These amazing facts show just how cool cats really are. Read on for some surprising new information about one of the most popular pets in the world.
1. A cat’s meow is used to communicate with humans, not other cats
Adult cats only meow at humans. Kittens use vocalizations to communicate with their mothers, but adult cats don’t actually meow at each other. Some scientists claim that meowing was developed to manipulate humans; many cat parents probably agree. (Cats do yowl at other cats, particularly if they are in heat.)
2. Cats have more bones in their bodies than people
Cats have more than 230 bones in their bodies; humans have 206. The additional bones in a cat’s spine and tail give the cat extra flexibility and the ability to pull off their trademark back arch. Cats also have the ability to fit through small spaces because of their bones -- no collar bone and a small chest cavity help make cats masters of escape. However, during the aging process, some of these bones can fuse together.
3. Cats have a third eyelid
The inner eyelid of a cat is called a palpebra tertia. As an inner membrane, it plays an important role in eye health by removing debris and distributing moisture. It’s also thought to have helped protect the cat’s eye from tall grass or prey in the wild. The third eyelid is actually the norm for many mammals; in humans, it has been reduced to a small bump at the inner corner of the eye.
4. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth
Much to the chagrin of anyone craving that second helping of cake, cats cannot be tempted by sugars. All cats, from tigers to housecats, lack the gene to taste sweets. This is thought to be because cats, unlike carbohydrate-dependent humans, are obligate carnivores.
5. A cat’s purr could be healing
The meaning behind a cat’s mysterious purr has been the subject of some debate for years. A cat purrs with a consistent pattern and frequency of between 25 and 150 Hertz. Sound frequencies in this range have been shown to promote healing and even to help improve bone density. Purring may be a source of self-healing for cats that spend a large percentage of the day at rest. The vibrations may also be beneficial to the health of a cat’s human companions!
6. Cats are far-sighted
Ever wonder why your cat doesn’t seem to see the treat right in front of her nose? Cats have excellent night vision and can see far-off objects clearly, but they can have difficultly focusing on objects right in front of them; their close-up vision is estimated to be about 20/100 on the human vision scale. Cats also have a blind spot right in front of their noses. Of course, whiskers and an excellent sense of smell balance out this weakness.
7. Every cat’s nosepad is unique, like a fingerprint
No two feline nosepads are exactly alike. That’s something to keep in mind if you ever need to catch an actual cat burglar.
8. Cats can become addicted to tuna
Although a little tuna fish is a harmless treat, but too much can be bad for a cat’s health. Cats can become addicted to the strong taste and flavor of tuna and refuse to eat anything else. These “tuna junkies” can end up suffering from malnutrition.
9. Cats groom themselves for over a third of the time they are awake
Some vets estimate the amount of time cats spend on self-cleaning to be even higher. The continuous grooming has many health and evolutionary benefits. Grooming helps cats regulate temperature, stimulates blood flow, and provides protection against predators.
10. A housecat could outrun 100 meter world record holder Usain Bolt
A domestic cat can run about 30 miles per hour; Usain Bolt averages 27 miles per hour.
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