 5-year-old feline would be approximately 36 in cat years.”
  31. The Pet Wiki claims Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan all suffered from ailurophobia, the abnormal fear of cats.
  32. English writer Geoffrey Chaucer cited a cat door in his 14th Century work Canterbury Tales, so we know they are at least that old.
  33. The primary use of a cat’s whiskers is to determine if he or she can fit through an opening.
  34. Grown cats rarely, if ever, meow at one another.  As kittens, cats meow to ask things of their mothers – so if your grown cat talks to you, it may be an indication that he or she sees you as a maternal figure.
  35. The lifespan of the average cat is between 15 and 20 years.
  36. The most expensive cat breed?  Reportedly the Ashera costs $125,000.  It is a hybrid of the domestic housecat, the Asian Leopard Cat and an African serval.  The most expensive specific cat on record was an ALC-Domestic Shorthair blend named Zeus.  He sold for $154,000.
  37. According to PBS Nature, 25% of cat owners blow dry their cat’s hair after a bath.
  38. In 2006, between cats and dogs, Americans spent $23.2 billion on veterinary care.
  39. People are allergic to cat dander, not cat fur.
  40. Unless they are polydactyl (aka multiple-toed, aka Hemingway cats), cats have five claws on their front feet and four on their back.
  41. Florence Nightingale named a number of her cats after famous figures, including Otto von Bismarck.

About Stacy @Trupanion

Social Media Manager
Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

6 Responses to 41 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Your Cat

  1. Tracy says:

    Regarding #2- Cats actually do have clavicles (or collarbones) but their clavicles are free floating and this helps them squeeze into small openings.

  2. Ren says:

    Reguarding #39. People are allergic to cat dander, not cat fur. This is false. People aren’t allegric to fur or dander. They are allergic to the proteins in their spit. So, when they clean themsleves and get their proteins on their fur, that is what causes the allergies.

    Siberian cats are hypoallergenic, not because they have less dander, because they have more and shed more because they have long hair. It is because they carry less proteins in their saliva than other cat breeds. Also, the sphynx is hypoallergenic, not because it has no fur, because it has no fur to lick to cause allergic reaactions.

    • Inomore says:

      You’re falser than a fat feline on friday.

    • Rachelle says:

      It is true you aren’t allergic to the hair. When cats clean themselves, in their saliva is an amino acid, which is a protein, that is deposited on the fur and it sheds, that’s what people are allergic to. Sphynix are not hypoallergenic. They still clean and lick their skin, and the saliva flakes off. The reaction is no different. Z

  3. Bec says:

    Number 22# – My cat runs up trees and runs face forward down them. Also, jumps from branch to branch. When showing off, she’ll run up the tree by about a metre and let go falling back down to the garden. She’s crazy – but I adore her :)

  4. tabby Cat Health Facts says:

    We are never left in the car. It isn’t illegal butt maybe it should be here.
    Have a fantastic Monday.Finest wishes Molly

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