Cat, kitten, feline, Tom, or Molly – it doesn’t matter what you call a cat it’ll probably ignore you anyway! But, we’ve rustled up some purr-fect facts for you to get to know your pesky little friends better! Be one step ahead of them with these feline-good facts! Here’s 141 facts for you…
Fact 1: ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ is a true story that centres on the life of Luke, a homeless person in London, and a ginger cat called Bob, who form a friendship! Together they inspire and bring out the best in each other, and demonstrate even in the darkest of times light can be found! Following the book’s success a film was created in 2016.
Fact 2: It won’t be surprising to hear this, but some of the world’s largest countries are home to the most cats. In fact, according to research in 2013, the United States of America’s leads the way with the most number of cats, followed closely by China, and Russia!
Fact 3: In the United Kingdom cats come second to dogs, according to figures, there are 10.9 million cats in the UK. This is about 24% of all the pets that people own in the UK.
Fact 4: There are around 76.5 million cats in the USA, although there are probably many unknown cats and kittens roaming the streets that have not been counted.
Fact 5: In Europe alone there are said to be 103 million cats, Germany and France are the most popular countries in Europe who love kittys!
Fact 6: Cats have 26 ‘baby teeth’ and 30 ‘adult teeth’, of these teeth you have the fang-looking teeth at the front of their mouth! This number is just shy in comparison to humans. We have 32 teeth when we reach adulthood.
Fact 7: Much like humans when we are sick our completion pales and our skin can sometimes become rougher, cats fur/hair changes if a cat is unwell. When healthy cats fur/hair should be smooth and soft to touch, but if a cat is sick the fur/hair can become coarse, and it also lacks its normal shine.
Fact 8: As of 2015 there are an estimated 220-600 million cats worldwide, obviously there are a number of cats that we don’t actually account for, therefore giving a definitive answer is almost impossible!
Fact 9: Although we have a large population of domestic cats, there are also cats known as ‘feral cats’. Feral cats are cats that live on the street and away from people. These cats are not social animals and rarely allow humans to come into contact with them.
Fact 10: Although researchers have tried to find an answer for why cats purr, as of yet there is no definite answer, just suggestions as to why cats do this. Some reasons are, they purr to soothe themselves, if they are stressed out, and because it might help them health wise.
Fact 11: As of 2019 researchers have concluded that cats do recognise their own names, but while some respond immediately to an owners call, a lot of cats choose to turn away and ignore their name being called out to them.
Fact 12: ‘Bastet’ or ‘Bast’ is the goddess in charge of domesticity, the home, cats, and fertility. She was worshipped by Egyptians during the Second Dynasty.
Fact 13: Research in 2019 concluded that some cats choose their ‘favorite person’ based on the person’s smell.
Fact 14: As with purring, little is actually known as to why cats knead! There is reason to believe that kneading is comforting to cats.
Fact 15: There are cats in the world who just live in houses. These cats are often known as ‘house cats’, and do not leave the house. They eat, sleep, play, and go to the bathroom at home.
Fact 16: Cats have far better memories than dogs. In fact, they have memories that are almost 200x better than that of dogs!
Fact 17: The 8th of August is National Cat Day!
Fact 18: Although it may seem difficult for a cat to do this in the wild, you do get domesticated cats with no teeth. Usually these cats have suffered from ill health and this has resulted in them losing their teeth, but these toothless cats live great lives! Their gums adapt to eating food in a different way and they carry on life as normal.
Fact 19: Interestingly, teeth or no teeth, cats don’t chew their food!
Fact 20: When a kitten is born it’s eyes are closed tight, their eyes open when they are about 10-15 days old.
Fact 21: If you’re looking for a night-vision expert then look no further, a cat is the answer! Cats have exceptional night-vision abilities, which come in handy for navigating on the dark nights and in dark areas. Their ability comes from the fact that the rod cells in their retina are sensitive to dimmer lighting.
Fact 22: Istanbul is sometimes called ‘Catsanbul’ by cat lovers in the area.
Fact 23: When kittens are born their ears are folded over, they open up as the kitten ages!
Fact 24: Domesticated cats can live to an average of 18 years of age! But there are many stories of cats living way beyond this age!
