All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts

by Alice

Somali cat CHASE
Somali cat CHASE. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Well, here are some awesome cat facts! Enjoy!!

1) The love of cats is known as Ailurophilia.

2) A cat takes 20 to 40 breaths a minute.

3) A cat’s urine gleams under black light.

4) Humans have 30 vertebrae less than cats.

5) Stroking a cat relieves stress.

6) A cat uses its tail to maintain balance.

7) Unlike humans, cats walk on their toes.

8) A cat is unable to taste sweet.

9) As a kitten grows older, its eye color changes.

10) When a cat is frightened, the hair on its body stands up fairly even.

11) Unlike dogs and humans, the cat is unable to move its jaw side to side, or laterally. The only motion that a cat’s jaw performs is up and down.

12) A cat has 24 whiskers.

13) A cat is blessed with a hundred vocal cords – cat sounds.

14) A cat’s body temperature is 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

15) A cat has a third eye, called a haw, which is only visible when the cat is not feeling good – feline eye disease.

16) White cats with blue eyes have a higher chance of being deaf.

17) 25% of cat owners blow dry their cats hair after a bath.

18) Calico cats are almost always female.

19) There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds (comment by Michael – there are in fact over 100 cat breeds. There are about 60 mainstream cat breeds).

20) Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when they lost a beloved cat.

21) It costs $7000 to care for one household cat over its lifetime.

22) An adult cat has 32 teeth.

23) 32% of those who own their home, also have at least one cat.

24) The average cat weights 12 pounds (comment: this may be the modern figure but weights seem to have risen. 8 – 10 lbs was the norm)

25)In an average year, American cat owners spend $2.15 billion on cat food and $295 million on kitty litter.

26) 95% of all cat owners admit they talk to their cats.

27) Cats can see up to 120 feet away.

28) Cats can see in color.

29) The greatest number of mice killed by one cat is 28,899 mice.

30) People who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

31) Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, and 517 muscles.

32) More than 35,000 kittens are born in the U.S. each day (Admin amended this from ‘year’ to ‘day’ based on 70k puppies and kittens born per day in the US. There are an approx. equal number of cats and dogs in the US so I divided the 70k by 2.

33) A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years {comment from Michael (Admin) – this is a myth, read this: How Fast Do Cats Breed?}

34) An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter, and 2-3 litters per year.

35) Every year, nearly four million cats are eaten in Asia.

36) Cats make about 100 sounds. Dogs make about 10.

37) The oldest known cat lived to the age of 34.

38) Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal in relation to body size {see cat eyes}.

39) Isaac Newton invented the cat door.

40) Cats prefer their food at room temperature.

41) Cats can jump up to 7 times as high as their tail.

42) 80% of all cats have the same reaction to catnip. Cats that are young, and also tigers, do not react to catnip {See The Cat Drugs of Catnip and Matatabi}

43) Killing a cat was punishable by death in ancient Egypt.

44) Approximately 24 cat skins can make a coat.

45) The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”

46) A group of cats is called a “clowder.”

47) Cats are North America’s most popular pets.

48) There are over 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs.

49) Approximately 40,000 people are bitten by cats in the U.S. annually.

50) Cats hate the water because their fur does not insulate well when its wet {comment: not all individual cats hate water. Many like water. Come cat breeds like water, for example the Savannah and Bengal cats to name two}.

Here’s 36 more cat facts…!

51) Many cat owners think their cats can read their minds.

52) Cats have about 130,000 hairs per square inch.

53) Cats sweat only through their paws.

54) A female cat is called a queen or a molly.

55) People have valued cats as hunters, worshiped them as gods, and sacrificed them as demons.

56) Black cats are unlucky to Americans, and lucky in Asia & England.

57) A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

58) The heaviest cat ever recorded was 46 lbs {see World’s Biggest Cat}.

59) Most cats don’t have any eyelashes.

60) Cats have AB blood groups just like people.

61) A cat is pregnant 58-65 days.

62) Cats step with both left legs then both right legs when they walk or run.

63) A tabby named “Dusty” gave birth to 420 documented kittens in her life time.

64) Cats purr to communicate. This does not always mean happiness.

65) A group of kittens is called a “Kindle.”

