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All About Cats

© Dixie Allan

All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.

Here are some very interesting facts about our feline friends:

  1. Ailurophilia is the love of cats.
  2. Napoleon was terrified of cats.
  3. Abraham Lincoln had ailurophilia – he had four cats while he lived in the White House.
  4. Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when they lost a beloved cat.
  5. The first cat show was held in 1895 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
  6. People who own pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer heart attacks.
  7. Cats are North America’s most popular pets. There are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs.
  8. 95% of all cat owners admit they talk to their cats.
  9. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  10. The collective name for a group of Cats is a clowder or clutter.
  11. A one year old cat is equivalent to an 18 year old human.
  12. Calico cats are almost always female.
  13. An adult cat has 32 teeth.
  14. Cats have AB blood groups just like people.
  15. Backward-pointing spikes on a cat’s tongue aid in their grooming.
  16. Cats spend 30% of their waking hours grooming themselves.
  17. Cats can see up to 120 feet away. Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees. They can see in color but are partially color blind. They have the equivalency of human red/green color blindness. (Reds appear green and greens appear red)
  18. A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees, slightly warmer than a humans.
  19. A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.
  20. Cat’s ears pivot 180 degrees. They have 30 muscles in each ear, and use twelve or more muscles to control their ear movement.
  21. Cats rub up against other cats, and people, in an attempt to “mark” them with their scent glands. They most often use the glands near the temple area or their scent glands that are near the base of their tail.
  22. The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette, a.k.a. Astrocat. In 1963, France sent the cat into outer space. Electrodes implanted in her brains sent neurological signals back to Earth and we are happy to say she survived the trip.
  23. There have been three different cats who have played the famed “Morris the Cat” and all three were rescued from shelters.
  24. According to myth, a cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means cold weather is coming.
  25. A cat that bites you after you have rubbed his stomach, is probably biting out of pleasure, not anger.
  26. Your cat is probably either a “righty” or a “lefty.” Only 40% of cats are ambidextrous while another 40% are either right-pawed or left-pawed.
  27. Cats love high places. They share this love with leopards and jaguars, who sleep in trees. A falling cat will always right itself in a precise order. First the head will rotate, then the spine will twist and the rear legs will align, then the cat will arch its back to lessen the impact of the landing.
  28. The Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by moving both their left feet, then both their right feet, when walking. This method of walking ensures speed, agility and silence.
  29. It is believed that a white cat sitting on your doorstep just before your wedding is a sign of lasting happiness. White cats are a symbol of good luck in America, while black cats are a sign of bad luck.
  30. The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.

Theese are but a few of the interesting facts about cats. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live with a cat will tell you there are many more but Mark Twain said it best… ‘If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.’

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