Fact 25: Cats are carnivores, this means they eat meat! Little rodents are a big favorite with them.
Fact 26: It is not uncommon for domesticated cats to bring back home a rodent that they have pursued and killed for their owners to see. They do this for different reasons, but some think it’s like the cat bringing home a trophy or a gift for the owner.
Fact 27: Kitty’s are mammals! This means that they are warm blooded, females have mammary glands to produce milk for offspring, they have fur/hair, they have 3 bones in the ear, and mammals have a neocortex (The part of the brain that rules higher-order brain functions like sensory, condition, motor, spatial awareness, and responding).
Fact 28: Cats are the only domesticated animals within the ‘Felidae’ family! The Felidae family includes lions, lynx, tiger, leopards, and ocelot (plus many more).
Fact 29: There are 3 main types of cat:
- Farm cats
Fact 30: There are about 71 known breeds of cat out in the world at the moment, according to the The International Cat Association in 2019! Here are some examples:
- American Curl
- Havana Brown
Fact 31: Farm cats are actually a mix between domesticated cats and feral cats, they have qualities of both types of cat. They are usually found, as their name suggests, around farms and in barns!
Fact 32: ‘Bakeneko’ is a 1-tailed cat which is found in Japanese yōkai. This cat is often confused with ‘Nekomata’ which is a 2-tailed cat. They are both supernatural creatures!
Fact 33: With over 71 breeds of cat around the world you’re spoilt for choice when choosing a cat! However, the most popular cat is the Persian Cat!
Fact 34: On another note, the least favorite cat is the Cyprus Cat and the Chausie Cat. The Cyprus cat is actually one of the oldest domesticated cats and the Chausie is a hybrid cat (both domestic and feral).
Fact 35: As of 2019, the favorite cat name is Poppy, following close behind are Molly and Luna.
Fact 36: For the boys, the fan favorites names are Felix, Smudge, and Sooty.
Fact 37: In ancient Egypt, many moons ago, people would worship cats! Cats were seen as special because they were able to protect the Egyptians from tiny pests, what we would now see as rodents. Others say that Egyptians saw cats as good luck!
Fact 38: Some researchers believe that cats can only see in blue and grey, however, some say they can see similar colours to dogs, the colours just aren’t as vivid.
Fact 39: Humans need plenty of light to see in the dark, but cats only need ⅙ of this light to see effectively in the dark! Pretty neat trick hey.
Fact 40: Although most cats live to an average age of 18 years! There are some exceptions to this though! Creme Puff is the oldest known cat in the world. She was 38 years and 3 days old when she passed away in 2005.
Fact 41: Rubble is the current oldest cat in the world, he is still alive and is 30 years of age right now!
Fact 42: Some cats may show symptoms of sadness but researchers believe that this is not the same type of behaviour that a human would show.
Fact 43: Cats and humans literally, and I mean literally, go way back! In Cyprus a human body was dug up and it was close to a wildcat’s body, the researchers who found these remains think that they were about 9500 years old! However, they still aren’t too sure if humans and cats had a significant relationship based on this finding.
Fact 44: According to researchers, there are paintings from Ancient Egyptian times that show cats sitting beneath the feet and chairs of women, these paintings are about 4000 years old.
Fact 45: Have you ever watched a cat walk? No? Then you’re in luck because we have! Cats tend to step forward with their front paws and then place their back paws in exactly the sample place where their front paws were. Why do they do this? Some believe it’s to reduce noise pollution, and to give themselves a sneaky edge! Interestingly, cats, camels, giraffes all walk in the same way, and they’re the only animals who walk like this.
Fact 46: Sadly, some feral cats are viewed as pests in some areas of the world. Unfortunately, this does mean that they are treated poorly and are pushed out of the areas.
Fact 47: Cats can sleep for ages in a day! In fact, cats tend to sleep for about 13-14 hours a day. For an average aged cat, that’s about 70% of their life just being slept away!
Fact 48: Cats do hunt mice and rats, and this is why some people keep cats! Cats can help to control the rodent population, so that these rodents don’t create havoc around the countries!
