Cat Facts

Bengal cat Kopa dancing

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Above: Bengal cat KOPA dancing balletically while being photographed. Photograph Helmi Flick

Please note: this page is more than about plain facts. There is plenty of opinion. This page has a narrative that includes links and there are just free standing links. The truth is that the whole site is choc-a-bloc full of facts so this page is just a reservoir for some more.

Cat Facts – Contents

Above: Serval giving birth – see serval reproduction and development.


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Are Cat Facts, Facts? There is often good reason to avoid so called ‘cat facts’. There are many websites that confidently proclaim a pile of cat facts without source reference but how accurate are they? Here are two examples. The website says that the Maine Coon is,”America’s only natural breed of domestic feline…” I think this is incorrect.

The Maine Coon was imported into America as a long haired Angora type cat with the pilgrims and developed from that start (MC history). The American Shorthair had a similar start being developed from shorthaired cats that came with the pilgrims so it can claim the same distinction (see its history). Although it has to be admitted that even these are not necessarily “fact”. It may be the case that the Vikings brought over the forerunner to the Norwegian Forest cat thousands of years earlier! So fact is more about opinion and conjecture.

The same site says that the Maine Coon cat is, “4 to 5 times larger than the Singapura…” This is also untrue, in my opinion. The Singapura is the world’s smallest cat breed, yes, and the Maine Coon is the largest non-wildcat hybrid cat breed. But the Singapura weights about 6.5 lbs on average and the Maine Coon weighs about 15.5 lbs on average. On that basis the Maine Coon is 2.4 times heavier and therefore almost certainly not 4-5 times larger.

There are no definitive statistics available on purebred cat size. Size is compared through measurement of weight. I could go on and on. For this reason I also express some opinion on this page and in the linked pages. There is another reason to be cautious with cat facts. Quite a lot of information is in a state of flux. Examples of topics in the cat world that are unsettled and evolving are:

These are just some illustrative examples.

Facts about cats that are consensually agreed as true (except for some!)

For the sake of completeness I set out below some cat facts that are generally agreed to be true facts. I would say that these are mostly “given” meaning accepted and therefore I do not provide sources but there are links to more.

