Naturally, you already know that cats rule the world and the Internet. But we’re willing to bet that at least some of the items on our list of the ten weirdest facts about cats are new to you. Fancy yourself a cat lady/cat lover/cat person? Let’s see how much you actually know about the lovely little felines.
10. Cats are taking over!
Yes, they’re popular, they were worshipped in ancient Egypt and we love them for how cute and fluffy they are. Yet we can’t help but shudder a little at the thought that there’s a cat in every fourth American home at the moment. There are over 500 million domestic cats worldwide, belonging to 33 different breeds.
9. Cats genuinely believe they own you
Think your cat is rubbing against you and kneading (or “pawing”) your lap as a sign of affection? Boy, are you wrong. In fact, they do this to mark their territory. The bottoms of cats’ paws generate sweat, which they then use to mark their domain, by pawing, kneading, and treading all over you. In a nutshell, what they mean to say is “all your base are belong to us”, mere human.
8. Cat urine glows in the dark
Yup, that’s right, folks: if you ever suspected that cats are magical critters, here’s your proof. Their urine can be seen in the dark, with the simple use of a black light. That’s actually great news for cat owners who fear mishaps and accidents around the house. All you need to do to identify a wet spot is to shine a black light – and there you have it. Caught in the glowing act, kitty!
7. Cat noses are unique
If your cat has given birth to a bigger litter and you have trouble telling the kittens apart (which is a rather common occurrence, actually), you could try identifying them after the ridged patterns on their noses. Much like human fingerprints, these patterns are one of a kind and can be used to accurately tell one cat from the next, which might help out if you’ve lost yours.
6. Cats communicate with their tails
One of the weirdest facts about cats, the domesticated kind, is that they’re the only type of feline in the world who walk with their tail held up straight. This adaptive development also serves communication purposes: a quivering tail on a cat means she loves you to shreds (just pray she doesn’t mean that literally). But a thrashing tail is definitely the sign of a bad mood, so steer clear.
5. Forget rabbits – cats sure can mate
The cliché is that bunnies are the most prolific mammals, when it comes to reproducing. This may be true, but, let us tell you, cats aren’t half bad at it either. The productive life of a single female cat can end up welcoming no fewer than 100 kittens in the world. Simple math shows us that two non-neutered cats, a tom and a female, could produce a lineage of up to 420,000 kittens.
4. The inner life of cats…
… is richer than you may be tempted to think. Not only do cats dream, just like humans do, but they actually start doing so very early on in their lives. Neurologic studies have shown that kittens as young as one week old have vivid dreams. Also, cats who are spoken to more, by their human owners, tend to respond more, according to science. Want Fluffy to meow back? Keep talking at her, then! (Why anyone would want that, though, is beyond our comprehension.)
3. The many-splendored names of cats
You are probably familiar with the famous musical “Cats”, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Names for cats seem to have fascinated humanity for a long time now, for one of the weirdest facts about cats is what we call them. A bunch of kittens is a kindle of kittens, while a group of adult cats is a clowder. Female cats are also called mollies or (appropriately enough) queens.
2. Cats waste their lives away
–or so it may seem to us boring humans. That’s because they spend 30 per cent of their waking lives grooming themselves. What’s more, the average domestic cat will purr for about 10,950 hours during its lifetime. Grooming, purring, eating, sleeping, playing – really, what else is there in life?
1. Cats don’t like mice
The number one item on our list of the weirdest facts about cats will disprove one of the most basic things you know about them. Sure, cats may hunt mice for sports every now and then. But haven’t you ever wondered why there’s no mouse-flavored cat food available for sale? The answer is as simple as they come: lab tests proved that cats don’t like it!