Interesting Facts About Cats

Interesting Facts About Cats
  • Did you know that domestic cats can run about 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour??
  • Did you know that the cat's tail is an extension of its backbone, and the flexible tail helps a cat keep its balance and land on its feet when it falls??
  • Did you know that a cat can move each ear independently, and improve its hearing by aiming the cup of its ears in the direction from which a sound is coming??
  • Domestic cats are capable of sprinting at about 31 miles per hour.
  • When cats walk or run, they step with both left legs, then both right legs, and so forth.
  • Cats are capable of jumping 5 times as high as they are tall.
  • When grooming, cats lose almost as much fluid through saliva as they do when they urinate.
  • Nearly 30% of a cat's life is spent grooming itself.
  • Cats' brains are more similar to the human brain than they are to dogs. In fact, cats and humans have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
  • The hair on a cat's body will stand up fairly evenly all over the body when the cat is frightened, but the hair will stand up only in a narrow band along the spine and tail when the cat is threatened or ready to attack.
  • It has been scientifically proven that owning cats is good for our health and can decrease the occurrence of high blood pressure and other illnesses.
  • Stroking a cat can help to relieve stress, and the feel of a purring cat on your lap conveys a strong sense of security and comfort.
  • The ancient Egyptians were the first civilisation to realise the cat's potential as a vermin hunter and tamed cats to protect the corn supplies on which their lives depended.
  • Sir Isaac Newton is not only credited with the laws of gravity but is also credited with inventing the cat flap.
  • A cat has more bones than a human being; humans have 206 and the cat has 230 bones.
  • A cat's hearing is much more sensitive than humans and dogs.
  • The cat's tail is used to maintain balance.
  • Cats see six times better in the dark and at night than humans.
  • Cats eat grass to aid their digestion and to help them get rid of any fur in their stomachs.
  • A healthy cat has a temperature between 38 and 39 degrees Celcius.
  • Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
  • The female cat reaches sexual maturity at around 6 to 10 months and the male cat between 9 and 12 months.
  • A female cat will be pregnant for approximately 9 weeks or between 62 and 65 days from conception to delivery.
  • The average litter of kittens is between 2 - 6 kittens.
  • Ailurophile is the word cat lovers are officially called.
  • Purring does not always indicate that a cat is happy. Cats will also purr loudly when they are distressed or in pain.
  • All cats need taurine in their diet to avoid blindness. Cats must also have fat in their diet as they are unable to produce it on their own.
  • In households in the UK and USA, there are more cats kept as pets than dogs. At least 35% of households with cats have 2 or more cats.
  • When a cats rubs up against you, the cat is marking you with it's scent claiming ownership.
  • About 37% of American homes today have at least 1 cat.
  • Milk can give some cats diarrhea.
  • The average lifespan of an outdoor-only cat is about 3 to 5 years while an indoor-only cat can live 16 years or much longer.
  • On average, a cat will sleep for 16 hours a day.
  • A domestic cat can run at speeds of 30 mph.
  • The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled over the last fifty years.
  • Blue-eyed, white cats are often prone to deafness.
  • The cat's front paw has 5 toes and the back paws have 4. Cats born with 6 or 7 front toes and extra back toes are called polydactl.
  • An adult cat has 30 teeth, 16 on the top and 14 on the bottom.
  • There are approximately 60,000 hairs per square inch on the back of a cat and about 120,000 per square inch on its underside.
  • Cats and kittens should be acquired in pairs whenever possible as cat families interact best in pairs.
  • In multi-cat households, cats of the opposite sex usually get along better.
  • The first official cat show in the UK was organised at Crystal Palace in 1871.
  • More than 50 million years ago, a small, "weasel-like" animal called "Miacis" roamed the Earth. Most scientists now believe that this animal was the ancestor of today's domestic cats, as well as the ancestor for other mammals including raccoons, dogs and bears. It was about 40 million years ago that actual members of the cat family first appeared.
  • As early as 3500 B.C., Egyptians were domesticating wildcats from Africa, and these domesticated wildcats became treasured pets and were honored in many forms of artwork for their skill in hunting and killing rodents such as snakes, rats and mice.
  • Around 1500 B.C., cats were actually considered sacred by the Egyptians, and if a person killed a cat, they were usually put to death. Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a symbol of their grief when their pet cat died, and they made their dead cats into mummies. They also worshipped a goddess of fertility and love named "Bast" or "Bastet", who had the body of a woman and the head of a cat.
  • Cats first came to Europe and the Middle East about 1000 B.C., most likely from Greek and Phoenician traders. The ancient Greeks and Romans also highly valued cats for their ability to control undesirable rodents. The cat was considered the guardian spirit of a household, and the symbol of liberty in Rome.
  • Domestic cats then spread throughout Asia, where they were used to protect the silkworm cocoons from rodents, which was vital to the silk industry. The people of the Orient greatly admired the mystery and beauty of the cat, and many writers and artists in Japan and China celebrated these animals in their art.
  • During the Middle Ages, however, superstitions flourished. In Europe the cat was associated with the Devil, evil and witchcraft, and hundreds of thousands of cats were killed out of this fear. The destruction of so many cats upset the balance of the rodent population contributing greatly to the spread of a form of the bubonic plague called "black death", in which the deadly disease is transmitted to people by rat fleas. Almost one fourth of the entire population in Europe in the 1300's were killed by this plague.
  • Not surprisingly, Europeans once more began to realize the important role cats played in controlling rodents, and cats gradually regained their popularity. Traders, explorers and colonists brought domestic cats with them to the New World during the 1600's and 1700's, and settlers continued to take their cats with them as they moved towards the West. Most all the cats of today in North America are descendants of these cats.
  • Did you know that the very first cat show was held in London in 1871?? And that the first cat association was formed in 1887 in Great Britain, called the National Cat Club of Great Britain?? Cat associations register purebred cats by recording the ancestries (pedigrees) of the animals to ensure the preservation of the breeds. These associations also sponsor cat shows and establish the standards for judging of each breed. Breeders and pet owners display their finest cats at these shows, where the cats compete in groups based on factors such as breed, age, and sometimes sex. Highly trained judges at these shows award points for how well each cat meets the standards of their breed, and cats that earn enough points may become champions or grand champions.
All cats are descendants of one type of cat