  • General – Domestic & Feral Cat Facts
  • At 2010, the cat is the world’s most popular animal companion.
  • All domestic cats are one species of cat: Felis silvestris catus.
  • The cat was domesticated many thousands of years after the dog because the dog was seen as more useful.
  • Cats are more often left pawed.
  • Cats are not good at seeing objects close up – smell takes over.
  • The estimated number of cats in UK (2006): 10,332,955 (number of dogs: 10,522,186).
  • 26% of households in UK own a cat or cats.
  • Women are more likely to own a cat because they are less likely to be pack animals (team players).
  • Households in UK where someone qualified to degree level are 1.36 x more likely to own a cat.
  • In general cat caretakers are psychologically more healthy than people who don’t live with a cat. A cat fact that supports the known benefits of cat keeping.
  • The number of feral cats in the USA is unknown but similar to the number of domestic cats (80m approx.).
  • The tabby cat is not a cat breed but a type of coat; the most common cat coat.
  • The USA is the country with the highest percentage of domestic cats in relation to human population at 20.34%.
  • One of the countries with the lowest domestic cat to human population is Turkey at 1.67%.
  • The country with the best animal welfare law is probably the UK or Sweden. This is an assessment based on the (a) enforcement of (b) good legislation.
  • The worst country for animal welfare law is probably China. A sad cat fact.
  • Isaac Newton invented the cat door as well as the concept of gravity.
  • Dogs hate cats? No, it is down to us as usual.
  • Wild Cat Facts
  • There are 36 species of wild cat but the taxonomy (classification) of wildcats is not settled.
  • The tiger would beat a lion in a fight! – this is an estimate!
  • The largest domesticated cat is probably the tiger as many people in the USA keep them!
  • There are 12,000 captive tigers in the USA and just over 3,000 wild tigers in the world at 2010.
  • The smallest wildcat is the Rusty-spotted cat with a minimum weight of 0.8 kg (1.76 lbs).
  • The tiger has a maximum weight of about 320 kg (705 lbs).
  • The heaviest tiger is 400 times as heavy as the smallest Rusty-spotted cat! See wild cat size comparison.
  • All tigers have individual stripe patterns, which can be used to indentify the tiger using a computer program.
  • The wildcat with the tallest ear tufts is the caracal.
  • The tiger bites harder than a lion.
  • Medical/health/anatomy etc.
  • A cat’s sight is about 6 times more sensitive than ours as it is adapted for dusk/dawn hunting.
  • A cat’s eyes are much larger than ours in relation to the head – ours would be 8 inches in diameter if they were the same size. Note: see comments at base of page about this. The figure probably should be nearer 4 cms on my reckoning but the source of the figure is an excellent one.
  • Cats can see colour but less well than us. This is linked to the 2 above facts.
  • A cat’s sense of smell is 20 times more sensitive than ours.
  • 37.9% of white mixed-breed cats are deaf in both ears.
  • Cat walk on their toes. They are called digitigrades. See Cat Paws.
  • 20 million cats in the USA have their toes amputated to please their owners – declawing.
  • The top speed of a domestic cat is about 30 mph.
  • Cheetah’s top speed is 64 miles per hour or 29 metres per second.
  • A cat’s temperature is between 100 – 103F. Ours is 98.6F.
  • A cheetah overheats when sprinting at high speed (max = 64 mph) and has to stop after about 400 yards.
  • A cat’s pulse runs at 140 to 240 beats per minute. A resting cat might have a pulse of 80. An adult human has a pulse of 72 (average) per minute.
  • Cats purr while at the same time nursing at their mother’s nipple. They can purr while drinking and on exhaling and inhaling.
  • The cat has 244 bones. The human has 206 bones. Cat Skeleton.
  • In a Massachusetts survey it was found that cats received half the veterinary care of dogs – an unhappy cat fact.
  • It is thought that there are 23 different types of cat sound but this is not quite a cat fact as it is ongoing research.
  • A cat’s demands and questions always include a vowel!
  • Cats have a superior sense of direction and great homing skills. They still get lost sometimes – or do they stay away deliberately – cat facts are under research constantly.
  • Erroneously many peope say that cats breed incredibly fast: 420,000 offspring in 5 years from a single unspayed female domestic cat. This is very innacurate. 100 to 400 cats after 7 years is more accurate.
  • The milk of domestic cats contains 8x the amount of protein in comparison to human milk and 3x the levels of fat. See kitten development.
  • Mothers eat all the kittens body waste products to remove scent for their protection and to keep the den tidy.
  • Tail swishing by a cat is a sign of mental conflict, uncertainty and a demonstration of “displacement behavior”.
  • A cat biting its tail is like us biting our nails (sometimes).
  • A cat’s tail is sometimes used to feel objects.
  • There are no scientific proven hypoallergenic cat breeds.
  • What is the best dry cat food in the USA? By agreement it is: Innova EVO Dry Cat Food.
  • What is the best canned cat food in the USA? By my assessment it is one of these: Nature’s Logic, Newmans, Merrick, Innova EVO, Halo’s Spots.
  • An adult cat has 30 teeth.
  • Cats have scent glands on the underside of their front paws for marking territory.
  • The serval can hiss when not in defense. It might be a sign of pleasure sometimes but it also hisses in defense.
  • The cat wild or domestic with the longest legs to body size is the serval.
  • The Fisher cat makes a sound like a woman being attacked. One of the odd cat facts is that the Fisher cat is not a cat.
  • The purebreed cat most likely to contract the disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is the Birman – see this page for more.
  • Purebred cats are more prone to get FIP than random bred cats.
  • Hip dysplasia is more common in Persians and Himalayans (pointed Persian) than other purebred cats. The Maine Coon is also known to suffer from this condition.
  • Records
  • Answer to the question, “What is the world’s biggest cat”, depends on what type of cat we are talking about. See the answers here: World’s Biggest Cat.
  • At October 2010, the single individual world’s biggest cat is a Liger, called “Hercules” – a tiger/lion hybrid.
  • In 1950, the worlds fattest cat was “Clauz“.
  • The world’s fattest ever cat (domestic) was from Australia. He was called, “Himmy”. He weighed 46lb 15.25 oz and died in 1986 aged 10 years (note these records are not certain).
  • The Guinness book of records no longer does the fattest animal records for fear or promoting bad animal welfare.
  • The cheetah, as mentioned, the world’s fastest land animal. Its top speed is exaggerated. The true top speed in 64 mph (measured under semi-scientific but controlled conditions – cheetah speed).
  • In Nov. 2009 the world’s fastest person ever, Usain Bolt, adopted a cheetah kitten. In a flying start over 100 metres the cheetah would finish 50 metres ahead of Bolt!
  • more cat facts to come….

