112 Amazing Facts About Cats

Did you know that a lack of cats caused the Black Death? Or that your cat rubs up against you not because it loves you but because it’s marking its territory?

It’s true.

As if you needed more reasons to love your kitty, here are more than 100 AMAZING cat facts we’ve compiled from across the web.

5 Facts About Cats With Jobs:

  1. Disneyland employs about 200 cats to hunt the real Mickey Mouses around the park at night.[1]
  2. Stubbs the cat was honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for 20 years.[2]
  3. Sweet Tart, a 9-year-old cat, was the purrfect candidate in the 2018 mayoral elections in Omena, Michigan. She won in a slight margin over Diablo Shapiro, a dog who graciously accepted the office of vice mayor.
  4. Tama, with the help of her two trusty assistants Chibi and Miiko, was the station master of Kishi Train Station in Japan until her death in 2015.[3]
  5. Millie, armed with a small badge and a uniform, protects Bandai’s warehouse as the official security guard of the Japanese video game company.

22 Facts About Your Cats Incredible Body:

a black and white cat yawning

  1. Cat tongues are actually dotted with sharp, backward-facing hooks that help them groom and eat meat.[4]
  2. Cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulders by free-floating clavicle bones. This means they can twist and contort their bodies to fit through any opening their head can fit through.[5]
  3. Cat whiskers aren’t just for making your cat more handsome. In fact, they serve many important purposes. They can sense vibrations, relay important info about prey, helps cats navigate their environment, and even help them determine if they can fit through tight openings.
  4. Cats are more likely to survive a fall from higher up than from shorter heights. This is because it takes them a while to adjust their bodies in mid-air. With more time to adjust, they can flip their bodies and land on their feet.
  5. Cats get stuck in trees because they can’t climb down head-first. All of their claws curve downward, meaning they can only crawl down backward.
  6. Cats sleep 50%-70% of the day, storing up as much energy as possible to attack their toy mouse through the night.[6]
  7. Ever wonder why your cat stares at you all the time with her mouth open? It’s because they have a special organ calls a Jacobson’s Organ that lets them “taste” smells. It is especially used to analyze scents from other cats.[7]
  8. Cats have the largest eyes in relation to body size of any mammal.[8]
  9. A cat’s tail has 10% of its total bone structure. This helps the cat stay balanced when walking on fences or tree limbs.
  10. Due to their hardworking kidneys, cats can drink salt water.[9]
  11. Male cats are more likely to be left-pawed while females are the opposite.
  12. Cats have 300 million neurons, about double that of dogs. This is probably why your pup is always so excited to see you and your cat doesn’t even bother getting up.[10]
  13. Cat paws are extra soft so they can sneak up on prey (OR YOU).
  14. Cats have 1,000 times more data storage than an iPad.
  15. Cats can move their ears 180 degrees and at separate times.
  16. Cat noses are ridged and unique. They are basically the equivalent of a human fingerprint.
  17. Cats need 7 times less light to see at night than you do.
  18. It sucks for them, but cats can’t taste sweet things.[11]
  19. Cats have between 230-250 bones in their body.
  20. Cats can jump up to 6 times their length.
  21. Cats can hear 2 octaves higher than a human.
  22. Cats normally have 18 toes.

