How well do you really know your kitty? Test your knowledge with this list of fun and fascinating facts about cats.
One thing we all know for sure is that cats are inscrutable creatures. Even the most diehard cat lovers can’t claim to fully understand their kitties. Recently, Reader’s Digest compiled a list of interesting facts about cats. See how many you already know – and how many might take you by surprise!
1. People shake hands; cats bump noses – sometimes. Nose-to-nose greetings between cats are unusual, as it puts both in a vulnerable position. However, those who know each other well feel safe enough to do this. It helps them confirm visual recognition and gain information about how the other cat is.
2. They can adapt their vocalizations to control your behavior. If they want food, for example, they can make their cries sound more urgent to attract your attention and prompt you to come running.
3. Kitties blink and narrow their eyes when they accidentally make eye contact. To make friends with an unfamiliar cat, blink and look away when you catch his eyes.
4. Cats can dream! They prefer to nap, but if they’re relaxed enough to enter a deeper sleep, they produce the same brainwave patterns we do when we dream. This is why you might see your cat’s whiskers twitch or hear him growl softly when he’s asleep.
5. When cats purr, they’re content – usually. However, a deep purr can also indicate pain.
6. They can purr continually as they inhale and exhale. They start doing so at one week old.
7. Young cats purr in a monotone. Older ones do so in two to three resonant notes.
8. Cats appear to retain their kitten vocal signals to communicate with their people. But they use a different repertoire of sounds with others.
9. Felines tolerate heat relatively well. This is because their ancestors were originally desert-living animals. (However, this does not mean they can endure extreme temperatures, such as the interior of a car on a hot summer day.)
10. A cat’s pulse ranges between 160 to 240 beats per minute, depending on his age. The younger he is, the faster the heartbeat.
11. They may be able to sense earthquakes. The pads of a cat’s feet are very sensitive, and some will behave strangely just before an earthquake hits. Though it’s not a proven theory, some believe cats can detect vibrations of the earth through their feet.