to celebrate National cat day – 29th October
Cats are one of the most popular pets all over the world. So much so that in America, they have their own special day! We think they deserve this kind of love on this side of the pond so to honour our feline friends, we’ve put together the most interesting cat facts.
1. A group of cats is a clowder
Let’s kick off with a totally amazing fact about cats! A group of cats is called a clowder. So next time you see the neighbourhood moggies out and about together, you know what to call them.
2. Cats sleep for 70% of their lives
A cat fact that won’t come as a surprise to any cat owner! Cats are among the top sleepers in the animal kingdom. In the wild, they need super amounts of energy to catch their prey, so they sleep for most of the day to conserve energy for the hunt. While cats do enter deep ‘dream sleep’ like humans, most of the time they are just dozing and can spring into action at the faintest sound.
3. Cats purr for many reasons
A purring cat is widely regarded as a happy cat, but cats purr for many reasons. Newborn kittens are born blind, so a mother cat will purr to let her kittens know where she is for feeding time. Cats also purr when they are sick as a self-calming technique.
Additional fun cat fact: cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, about 26 cycles per second.
4. Owning a cat can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by a third
Scientists have reported that having a cat helps to relieve stress and anxiety, which is known to help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing the heart rate. The research also suggested that the type of person to choose a cat as pet was less likely to get stressed in general.
5.A cat’s meow has evolved to communicate with humans
While cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, it is thought that their meow has evolved so that humans can hear it. Animal rescue workers have reported that feral cats don’t meow at first, but they start to once they have been in regular contact with human caretakers.
6. The CIA tried to turn a cat into a spy
One of the most random cat facts – in the 1960s, the CIA tried to turn a cat into a spy. A tiny radio transmitter was implanted at the bottom of the cat’s head with a microphone hidden in its ear. Sadly, the cat never got to complete its first mission as it was hit by a taxi on its first day out.
7. Cats leave us presents because we’re rubbish at hunting
Awesome fact: cats see us as big bald kittens! When they bring us live gifts like mice or birds, it is so they can teach us to hunt – just like they would do with a kitten in the wild. If the prey is dead, it could be to feed us or to show appreciation. Awww!
8. Female cats are typically right-pawed while male cats are typically left-pawed
This fun cat fact wasn’t discovered by handing cats a pen, but after studying them in their home environment. Cat owners were asked to monitor which paw their cat used first when walking down the stairs, entering the litter tray and playing with a toy.
9. A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound
Thanks to a flexible spine and strong leg and back muscles, cats can release very powerful bursts of energy at once. Just before a big jump, it looks like the cat is psyching themselves up. This is where they are testing the surface for stability with their back legs. Then, they will crouch down, bend their limbs and tighten their body like a coiled spring before leaping to a higher surface.
10. Cats can’t taste sweet things
The most shocking cat fact! Poor Tiddles will never know the joy of a cupcake. Scientists believe that a mutation in taste receptors is to blame. As cats rely so heavily on meat as they need huge amounts of protein to function, sweet foods are of no use to them. They are the only mammal on the planet not to have a sweet tooth.