Think you know everything there is to know about cats? Purrr…obably not.
Just like any other animal, cats have their own ways of acting, thinking and behaving. Here are 12 facts you may not have known about your favorite feline friend(s):
- Cats’ eyes tell us a lot about how they hunt for food. Unlike humans whose pupils are round, cats’ pupils are vertically shaped. According to researchers, that tells us that they tend to ambush their prey. Since cats are active both in the day and at night, their vertical pupils help them see better at night and to avoid being blinded by the sun in the middle of the day.
- Wonder why cats rub their cheek against things or people? They’re leaving a scent or marking their territory. The scent of a cat leaves information about themselves for other cats in the neighborhood. However, a cheek rub on your leg or hand is the cat saying, “I like you so I want you to smell like me.”
- Here’s why cats typically ignore you when you call their name or give a command: Unlike dogs, researchers suggest that cats were not domesticated to listen to humans, obey their orders, or even try to please them. So, don’t take it purrr…sonally.
- Cats lack the ability to taste anything sweet. The reason might be because they come from a long line of meat-eaters so chocolate and other sugary foods aren’t even on their menu. But that’s probably a good thing since cats generally have bad teeth and, more than likely, are not fond of dentists.
- Cats can jump up to SIX TIMES their height! They have very strong muscles in their legs that catapult them into the air.
- Cats have 18 toes–five toes on each of their front paws and four toes on their back paws.
- Cats sleep for around 13 to 16 hours a day. That’s 70% of their life! Cats that live in the wild must sleep this much to save their energy to hunt for food. But what’s the excuse for house cats that live in a comfy environment and are fed every day? The desire to sleep is probably innate, and just feels good.
- Cats can be speedy! They can run up to 30 miles per hour. That’s faster than the fastest man on the planet, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.
- Cat whiskers aren’t just cute. They serve a very important function and act as “kitty radar”. Whiskers are connected to the cat’s sensitive muscular and nervous systems, allowing them to detect and respond to changes in their surroundings.
- Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, absolutely loved cats and would play with them for hours. He owned several cats during his time in the White House.
- In Ancient Egypt, members of a family would shave their eyebrows in mourning if their cat died. Cats were also sometimes mummified and placed in tombs with their owners.
- The oldest cat ever was Crème Puff, who lived 38 years and 3 days with her owner in Austin, Texas. She was born August 3, 1967, and died August 6, 2005. Every morning, she started her day with a giant breakfast: bacon and eggs, asparagus, broccoli, and coffee with heavy cream.
THIS really happened…
About a dozen years ago, 100 borrowed rescue cats were let loose in the IKEA furniture store in Wembley, England after the store closed. The company’s advertising team wanted to try an experiment. Since cats know better than anyone what makes them feel happy and comfortable, the team wanted to see which pieces of furniture made them happy and documented the nighttime adventure.
“The cats had a great time frolicking all over the store. There was so much to explore, so many textures, so much to scent mark, and all kinds of things to play with! And then there were all the shelves to climb on and countless places to perch. A furniture store turned out to be a feline paradise. There wasn’t much trouble either: only a few fights broke out and one cat was trapped behind a partition (a hole was cut so he could get out).”
But since then, no one has ever said what the cats were paid to spend a night inside the store. Cats are smart. They probably negotiated something far more purrfect for them than cash – perhaps the finest canned tuna from the store cafeteria?