10 Crazy Cat Facts
This one is for all those cat lovers and feline fanciers amongst us! Cats are fascinating creatures (cat Youtube videos anyone??) who, throughout history, have had a close connection to human beings and have been considered a part of the family by many.
In addition to funny cat videos, there is a plethora of information on cats and their behavior but we think we have found some facts that even the Ailurophile amongst us do not know!
Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
Experts believe cats have about 100 vocalizations, which they use to talk to us humans because we can’t read their body language, which includes subtle ear movements and tail twitches. Instead they use their own words to let us know what they’re feeling.
Cats cannot taste sugar and scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a taste receptor.
It may also be surprising to learn that humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds on their tongues compared to the paltry 470 that a cat has.
A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.
These little bumps and ridges (dogs have this same unique trait too) are exclusive to each animal and can be used for identification purposes, just like human fingerprints can.
In just seven years, a single pair of cats and their offspring could produce a staggering total of 420,000 kittens.
The reason de-sexing your kittens and cats is so important is because cats can reproduce several times a year and kittens mature quickly. Just 2 cats might quickly become 420,000! In fact, the feline reproduction statistics are staggering.
If you need help with the cost of de-sexing your cat, C.A.T.S may be able to help. Visit http://catassist.org.au/
A cat almost never meows at another cat, mostly just humans. Cats typically will spit, purr, and hiss at other cats.
A cat meows as a way of communicating with people. They meow for many reasons—to say hello, to ask for things, and to tell us when something’s wrong. Meowing is an interesting vocalization in that adult cats don’t actually meow at each other, just at people. Kittens meow to let their mother know they’re cold or hungry, but once they get a bit older, cats no longer meow to other cats. But they continue to meow to people throughout their lives, probably because meowing gets people to do what they want.
The ability of a cat to find its way home is called “psi-trailing.” Experts think cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.
This innate ability animals have to correctly detect the right direction to get back home again is sometimes referred to as a homing instinct. However, in recent years, a professor from Duke University came up with another name for it, he called it Psi Trailing. Dr. Joseph Rhine came up with what he thought was a good term to use to describe this almost psychic ability that animals have to either find an owner they have been separated from or a familiar home that they have been displaced from.
You can read more about PSI trailing here.
A cat’s eyesight is both better and worse than humans. It is better because cats can see in much dimmer light and they have a wider peripheral view. It’s worse because they don’t see colour as well as humans do. Scientists believe grass appears red to cats.
To see in full colour as we know it, humans use three cones – red, blue and green. However cats and dogs only have blue and green cones. This means they have a much more muted perception of colour, which is akin to colour blindness in humans. As cats and dogs are not sensitive to red light, they have difficulty distinguishing some colours.
The world’s rarest coffee, Kopi Luwak, comes from Indonesia where a wildcat known as the luwak lives. The cat eats coffee berries and the coffee beans inside pass through the stomach. The beans are harvested from the cat’s dung heaps and then cleaned and roasted. Kopi Luwak sells for about $500 for a 450g bag.
If you would like to try a sample of the world’s most exclusive coffee, you can now buy it online here.
A cat lover is called an Ailurophile (Greek: cat+lover).
A cat’s brain is biologically much more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.
The brain size of a cat is comparatively smaller than that of other species but relative brain size isn’t always the best indicator of intelligence. And the cat brain shares some amazing similarities with our own brains. It appears that surface folding and brain structure matter more than brain size. The brains of cats have a surface folding and structure that is very similar to that of the human brain, about 90 percent similar to be more exact. Morphologically, both cat brains and human brains have cerebral cortices with similar lobes.
Clutton-Brock, Juliet. Cat. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc, 2004
Piven, Hanoch. What Cats Are Made Of. New York, NY: GineeSeo Books, 2009.
Frith-Macdonald, Candida. Encyclopedia of Cats. New York, NY: Parragon Books Ltd, 2008.