Strange Things You Didn’t Know About Your Cat
Cat owners may think they know their pets like the back of their hands but there are some very strange facts about our feline friends! Cats are constantly surprising us and as more information becomes available about these mysterious creatures, we are always learning more about their capabilities and odd features. Today we’re sharing AFB Pet Clubs favorite strange facts about cats that you may not have known before!
Cats don’t meow at one another, they only do it to people
Kittens will meow at their mothers to let them know they’re in need of things like food or warmth. Once they grow into cats, they’ll no longer meow at one another but will continue to meow at people. As a cat owner, you should pay attention to this form of communication because a cat could be trying to tell you a wide array of things. A cat’s meow can sometimes indicate when they want you to feed them, if they want to go outside (outdoor cats), to simply say hello or to ask for attention. If you notice your cat is meowing more than normal, it could be an indication that they’re in distress so contact your local veterinarian.
Cats cannot taste things that are sweet
Unlike our beloved canine friends, cats do not have a sweet tooth! With just 480 taste buds, the receptors that would detect sugar are not strong enough to actually recognize it. This is because cats have a strong meat-based diet so their taste buds are focused on finding meaty forms of nutrition. Cats do not benefit whatsoever from sugar and carbohydrates and they have a lot less taste buds than dogs which have 1,700 and humans which have a whopping 9,000. This doesn’t mean your cat won’t enjoy a lick of your ice cream but it’s likely because they’re drawn to the taste of fats and not the sweet sugary taste. Always keep sugary treats out of reach from your cat as many of the ingredients are toxic.
Black cats can rust in the sun
If you have a black cat that enjoys sunbathing, you might already be aware of this strange fact! Similar to when a light-haired person spends lots of time in the sunlight and their hair becomes more blonde, this can happen to a black cat’s coat. This occurrence is called rusting which can result in your black cat becoming dark brown or red after spending time in the sun. This happens when the eumelanin in their fur becomes bleached.
A cat’s nose print is as unique as a person’s fingerprint
Each cat has its own unique nose print with different ridges and bumps. Just like a human’s fingerprint, a nose print will always carry its own distinctive features and cannot be the exact same as another cat’s. In recent years, people have started studying the ability to identify cats through their noses as an alternate form of identification. Maybe one day we will have the technologies to eliminate microchipping!
Whiskers are like antennas but for cats
Did you know that a cat’s whiskers have similar sensitivity to a human’s fingertip? Cats rely on whiskers for a variety of reasons. They act as a sensory tool to help keep them balanced, communicate with fellow cats, judge their surroundings, improve their hunting efforts and more. A cat will rely on their whiskers to tell them if a space is too small for them to fit!
Purring is a form of self healing
Who doesn’t love a form of self care? A cat’s purr releases endorphins which does wonders for their mental and physical health. Purring improves stress levels, lowers blood pressure, helps cope with illness, promotes muscle growth, reduces swelling and can even heal bones and joints. The vibrations that occur through purring offer a form of therapy.
Cats can drink salt water if necessary
Never give your cat anything other than fresh water to drink, but just know that if they ever had to, they can drink salt water.This is because their kidneys can actually filter the saltwater so in desperate circumstances it can mean life or death. But just like all living beings, too much salt ingestion will have negative health repercussions.
Be careful what you say, your cat has ultrasonic hearing abilities
Cats have heightened senses, especially when it comes to hearing abilities so even if you think you’re being quiet, your cat can definitely hear you! Cats have way better hearing capabilities than dogs and humans. Us humans can hear up to 20 kHz and dogs have even better hearing up to 45 kHz. But, cats do way better with hearing up to 79 kHz. This also means your cats are very sensitive to sounds so loud noises can really trigger them.
Cats have a dominant paw
Cats can actually have a preferred paw when it comes to doing regular tasks such as walking, climbing over an obstacle and eating food. Female cats are more likely to be right-handed while male cats are more likely to be left-handed.
Groups of felines have a special name
A group of adult cats is actually called a clowder! While this term may remind you of clam chowder, we can assure you that it’s actually a group of cats and not soup. This English word relates to terms like ‘cluster’ and ‘clots’ which are usually used to describe groups of things coming together. So I guess it makes sense! But, if you’re referring to a group of kittens, the term for that is kindle.
We hope you enjoyed these strange cat facts just as much as we did!
Updated: Feb 20, 2023
Originally Published Nov 4, 2022