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Feline Facts

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Old April 4th 06, 05:54 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.anecdotes
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Default Feline Facts

Almost half of all cats receive Christmas gifts. ( Come on admit it you
know it is true )

Pouncing is powered by a cat's thighs. These muscles are so powerful that if
you had a cat's thigh muscles, your thighs would be as big as your waist and
you could jump from the ground to the top of a house.

Of all the parts of the body, the cat's paws have the most sensitive touch
receptors. They are exquisitely pressure-sensitive, and some researchers
believe they can even sense tiny vibrations.

Cats spend about 70 percent of their day sleeping and 15 percent grooming.
This is not only true for domestic cats. In the wild, a lion will sleep 20
hours a day.

The most common eye colors in cats are in the middle of the eye color
spectrum (greenish-yellow to gold). The colors at the ends of the eye color
spectrum (deep green or brilliant copper) are usually seen only in pedigreed
cats who have been selectively bred for dramatic eye color, but they may
sometimes appear in non-pedigreed cats.

In the Siamese cat, a lower temperature causes more dark coloration in the
growing hairs. This is why newborn kittens, warm from their mother's womb,
are white all over. As they grow up in normal temperatures, the hottest
areas of their body, around the stomach and back, remain pale in color,
while their cooler extremities gradually become darker.

The first cat show took place in 1871 at the Crystal Palace in London. The
first cat show in North America was held in New England in the 1870s for
Maine Coon Cats.

If cats could read, they would need reading glasses. That's because their
close-up vision directly in front of them is fuzzy. Instead, they have super
peripheral vision, and can detect the slightest movement in prey that's
yards away.

There are more polydactyl cats (cats with extra toes on their front paws) on
the East Coast than in any other region of the United States. That's because
sailors believed polydactyls were better mousers, because they could better
grip their prey. They looked for polydactyl cats to take on board the ships
that crossed from Europe to the Americas, and these cats then reproduced in
seaports and other coastal areas

In ancient Thailand, it was believed that when a very spiritual person died,
their soul entered the body of a cat, and then ascended to heaven when the
cat died.

Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, which is the same frequency as an
idling diesel engine.

The Egyptian sun god Ra was believed to assume the form of a tomcat each
night for his battle with the serpent of darkness.

The largest litter of kittens on record was born to a Siamese-Burmese
mother, who had 19 kittens.

Cats of all types get more sleep than just about any other animal. They
average 16 hours of sleep a day, most of it in short naps that allow the cat
to quickly become fully alert.

Taillessness in cats occurs as a spontaneous genetic mutation, but in large
populations of cats the trait will usually disappear. However, in isolated
groups, such as those on islands, the population is low enough to preserve
the trait. That's why today we have the Manx (which originated on the Isle
of Man in the Irish Sea), the Japanese Bobtail and the Kurile Island Bobtail

The Russian Blue is considered lucky in Russia, and a new bride will
sometimes be given a picture of one.

Big cats can roar, but they cannot continuously purr. Small cats can purr,
but they cannot roar.

The first full-length feature film with a feline star was Gay Puree, made in
the 1960s. Judy Garland was the voice of Mewsette, the star of the film.

During deep sleep, a cat may twitch his whiskers, flex his paws or move his
tail. Judging by the amount of electrical activity in the brain, scientists
also think cats dream.

Breeds that developed in cold climates, like the Siberian, Maine Coon Cat,
and Norwegian Forest Cat, have slightly oily, water-repellent top coats and
thick, insulating undercoats.

The taste buds on a cat's tongue are specialized to detect the amino acids
in meats, but are less able than ours to detect the carbohydrates in plants
and grains.

One female cat and her offspring, left to breed at will, can produce 420,000
kittens in just seven years.

A female cat can mate with more than one male when she is in heat, meaning
different kittens in a litter may have different fathers.

Small Egyptian amulets representing cats may date from as early as 2300
B.C.E. The oldest picture of a cat was found in the tomb of Baket III. It
dates from 1950 B.C.E. and shows a cat confronting a rat.

