25 Fascinating Feline Facts!
By Leigh Holland
The first pet I ever had was a puppy named Snow. I was about ten months old and I don’t really remember him. Sadly, he grew to be bigger than I was and kept knocking me down. I thought it was funny, but my mom sure didn’t. And one day, there was no more Snow.
My dad brought home two adorable twin kittens on my first day of kindergarten. Beautiful tabby cats. I named the aggressive, energetic one Tiger and the sweet, calm one was Fluffy. I loved those sweeties. Sadly, they were killed by a mean old man down the street. I’ll spare you the gory details. He killed them because my dad complained when the old man’s pit bull knocked me down and attacked me as I walked to school. RIP, Tiger and Fluffy.
My next pet was a grey cat with white paws. The paws reminded me of shoes, so I named him Spats. Spats was a wild, roaming cat, who adored me. He saved me from a snake, killing it. Ever since that day, he decided I was his responsibility. We looked after each other. When he got mauled in a catfight, I nursed him back to health, tending his wounds and feeding him vitamins. I was devastated when he finally passed away. It would be another 20 years before I’d have another cat.
Currently, my family is owned by a tuxedo cat who thinks we are big, misshapen, mostly hairless, very clumsy cats. He is a very sweet-natured, lovable kitty named Xavier. We lack tails and the muscles to our ears don’t work nearly so well as his do, so we’re clearly communication-challenged. He does what he can to help us out by meowing a lot, especially late at night. Xavier lays in the main walkway, sprawled so that nobody can get past without acknowledging his presence to avoid stepping on him. When everyone is in the living room, he plops on the couch in the center of the action so he can set an example for us to follow. He’s the chief cat of his tribe, taking pity on the rest of us obviously inferior felines. He enjoys sneaking up behind people so they trip over him. He’s really just trying to improve our gracefulness. It’s all to be helpful, you see. Xavier tests our non-catlike reflexes by randomly entering the room, sauntering over to a drink, and slowly reaching over to knock it off the table. I keep wondering what prize we get when someone finally catches it before it spills.
Here are some fascinating feline facts for cat lovers everywhere.
- Cats can’t move their jaw sideways so they like smaller bites of food.
- Milk gives cats diarrhea if given too often and cats don’t need milk so long as they get proper nutrition from food and water.
- Putting garlic on a cat’s food will NOT get rid of its worms.
- If you allow your cat to lick its wounds too often, it will slow down the healing process and possibly make the wounds worse.
- Cats are now the most popular pet in America, with dogs being a very close second.
- The righting reflex, which allows a cat to land on its feet, has saved some cats’ lives from pretty high falls. Keep an eye on kitty, though, falling can still cause broken bones even if he lands feet first.
- Cats think water is tasty. Yum!
- Cats cannot taste sweets.
- Kittens sleep almost all day. Cats sleep as many as 20 hours out of every 24. They spend 70% of their lives asleep.
- Pet cats reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by 32%.
- Cats never meow to each other, just to people. They communicate with each other mostly through scent.
- In America, black cats were considered bad luck. In Asia, they’re good luck charms.
- The world’s smallest kitty is 2.75 inches tall.
- Cats have an uncanny ability to find their way home even over many miles.Experts are unsure how they do it, though the theories include specialize brain cells using magnetism or navigation using the angle of the sun.
- Declawing is banned in 22 countries, but legal in the United States.
- Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four on each back paw.
- A group of cats is a glaring. “ A Glaring of Cats”. Sounds about right.
- Female cats favor their right paw while males favor their left paw.
- Cats can jump over 5 times their own length.
- Cats can rotate their heads up to 180 degrees.
- There are 58 breeds of cats.
- When cats purr at frequencies between 24-120 vibrations per minute, it aids in bone growth and repairs their muscles and tendons.
- The average cat has 12 whiskers on the side of its face. These help it navigate in the dark.
- The hair growing inside the cat’s ears help direct sound and keep out dirt.
- Cats can in fact get rabies just like dogs can and should be vaccinated regularly.