Fact 49: Like some dog breeds, cats have a good sense of smell! In fact, on their tiny little noses, domestic cats have 200 million odour-sensitive cells! This is insane considering humans only have around 5 million odour cells.
Fact 50: A female cat is referred to as a ‘Molly’ or a ‘Queen’.
Fact 51: Our feline friends can also have smell organs in their mouths! This is called the ‘vomeronasal’ and can detect heavy moisture.
Fact 52: A group of adult cats is called a ‘clowder’.
Fact 53: While this next one can be true for anyone it’s particularly true for cats. Research has shown that when cats become bored they get mischievous! We’ve all seen the funny YouTube videos!
Fact 54: Male cats are known as a ‘Tom’.
Fact 55: Being clean is crucial to a cat and that is why they can spend hours in a day self-grooming! Cats groom so much to be clean, but also by rubbing their tongues along their hairs they stimulate the sebaceous glands, which then release sebum. This all helps to keep the hairs and skin lubricated.
Fact 56: When you put a young kitten and an old cat together there can be disharmony! Older cats tend to be more relaxed and young kittens are extremely playful. However, sometimes the older cat can get a little jealous too.
Fact 57: Unless there is a medical condition that makes them produce tears, cats generally don’t cry out tears!
Fact 58: While cats lick themselves a lot during the grooming process it is common to see cats licking each other. Some research has been done into this and they think this could be a comforting activity. For example, if one cat is worried another cat may lick him/her to calm him/her down in the situation.
Fact 59: A baby cat is called a ‘kitten’.
Fact 60: Kittens are extremely playful, and it is sometimes recommended that you purchase 2 cats so that they can play together. A kitten loves to play with a ball of string and they love the toys you can drag around on the floor with a toy mouse attached to the end!
Fact 61: Some speculate that when a cat is licking a human, for example it’s owners, it’s actually telling the person to go and wash! Cats are always self-grooming, so this is why people think this!
Fact 62: Interestingly, while a lot of animals pass gas they tend to make loud-ish noises, however, when a cat passes wind you can barely hear it! Why? This is all to do with how they digest their food and how the gas in the stomach works. Together this works to decrease the noise of gas escaping.
Fact 63: A cat’s weight can vary from breed to breed so there is no definite answer to how much a cat, both male and female weigh. Speculation says that on average a domesticated adult cat should weigh about 4kg.
Fact 64: A gestation period (pregnancy) of a cat can vary from 58-67 days!
Fact 65: Feral cats tend to be larger than domesticated cats! One reason for this could be because feral cats hunt their food at night, and there is a much larger selection of food available at this time. On the other hand, domesticated cats sleep during the day but are more likely to sleep or stay in a house at night with their owner.
Fact 66: ‘Pinking-up’ is the term used to describe a Molly when she is showing signs of having kittens. This term refers to the nipples of the female cat starting to change colour ready for the kitten to suckle for milk.
Fact 67: Stubbs, also known as the ‘Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska’ was a cat who was as the title suggests was seen as a mayor of the area! Stubbs came into power in 1997 and left his post when he passed away in 2017. The cat received loads of letters from fans over the 20 year period and tourists flocked to the area to see a rare glimpse of the Mayor!
Fact 68: According to the Guinness World Records, as of 2018, Barivel from Italy, is the world’s longest (length wise) cat that is still alive! The Marine Coon is 3ft 11 inches!
Fact 69: Although Barivel is the longest cat in the world that is alive, the actual longest cat in the world was actually Stewie, he was 4ft and 0.42 inches in length. Sadly, he passed away in 2013, but his memory lives on!
Fact 70: Cygnus the cat from Michigan, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest tail on a domesticated cat. This kitty has a tail that is 17.58 inches long! What is more interesting is that Cygnus lived with a sibling who was also a Guinness World Record holder!
Fact 71: Arcturus, brother to Cygnus, holds the record for being the tallest domesticated cat! Coming in at a height of 19.5 inches this is no little kitty! In fact, the family had to be extra careful with their 2 Guinness World Record holders because their characteristics posed threats around the house. For example, Cygnus would get his tail caught in the door, and Arcturus needed a big enough cat door to get out through or he would get stuck! Sadly, a fire at their house meant that both siblings have since passed away.