Human Behavior Intersects with Cat Behavior

Human Behavior – A narrative introduction

This is more opinion than cat facts. Lets start with some difficult stuff. I stick my neck out and speculate on the philosophy behind the eating of cat meat. This is necessarily controversial as it goes to the heart of the subject of cat meat. Although not as extreme, there are companies that condone and take part in animal testing. When animal testing relates to cosmetics there is not one person in this planet that does not despise this, yet it continues unabated. On that difficult subject there are some facts on animal testing.

The Vatican, through the Pope, made an interesting announcement regarding the updating of the mortal sins mentioned in the Bible. They extended them to include animal cloning: Cat Cloning is a Mortal Sin.

Pets and cats can be used as a fashion accessory. This is seen in the every increasing demand for designer cats including the Ashera GD. Cats can also be used as a receptacle for our tendency towards superstition and black cats have born the brunt of this throughout a long history to the present day. A lot of people have a peculiar fascination of black cats, as a result of which, there is a demand for black cat names.

I know this is probably unpopular with some and definitely with cat breeders but sometimes we, as humans, let the less good aspects of our nature get the better of us. This can happen in selective cat breeding. Even the work of Jean Mill the esteemed founder of the Bengal cat can appear less attractive when seen from a different perspective. The breeding of cats is controversial to some people. I argue that the very process of cat breeding might be an obstacle to understanding cats. Cat breeders often have dogs as well. Should one breeder let her stud boy go to another cat breeder who has dogs? Should cat breeders have to meet certain standards on knowledge on genetics? And should the cat associations dictate tighter breeding standards in terms of inbreeding or selective breeding?

Some argue that there are enough cats. This feeling is particularly prevalent in the USA. The cat associations are disjointed, it seems. They should provide more guidance and direction or governments may step in and create regulations.

tiny kitten on hand

The feral cat problem is worldwide and in the United States there is an urgent need for co-ordinated action to resolve it properly. Feral cats have a hard life. Cats can mate efficiently
for the purposes of survival, which in part is the reason for the large feral cat population. Although there are misrepresentations about how fast cats breeds. This helps to fuel the conflict between cat and bird conservationists.

One thing to do is to seriously consider neutering your cat . In fact, it is a must in the modern world. If the moment has been missed, however, some knowledge about cat pregnancy may come in handy.

If you have considered the idea of showing your cat you might like to read this.

Cat’s eyes are modified to see more effectively in low light and reflect light back to the retina to enhance the image. On a more positive note, people have learned from cats and put that knowledge to use in helping other animals, in this case the science behind a cat’s eyes is helping to protect and endangered species, whales. This is cats providing the inspiration for business. Cat litter is big business too and the history of cat litter is interesting.

At the time cats were becoming domesticated 9000 years ago until the late 1800s the domestic cat was useful to farmers catching rodents. Is (s)he still of use in this way? Is she a mouser cat still?

If you want to get closer to your cat you can talk and listen to her, you can also groom her. You can also get a lot from your cat in respect of what she is thinking and her emotions by observing a cat’s ears, believe it or not.

