20 Amusing Cat facts: You may love your cat, but you may not be fully aware of just how cool your she and her overall species really is. They are often called house cats when kept as indoor pets or simply cats when there is no need to distinguish them from other felines.
Clearly, there’s more to your little feline friend than meets the eye. So, to help you fully appreciate how awesome cats are, we asked cat care professionals on Care.com — namely, cat sitters, boarders, and groomers — to share their favorite fun facts about these mystical creatures. Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws and teeth adapted to killing small prey. We then pulled together a list of the 101 most amusing cat facts that you can share with your friends and family.
Amazing facts about cats
1. While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more.
2. A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.
3. The oldest cat on record was Crème Puff from Austin, Texas, who lived from 1967 to August 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.
4. A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
5. Structurally, a cat’s brain is about 90% similar to a human’s brain. They’re intelligent, but most of the time, they can’t be bothered to express their emotions.
6. Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due largely to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability.
7. The Egyptian Mau is probably the oldest breed of cat. In fact, the breed is so ancient that its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”
8. Cats have nearly twice the amount of neurons in their cerebral cortex as dogs.
9. The world’s rarest coffee, Kopi Luwak, comes from Indonesia where a wildcat known as the luwak lives. The cat eats coffee berries and the coffee beans inside pass through the stomach. The beans are harvested from the cat’s dung heaps and then cleaned and roasted. Kopi Luwak sells for about $500 for a 450 g (1 lb) bag.
10. Cats can be lethal hunters and very sneaky, when they walk their back paws step almost exactly in the same place as the front paws did beforehand, this keeps noise to a minimum and limits visible tracks.
11. In the 1960s, the CIA tried to turn a cat into a bonafide spy by implanting a microphone into her ear and a radio transmitter at the base of her skull.
12. A cat’s cerebral cortex (the part of the brain in charge of cognitive information processing) has 300 million neurons, compared with a dog’s 160 million.
13. The longest cat in the world is over 42 inches long.
14. Domestic cats love to play, this is especially true with kittens who love to chase toys and play fight. Play fighting among kittens may be a way for them to practice and learn skills for hunting and fighting.
15. Perhaps the most famous comic cat is the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. With the ability to disappear, this mysterious character embodies the magic and sorcery historically associated with cats.
16. There are cats who have more than 18 toes. These extra-digit felines are referred to as being “polydactyl.”
17. The term “puss” is the root of the principal word for “cat” in the Romanian term pisica and the root of secondary words in Lithuanian (puz) and Low German puus. Some scholars suggest that “puss” could be imitative of the hissing sound used to get a cat’s attention.
18. Many Egyptians worshipped the goddess Bast, who had a woman’s body and a cat’s head.
19. A cat’s whiskers are generally about the same width as its body. (This is why you should never, EVER cut their whiskers.
20. The richest cat in the world inherited $12.5 million when its owner passed away.