Fact 72: In contrast to some of the tallest, longest and biggest cats we’ve discussed is tiny cat Lilieput from Napa, USA. She is only 5.25 inches tall! This would be just over a standard tin of beans in height!
Fact 73: Missi the Maine Coon from Finland holds the record for the longest cat whiskers in the world, as of 2005. With whiskers reaching out 7.5 inches she dominates this record!
Fact 74: As of 2013, Sophie Smith from Oceanside, USA, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest fur on a cat. The hairs are 10.11 inches in length!
Fact 75: When Ben Rea died little did his little cat Blackie know that he would become the richest cat in the world! After passing away, antiques dealer Ben left his fortune to his much loved cat, all £7 million of it!
Fact 76: The largest wild cat out there is the Siberian Tiger! Males can be at least 3 meters long, 1 meters tall, and can weigh up to 306 kg!
Fact 77: You know the cat flap or cat door that cats love to use to go in and out of the house? Well, so the story goes, it was Sir Isaac Newton who invented this. Allegedly, his cats were scratching to go out so much when he was trying to work he had 2 doors cut out so that cats could go in and out as they pleased without disturbing his work day!
Fact 78: The loudest recorded purr is held by Merlin, a black and white cat, from the UK. His purr was 67.8 decibels when they recorded him for the Guinness World Record win in 2015.
Fact 79: Félicette was the first cat that was launched into space. On October 18th 1963 she was launched into space via the ‘Véronique AG1 rocket’, she was 157 kilometres above the Earth at one point.
Fact 80: Since 1998 the Guinness World Records have not had a category for the ‘world’s heaviest cat’ because they didn’t want to promote over feeding of cats.
Fact 81: Cats can be polydactyl! Polydactyl means that a cat is born with an extra toe on one paw or more! This characteristic is quite rare, and it is not specific to a breed of cat! Although, it is rare to see cats with an extra toe on all 4 of their paws!
Fact 82: Ever thought about how high a cat can jump? On average a fit and healthy cat, that is younger can easily jump 8 feet in the air! That’s higher than how tall most humans are!
Fact 83: Your little kitty could easily outrun you! A healthy domesticated cat can run up to 30mph with ease! Although the cheetah can double this speed easily!
Fact 84: Although we might assume that all animals come with eyelashes this isn’t actually the case at all! Cats don’t have eyelashes!
Fact 85: When we think about cats we think about their ‘meow’ sound they make, but did you know that this is a sound that has been developed so by cats so that they can communicate with humans? When cats talk to other cats they don’t actually ‘meow’!
Fact 86: Interestingly, the Ginger Tabby cat can have freckles on its face and eyelids!
Fact 87: Ernest Hemingway was a lover of polydactyl cats! He was known for having lots of multiple toed cats in his home at any one time!
Fact 88: During the Ancient Egyptian era, when a cat died it was traditional for the Egyptians to shave off their eyebrows to show respect and to mourn for the cat who had died. They also held lavish ceremonies to celebrate the cats’ lives too! There would be lots of music and dancing.
Fact 89: In some cultures it is believed that if you dream of a white cat while sleeping you will have good luck!
Fact 90: According to research that was conducted on the brains of cats, our kitties have about 300 million neurons in their brain! This almost seems impossible given their tiny little heads, but, believe it or not, this is nothing compared to the amount humans have! 86 billion neurons a human brain contains!
Fact 91: Contrary to popular belief, giving milk and dairy products to cats actually gives them an upset stomach! However, the degree of this potential ‘intolerance’ varies from cat to cat!
Fact 92: Mammals in general can taste sugar, and sweetness but cats aren’t able to detect sweetness at all! This could be why they don’t eat as much sweet food as say a dog! (Even though you really shouldn’t feed your pets sugary food!!).
Fact 93: Given that they have excellent night-vision, cats wouldn’t be complete without amazing hearing to go with it! Cats have hearing that is similar to humans, meaning a healthy cat will hear very well. The significant difference between human and cat hearing is that cats can hear more pitches!
Fact 94: A cat isn’t able to see directly under its nose, so this might be why they don’t eat the treats that are right by their nose!
Fact 95: A kitten’s first year is the equivalent of 15 human years! This is the only time this particular aging happens though!
