Cats are undoubtedly one of the most popular pets in Western countries. In fact, more people own cats than dogs in North America. As lovable as cats are, there is still a sense of mystery about them which has continued through the centuries. You may think you know a lot about cats, especially if you own one, but what do we really know about these soft, cuddly creatures with minds of their own?
1. The average cat spends 16 hours a day sleeping. This works out to be 2/3 of its life! Cats evolved this way because in the wild, they needed to conserve their energy for the hunt. Even though domestic cats don’t need to hunt, their genetic programing is still the same.
2. Cats spend 1/3 of their waking time grooming themselves.
3. It’s well-known that Egyptians worshiped their cats. They believed cats were magical and brought good luck to their owners. The entire family would go into mourning after the death of their cat. They held funerals for them, mummified them and often put the bodies in the family crypt where they would surround them with mummies of dead mice.
4. In Ancient Egypt, they had strict laws in place to protect cats. In fact, injuring or killing a cat was punishable by DEATH!
5. At Holland’s embassy in Moscow, two cats kept meowing and clawing at the walls of the building. The staff finally investigated, expecting to find mice. What they found instead were microphones hidden by Russian spies!
6. Have you ever found your cat somewhere you couldn’t possibly imagine he/she could have fit into? The reason cats can fit anywhere the size of their heads is because they actually don’t have collarbones!
7. The primary purpose of a cat’s whiskers is to ascertain if he/she can fit through an opening.
8. All kittens are born with blue eyes.
9. Cats are born left-handed or right-handed, just like humans. Female cats are usually right-pawed while males are usually left-pawed. In fact, there are many more male humans that are left-handed than females as well!
10. Cats can jump up to five times their own height.
11. Cats instinctively know how to climb up trees, but they have to learn how to climb down. They can’t climb down head-first because of the direction their paws face, so they have to back down the tree.
12. Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great all had a phobia of cats!
13. The most expensive cat breed is called the Ashera which is a hybrid of the domesticated cat, the Asian Leopard Cat and an African Serval. It costs $125,000!
14. There was once a cat that fell 16 stories and survived – he set the record for a cat fall.
15. Kittens meow at their mothers if they want something, but adult cats hardly ever meow at each other. If your grown cat meows at you, it probably means that he/she views you as a mother figure.
16. I’m sure you have seen shows that depict cats happily eating fish or drinking milk. In fact, cats don’t do either of these things because most are allergic to fish and milk. Kittens drink their mother’s milk until they are about 8 weeks old, at which point they lose the enzyme to digest milk and cannot have it anymore.
17. Cats can’t taste sweet. However, they might be able to taste other things that we can’t. Ironically, many food manufacturers include sugar in cat food, which may be why so many cats are becoming diabetic.
18. Cat urine glows in the dark. If you think your cat has had an accident somewhere in your house, you can use a black light to find it.
19. Black cats are considered lucky in some parts of the world. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, black is considered a protective color that wards off negative forces, so black cats are regarded as providing protection. The English also thought that owning a black cat would help a person find love.
20. Cats are considered holy animals in many Buddhist cultures. Buddhists believe that once a person reaches enlightenment, that person will come back to Earth one last time as a cat, and when the cat dies, that soul will reach its ultimate goal, nirvana.