For our fellow ailurophiles (a.k.a. cat lovers), a list of interesting facts about cats inspired by an article on facts.randomhistory.com.
1. Cats make about 100 different sounds while dogs only make 10.
2. Humans and cats both have identical regions of the brain that are responsible for emotion.
3. Most female cats are right pawed while most male cats are left pawed.
4. While it is thought by most that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was actually found in a 9,500 year-old grave in the Mediterranean on the island of Cyprus, predating the early Egyptian art by over 4,000 years.
5. Cats are North America’s most popular pet; over 30% of households in North America own a cat.
6. In 1963, France sent the first cat into space for research purposes. Her name was Felicette (a.k.a. Astrocat).
7. A cat can hear high frequency sounds two octaves higher than a human can hear.
8. When a pet cat died in ancient Egypt, its family would mourn by shaving off their eyebrows to signify the loss and holding elaborate funerals where the cat was embalmed with a sculpted wooden mask. Then, the mummy was placed in the family tomb or a pet cemetery with mummies of mice.
9. A cat will rub against people not only to be affectionate but to mark its territory with the scent glands around its face.
10. Ailurophilia (Greek: cat+lover) is the term used for a cat lover.
11. Most cats don’t like water because their fur does not insulate well when it’s wet.
12. The earliest ancestor of the modern cat lived 30 million years ago. It is called the Proailurus meaning “first cat” in Greek.
13. Most veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by vibrating their vocal folds deep in the throat where a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the air passage about 25 times per second.
14. A cat can jump 5 times its own height in a single bound.
15. Isaac Newton invented the cat flap when he was experimenting in a pitch-black room where one of his cats, Spithead, kept opening the door and ruining his experiment.
16. The nose pad of every cat is ridged with a unique pattern just like the fingerprint of a human.
17. Cats are known for always landing on their feet because of their “righting reflex”. Their eyes combined with organs in the inner ear are are to orient them so they know where they are in space and enable them to land on their feet. Some cats have even survived falls of 65 feet due to this ability.
18. There are over 60 million feral cats in the United States alone.
19. The cats’ ability to find its way home is known as “psi-traveling”. In order to do this, scientists believe that cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or may have magnetized cells in their brain that act as a compass.
20. In Japan, cats are believed to have the power to turn into super spirits when they die. One of the reasons for this could be because according to Buddhism the body of the cat is the temporary resting place for very spiritual people.
21. Cats are very sensitive to vibrations; they are said to be able to detect earthquake tremors 10-15 minutes before humans.
22. Over 1/3 of cat owners believe that their pets can read their minds.
23. A cat’s eyesight is both better and worse than a human’s eyesight. While they can see in much dimmer light and have a wider peripheral view, they don’t see color as well. For example, scientists believe grass appears red instead of green to cats.
24. The richest cat is in the world is a cat named Blackie who was left £15 million (over $20 million) by his owner, Ben Rea.
25. The first cartoon cat was Felix the Cat who first appeared in 1919.
Know an interesting fact about cats? Share in the comments below!