17 Facts About Cats As Pets:

  1. People have had cats as pets since at least 9,500 B.C.[12]
  2. The earliest evidence of cat domestication comes from China around 5,300 years ago.[13]
  3. When a family cat died in Ancient Egypt, the family mourned their loss by shaving their eyebrows.
  4. There are 8 million pets cats in the UK.[14]
  5. You think you’re the first pet owner to dress their kitty up? Think again. Ancient Egyptians dressed their cats in jewels and ornate costumes. Step your game up.
  6. Cats represented sexuality and fertility in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians also thought they were magic animals capable of bringing good luck.
  7. As many as 300,000 cats were found mummified, many with their owners, at a temple dedicated to Bastet (a god depicted as a feline/human).
  8. Spaying or neutering your pet kitty helps them live up to 62% longer.[15]
  9. Dogs were more useful to humans when we were hunter-gatherers, so cats were domesticated long after. It wasn’t until humans settled and stored surplus crops that cats began to notice how useful we were.
  10. The first cat show in England took place in 1871.[16]
  11. Cats are by far the most popular pets in Europe (102,000,000 cats in the EU)! [17]
  12. There are estimated to be 10 million feral cats in the UK.[18]
  13. Brits with cats are 33% less likely to have a stroke.[19]
  14. The average house cat lives about 15 years.
  15. Your cat perceives you as just another cat. Only a big, hairless one.
  16. Owning a cat decreases your risk of heart disease.[20]
  17. A litter of cats is called a kindle.

15 Cat Psychology and Behaviorial Facts:

a thoughtgul looking cat takes a nap wearing big glasses

  1. Cats will lick an owner’s hair to signify they love you and consider you part of their family.
  2. Cats rub against you to mark their territory and show affection.
  3. Cats lick themselves after you pet them to take your scent off.
  4. Your cat’s instinctual prey drive tempts it to attack your ankles when you walk.[21]
  5. Meowing is a language developed exclusively for humans. Cats communicate to each other in a variety of ways but only meow to get things from people—and also from mothers at birth.[22]
  6. Ever wonder why your cat is always in a box or laundry basket? Their instincts tell them to seek out safe places for hiding, stalking prey, and sleeping.
  7. Cats will often steal things from their owners that look like prey. House cats are known to take stuffed animals and hide them.
  8. Pet cats bring you dead birds or mice not as gifts but to show you hunting skills they think you lack.[23]
  9. Cats love to sleep on things that smell like you…even dirty laundry.
  10. Cats can change their meow to manipulate humans.
  11. Cats are known to cackle at birds they see from the window, perhaps preparing the jaw to bite quickly in a sneak attack.
  12. Cats often have a condition known as pica that makes them chew plastic or other non-food materials to control anxiety.[24]
  13. Cats stare at their owners for an extended period of time with unblinking eyes. This could be to try and control your mind, but veterinarians think it’s because they want your attention.
  14. When cats play fight, they take turns between offence and defence to make it fair.
  15. Punishments only work while a cat is misbehaving. A delay of a few seconds will render the punishment ineffective.

6 Cat Myths Debunked:

cat sat on the branch of a tree silhoutted against the orange moon

  1. Cats are not all cynical loners. Most actually suffer from separation anxiety that results in behaviours like vomiting and urinating outside the litter box.[25]
  2. Cats shouldn’t just be left alone by their owners. They love playtime and shared activities.
  3. Clawing isn’t always a behavioural issue. Cats claw for numerous reasons, including sharpening their claws and relieving anxiety.[26]
  4. Discipline is not always the best way to deal with a cat’s bad behaviour. Showing them a positive behaviour is actually more effective. For example, if they are clawing the couch, don’t spray them with water. Instead, give them a scratching post an encourage them to use it.
  5. Despite evidence to the contrary (falling from 20 stories and surviving), cats don’t actually have 9 lives. They only live once. Do not tempt fate.
  6. Unlike in the cartoons, most cats are lactose intolerant.[27]

