Whether as a symbol of divinity in ancient times or one of evil in the Middle Ages, the mystery of cats has fascinated us for thousands of years. There is so much more to these agile and elegant creatures than meets the eye. Below are some interesting and surprising facts about our feline friends!
1) Cats can turn their ears 180 degrees.
2) The average cat hears at least five times better than a human adult.
3) Most cats don't have eyelashes.
4) Cats can re-hydrate by drinking salt water since they’re better able to process the sodium than humans. While it is occasionally safe to drink salt water, it does not mean that it should be part of a cat’s daily diet.
5) Almost 4 million cats are eaten every year in Asia.
6) Cats sleep about 70% of the day and groom themselves for about 15%.
7) Cats can’t descend a tree or other surface with their heads down. The curve of a cat’s claw helps with climbing up, but not down. A cat will either jump down or back down.
8) The record for the longest fall is held by Andy who fell about 200 feet from an apartment and survived.
9) Due to their very acute sensitivity to vibration it’s believed cats can detect earthquakes 10-15 minutes before humans.
10) Felicette was the first cat in space. France launched her into outer space in 1963 and she survived the voyage.
11) Cats have 250 bones compared to 206 in humans. Most are in the backbone extending to the tail.
12) According to researchers, cats do “know” their name, but don’t care so much to respond.
13) Cats are some of the fastest animals and can reach up to 30 miles per hour in short spurts.
14) Cats dream! Like humans (and dogs), cats also experience Rapid Eye Movement, the stage when most dreaming takes place.
15) Since cats evolved as desert animals, they’re able to cope with heat by sweating through their paws, as well as panting.
16) Cats not only navigate by their memory of the landscape, but also from the sun’s angle and position. Researchers continue to investigate how the polarization of sunlight helps cat navigate.
17) The meow of a cat developed to communicate exclusively with humans. Each meow has a different meaning, but the meows are solely for you!
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
— Ernest Hemingway