Cats are a small domesticated animal belonging to the feline family. Cats are often kept as household pets and can be found almost everywhere in the world. There are many different breeds of cats, but all have strong and flexible bodies, sharp and retractable claws, and sharp teeth. They are known for hunting small rodents such as mice and rats. Cats hunt mainly at night and have excellent night vision and hearing. Cats are territorial and will mark an area of up to 70 acres surrounding their home.
Interesting facts about cats
- Cats communicate with one another via sounds such as hissing, purring, trilling, meowing and body language.
- Cats are the most popular pet in the world.
- Sometimes domesticated cats return to the wild. When these cats breed they give birth to feral cats. Feral cats can create many environmental problems because they prey on native animals. There are up to 60 million feral cats in the United States alone.
- Cats breed quickly and can have up to five kittens in on litter. The gestation period of the cat is 64-67 days and the first litter is usually the smallest. Kittens in the same litter may have multiple fathers due to the fact that female cats mate with many males.
- Cats are believed to have been associated with humans for the last 9,500 years.
- Genetic studies have shown that all breeds of cats are descended from approximately 5 female cats, believed to be African Wildcats.
- A group of cats is called a clowder, male cats are toms and female cats are molly or queen. Baby cats are called kittens.
- The shoulder bone of the cat is attached to the spine by free-floating bones allowing them to fit into any gap that their head can enter into.
- Cats walk on their toes and place their hind feet into the marks that their front feet have left. This reduces noise and visible tracks when hunting prey.
- Cats can withstand high temperatures or up to 52 °C (126 °F) without discomfort. With access to water they can live in environments with temperatures up to 56 °C (133 °F).
- Cats need a diet that consists of about 20% protein and have difficulty digesting plant matter. They also need a diet that contains the amino acid arginine. Without this amino acid cats experience weight loss and can die. They also require the amino acid taurine without this muscular degeneration occurs and leads to irreversible blindness.
- Cats have slight pupils which allow them to focus bright light and to see in low light. They have limited color vision and cannot easily distinguish between red and greens.
- Cats are able to hear high frequency sound and can hear a range of 10.5 octaves (humans which can only hear 9).
- Cat’s whiskers help them to navigate in the dark and give the cat information about the width of gaps and location of objects.
- Their average lifespan is about 12 to 14 years.
- Cats are extremely sensitive to toxins and everyday products such as paracetamol, essentials oils, and antibacterial cleaning solutions, can be fatal to cats.
- Some foods commonly eaten by humans are also toxic to cats such as chocolate, onions and garlic.
- Cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day.
- Cats mark territory by urine spraying, rubbing of the face on objects leaving behind secretions from facial glands and defecation.