Monday, June 29, 2015

9 Facts about Felines that will Impress your Friends


1) Even if both of a cat's parents love catnip, it still has a 1 in 4 chance of being unaffected by the allure of the minty herb.

2) Cats time-share their territory. A cat may claim a chair or a shady patch of grass near a bird feeder in the morning, and later in the day, a different cat may reliably be found there. They will keep to the same schedule on a daily basis.

"Hey, Fred, long day?" "Yep, quittin' time. The birdfeeder is yours."

3) A cat's brain is only 0.9% of their body mass and packs in 300 million neurons (dogs only have 160 million, though they are considered to be slightly smarter than cats). Even so, a 2010 supercomputer at U of M (the most sophisticated in existence that year) performed 83% slower than a cat's brain.

"Stupid computer. I don't know why my mom can't figure out how to install a new hard drive on her own..."

4) New research from 2013 suggests that cat domestication happened 5,300 years ago in China - 1300 years earlier than the Egyptians. Additionally, there is evidence of a wild cat buried with a human in Cyprus dating to 10,000 years ago. Dogs have been domesticated for 15,000 to 100,000 years, depending on which researcher you talk to. The species of wildcat that is said to be the ancestor of domestic cats is the Near Eastern Wildcat or African Wildcat.

African Wildcat - Wikimedia Commons

5) It may be cute when your cat dips a paw in a bowl of water and licks the water off, but it probably means your cat does not like its water bowl. If your cat sticks a paw in a stream of water, she is either playing or afraid to get her whiskers wet.

" this water sanitary? I only drink Brita-filtered..."

6) Cats spend 30-50% of their time grooming. More than that is considered to be related to stress, certain illnesses, or skin parasites. If your cat does not groom well, it may indicate that your cat is not feeling well.
"Busy day, Sam?" "Sure is, I've got 40 million hairs to groom..."**

7) Cat kidneys are so effective, a cat without a water source can survive by drinking sea water.

8) Cats do sweat, but they have sweat glands only on their paws. A more effective way for a cat to cool off is to lick their fur and the evaporation of their saliva cools them. The most effective way for a cat to cool off is to pant like a dog, but we hope that they don't get to that point. If you see a cat panting in the heat, it is likely heat-stressed and should be moved to a cooler location.

9) Cats do not like to drink from a water bowl that is next to its food bowl. It is supposed that this is an instinct derived from the likelihood that in the wild, when a cat makes a kill, if the prey is killed near water, the water may become contaminated. Additionally, cats prefer to drink running water - probably because running water is fresher-tasting and more aerated.

**Cats have approximately 60,000 hairs per square inch on their backs and 120,000 hairs per square inch on their bellies.  144 sq in/ft x approximately 3 square feet of surface area = about 40 million hairs. Of course, this varies a bit by breed, age and size. We are pretty sure that a Sphynx has a few less than 40 million hairs... ;)

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