Fact 96: interestingly, a cat’s jaw only moves up and down, it does not move from side to side. Given that cats rarely chew their food this makes a lot of sense as they don’t need a jaw to move from side to side!
Fact 97: According to the Guinness World Records, Didga, the cat, is the best cat in the world for doing tricks! This little kitty can perform 24 tricks in 1 minute! One of these tricks involved riding a skateboard – I can’t even do this!!
Fact 98: This will be a little scary but extraordinary! 95.6% of a cat’s and a tiger’s DNA is shared! Who’s going to snuggle with their little tigers tonight!?
Fact 99: A cat’s ears are able to turn around 180-degrees!
Fact 100: While us humans sweat from what feels like everywhere, cats gracefully sweat through their paws! Pretty neat trick hey!
Fact 101: In the human kingdom we all have a fingerprint that is unique to us! In the animal kingdom this happens too! For example, a cat’s nose is completely unique to that particular cat!
Fact 102: Cats, have 3 eyelids! They have the upper eyelid and the lower eyelid, their third eyelid is called the nictitating membrane! This clever little eyelid sweeps horizontally across the cat’s eye!
Fact 103: There was once a cat named Dusty who gave birth to 420 kittens during her lifetime! She had her final single kitten in 1952!
Fact 104: The average healthy domesticated females cat tends to have a litter of 5 cats in one go!
Fact 105: Himmy, is the last heaviest cat in the world to have been recorded by the Guinness World Records! He weighed a staggering 21.3kg. There is no longer a record for the world’s heaviest cat!
Fact 106: In the 1970, there was a Burmese-Siames cross cat who gave birth to 19 kittens in one go! This is incredible considering you usually have 5 kittens in a litter, so this is almost 4 times as much!
Fact 107: Cats have a heart rate of about 140-220 bpm! Fancy testing your cats heart rate out? Gently place your hand under your cat’s armpit, located behind the front legs!
Fact 108: It’s not unheard of to hear cats fighting, and the reason cats fight is mainly over territory!
Fact 109: A study was published in the Journal of Animal Behaviour, that started that cats have a dominant paw. The research suggested Mollys were right-foot dominant, and Toms were left-foot dominant.
Fact 110: ‘Diamond eye’ sweethearts Phet and Ploy were married in a lavish ceremony that cost their owners over £25,000 back in 1996! The pair, who both suffer with glaucoma were brought to the ceremony by helicopter and Rolls Royce! This beats some of the celeb weddings!
Fact 111: Contrary to what people think, cats don’t always land on their feet. There are occasions when they stumble! But usually they’re pretty nimble and don’t fall!
Fact 112: In some countries in Europe seeing a black cat means that you’ll have bad luck! If the black cat crosses your path people believe that poor luck is almost certain!
Fact 113: On the other hand, in the UK people associate a black cat crossing your path as good luck!
Fact 114: In a 2010 study that looked at what pets graduates would likely buy for themselves, cats were top on the list! It’s probably because graduates aim to get good jobs and will therefore be away from the house, and cats don’t need as much attention as dogs do!
Fact 115: ‘Kindle’, or more commonly, ‘litter’, are the words used to describe a group of kittens!
Fact 116: Cats have always been a fan favorite, and it’s not just been in recent years! Aside from Hemingway and his love for polydactyl cats, Mark Twain, Bronte sisters, Florence Nightingale, and Pope Paul II all loved kittens, Toms, and Mollys.
Fact 117: A person who loves cats is called a ‘ailurophile’.
Fact 118: A person with an extreme fear of cats, and is in complete contrast with an ailurophile, is a person suffering with ‘ailurophobia’.
Fact 119: Tama was a female Calico cat, who was a train station master at the Kishi Station in Japan! Her main duties included greeting the passengers, and putting a smile on their face!
Fact 120: The Cat Flower Garden in Zhishan Station, is the world’s oldest cat cafe! At the last count there were 15 cats roaming freely around the cafe, as well as 2 dogs and a bird! Cats are literally at the heart of this cafe!
