Pet Talk: Feline Facts

Cats are mysterious creatures. Below are some amazing facts about our feline companions.

  • Cats sleep for almost 70 percent of their lives, which means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life.
  • A fingerprint is to a human as a nose print is to a cat.
  • Cats are unable to detect sweetness in anything they taste.
  • A group of cats is called a clowder.
  • The outer ear of a cat has 32 muscles which allows the cat to rotate each ear 180 degrees independently from one another.
  • A domestic kitty can sprint 31 mph.
  • Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are often left pawed,
  • A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because all their claws point the same way. To get back down from a tree, a cat must back down.
  • A cat’s brain is more similar to a human brain than a dog’s. Humans and cats have identical regions of he brain that are responsible for emotions.
  • A cat uses its whiskers as feelers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through.
  • Cats can’t chew large chunks of food because they can only chew up and down and not sideways like a human or dog.
  • When a kitten sleeps it releases growth hormones.
  • When a cat rubs against people it does not only mean they are getting affectionate, they are also marking out territory with scent glands.
  • When a cat purrs, it does not always indicate that it is happy. Cats also purr when they are in distress or in pain.
  • A cat’s tongue is scratchy because it’s lined with papillae, tiny backward hooks that help hold prey in place.
  • The oldest cat on record was Creme Puff from Austin, Texas, who lived from 1967 to Aug. 6, 2005, three days after her 38th birthday. A cat typically can live up to 20 years, which is equivalent to about 96 human years.
  • A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
  • Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
  • Cats hate the water because their fur does not insulate well when it’s wet.
  • A female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why having your pets spayed and neutered is so important.


Sally Salopek is the owner and operator of Attend-A-Pet pet sitting services in northern Door County. She has also worked professionally with animals in health care, pet grooming, training, wildlife rehab and rescue. Send your pet-related questions to her at [email protected].


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