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facts about cats

Top 10 facts about cats: fun facts every cat lover should know

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As a cat lover, you know there’s something special about your feline companion – and scientists agree. Here are ten fun facts about cats that may surprise you…

1)    Cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians

In ancient Egypt, cats were often mummified after their death by their rich owners, and killing a cat – even accidentally – incurred the death penalty! When a cat died, its owner would usually shave off their own eyebrows as a mark of respect. 

2)    Cats love to sleep

This one won’t surprise you! Chances are you’ve envied your cat’s ability to spend all day asleep – especially after a busy week at work. But you may be surprised to learn that most cats spend between 12 and 15 hours asleep on the average day – a figure that increases with age. 

3)    Your cat has more bones than you do

While we humans have 206 bones in our bodies, cats have more than 230. A lack of collar bone and a small chest cavity help to give your cat the ability to squeeze into small spaces, while the extra bones in your cat’s spine and tail give her added flexibility.

4)    Just as you are right or left-handed, your cat favours a right or left front paw 

Most female cats are believed to be right pawed – up to 90 per cent, in fact – while male cats are more likely to be left handed than their female counterparts.

5)    Your cat has a third eyelid

Like many mammals, cats have a third eyelid, called a palpebra tertia. This inner membrane helps to keep your cat’s eyes clean and healthy, by removing dust and dirt, and helping to supply moisture. 

6)    Just like a fingerprint, no two cat noses are alike

Every cat’s nose has its own pattern, and is as unique as a human fingerprint. 

7)    Your cat’s purr could have healing powers

Sound frequencies of between 25 and 150 Hertz have been found to promote healing. And guess what – your cat’s purr consistently falls within this range. As well as helping cats to self-heal, these soothing vibrations can improve the health of their human family. No wonder they say cat ownership helps to reduce stress!

8)    Your cat is faster than Usain Bolt 

The average running speed of a domestic cat is around 30 miles per hour. The average speed of Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt is 27 miles per hour. That’s furry fast! (Sorry.)

9)    The average cat spends around a third of her waking hours grooming 

Grooming has many benefits to your cat’s health and wellbeing – stimulating her blood flow, providing protection against parasites, and helping to keep her temperature regulated, so it’s a good job she takes the activity seriously. Some experts estimate the amount of time cats spend on self-cleaning to be even higher.

10)    Unlike their canine counterparts, cats can’t taste sweet foods

You may have noticed that your cat doesn’t have a sweet tooth, and can’t be tempted by sugary foods. All cats – from your furry feline friend to the fiercest tiger – are obligate carnivores, and lack the gene to taste sweet foods. 

“The average running speed of a domestic cat is around 30 miles per hour. The average speed of Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt is 27 miles per hour.”

Need help or advice on cat ownership?

For expert advice on all things feline, get in touch with your local vet. 

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.