Facts, fun and fanciful, some purr-haps familiar, others new – for the feline fancier in all of you:
1. Genetically, if somewhat surprisingly, a domestic cat is 95.6% tiger!
2. Although humans have 206 bones in our bodies, cats have, on average, 244 in theirs. The number ranges between 230 and 250 depending on the length of their tails and how many toes they have.
3. An adult cat’s brain is approximately 2 inches long, weighs approximately 1 ounce and has nearly twice as many neurons in her cerebral cortex as a dog.
4. Every cat’s nose is unique -- much like a human’s fingerprints.
5. Cats are blessed with an extra organ that enables them to “taste” scents in the air.
6. Cats’ whiskers are the same width as their bodies.
7. A cat’s tongue contains hundreds of backward-facing keratin spines known as filiform papillae that not only assist her in grooming but allow her to lick bones clean of the tastiest, tiniest morsels of meat.
8. Kittens have 26 teeth and adult cats have 30 teeth.
9. A cat’s purr vibrates at a frequency of 25 to 150 hertz (Hz) -- the same frequency at which bones and muscles repair themselves. Since humans have a range of about 20 to 20,000 Hz, we can not only hear the purr but feel its vibrations.
10. Meowing was a behavior that cats developed in order to communicate with us, and they can have as many as 100 individual vocalizations in their “vocabulary.”
11. A cat’s walk resembles that of a camel or a giraffe – with both right feet going first, followed by both left feet.
12. While a running cat can reach a speed of 30 mph, it’s only for short distances.
13. Cats are capable of jumping up to five times their height.
14. A cat’s back is extremely flexible with up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae compared with a human’s back that has 34.
15. Males are more likely to be left pawed, females are more likely to be right pawed, while some are ambidextrous.
16. Neutered males live 62% longer than intact males and spayed females live 39% longer than intact females.
17. Cats spend between 12 and 16 hours a day sleeping and devote 1/3 of their waking hours to grooming themselves.
18. The act of self-grooming stimulates blood flow to their skin, regulates their body temperature, and helps them relax.
19. Cats are capable of dreaming kitty cat dreams.
20. Your cat sends out signals that you’re her “property” by rubbing her face and body against you, thereby “marking” you with her distinctive scent.
21. If your cat comes toward you with her tail straight and almost vibrating, this signifies that she’s supremely pleased to see you.
22. When your cat shows you her belly, it’s a sign of trust and relaxation and not necessarily an invitation for a belly rub.
23. When your cat shows you her bum, it’s a gesture of friendship. When she kneads you or “makes biscuits”, it signifies happiness. When she drapes her tail over you, over another cat or even a dog, this means friendship as well.
24. Grimalkin is the name of a female cat, especially an older one.
25. A cat lover is called an ailurophile -- from the Greek word ailuros (cat) and phile (lover).