If you think a cat’s behavior is strange or aggressive this may be due to an illness but if the cat is well it will normally be due to something that we can change. Their behavior is often a reaction to ours or due to a lack of proper socialization. I think that cat biting is normally reactionary and it is up to us to behave in a way more in tune with our cats. Maybe we should all grow our own catnip.

cat in sink
Cat Facts Photo: fofurasfelinas under creative commons

Go to Contents

Here are a very long list of links on posts that concern cat behavior, a vital part of cat facts. The list also contains links to matters of human behavior for the reasons mentioned above. = new window. Bold = Page Ranked post.

Special Pages

Exclusively Human Behavior in Relation to Cats – Cat Facts

Direct Human Behavior – Beneficial – Cat Facts

Direct Human Behavior – Detrimental – Cat Facts

Indirect Human Behavior – Beneficial – Cat Facts

Indirect Human Behavior – Detrimental – Cat Facts

Human Behavior – Neutral – Cat Facts

Cat Facts – Comment on Cat Behavior affected by Human Behavior


cat facts

Cat Facts – Update July 2010: See Cat Behavior for a major page on this subject.

Cat behavior is governed by the cat’s natural characteristics and instincts, which in turn are substantially affected by our behavior and expectations. Accordingly, I also discuss on this page human behavior where it intersects with or impacts on cat behavior.

We frequently see articles about cat training and cat behavior, including most commonly, aggressive cat behavior. Some times it really is a question of pure cat behavior but if we think about it a cat’s behavior is almost always to some degree or other dependent on our behavior and expectations. We like cats to fit in with our world, with what we do. They live largely on our terms. And if they don’t it is considered bad cat behavior and something to be trained out.

After all, the cat I am talking about is the domestic cat. This cat has been forced (or more accurately has agreed) to change by virtue of being domesticated and living in our world. We created all the elements of the domestic cat world. If a domestic cat sleeps more than a wild cat it is because he or she is being fed by us. If the domestic cat becomes, over a long time, more docile and less intelligent it is because (s)he is domesticated. There is less to do, survival is less demanding. We created the domestic cat character to a large extent. There are numerous examples demonstrating how human behavior underpins cat behavior, the latter in some small or large way being dependent on the former.

However, as we all know, the domestic cat’s wild instincts surface the moment he or she ventures outside and smells the air! Yet the vast majority of domestic cats in the largest of all domestic cat markets, America, are permanently indoors, constantly subdued to the state of pure domesticity, their wild cat instincts rarely visible.


cat with tongue out

I have written a lot of posts (on an associated Blogger site) which either focus on the subject of human behavior in relation to cats or there is an oblique reference to this aspect of cat behavior in the article. I list these articles on this page. I also write about how we can do things to better understand our cat companions, improve their lives and our relationship. I call these “How To Do It articles.

I also list articles about that mystery to mankind, cat food. It’s the ingredients that are baffling. Once again we control this aspect of the life of the domestic cat. And the cat food business is not a charitable concern. It is highly competitive. The quality of cat food is in constant competition with financial profit. Convenience is everything. But is this good for our cat companions? I think we should be vigilant on the issue of cat food quality. I address these issues in the list of articles below and have since writing this page built another on best cat food.

Finally, human behavior greatly impacts wildcat behavior and survival. Some of the posts addressing this are also listed below.

This is an expanding page on cat facts. There will inevitably some “overspill” as space runs out. There are, therefore links to other pages listing further articles and this is indicated.

***Please scroll down below the form to see peoples’ submissions*** The form is easy to use, just type and submit.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

Stanly the Survivor  starstarstarstarstar
Stanly is my Manx Cat, his mother was a half starved stray, Stanly is born with a part of his spine missing, he couldn’t use his back legs as a Kitten….

There is a white cat breed – the Khao Manee  starstarstarstarstar
I noticed that it is sometimes said there are no white cat breeds, but there is one — a rare breed from Thailand called the Khao Manee.

It is thought …

The population growth of people is faster than for cats  starstarstarstarstar
I’m sick of hearing people saying that cats /animals should stop over breeding but its OK for people to breed at the current rate. There are about 70m …

Leaving a Cat at Home Alone  starstarstarstarstar
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All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts  starstarstarstarstar
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’…

I Lost My Cat  starstarstarstarstar
Hi I just want to tell you that we can’t find our cat.My dad was driving his car and ran over something on the cat and the cat ran away.


