20 Cat Facts You Probably Didn’t KnowPetmania Pet Care Advisor
Cats are fascinating creatures, with many unique quirks, behaviours and history. Their mysterious personalities and cute looks makes them an extremely popular pet. According to the ‘Petmania Pet & Lifestyle Survey 2021’, almost 28 per cent of respondents have a cat in their home. 59 per cent of owners said they got a cat for companionship, while 16 per cent said their cat keeps mice at bay. Most cats, 67 per cent, live indoors. Companionship and joy are the overwhelming themes respondents noted about having a cat in their life.
Ever wondered why your cat sometimes stares at you with his mouth open, or why they are always more interested in the delivery box itself instead of of what actually came in it? These 20 fun cat facts we’ve compiled below are sure to put even surprise the most experienced cat parent!
- Ever wondered why your cat is rubbing his head on you? What he’s doing is actually his way of showing ownership over you; he is essentially marking his territory! This means your cat loves you, trusts you, and is showing pride in that you are his.
- If your cat raises his tail to show off his rear end, don’t be offended-this is a sign of friendship, and that your kitty feels secure and happy with you. This is like him giving a hug or a kiss! You can reciprocate by petting him or scratching him where he likes best.
- If your cat sleeps with his belly up, this is a sign he has an excellent relationship with his owner and that he feels secure in his environment. This is quite a vulnerable position for the cat to sleep in, so they would only take it whilst asleep if they felt completely safe and trusting of their surroundings and the people in them.
- Why do cats curl up into a cardboard box instead of a nice, soft bed? Small spaces can help your cat feel more secure. If they were out in the wild, they would not want to be unprotected in a wide, open area as it makes them vulnerable to predators. This instinct from their hunting days is still very much present in today’s domestic cats. By hiding in small spaces, they are able to keep an eye on their surroundings and observe from a safe distance.
- Cats tend to get a burst of energy in the middle of the night, much to the annoyance of their owners! Their nocturnal instincts to hunt combined with the energy built up during the day can cause havoc on your sleeping schedule. To combat this, make sure to exercise your cat during the day and play lots of games and puzzles to tire them out before bed.
- Cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents on the air. This is why you may find your cat occasionally staring at you with their mouth open—they are trying to taste smells!
- Cats sometimes have a dominant front paw. Experts say that male cats tend to favour their left paw while female cats may have a dominant right paw.
- Although cats are near-sighted (which means they can’t see far objects well), their night vision and peripherical vision are far superior to a human’s. They can see using roughly one-sixth the amount light that humans need.
- A cat’s whiskers serve an important function in helping him get around, especially at night. They act as ‘touch radars’ to help him navigate his environment and provide additional sensory input, much like antennae on insects.
- A female cat can become pregnant from as young as 4-6 months of age. The best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies in cats is through spaying and neutering.
- Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat in their diet to survive. Meat provides much of the essential nutrients they need, and they cannot digest plant material very well. Make sure your cat is on a healthy, balanced diet.
- Cats are sensitive to food changes, so be extremely careful if changing their diet. Their bodies have gotten used to the same food every day, so a sudden change can cause an upset tummy or diarrhoea. To transition your cat onto a different type of food, slowly integrate the new food into their old food over a period of a few days.
- Kittens should be weaned from 8 weeks, moving from a diet of their mother’s milk to solid foods. Choose a food that has been specifically developed to support the development needs of your growing kitten.
- Cats are lactose intolerant so they should always have access to fresh, clean water, but never milk.
- Kidney problems are prevalent in cats, particularly as they enter their senior years. A phosphorous-restricted diet may be needed for your older cat.
- The oldest known pet cat existed 9,500 years ago in Cyprus.
- Cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, where they were mummified, and sometimes even dressed in golden jewellery, to specify the status of their owners.
- A cat was the Mayor of an Alaskan town for 20 years—An orange tabby cat named Stubbs was the mayor of Talkeetna, a small town in Alaska from 1997 until his death in 2017.
- On October 18th 1963 Felicette, also known as ‘Astrocat’ was the first and only cat successfully launched into space.
- Domestic cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers; they also have a lot of common behaviours such as scent and urine marking, stalking prey, and pouncing.