20 Historical Cat Facts:

a ginger cat sits on historic steps somewhere in turkey

  1. Pope Gregory the 9th declared black cats to be instruments of the devil.
  2. It is widely believed that the persecution of cats led to the Black Plague, a scourge carried by fleas of rats.
  3. Cardinal Richelieu, of “The Three Musketeers” fame, was a cat fanatic who had a cattery on his residence and popularized them as pets in French society. He gave his cats amazing names like Ludovic le Cruel, Ludoviska, and Gazette.[28]
  4. Catherine the Great of Russia promoted her cats to guards and gave them a salary.[28]
  5. Unsinkable Sam survived 3 shipwrecks during World War 2. One with the German navy and 2 with the British Royal Navy.
  6. The richest cat in history is Tommaso, a former stray from Rome. His owner died and left him $13 million dollars, including homes in Rome and Milan.[29]
  7. Cat pics aren’t just for Instagram. The oldest photos of cats date back to the late 19th century, including this one.
  8. In the 18th century, Maneki Neko, or ornate cat statues, became popular in Japan. They are thought to bring good luck and now have entire temples dedicated to them! [30]
  9. A village in Taiwan was saved by cats…literally. A little coal mining town was about to be functionally abandoned when its stray cats became an internet sensation. Now the town as a tourism board and things are picking up!
  10. The Vikings revered cats just as much as the Egyptians did. In fact, gifting a cat to a newly wedded couple was considered a good luck charm.[31]
  11. The site where Julius Caesar was killed is now a cat sanctuary due to his love for cats.[32]
  12. English photographer Harry Pointer took photos of cats performing human behaviors (like drinking milk) as far back as the 1870s.[33]
  13. There’s a monument to Towser the cat in Scotland, who caught over 30,000 mice in her lifetime.[34]
  14. In Ancient Egypt, killing a cat was illegal and could carry a death sentence.
  15. Cats have been some of the most famous cartoon characters. The first cat cartoon dates back to 1919.
  16. Europeans eventually introduced cats to their American colonies to control pests.
  17. Cats were able to detect Russian spy microphones hidden in the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, Russia in the 1960s. Seriously.[35]
  18. The CIA tried to equip a cat with spy equipment to learn Soviet secrets in the Cold War.
  19. In the 1870s, one Belgian town tried to use cats to deliver mail to homes. It didn’t work.[36]
  20. In 1963, France sent the first cat into space. Sadly, “Felicette” was put down shortly after her return for further study.

10 Cat Records:

a black and white cat stares at some cat toys in a cat tunnel

  1. The Egyptian Mau cat can reach a top speed of 49 km/hr. Faster than Usain Bolt! [37]
  2. The largest litter ever recorded was 19 kittens! 15 survived.
  3. The largest feline animal is the Siberian Tiger. At 317 kg (about 700 pounds), it’s the size of a small car.
  4. The Maine Coone is the largest pedigreed cat at roughly 11 kg.
  5. The smallest pedigreed cat is the Singapura at 1.8 kg.
  6. The fattest cat of all time was Himmy, a cat from Australia who weighed in at a whopping 21.3 kg.[38]
  7. The smallest cat of all time is Tinker Toy, at a teeny 7 cm tall and 19 cm long.[38]
  8. The record for most kittens from one cat belongs to Dusty, a tabby cat from Texas. She produced 420 kittens over 17 years.[38]
  9. The oldest cat on record was a tabby cat from Devon. “Puss” was a whopping 36 years old when he went to cat heaven in 1939.[38]
  10. The oldest known cat to give birth was “Kitty,” who mothered 2 kittens at the ancient age of 30.

11 Random Cat Facts:

cat pulling a funny face in the dark

  1. According to a Gallup Poll, men and women are equally likely to own cats, despite the stereotype of the crazy cat lady.[39]
  2. Chocolate can be lethal to cats.
  3. A cat’s jaw can’t move sideways.
  4. Cats can navigate long distances to return home most likely via the Earth’s magnetic field. However, unlike dogs, they are likely returning to their territory and not to you specifically. Sorry! [39]
  5. Cats usually have 24 whiskers.
  6. Birmingham is the cat capital of England with over 70,000 cats.[40]
  7. The Welsh love Bengal cats, the Scots love ragdolls, and the Northern Irish love Siamese.[40]
  8. The district with the most pedigreed cats is West London. Surprise surprise.[40]
  9. The British Shorthair is the most popular breed in the UK with over 46,000 microchipped breeds.[40]
  10. There are approximately 40 recognized cat breeds in the world.
  11. Cats can make roughly 100 vocal sounds.

