Facts about cats

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 organized 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 120 km/h (75 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 cat – originally not so domestic, but now even more popular than pet dogs. Kitty in pic is Boomer


A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for their mothers and their human care-givers.

The love of cats is called Ailurophilia. People who own cats – and pets, in general – live longer, have less stress, and have lower blood pressure and fewer heart attacks.

When a cat winks (blinks) at you it means it trusts and love you. Wink back and you’ll see it will wink back too.

Cats generally do not like to be touched on their belly but love being rubbed at the base of the tail, on the head, behind the ears and below the chin.

A cat kneading is an act of contentment and adoration.

Domestic cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. They start purring at one week old and purr both when inhaling and when exhaling. Young cats purr in monotone but older cats purr in two to three resonant notes. Purring means contentment.

95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats.

Both cats and humans have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.

Cat senses

Cats have an acute sense of hearing; they can hear sound pitches much higher than a human, up to 64kHz. In fact, that’s why a cat can hear a mouse move. Hearing is a very important sense in a cat. On the other hand, for birds sound is only the second most important sense, their sight being first. Thus, a bird probably won’t hear the bell around a cat’s neck but to the cat it will be a continuous burden, interfering with its most important senses. Do not put a bell around your kitty’s neck.

Lilly Tinkerbell cute cat

Lilly Tinkerbell, the blogger’s cute cat. See, no bell around the neck.

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.

A cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times stronger than that of a human.

Cats cannot see directly below their heads that is why they do not see the food when you put it under their nose. Keep this in mind when you’re feeding your kitty.

Cat facts

A group of cats is called a clowder of cats. A group of kittens is called a kindle.

Cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day.

A cat has 24 whiskers, 4 rows of whiskers on each side. The upper two rows can move independently of the bottom two rows. A cat uses its whiskers for measuring distances.

Cats do not have a collarbone, so they can fit through any opening the size of their head.

Cats walk on their toes. (Do NOT declaw your kitty! See why not.)

The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.

A cat has more bones than a human; a human has 206 and a cat has 245 (some of which fuse together as the cat ages, leaving 230 bones).

A cat’s pulse is between 160-240 beats per minute.

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.

Calico cats are almost always female.

Domestic cats – or any other cats – do not have nine lives. They also do not always land on their feet; they mostly land on their feet but sometimes do get it wrong.

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.

A domestic cat can sprint at up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

A cats has 3 eyelids but most cats do not have eyelashes.

An adult cat has 32 teeth. Cat bites are more likely to become infected than dog bites; because cat teeth are shaped differently, they hold more bacteria than dog teeth. Give your cat a strip of raw meat or chicken

In general, cat owners live longer and are smarter.

When a cat sleeps with all four paws tucked under it means cold weather is coming, according to myth.

African wildcat

African wildcat – the Felis silvestris species from which domestic cats are descendants.

Meow or roar, the cat is a hunter


All cats are direct descendants of the wildcat – even your kitty. This is Simba, a purebred Maine Coon from Germany.


Of the 36 species of wild cats, the tiger is the largest, weighing up to 300kg (660 lb).
(Image via Wikipedia)

Lion in Namibia

King of the beasts – respected and famous even before there were movies.
The lion is one of the Big Five.


The cheetah – the fastest land animal. It also is the only cat that cannot retract its claws.
(Image via Wikipedia)

Did you know?

The tails of wild cats almost never lift higher than their backs.

Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible, lions 89 times, but domestic cats are not mentioned.

International Cat Day is celebrated on August 8.

In Russia, World Cat Day is celebrated on March 1.

In the United States, #NationalCatDay is held on October 29.

Video : Funny cat moments

Special thanks to Amanda Tyree for contributing to this story.

02/03/2010. Category: animals. Tags: .

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