Walking My Cat In The Snow  starstarstarstarstar
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Cats in Poetry  starstarstarstarstar
Cats in Poetry goes back a long, long way. It tells us a bit about how people related to the domestic cat centuries before there were purebred cats. Purebred …

Cat population as a percentage of human population  starstarstarstarstar
On my internet travels this morning, I bumped into a chart that set out the population of domestic cats in various countries for the years 1998 and 1996….

Finding a Lost Cat  starstarstarstarstar
I’ll be honest, I have never been involved in finding a lost cat, except once when my cat was run over one fateful day about 17 years ago. The whole day …

How Fast Do Cats Breed?  starstarstarstarstar
19th August 2010: The question, “How fast do cats breed?” is a bit of a news story. I refer to Christie Keith’s excellent story, [Damn lies and cat …

Should I enter my cat in a cat show?  starstarstarstarstar
I was out in the garden yesterday and saw Daniel. Daniel lives with his human companion, Pierrot. They are my neighbors. Nothing exceptional there you …

Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary  starstarstarstarstar
“The greatness of a nation can be judged in how it’s animals are treated.” Ghandi.

I was recently invited to join a group on Facebook called Blind Cats …

Walking an Old Cat on the Leash  starstarstarstarstar
It’s been a year and a half since we adopted Snow White, our 10+ year old moggie. As we live on the 2nd floor, her outdoor activities have been restricted …

My Cat Explosion  starstarstarstarstar
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The Cat in the Barrel  starstarstarstarstar
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In Roman Catholic countries the days leading up to Ash …

Cats as Familiars Part 3: Advice for Beginners  starstarstarstarstar
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Cats and Familiars Part 2: Wiccans and Witches  starstarstarstarstar
This article and the one that follows on Satanic cults and cats are very in depth concerning Wiccans and Witches and the differences between the three….

Cats as Familiars Part 1:From Blessed to Persecuted  starstarstarstarstar
It is common knowledge that the house cat can be traced back to the Egyptians who considered the cat a sacred animal. Not many know there was also a cat …

The Homing Instinct of Cats  starstarstarstarstar
The homing instinct of cats and dogs are well known but how does it work? Here are some examples of cats finding their way home over long distances:

[Tabby …

The Cat is the Veterinarian’s Client  starstarstarstarstar
Veterinarians forget that the cat is the veterinarian’s client. Whenever, the word client is referred to by vets it is meant to mean the person who “owns”…

Ailurophobia  starstarstarstarstar

The Conventional View The Unconventional View Overlap The Conventional View Ailurophobia is the chronic and irrational fear …

Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs  starstarstarstarstar
This page explains the quote, Artists Like Cats Soldiers Like Dogs made by Desmond Morris. It is a quote that is well quoted on the internet. Although …

Howling cat  starstarstarstarstar
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At Feeding My Cat Bites Me   starstarstarstarstar
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Turn the Cat in the Pan  starstarstarstarstar
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Facts on Animal Testing  starstarstarstarstar
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Three Legged Cat  starstarstarstarstar
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Class B Cat Dealers  starstarstarstarstar
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Polydactyl Cats  starstarstarstarstar
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Cat’s Tail  starstarstarstarstar
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Into the Mind of a Cat  starstarstarstarstar
I’d like to try and get into the mind of a cat. To go beyond understanding my cat and to try and understand what she feels, senses and thinks. And I don’…

How tabby cats got their “M” marking  starstarstarstarstar
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Cats Are Not In The Food Chain  starstarstarstarstar
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Cats Deserve Love  starstarstarstarstar
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Water Fountains For Cats  starstarstarstarstar
Fresh water is vital for cats and water fountains for cats are, on the face of it, an excellent way of supplying it (but see update in comments). Before …

Organic Cat Food  starstarstarstarstar
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Crying Cat?  starstarstarstarstar
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Cat Poo Coffee  starstarstarstarstar
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The Way My Cat Walks  starstarstarstarstar
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Cat Under Stress  starstarstarstarstar
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Non Shedding Cat Breeds  starstarstarstar
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My Cat Sleeps Too Long  starstarstarstar
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Cat Safe Garden  starstarstarstar
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Build Your Own Cat Tree?  starstarstarstar
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Can cats tell the difference between cat food and dog food and do cats refuse dog food ?