6 Superstitious Cat Facts from Around the World:

black cat sits on a tidy bookcase

  1. Black cats are widely believed to be unlucky, mostly due to a decree from 1233 declaring them the incarnation of Satan! Of course, this is not true…or is it?
  2. Some European countries believe that pregnant women shouldn’t keep cats in the house for fear of contracting a toxoplasmosis infection.
  3. Contrary to the general black cat superstition, in France, they believe a well-cared-for black cat will bring wealth. The chat d’argent is one of the few positive black cat superstitions.
  4. In Scandinavia, they use to believe cats helped with conceiving children.
  5. Italians believe that a cat sneeze is a sign of good luck.
  6. Sailors used to use cats to predict their voyages. If the cat meowed, they believed it would be a rough voyage.

Sources:

  1. http://disneylandcats.com/faq/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stubbs_(cat)
  3. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/new-cat-stationmaster/index.html
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_anatomy
  5. https://web.archive.org/web/20061206105542/http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/zoolab/Table_of_Contents/Lab-9b/Cat_Skeleton_1/cat_skeleton_1.htm
  6. https://www.spca.org/document.doc?id=48
  7. https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/what-is-the-vomeronasal-organ/
  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150219-the-worlds-most-sensitive-eyes
  9. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/dog-family-tree-exercise-in-a-pill-the-tiniest-car-race-in-history-1.4101045/quirks-questions-can-cats-really-drink-saltwater-1.4101119
  10. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201302/how-smart-is-your-cat-1
  11. https://www.petful.com/food/why-cant-cats-taste-sweet-things/
  12. http://theconversation.com/earliest-evidence-of-cat-domestication-found-in-china-21552
  13. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/1/116
  14. https://media.rspca.org.uk/media/facts
  15. https://www.banfield.com/about-us/news-room/press-releases-announcements/spaying-and-neutering-may-contribute-to-longer-lif
  16. http://messybeast.com/showing.htm
  17. https://www.statista.com/statistics/453880/pet-population-europe-by-animal/
  18. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/if-we-dont-contain-britains-burgeoning-feral-cats-the-rest-of-our-wildlife-will-suffer-the-8226652.html
  19. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1582144/Owning-a-cat-cuts-stroke-risk-by-third.html
  20. https://www.2ndchance.info/toxoplasmosis-Gosling2010.pdf
  21. https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/stop-your-cat-from-biting-your-ankles/
  22. https://www.purina.com.au/cats/behaviour/meow
  23. https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/why-do-cats-bring-home-dead-animals/
  24. http://www.vetstreet.com/care/pica-and-coprophagy
  25. https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/separation-anxiety-in-cats/
  26. https://www.paws.org/library/cats/behavior/destructive-scratching/
  27. https://cattime.com/cat-facts/health/10941-why-milk-is-bad-for-cats
  28. http://mentalfloss.com/article/85413/10-historys-craziest-cat-people
  29. http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/12/13/a-pet-in-the-one-percent-woman-leaves-13-million-to-her-cat/
  30. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maneki-neko
  31. https://www.canidae.com/blog/2009/05/norwegian-forest-cat-ancient-breed-has-mythological-origins/
  32. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/torre-argentina-roman-cat-sanctuary
  33. http://www.photohistory-sussex.co.uk/BTNPointerCats.htm
  34. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/214413632233013852/
  35. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19640526&id=GZ4tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oJ8FAAAAIBAJ&pg=2129,5072223&hl=en
  36. http://mentalfloss.com/article/64025/time-cats-delivered-mail-belgium?utm_medium=google
  37. https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/05/22/9-fastest-cat-breeds.aspx
  38. http://www.oocities.org/gerine/records.htm
  39. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HWsfJAQALT8C&pg=PA518&lpg=PA518&dq=men+and+women+are+equally+likely+to+own+a+cat&source=bl&ots=fNxtMNJKFh&sig=US6oFAvrz-EpxHm1171_2-X3e1c&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=men%20and%20women%20are%20equally%20likely%20to%20own%20a%20cat&f=false
  40. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/cat-map-britain-wheres-most-5184092

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