People often consider cats to be mysterious, aloof creatures, hiding their many secrets. However, after centuries of domestication, cats have revealed many of their interesting traits,  making them all the more lovable. Read our Central Houston Animal Hospital team’s fabulous feline facts. 

Did you know… cats generally do not meow at other cats?

Cats tend to meow more when interacting with people, meowing to solicit attention and food. When communicating with each other, cats typically rely on body language, pheromones, and vocalizations other than meows (e.g., hisses, purrs, trillings). 

Did you know… cats spend about two-thirds of their lives sleeping?

If you think your feline friend is napping too much, consider that cats spend about 70% of their lives sleeping. Believe it or not, a 10-year-old cat has only been awake for 3 years of their life!

Did you know…monkeys and dogs aren’t the only animals who traveled to space?

In 1963, a French cat, Felicette, was the first astrocat, and remains the only cat to have gone into space. While she experienced zero gravity, electrodes that had been implanted in her brain sent neurologic signals back to Earth. The out-of-this-world feline survived the trip. 

Did you know… a cat has served as a town’s mayor?

For 20 years, a red tabby cat, Stubbs, was the mayor of Talkeetna, a small town in Alaska. He won several uncontested elections, although he never held any legislative power. 

Did you know… cats walk like camels and giraffes?

These three species—camels, giraffes, and cats—walk in the same pattern: both right legs step forward, then both left legs step forward. This gait shifts half their body forward at once. 

Did you know… cats are a more popular pet than dogs?

More American households own dogs, but the feline pet population is larger than the canine one because many households have more than one cat. The most recent total estimated the number of pet cats at 88.3 million, and dogs at only 74.8 million.

Did you know… cats’ ears are incredibly flexible?

Cats have more than 30 muscles that control their ears. They can swivel their ears around 180 degrees. 

Did you know… cats cannot taste sweet foods?

Cats, unlike all other mammals, lack some of the proteins needed to create the necessary genes for tasting sweet substances. Because cats are obligate carnivores, their bodies are designed to process meat, and carbohydrates—most sweets—are not appealing. So, while your dog may snatch a warm chocolate chip cookie from your kitchen counter, your cat would rather devour a meaty snack.

Did you know… cats have the power to heal themselves?

A cat’s purr has a frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz, the same frequency at which muscles and bones best repair themselves. Injured cats may purr to heal themselves, but also to express anxiety, as purring can represent contentment or nervousness. If you have an injury, touch that body part against your purring cat to help promote your own healing. 

Did you know… cats are lactose intolerant?

While pets’ true food allergies are rare, dairy product allergies are among the most common. So, common depictions of cats lapping milk from saucers can cause harm, making people think milk is good for a cat when in reality, cats cannot digest lactose. 

Did you know… cats can’t chew?

Cats are unable to make the side-to-side grinding motion people make when chewing. Cats’ jaws only move up and down, which is just fine for these carnivores. Cats’ up-and-down jaw movement allows them to tear, crush, and swallow food.

Did you know… cats are nearsighted?

People are much better at seeing distance than cats, but your cat is better at picking up details close-up. In addition to their admirable nearsightedness, cats’ night vision is excellent—ideal for this species who hunt mostly during the dawn and twilight hours.

Did you know… not all cats love catnip?

About half, if not more, of all cats do not care for catnip. Cats who indulge in this herb can become calm, hungry, or excited. 

With regular preventive care, your feline friend is capable of living a long, happy life. The oldest cat on record lived to be 38 years and 3 days! Schedule your cat’s wellness visit with our Central Houston Animal Hospital team, and perhaps your furry feline will be next to hold the oldest-living-cat-on-record title.