Ten Curious Facts About Cats

The curious facts about cats that you'll find here will certainly increase your fascination with these animals. Don't miss out on these interesting snippets of information.
Ten Curious Facts About Cats

Last update: 14 October, 2021

Cats are cunning nocturnal bright-eyed hunters. They’ve long been a subject of interest for many people. If you’re one of these people, keep reading, as we’re going to talk about ten curious facts concerning cats.

Felines used to do a great job hunting small rodents that lived in villages. Furthermore, in Ancient Egypt, they were worshipped. In fact, families plucked their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when their cat died.

Beyond their sweet yet mysterious appearance, cats are a magnificent work of natural engineering. To illustrate, here are ten incredible facts about them.

Ten curious facts about cats

You probably already know that some of the senses of cats are more developed than those of humans. For example, their eyesight is much better than ours in low light conditions; their ears can pick up frequencies of up to 64 kHz, and their sense of smell is four times stronger than ours. However, these aren’t the only curious facts about cats.

Cat looking up

1. They don’t like sweet foods

Cats don’t usually enjoy sweet foods. That’s because they don’t have taste receptors for this flavor. This makes sense because domestic cats can’t digest sugars. In fact, they lack the necessary enzymes to do so – so they tend to reject them to avoid digestive problems.

2. It’s not known how they purr

Although some experts claim that a cat’s purr is due to the vibration of the muscles of their larynx, others propose that it has a hemodynamic origin, more specifically in the vena cava.

The difficulty in accurately specifying the origin of the purr arises from the fact that there’s no one part of the cat’s anatomy that’s exclusively dedicated to producing this vibration.

3. They walk on tiptoe

Unlike plantigrades like humans, who support the heel and sole of the foot to walk, cats stand on the tips of their toes. For this reason, they belong to the group of digitigrades (animals that walk on tiptoe).

4. They sweat through their paws

Cats don’t sweat through their skin. Instead, their sweat glands are located on the pads of their paws. However, unlike in humans, sweating doesn’t involve a thermoregulatory function. In fact, it serves so that each cat leaves behind its smell wherever it goes.

5. Their brain is extremely similar to that of humans

The brain of felines, saving interspecific differences, is extremely similar to ours. As a matter of fact, our brains are 90 percent similar.

Here are some of the differences in a cat’s brain. They have an increased number of  neurons in visual areas, a larger olfactory lobe, and more efficient episodic and operational memory than ours.

6. All newborn cats have blue eyes.

Kittens, when they first open their eyes, at two weeks, all have blue or grayish irises. It won’t be until the first month of life, approximately, that their eyes acquire their adult color. Eye color is directly related to melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.

Feline eyes that change color in a matter of days could be one reason for visiting the vet. That’s because it can be a sign of hepatitis, brain damage or blindness.

7. Calico cats are almost always female

Male cats have, at most, two colors. From three colors onwards, they’re almost always female. Although it’s not impossible for a male to be a calico, he’ll more than likely be sterile. In fact, only one in 10,000 calico cats is male and fertile.

8. The cat who became mayor

Residents of Talkeetna, Alaska, were unhappy with all of their mayoral candidates during the 1997 election. Therefore, they voted for Stubbs, a cat known in the district for having been rescued from a life of neglect. He won.

Stubbs held his position for 15 years. Can you imagine a feline as mayor?

9. If their head fits, the rest of their body fits

Another curiosity about cats is that they’re the perfect example of the saying “if the head fits, the body fits.” Indeed, if their head fits in a space, they can then insert the rest of their body.

They themselves measure the chances of getting into a tight spot by testing with their head first.

10. They can fall better from great heights

It’s said that cats always land on their feet. This is possible thanks to their vestibular system, which indicates the position of their head relative to the ground while they fall. They turn their upper body first, then their lower body, landing on their paws to cushion the impact.

Vets tend to see more serious injuries with cats falling from low heights. This is because the higher the fall, the more time they’ll spend positioning themselves correctly. However, there’s obviously a limit here, and it doesn’t mean they’d survive a fall from a skyscraper.

A cat landing on its feet, one of the curious facts about cats.

These curiosities about cats are by no means the only ones. Indeed, If you’re a cat lover, you’ll surely know many more. There’s such a lot to discover about our feline friends!

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  • Muller, H. R., & Weed, L. H. (1916). Notes on the falling reflex of cats. American Journal of Physiology-Legacy Content40(3), 373-379.https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ajplegacy.1916.40.3.373?journalCode=ajplegacy
  • Basar, E., Baar‐Eroglu, C., Rahn, E., & Schürmann, M. (1991). Sensory and cognitive components of brain resonance responses: an analysis of responsiveness in human and cat brain upon visual and auditory stimulation. Acta Oto-Laryngologica111(sup491), 25-35.
  • Remmers, J. E., & Gautier, H. (1972). Neural and mechanical mechanisms of feline purring. Respiration physiology16(3), 351-361.