On average, cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping. That means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life. Cats spend nearly 1/3 of their waking hours grooming themselves!
There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognized breeds. The most popular pedigreed cat is the Persian cat, followed by the Main Coon cat and the Siamese cat.
Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions. A cat almost never meows at another cat, mostly just humans. Cats typically will spit, purr, and hiss at other cats.
Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10. Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Cats are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can. A cat rubs against people not only to be affectionate but also to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face. The tail area and paws also carry the cat’s scent. A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats a minute.
Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due mostly to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability. The cat who holds the record for the longest non-fatal fall is Andy. He fell from the 16th floor of an apartment building (about 200 ft/.06 km) and survived.
The earliest ancestor of the modern cat lived about 30 million years ago. Scientists called it the Proailurus, which means “first cat” in Greek. The group of animals that pet cats belong to emerged around 12 million years ago.The Egyptian Mau is probably the oldest breed of cat. In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.” While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more
Smuggling a cat out of ancient Egypt was punishable by death. Phoenician traders eventually succeeded in smuggling felines, which they sold to rich people in Athens and other important cities. When a family cat died in ancient Egypt, family members would mourn by shaving off their eyebrows. They also held elaborate funerals during which they drank wine and beat their breasts. The cat was embalmed with a sculpted wooden mask and the tiny mummy was placed in the family tomb or in a pet cemetery with tiny mummies of mice. In 1888, more than 300,000 mummified cats were found an Egyptian cemetery.
Approximately 1/3 of cat owners think their pets are able to read their minds!
Foods that should not be given to cats include onions, garlic, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. Though milk is not toxic, it can cause an upset stomach and gas. Tylenol and aspirin are extremely toxic to cats, as are many common houseplants. Feeding cats dog food or canned tuna that’s for human consumption can cause malnutrition.