66) Cats are attracted to the cave-like appeal of a clothes dryer.

67) Most deaf cats don’t meow.

68) The cheetah is the only cat in the world who can’t retract its claws.

69) Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four on each back paw.

70) The catgut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.

71) Katti, katze, and ket is how you say “kitty” in German.

72) Cats are not good at seeing objects up close – smell takes over.

73) Cats are more often left pawed.

74) All domestic cats are one species of cat; Felis silvertris catus.

75) The cat has 244 bones.

76) A cat’s tail is sometimes used to feel an object.

77) A cat’s sense of smell is 20 more times more sensitive than ours.

78) Cats walk on their toes.

79) On average, cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping. That means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life.

80) When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.

81) Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed. Interestingly, while 90% of humans are right handed, the remaining 10% of lefties also tend to be male.

82) A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down {comment: some cats do run down trees head first. One breed of cat that tends to do this is the Norwegian Forest Cat}.

83) A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.

84) While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more – cat history.

85) During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil and thousands of cats were burned. Unfortunately, the widespread killing of cats led to an explosion of the rat population, which exacerbated the effects of the Black Death.

86) During the Middle Ages, cats were associated with witchcraft, and on St. John’s Day, people all over Europe would stuff them into sacks and toss the cats into bonfires. On holy days, people celebrated by tossing cats from church towers.

Thanks!! Hope you liked it!!


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All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts

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Mar 24, 2011
You sound like a fun gal!
by: Leah (England)

Hi Alice you sound fab! I’m still smiling! I loved your article and I so hope you’ll write some more; you cheered me up no end!

My cat Alfie also agrees about the letters! He already thinks any we get are his as he tries every day to pat them until they fall out of the letterbox into his eager little paws!!

Anyways great article pleeeeease write some more it was puuurfect!

Mar 21, 2011
Hi Alice
by: Ruth

Don’t apologise Alice, you made my day !
I hope you will write more pages as I enjoyed this one very much.

Mar 21, 2011
hehe sorry
by: Alice

Hi, yes this is Alice. The one who wrote All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts. I am truly sorry about the typo, and that there are way more than 50 facts. My apologies,

~ Alice

Mar 15, 2011
Brightened my day
by: Ruth

It was really nice to have a little laugh ‘with’ you not ‘at’ you as it gets very gloomy at times caring about animal abuse as we do.
It brightened my day anyway thanks.

Also our Jozef wishes to comment on fact
29)The greatest number of mice killed by one cat is 28,899 mice.

He thinks he may have broken that record but no one was counting lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 15, 2011
LOL – typo
by: Michael

I have just seen it. Made me laugh too. But I had better correct it!

To Alice: this is my fault. Don’t feel bad about it.

Mar 15, 2011
Fun Facts
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

I also got a chuckle from the ‘letters’ typo. No wonder Abby’s been meowing at me! She sees my mail and wants to know where hers is, LOL!

This came at the right time, too, since earlier yesterday, someone in my office wondered if cats saw in color or black and white. Who knows? The ‘facts’ say color, but how is that realized? Did someone ask a cat? I don’t get it.

Mar 15, 2011
A little laugh too
by: Ruth

The typo gave me a laugh too

34) An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter, and 2-3 letters per year.

Now our 2 cats want to know why the postman never brings them any letters
lol lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 15, 2011
Thanks Alice
by: Michael

I’d like to thank you too for taking the time to do this.

As you can see, I added some links to other pages on this site.

I also made the odd comment because some “cat facts” are not really facts!

The biggest myth is the speed at which cats reproduce (fact number 33). This is entirely incorrect and damages the reputation of the cat. That is not your fault though.

Mar 15, 2011
Thanks Alice
by: Ruth

Hi Alice, I loved this thank you.
All in all cats are wonderful creatures and I always say they are underestimated by people who treat them as possessions or abuse them.
I also think that for all we do know about cats there is a lot more that we don’t and that they are far cleverer than some people !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

5 thoughts on “All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts”

  1. “32) More than 35,000 kittens are born in the U.S. each year.” I am not a cat person, but it seems as if someone left some zeroes off of this fact.

    • You are correct! This was written by a guest and that figure has to be wrog. I would apply to a big city or state perhaps but not all of the US.


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