A cat is one of the most beautiful and mysterious creatures tamed by humans (at least we want to think that we tamed them). There are a lot of myths and amazing stories associated with it. And what do we know about our favorites? Let me share the most exciting but yet unknown facts about cats.
- Reverse direction
- Ability to drink seawater
- First references in writing
- Cat and Black Magic
- The largest breeding stock
- Service for the good of humanity
- Baby teeth
- Incredible journey
- Wonders of flexibility
- The structure of the jaws
- Acrobatic abilities
If you think that your pet sleeps all the time – do not worry: you do not believe so! An adult healthy and exhausted cat sleeps at least 12 hours a day, and some copies (all depends on the breed and individual characteristics) – and all 20! In the wild, animals can’t afford such luxury because they have to spend time hunting, so we made our torture so lazy.
All of us have seen more than once a picture of a cat climbing a tree quickly and gracefully, but after that, a real hysteria begins: the animal can’t come down. This incredible phenomenon, however, is straightforward.
The cat’s claws are arranged so that the animal can hold its weight with their help, clinging to the support and thus climbing up. But the descent is the exact opposite process: imagine that you need to go down a rope or stairs with your head down!
Therefore, a cat (like a human) can only climb down a tree by staking at the back and holding his claws. Unfortunately, a pet can’t always quickly figure out how to act and helplessly yell from horror, climbing higher and higher.
The total number of domestic cats has exceeded 400 million, with about half of these animals in just ten countries. For example, according to statistics, two of the three families have cats in the U.S. and, on average, not one, but two. In Australia, there are nine purring pets per ten people.
As for the number of these animals’ number of breeds globally, there are no unified data because different international felinological organizations have their lists. Thus, the most recognized in Europe World Cat Federation (WCF) recognizes about seven dozen breeds, but the American The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) – only four dozen.
The first laboratory cloned cat was born in 2001 in the U.S., Texas, and five years later, even gave birth to three relatively healthy kittens (the fourth, however, was born dead). In same Texas in 200he, cloning of a cat was conducted on a commercial basis.
A resident was so killed after her pet’s death, who died of old age Maine Coon nicknamed Nicky, that she did not spare fifty thousand to recover a lost family member in a clone. Thus, a charming kitten named Little Nicky appeared, which by its character is like two drops of water similar to the animal that died a year earlier.
Ability to drink seawater
Cats can drink seawater without harming their health! This fact is surprising because the reaction of, for example, the dog’s body to such an experiment is the same as in humans.
Scientists have proved that cats have no problem assimilating almost one and a half grams of salt per kilogram of weight. A much higher concentration of this substance is relatively safe for the animal. This effect provides an amazing, in terms of evolution, the kidneys’ structure in cats that easily filter the salt in seawater. But I do not recommend checking this fact on your pet. Keep in mind the many diseases that cats may have.
First references in writing
This is one of my favorite among unknown facts about cats. Even though the emergence of the first domestic cats is associated with Ancient Egypt, this is not quite true. Today, it is proven that the conquest of the hearts of people around the world by these animals has passed two independent stages.
The first began more than nine thousand years ago in the Middle East (starting with the Fertile Crescent), and the second, two thousand years later, indeed, went from Egypt and spread to the whole north of Africa, and from there to Europe.
Thus, archaeologists have found on the Greek island of Cyprus the stone remains of domestic cats dating back to 7500 BC. However, the first mention of cats in ancient Egypt belongs only to the 2nd millennium BC (second dynasty).
Cat and Black Magic
In the Middle Ages, a cat was associated with witchcraft and black magic. The Church and its Holy Inquisition mocked cats no less than people: they were tortured, burned, drowned, thrown off the roofs of churches, and even crucified.
Even in prim England, which has always been famous for its love for these animals, in the middle of the XVI century, on the occasion of the ascension to Queen Elizabeth I’s throne, several bags full of cats were put to fire.
However, it should be noted that cats were indeed used in various witchcraft rituals. Thus, at the end of the same century, the fanatics threw a cat with pieces of human meat tied to it in the sea to drown Queen Anne, who was floating at that time on the ship. As a result, the august person was not hurt, although the unexpected storm, according to legend, really did not play a joke.
Cats are speedy animals. The average speed of a cat race is slightly higher than 13 km/h, but in a sprint, the animal can accelerate up to 50 km/h. For reference, cheetah – a relative of a domestic cat and at the same time the fastest animal in the world, these parameters are 80-90 and 120 km / h, respectively.
The largest breeding stock
On average, a domestic cat gives birth to one to seven kittens once, and the more rare a breed is, the fewer kittens there are in the litter. But there are also records. Thus, today, the most numerous cat’s family number is officially considered a set of nineteen kittens, while the number of surviving kittens is fourteen.
Service for the good of humanity
As you know, the primary “usefulness” of a cat is its ability to catch mice (and, of course, killed rodents, shaggy predators do not always eat them, often they are just solemnly brought to the owner to demonstrate their loyalty).
