Dogs and cats are amazing creatures who can do incredible things. Here are just a few fun facts about our furry companions.
1. Does your dog use his right or left paw when batting toys or shaking hands? Studies have found that just like people, dogs and cats are either “right” or “left pawed”.
2. You’ve heard of the “dog days of summer” but do you know where the phrase comes from? The ancient Romans believed the brilliant star Sirius, also called the “dog star”, gave off heat and made summers hotter.
3. Cats are said to wash behind their ears before rain, perhaps because of the drop in air pressure. Next time your kitty gives her ears a good grooming, check the weather forecast!
4. Famed for their black and white spotted coats, Dalmatians are actually born pure white, and only develop spots as they grow up.
5. Who says cats can’t talk? They can have up to 100 different vocalization sounds.
6. Here are two new words for your vocabulary: a group of adult cats is called a “clowder”, while a group of kittens is a “kindle”.
7. There’s nothing new about collars. Images of dogs wearing collars can be seen in ancient Egyptian art.
8. You may think you love cats, but the ancient Egyptians worshipped them. When a favorite feline died, family members would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.
9. Cats seem to respond better to women than to men. It may be because women have higher voices.
10. A dog’s nose prints are as unique as your fingerprints and can even be used for identification purposes.
11. The oldest known dog breed is thought to be the Saluki. It was used as a tracking dog in ancient Egypt.
12. The Basenji is the only breed of dog that can’t bark.
14. Cats are commonly thought to be fish eaters, but their original natural habitat is the desert. The fish connection is thought to have arisen during WWII, when meat was scarce and expensive, so cat companions were given fish instead.
Incredible pets — Guinness World Records
• The longest ever ears on a dog belong to Tigger, a bloodhound who lives with the Flessner family in Illinois. His ears are more than a foot long — 13.5” to be precise!
• The oldest cat ever recorded was Creme Puff; this Methuselah among felines lived an amazing 38 years.
• The smallest living dog is Heaven Sent Brandy, a female Chihuahua who measures a mere 6” from nose to tail. This tiny girl lives with Paulette Keller in Florida.