15 Cat Facts To Amaze And Amuse You

1. A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human’s heart.

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The normal heart rate for a cat is 140 to 220 beats per minute. To take your cat’s heart rate, simply put your hand over your cat’s left side, behind the front leg, so you can feel their heart pulsing with your fingers. Then, count how many beats you feel in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get your cat’s total beats per minute.

2. During their lifetime, the average house cat spends about 10,950 hours purring.

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Cats purr as a form of communication, typically in positive social situations such as nursing, grooming, and relaxing.

3. A cat’s brain is more similar to a human brain than to a dog brain.

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A cat’s brain structure is 90% similar to a human brain. They also have cerebral cortices with lobes similar to a human’s.

4. Cats make about 100 different sounds to communicate.

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A cat’s vocabulary can tell you just as much as their body language (like rubbing alongside you for affection). For example, cats trill — a mix between a meow and purr — as a friendly greeting.

5. A young and healthy cat can jump up to six times its own body length.

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Cats are able to jump this high because of their powerful back leg muscles. Cat Wisdom 101 features an illustrated breakdown of a cat’s muscles.

6. And a lot of cats have fallen over 32 stories high and survived with minimal injuries.

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When cats fall from heights greater than seven stories, they land on their bellies instead of landing on their feet. When falling from really high, a cat falls faster and faster under gravity until they eventually hit constant terminal velocity. The cat is then in a free-fall state and doesn’t feel the gravity pulling them down, and they position their legs out like a parachuter, allowing for a softer landing.

7. Cats have approximately 32 ear muscles.

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Some cat owners say that they can tell when something is wrong with their cat based on the position of their ears. Since cats have 32 ear muscles, they can change them during certain situations. For example, when a cat’s ears are flat against their head it could be a sign that they’re uncomfortable and scared.

8. There are about 13.5 million more cat owners than dog owners in America.

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According to the 2007 National Pet Owners Survey, 88.3 million people own cats in the United States and 74.8 million people own dogs. Cats are the second most popular pet, right after freshwater fish — which are owned by 142 million people in America!

9. Cats may be able to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.

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Although no one knows for sure, theories suggest that animals — like domestic cats — can feel the Earth vibrate before humans can. There have been other theories that say they can sense electrical changes in the air or gas released from the Earth.

10. Cats don’t have collarbones, meaning they can fit through openings as small as their heads.

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Cats have free-floating clavicle bones that allow them to squeeze their bodies through teeny-tiny spaces.

11. Just like dogs, cats sweat through their paws.

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Cats only have sweat glands in a few hairless areas on their bodies, like their paws, lips, chin, etc. When a cat is too hot, their brain sends a message to the glands to start sweating.

12. A cat’s nose has a unique pattern of ridges that may be as unique as a human fingerprint.

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According to research and several books, like Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, each animal has a unique nose imprint called a nasolabiogram.

13. Fur color changes in Siamese kittens depends on their body temperature.

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Siamese cats carry albino genes that work at a body temperature above 98° F. This means if kittens are left in a very warm room, they will stay blonde all over over and won’t develop the darker brown fur in their face, paws, ears, etc.

14. On average, cats sleep 15–20 hours per day.

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Cats are hardwired to chase and hunt at night. House cats still carry these predator-like characteristics, which take a lot of energy. They sleep to reserve energy for running, pouncing, climbing, etc.

15. Studies have proven that most cats are lactose intolerant and should avoid drinking milk.

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As they age, cats can begin to produce less lactase — just like humans. This means that many cats won’t have the ability to digest the lactose found in milk, resulting in lactose intolerance.

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