#1: The relationship between cats and humans predates recorded history, with examples of domestication found as early as the Neolithic age, and was probably established out of mutual interest when humans first started to cultivate and store grain, which attracted rodents, that in turn attracted the cats.
Cats were fully domesticated by as early as 8000 years ago.
African Wild Cat
A genetic study in 2007 revealed that all house cats are descended from as few as five female African Wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) c. 8000 BCE, in the Middle East. Cats are currently the most popular pet in the world, now found almost everywhere in the world.
#3: A cat’s brain is more similar to a human brain than that of a dog.
#4: A cat can recognize its owners footsteps from hundreds of feet away.
#5: Cats can run at a top speed of 31 miles per hour (49 KMPH) over short distances.
#6: Kneading or “Makin’ Biscuits” is common to all domestic cats when comfortable or feeling at ease, where they alternately push out and pull in their front paws, alternating between right and left. Some cats will “nurse” or suck on clothing during kneading.
The behavior is thought to be soothing in the same way a human baby sucks its thumb or pacifier, as a newborn kitten’s kneading of the mother’s breast to stimulate milk.
Cats often knead before sleeping.
#7: Cats have 32 muscles in each ear. A cat can rotate its ears independently 180 degrees, and can turn in the direction of a sound 10 times faster than those of the best watchdog.
#8: Cats can make over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs can only make 10.
#9: If you want a cat to love you, ignore it. Ever notice how the one new person in the room who hates cats is the very person who’s lap a cat will jump into? It’s because they’re ignoring it. In “cat speak” a direct stare is a challenge and a precursor to dominant behaviour, so the cat lover, who is likely to look them in the eye and call them is always the one a cat distrusts, until they get to know them of course.
Cats will blink in the general direction of people they like, in a gesture that says “I’m not staring, I’m not challenging, we’re OK.” With humans they like, this can amount to anything from a handshake to a kiss… so if you want a cat to like you, either ignore it, or give it 2 to 3 slow blinks.
#10: Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal (in relation to body size)
#11: Every cat’s nose pad is unique, and no two nose prints are the same.
#12: A litter of kittens is a kindle.
#13: In some parts of the world a black cat is considered lucky.
#14: Cats has approximately 60 to 80 million olfactory (sense of smell) cells; a human has between 5 and 20 million.
#15: If you think cats aren’t affectionate, you probably just haven’t met one that likes you. People who argue that dogs are affectionate where cats are not are overlooking the fact that while dogs are pack animals and need to cooperate and form strong social structures to hunt effectively, cats are generally solitary hunters and live alone, so they do not have any natural instincts to work “with” others or conform, don’t come when called, but they can be extremely affectionate. They can become very attached, and show their feelings in their expressions, and in acts like head butting and rubbing, kneading and cuddling. And the difference between the love of a dog and a cat is that a dog has to love you as a part of its pack, but a cat chooses to love you.
#20: Cats have whiskers on the back of their front legs just like the ones on their face. These whiskers are sensory and help them keep track of prey animals. Leg whiskers help cats to figure out how large a prey animal is and where exactly it is located, useful for a shortsighted animal like a cat. Some animal behaviorists suspect that cats have limited close up vision, and that cats have whiskers and an acute sense of small to assist with handling prey in close quarters.
#21: The tufts of hair growing out of a cats ears are called “furnishings.”
#22: A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s, and a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to 2 octaves higher than a human.
#23: Ailurophilia is the love of cats. Cat lovers are known as Ailurophiliacs.
#24: A cat can’t see directly under it’s nose.
#25: Many cats are lactose intolerant and can’t digest milk properly.
#26: Cats will sleep as much as 20 hours a day, give or take.
#27: A cats collarbone, or clavicle is embedded in muscle and doesn’t connect with the rest of their skeleton. This is to aid them in squeezing into tight spots where their prey might be hiding.
#28: When walking, cats place each back paw in the paw print of the corresponding front paw to mimimize both noise and tracks.
#27: The ancient Egyptians believed that the light of the sun was safely kept overnight in a cats eyes, likely because of the bright reflections oftens seen in their eyes at night.
#28: The whiskers of a cat are capable of detecting very small changes in air pressure.
#29: Cats were kept in trenches during World War 1 to kill mice and rats.
#30: Six toed cats (polydactyl) are common enough in the Boston area that they are considered by experts as an established mutation.
#31: The lightest cat on record weighed just 1lb. 8oz.
#32: Ailurophilia is the “love of cats.”
#33: The cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families. This is also the reason they are so distinct and different from many other mammalian families, developing and evolving on their own branch for so long.