Humankind uses this ability so successfully that cats are often quite officially registered in the service. For example, the British National Museum staff consists of six four-legged cats working “for food” simultaneously, for which the budget annually allocates fifty pounds sterling for each “employee”.
Cats also have a special uniform, and, for example, in Australia – even a lifetime pension, as in real civil servants. But here is, perhaps, the most interesting fact about cats: in one of the cities in Alaska, the officially elected mayor is … yes, it is an ordinary cat!
Have you heard about The Street Cat Bob? This is a perfect example of friendship between a cat and a human being.
They say that cats meow only for people, they say, they communicate with each other by other sounds. They do not. If you had a cat with kittens in the house, you know that the first “meow” of the baby turns to his mother to attract her attention.
Also, not only among themselves but also with humans, cats can communicate through various sounds, from a gentle brook of purr to a formidable growl, hissing, and even howling. In total, the “arsenal” of cats has more than a hundred different sounds.
Do you know? In England, there is a kind of record for the volume of purring. A cat named Merlin produced sounds with the volume of 62 dB, which more than twice exceeded the sanitary norm of permissible noise.
From about three months of age and for several weeks, kittens lose their milk teeth and grow permanently. Usually, although not necessarily, the process begins with the incisors, followed by the canines and the other teeth.
Interestingly, the change of kittens’ teeth, like ours, can be accompanied by unpleasant symptoms – excessive salivation, reduced appetite, gum inflammation. But most often, everything goes smoothly and invisibly for the owner.
One of the most interesting facts about cats is their fantastic, sometimes superstitious horror, ability to accurately find their way home (so-called “psi travels”). It was supposed that animals somehow “define” themselves in space for a long time, navigating through the sun, but recent research has disproved this hypothesis.
Cats (previously put to sleep for the purity of the experiment) were placed in light-tight boxes for a long time carried by complicated routes. They moved to a closed maze with two dozen outputs in different directions. The vast majority of cats confidently chose the one that was in the direction of the house.
But when a strong magnet was attached to the cats’ body, they immediately became confused and lost their way. It remains assumed that the animal body contains a natural compass that reacts to the Earth’s magnetic field and allows the animal to determine where to go.
Today, the absolute record for the duration of “psi travels” belongs to the French murk, which “in just seven months” returned home, overcoming seven hundred kilometers.
Wonders of flexibility
Our body has about two hundred bones, while the cat has about two hundred and forty (only the cat’s vertebrae are fifty-three against our thirty-four). These animals also have many more joints. Thanks to this, the animals have such flexibility and amazing grace.
The structure of the jaws
The cat’s jaws are not designed for chewing food, although its teeth are its primary tool. The cat needs its canines to catch its prey, and the incisors need to tear off a piece of food of a size that the purr can swallow as a whole. Then, under the influence of saliva and gastric juice, the food becomes suitable for digesting porridge.
Savannah is recognized as the largest domestic cat breed in the world.
But as the most massive cat of all time, the Guinness Book of Records includes a castrated animal called Himmy from Queensland Australia. It weighed 46.8 pounds or 21.3 kg. It is no wonder that at this weight, the animal died relatively young (10 years), the cause of death – respiratory failure.
Many owners have tried to break this record and came close to it. However, since such overfeeding experiments are close to animal abuse, the relevant nomination is now officially closed.
Pet cats live on average about 15 years (in nature – usually no more than five). With the development of civilization, improving nutrition, and veterinary medicine, cats’ average age, like humans, year by year, increases.
With good care, a pet cat can live up to twenty years, which, using particular calculations on the ratio of cat to human age, corresponds to our hundred.
But the absolute longevity is now considered a cat from Texas called Krim Puff, who died at the age of thirty-eight (as they say, people do not live that long!).
Like human fingerprints, which are unique and inimitable, a cat can be identified by a nose print.
Florida even has a remarkable program that reads cat nose prints and compares them with the existing database. With this technology, it is easy to find a lost animal and return it to its inconsolable owners.
The first filing cabinet under the unquestionable name “CatNose” began with the descendants of domestic cats of the famous American writer Ernest Hemingway. They, as you know, kept in the house of several dozens of these graceful animals.
A cat can jump from a place to a height five times the size of its body. The skeleton and joints of the animal are arranged in such a way that the front and back may move in opposite directions.
Front paws of the cat in a general spin as you wish. In some cases, a lower height can cause more harm to a cat than a larger one (falling from the third floor, an animal can suffer more than falling from the seventh).
A domestic cat can give birth and feed a hundred and a half to two hundred kittens in its entire life. The record for fertility is a Texas cat named Dusty, who produced 420 kittens.
It means that if you place one cat and one cat on a desert island and create ideal conditions for their reproduction, in just seven years, the number of animals will exceed the mark of four hundred thousand!
Are you still sure that you know everything about your pets? Believe me, and his cunning eyes conceal many more secrets!