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Touching a Cat  starstar
Once I saw a cat it didn’t have an owner. So I saw my friend pick it up and held it and then she brought it home. The next morning I called her but her …

Dog Temperament Testing  Not rated yet
I am learning and exploring dog temperament testing. I expect similar methods apply to cats. I am concerned with the assessment of a dog’s temperament …

Spotted Cats  Not rated yet
What breeds are the spotted cats? People like spotted cats. They have become very popular. Perhaps this is because they look like wild cats. In some cases …

Understanding Cat Coat Types  Not rated yet
This might be the first of several pages on understanding cat coat types. I need help in fully understanding them. I know them pretty well, perhaps very …

Japanese Bobtail Cats  Not rated yet
The conventional view states that Japanese Bobtail cats have a very long history. Perhaps a thousand year history. And by that I mean this type of cat …

Pictures of Cats Mobile  Not rated yet
Pictures of Cats Mobile: If you would like to view this site on a mobile phone, please click on this link and follow the links from there: Pictures …

Creative Cat Names  Not rated yet
By their very nature, creative cat names, have to be created. And this is best done by people nearest the cat emotionally because only people living with …

Environmentally Friendly Cat Litter  Not rated yet
There are two types of cat litter (a) Clay based, (b) Plant based. Which one is the environmentally friendly cat litter? Both are to different degrees …

Sense of Smell of a Cat  Not rated yet
The sense of smell of a cat is firmly fixed in the memory. It is a something that goes into the data bank of a cat’s brain as a means of recognition of …

Cats Raise Risk of Child Eczema  Not rated yet

Cats raise the risk of child eczema , so says research carried out about 3 years ago. In more recent research it has been suggested that Cats can …

People and Cats  Not rated yet
People and cats make a wonderful combination because both parties gain immeasurably, or should. There are so many benefits for people but one of the …

My Dog Chases Cats  Not rated yet
I’ve got a problem, my dog chases cats and I don’t like it. I would like it if my dog didn’t do this. I am think she might attack a cat one day and cause …

Fear Of Cats  Not rated yet
Fear of cats is due to an underlying admiration of the effectiveness of the cat as a hunter and survivor. This admiration has resulted in the cat being …vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Cat Behavior –  Cat Facts

Cat facts must deal with issues of cat behavior. Sometimes cats are left alone too long causing anxiety. Living in a household can be stressful for humans and other animals. Some cats display what we consider to be bad behavior but is it? Is it just behavior we don’t like? Cats can be messy….are messy. Sometimes it is our fault and some litter training may be required. Although some cat like water which results in some interesting cat peeing behavior. I’m talking about Bengal cats primarily here. Bengals are more trainable than some cats. One way to get around the litter problems is to toilet train. I mean your cat is trained to use your toilet! In fact, cats can be trained generally. You’ll need technique and patience though. If your cat likes water, great, but most don’t and bathing a cat can be a hassle.

Cat Facts Photo: by kyramas under creative commons

cat on windowsill

Cats are instinctive, reactionary (so are some people). Usually (if in good health) their behavior is aggressive due to untoward activity. It can include biting.  Sometimes their behavior is not aggressive but “displacement” behavior. This diverts the cat’s mind from troublesome thoughts. Cat licking behaviorcan include displacement grooming. Most times when a cat licks her upper lip and nose this is simply cat licking displacement activity. We do the same when we bite our finger nails or scratch out heads.

Another form of behavior that can hurt catS and your possessions is cat chewing problems. Bengal cats and wildcat/domestic cat hybrids can sometimes be a little bit too eager to chew, shred and swallow objects such as paper. They can demonstrate what we would consider to be weird behavior. Bengal cats can also make Bengal cat smelly poo….!

