101 Amazing Cat Facts: Fun Trivia About Your Feline Friend
January 28, 2021
You may love your cat, but you may not be fully aware of just how cool your she — and her overall species — really is. For example, did you know that cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents? Or that they developed meowing as a way to communicate exclusively with humans?
Clearly, there’s more to your little feline friend than meets the eye. So, to help you fully appreciate how awesome cats are, we asked cat care professionals on Care.com — namely, cat sitters, boarders, and groomers — to share their favorite fun facts about these mystical creatures. We then pulled together a list of the 101 most amusing cat facts that you can share with your friends and family.
Facts About Cat Anatomy & Physiology
A house cat’s genome is 95.6 percent tiger, and they share many behaviors with their jungle ancestors, says Layla Morgan Wilde, a cat behavior expert and the founder of Cat Wisdom 101. These behaviors include scent marking by scratching, prey play, prey stalking, pouncing, chinning, and urine marking.
Cats use their whiskers to “feel” the world around them in an effort to determine which small spaces they can fit into. A cat’s whiskers are generally about the same width as its body. (This is why you should never, EVER cut their whiskers.)
Female cats have the ability to get pregnant when they are only 4 months old!
Grapes and raisins, as well as onions, garlic, and chives, are all extremely harmful foods for cats. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure — although the reasoning behind that isn’t clear. Meanwhile, onions, garlic, and chives wreak havoc on your cat’s gastrointestinal system and can cause anemia.
It’s believed that catnip produces an effect similar to LSD or marijuana in cats. The effects of nepetalactone — the chemical in catnip that can makes cats crazy — wears off within 15 minutes, and won’t surface again for a few hours, even if your cat remains in sniffing distance.
Kittens can be spayed or neutered when they are only eight weeks old. If possible, these procedures should be performed in the first 5 months of your cat’s life.
Spaying and neutering can extend a cat’s life. The Banfield Pet Hospital study found that neutered males live an average of 62 percent longer than unneutered cats and spayed females live an average of 39 percent longer than unspayed cats.
Your cat’s grooming process stimulates blood flow to his skin, regulates his body temperature and helps him relax.
Every Scottish Fold cat in the world can trace its heritage back to the first one, which was found in Scotland in the 1960s, says Cheryl Hogan, a Scottish Fold breeder and the committee chair for the breed at The International Cat Association (TICA).
It’s not uncommon to see cats in food stores in big cities as a form of free — and adorable — pest control.
Kittens in the same litter can have more than one father. This is because the female cat releases multiple eggs over the course of a few days when she is in heat.
People often think that they’ve stumbled over a purebred as a stray or in a shelter, but Hogan says that this is very uncommon. “Ninety-nine times out of 100 what you have found on the street will not be purebred anything,” she says. “Very seldom do breeders sell kittens that are not already spayed or neutered,” as purebred cats need to meet very strict standards.
Some 700 million feral cats live in the United States, and many shelters run trap-neuter-release programs to stem the population growth.
Studies suggest that domesticated cats first appeared around 3600 B.C.