Whether your kitty meows or roars, it is a descendant of the Felis silvestris species, which is divided into the African wildcat, European wildcat and Steppe wildcat.

The smallest of the descendants is the rusty-spotted cat found in Sri Lanka. It is about half the size of the domestic cat. The largest is the tiger. The male Siberian or Amur Tiger has a total body length in excess of 3m (10 ft) and weighs up to 300kg (660 lb).

The lion is the king of the cats. It stands out from the other cats, not just in its distinctive appearance but also in being the only felid that lives in organised social groups. Adult male lions weigh up to 225kg (500 lb) and grow up to 3m (10 ft) in body length.

The fastest cat, the cheetah, is also the fastest land animal. It can reach 95 km/h (60 mph) over short distances. Unlike other big cats it does not roar - it makes high pitched yelps, barks and chirruping sounds. And like your kitty, it does purr.

Domestic cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. A domestic cat hears frequencies up to about 65 kHz, humans up to 20 kHz. Its sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than that of humans.
In the rear of a cat's eye is a light-reflecting layer called the tapetum lucidum, which causes cats' eyes to glow at night. This reflecting layer absorbs light 6 times more effectively than human eyes do, allowing a cat to see better than humans at night.

There are more than 3000 types of domestic cats, but only 8% are pedigree. And, unlike other cats, they are found all over the world... in abundance. In the US, there are more cats than dogs, and people annually spend more on cat food than on baby food.

Domestic cats - or any other cats - do not have nine lives. They also do not always land on their feet. It is said that a cat that falls out of a 20-story building has a better chance of surviving than when falling out of a 7-story building because it takes a cat at least 7 stories to co-ordinate itself to land on its feet.

Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe, camel and the maned wolf.

Rare cats - While there are so many domestic cats, other cats are of the rarest and most endangered species on earth. Only 250 of the Malabar Large Spotted Civet are thought to survive in their Asian habitat. Iriomote cats, found on the Japanese island of Iriomotejima, number less than 100.


The human equivalent in years that a kitten will reach at the end of his first year.

The chances of a human 'catching' AIDS from an FIV+ cat.

The percentage of cats in the U.S. estimated to be FIV positive.

110 - 140
The average number of feline heartbeats per minute.

101.5 - 102.5
Normal temperature (Farenheit) of a cat.

The number of bones in a cat's body. (About 40 more than humans)

The approximate number of kittens born in the U.S. each day.

The year of the first cat show in America.

The number of muscles in each ear of a cat.

The age of the oldest cat on record.

The number of vocalization sounds from an average cat. (My hard-of-hearing Shannon came up with a few new ones during his final year.)

Record for the largest number of kittens in a litter.

The year of the first formal cat show in the world. (In London, England)

The estimated number of known cat breeds

295 million
The approximate amount (in USD) spent annually in the U.S. for kitty litter.

The age of the longest-lived cat known at present.

65 mph
The speed at which Cheetahs can run, in short spurts.

The potential number of cats that can result from a single pair of cats and their kittens, over a seven-year period.

2969 BC
The estimated year when the cat was first domesticated.

The percentage of chance at which an outdoor cat will be exposed to toxoplasmosis at some time during its life.

The equivalent in human years of a 12 year old cat.

The number of years it may take a Maine Coon to reach his full growth and development.

The number of permanent adult teeth in a cat's mouth.

The average life span (in years) of "unmanaged" feral cats.

The average number of days in a gestation period for felines.

The number of cycles per second in a cat's purr (about the same number as a diesel engine).

The year of birth of T.S. Eliot, author of "," the source of Andrew Lloyd Weber's famous Broadway musical, "."

Did you ever wonder what a cat's age is in human years?
Now you can find out by checking this cat age chart below!

It is believed that after the first 2 years of a cat's life, each feline year is approximately 4 human years. Cats are adolescents at about 6 months to one year old, middle aged at about 8 years of age, and considered senior citizens at about 12 years of age.

Cat's Age Human's Age
4 months 7 years
6 months 10 years
8 months 13 years
1 year 16 years
2 years 24 years 
4 years32 years 
6 years 40 years 
8 years48 years 
10 years56 years
12 years 64 years
14 years 72 years
16 years 80 years
18 years 88 years
20 years96 years
21 years 100 years