Fact 121: Disney likes to keep their parks rodent free, the easiest way of doing so is by requesting the help of feral cats! These cats are known to the parks and are playing a vital role in keeping the destination rodent free! Pretty neat, plus the cats get plenty of food out of it! Obviously, people are encouraged to stay away from the feral cats as they prefer to have no contact with humans.
Fact 122: In September of 1999 a devastating earthquake hit Taiwan, many lives were lost at this time! In fact, all hope was lost until after 80 days of searching for survivors a tiny cat was found crushed by a billboard, but alive! The little guy made a full recovery!
Fact 123: Are you crazy about cats? Well, there was once a lady from Guatemala named Carmen de Aldana, who owned 21,321 cat-related items back in 2011! Her collection is held in a museum and there are actually over 23,000 cat related items there, but when the Guinness World Records came they saw that some were duplicates!
Fact 124: It appears that Instagram isn’t just popular with us humans, but with animals too! There are cats on Instagram with over 3 million followers! Nala seems to be paving the way right now!
Fact 125: On a similar note, Maru the cat is a YouTube sensation, he alone has had over 300 million video views on YouTube! He comes from Japan and loves to hide himself in tiny spaces!
Fact 126: Cats have 230 bones in their tiny bodies, for comparisons, humans have 206 and we’re much bigger!
Fact 127: If you’ve seen Friends then you’ll already know this one! Cats can be hairless! The Sphinx Cat is a hairless cat that originated in Toronto!
Fact 128: A composer once composed an album for cats to listen to. The album is called ‘Music For Cats’ and it was released in 2016. The album is supposed to be good for cats as it stimulates them, and reduces their heart rate – but this might not be the case for every cat! Give it a go!
Fact 129: There is an actual musical called ‘Cats’, which was created by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story, largely based around poverty, was created by T.S. Eliot in 1939. And of course they brought a film out in 2019 that stars Judi Dench!
Fact 130: Cats generally don’t like water because they lose buoyancy, and in doing so they feel out of control. But you do get some cats that actually like water and will play in it.
Fact 131: We know there is a station master cat, now lets learn about ‘lobby cats’. For example, in Le Bristol in Paris there is a cat called Fa-raon, he greets guests, takes a nap by the concierge desk, and roams the gardens!
Fact 132: Ever thought about why your cat rubs up against you? The fact of the matter is that your cat is marking its territory by spreading its scent onto you! This scent is pretty much undetectable to a human, but other animals will be able to smell it.
Fact 133: The Japanese believe that some cats become super spirits when they die.
Fact 134: Towser, a cat who lived in the Glenturret Distillery for 24 years, caught over 28,000 mice throughout its life! This little feline is credited with catching the most mice in a lifetime. Obviously, this is just based on the cats we all know about, feral cats could well have caught many more.
Fact 135: In Texas there is a lady called Kim Freeman, who credits herself as The Lost Cat Detective. She along with her sidekick, Henry The Search Cat, actively work together to search and find missing cats!
Fact 136: Way back in 1876, the Belgian Society for the Elevation of the Domesticated Cat thought it would be a good idea to have cats delivering mail! As you can imagine, this was a fun trial and it did actually get positive results! The cats were sent out with little plastic bags attached to them containing mail, and had to get home safely. They achieved this.
Fact 137: Tom and Jerry, the fictional TV show created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, first aired in the 1940’s. It features Tom, a cat, and Jerry, a mouse. The series focuses on the rivalry and sometimes unlikely friendship between the two characters. The show was well received and you can still watch it nowadays.
Fact 138: The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland is another prominent cat that appears in literature and film. The cat in this story is known for his disappearing acts and his odd little smile! Of course, Lewis Carroll was a fan of creating weird and wonderful characters, as seen in this story, the talking White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, and the March Hare.
Fact 139: ‘Keeping up with the Kattarshians’ is a real thing! The show features 4 cats who live together in Iceland! They all have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes, and they don’t always get on!
Fact 140: An Ashera Cat is one of the most expensive cats to buy! This cat is a special hybrid cat and it sort of looks like a mini leopard too. With these features it’s expected that the cat will come with a 6 figure price tag! You’ll be looking at spending about $125,000 to buy one of these rare kitties.
Fact 141: Cats allegedly came to Britain, or ‘the West’, in 100 AD.