10 Fascinating Facts About Cats

gray cat and black and white dog
By Pet Expert Team
Updated: 5/16/20242-4 minutes
Cat and owner

As most cat owners will tell you, cats are lovable but mysterious and sometimes strange companions. Some aspects of cat behavior are pretty easily understood, while others tend to leave people scratching their heads. This, of course, makes them all the more lovable and fascinating to cat owners.

To help add a little more intrigue, here’s a fascinating list of random cat facts and anecdotes.

Cats Develop Dramatically in Their First 2 Years

The first year of a cat’s life is equal to the first 15 years of a human life in terms of development. After its second year, a cat is about 25 in human years. After that, each year of a cat’s life is roughly seven human years.

While it’s always essential to make sure your cat is on a healthy meal plan, it’s imperative in that crucial first year to feed them a kitten food packed with the nutrients they need to become a healthy adult cat.

Cats Ears Have Amazing Hearing & Incredible Range-of-Motion

Have you ever had the feeling your cat is listening in on your conversations? While that’s debatable, cats not only have exceptional hearing, but they have the ability to rotate their ears 180 degrees.

Your average cat’s range of hearing is much higher than that of humans, and it allows them to hear ultrasonic noises alerting them to the presence and location of small animals, like rodents, with stunning accuracy.

Not only are cats adept at hearing, but their ears also have an astonishing 32 muscles, which can rotate 180 degrees. Even more impressive, each ear can move independently from the other to allow them to pinpoint where any interesting sounds are coming from.

Cats ears do more than pick up sounds. They also help them keep their balance and, along with their tails and whiskers, are a good indicator of cat body language.

What Do Cats Do With Their Time?

If you’ve noticed your cat spends a lot of their time napping, you’re not alone. Whether it’s curling up in your lap, plopping down on their bed, or finding a warm spot on a windowsill, cats love taking a long snooze.

But did you know, on average, cats spend about 70 percent of their time sleeping? That’s a lot of beauty rest. Speaking of beauty, it’s estimated that cats spend between 15 and 50 percent of their waking hours grooming. It makes you wonder how they find time to stalk and hunt prey for you.

Meows are Not Innate Cat Language—They Developed Them to Communicate with Humans

While it’s true tiny kittens will meow and make other vocalizations to communicate with their mother, they soon stop meowing, except to communicate with humans.

Adult cats will not meow to each other, preferring other means of communication to get their point across. When it comes to human beings, however, cats are more than comfortable meowing to communicate their desire for any number of things: to be let out, to be fed, for attention or simply just to give a friendly hello.

Even more interesting—some studies suggest cats can change the tone of their meows to pull on their owners' heart strings to persuade them to open the treat jar or give them attention. How so? By letting out meows at just the right frequency to mimic the frequency of a crying infant.

Be In-The-Know About Cat Toes

One of the more interesting fun facts about cats pertains to their toes. If you asked, most people would tell you that cats have four toes on each paw. This is not the case, however. Most cats have eighteen toes—five on each front paw and four on each back paw, but it can vary. For example, the record for most toes on a cat is 32.

This uneven distribution of toes is thanks to a genetic mutation known as polydactyly, which in Greek translates to “many digits.”

A Quick 11 Facts About Cats

  • If a black cat crosses your path, it is NOT bad luck, but potentially the opportunity to make a new cat friend.
  • The oldest known cat, Crème Puff, reached the age of 38 years and 3 days.
  • House cats share 95.6 percent of their genetic makeup with tigers.
  • Cats are unable to taste sweet flavors.
  • Cats have very rough tongues that can strip a bone entirely of meat.
  • Cat’s collarbones are buried within their shoulder muscles and not attached to other bones within their body.
  • A healthy housecat can run at a speed of about 30 mph for short bursts.
  • Cats are able to jump five times their height.
  • Cats don’t experience thirst the same way humans and dogs do. This is because they are obligate carnivores and get much of the moisture needed from their diet.
  • When using a scratching post, cats aren’t really “sharpening” their claws—they use them as a way to stretch.
  • Cats have scent glands all over their bodies. When they use a scratching post, rub against something, etc., they are actually depositing their scent onto those objects.

Hopefully, these fun and interesting pieces of cat trivia have been both entertaining and educational. As you can see, our cat companions are complex and fascinating creatures, and there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. 

There’s a lot more to learn about cat behavior by visiting our Pet Expertise page and getting valuable insights from our experts

Sources: 

Cat ears: https://www.cats.org.uk/media/4573/039-thecat_summer20-five-facts.pdf

Cat Grooming: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-groom-excessively

Meowing: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/meowing-and-yowling

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