The cat's canine teeth (the long fangs) sit in beds of sensitive tissue. A
cat adjusts his grip on his prey until he feels a tiny depression in its
neck, just behind the skull. The canine teeth are designed to fit perfectly
into this depression, so the cat can sever his prey’s spine with one quick

The first animated cat was Krazy Kat, a cartoon strip drawn by George
Herriman that made the transition from paper to film in 1916.

Cats have three blood types: A, B and AB. The majority are type A.

Cats have twice as many smell-sensitive cells in their noses as we do, which
means they can smell things we are not even aware of.

The cat receives much respect in Islam, because of tales that the Prophet
Mohammed was a cat lover. One story says a cat saved Mohammed from being
bitten by a deadly snake. In another, when Mohammed’s cat Muezza fell asleep
on his sleeve, the Prophet cut off his sleeve rather than disturb his cat.

A cat has 250 bones in his body, compared to 206 in our bodies. Think about
how much bigger you are than your cat, and you'll understand why cats have a
lot more places where they can bend and twist than we do.

A cat’s eyes glow green or gold when you shine a light in them because the
light is reflected from a layer of mirror-like cells called the tapetum
lucidum, just behind the retina. These cells help cats see in very low
light, by reflecting all available light back into the retina.

In Buddhist temples across Asia, cats are kept as mousers. These temple cats
have a pointed pattern, and may be ancestors of the Siamese breed.

An ancient Persian legend says that the cat was born from a lion's sneeze.

Cats can make more than 100 different vocal sounds. Dogs can make about 10.

A Spanish stamp commemorating Charles Lindbergh's record-breaking flight
from New York to Paris showed his cat Patsy watching as his plane took off.
Pasty often accompanied Lindbergh on his flights, but did not go on the 1930
flight that made him famous.

The cat population in the United States is more than 75 million.

Although a kitten is blind at birth, the touch receptors in the nose are
already developed, and touching noses helps a kitten make contact with his
mother. This practice of nose touching remains a friendly greeting for other
cats (and humans) throughout a cat's life

Cats walk by moving their front and back legs on one side, then the other
side. That is, the right hind leg moves forward, then the right foreleg;
then the sequence is repeated on the left side. Only camels and giraffes
move in the same way.

Humans and cats have a similar range of hearing when it comes to low-pitched
sounds, but cats have a much greater ability to hear very high notes-better,
even, than dogs.

All the big cats, including lions and tigers, react to catnip just the way
our little cats do. In fact, some zoos give their big cats catnip as part of
a general program of environmental enrichment.

Cats like to be a lot warmer than we do. We start to feel uncomfortable when
our skin temperature gets higher than about 112(F (44.5(C), but cats don't
start to feel uncomfortable until their skins reaches about 126(F (52(C).

In the language of the ancient Egyptians, the word for cat was miou. The
name has been somewhat revived in the modern breed the Egyptian Mau.

Cats can judge within three inches the location of a sound being made one
yard away. This is an essential skill for a predator who needs to catch a
mouse hiding in tall grass.

More than 20 muscles in each ear enable a cat to move her ears like radar
dishes and pinpoint the source of a sound. The two ears can rotate in
different directions, as well.

The Ragdoll and the Maine Coon are the biggest breeds. Both can weigh 20
pounds or more.

A cat's heart beats about twice as fast as your heart—about 110 to 140 times
a minute in the average cat.

Cats seem to have an instinctive ability to find their way home; tests have
shown that they use the earth’s magnetic fields to navigate.

Our beloved housecats are descended from the African wildcat, a small brown
tabby that today is an endangered species.

Cats can compress or elongate their spine, making them smaller to sleep in
snuggly places or longer to leap across wide open spaces.

Protruding eyes give cats a wider angle of vision than we have. They also
have great peripheral vision. Both these adaptations are advantages to
animals who are both predator and prey in the wild.

The Persian is the most popular breed of cat, followed by the Siamese and
the Maine Coon Cat.

The orange gene that results in the tortoiseshell coat pattern is linked to
the gene that determines a cat's sex. This means nearly all tortoiseshell
cats are female, and the rare male tortie is usually sterile


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