As I said cats can be messy. They can also make a mess of the furniture. They scratch furniture for a good reason. There are ways around this “problem” (
for people) but these won’t suit everyone. Unfortunately about 20 – 30 million cats are declawed in the States at any one time – shocking statistic. Declawing hurts cats. Declawing can cause psychological damage and is totally unnecessary. Do people want to live with a cat or an animal that approximates to a cat? Claws are integral to a cat. There are better ways to cat claw control.

A lot of people especially in the USA keep their cats indoors full-time. Should we keep cats indoors or let them out? When we do keep cats indoors they will invariably spend a lot of time at the window looking out. We owe an obligation to entertain and one thing we can do (if we have the energy) is make some cat toys.

Cat Facts Photo: by  yeimaya under creative commons

cat in a tree

Being indoors and less active cats have to utilize their bottomless capacity to have cat naps. The indoor life also begs the question whether there are cats that could be described as house cat breeds. There are certainly cat breeds more suited to an indoor life. Although it most often goes unrecognized some plants are poisonous to cats and it is useful as a precautionary measure to know which ones. A lot of cats are apartment cats. There is always the possibility of escape or falling. It is amazing how many cats falling survive heights that would kill humans, without doubt. A testament to one more of their copious range of skills. If your cat is allowed out he’ll ask you to let him out often to check territory. A door is not in the cat’s vocabulary. This makes cat flaps extremely useful.

One way around the problem of eliminating danger to cats who wander outside is to leash train your cat (see also: Walking an old cat on a leash) This is not that easy and some cats are easier to train than others. The wildcat hybrids are easier such as the Chausie. Helmi Flick lived with a Chausie. Some think that cat collars help to protect their cat. They can but they can harm too. Most cat breeders don’t agree with them.

Cats are adaptable but territorial. One way a cat cat get injured if left to stray outside is in a fight especially if he is a Tom cat. Fighting cats follow a strict code of practice. Often it results in damaged cat ears.

When cats play or catch prey they tend to throw the object or animal in the air. This is part of the domestic cat hunting process and can also replicate the scenario if your cat was fishing. Domestic cats are domesticated but the wildcat is not far away.

two cats
Cat Facts Photo by fofurasfelinas under creative commons

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Cat Behavior – Cat Facts – All these links open a new window

Please note: All the links in this section on cat facts open a new window

Cat Breeds – Cat Facts

Use the navbar (top) to see all the breeds or the Site Map. The cat breeds are at the core of cat facts. When you read articles on the Internet you see reference to “intelligent” cat breeds. This implies some cats are more intelligent than others. It is debatable whether there is an intelligent cat breed. It is also debatable whether there are best cat breeds but you can probably make out a case for the top 10 cat breeds.

There are certainly cat breeds that are more suited to permanent indoor living but although cats adapt to living indoors, is it the right thing to do?

There is quite a lot of talk on the Internet about non shedding cat breeds  and hypoallergenic cat breeds. The Ashera GD is claimed to be hypoallergenic. People are obviously keen to live with a cat but perhaps cannot accept the downside of cat hair everywhere or they have an allergy to cat dander; 10% of us do.

I speculate as to the largest domestic cat breed. Bengal cats have particular behavioral characteristics inline with other wildcat hybrids such as the Savannah.

cat on top of a door
Cat Facts Photo by fofurasfelinas under creative commons

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Cat Facts – Cat Health

(a page is dedicated to this -these are some additional notes)

Cat health is the most important of all cat facts. My heart is very tender towards cats who live in the poorer countries. They have incredibly hard lives sometimes. Life is hard for humans never mind cats. Cats though are good survivors but their lives will be relatively short in these countries. A poisoned cat or a blind cat is not infrequently encountered in these countries. A blind cat has great dignity and can survive quite well under difficult circumstances.

One of the niggling possibilities that is always present is cat parasites such as ticks. Dog and cat parasites are ever present. A common fungal condition is cat ringworm, which as you probably know is not actually a worm. This condition can be transferred to humans for example when your cat transfers his scent when he rubs against you. In a world which is by necessity now becoming more in tune with nature and the environment a natural cure for cats ear infection may be useful.

An important aspect of cat health is vaccinations. It was once thought that yearly vaccinations should be automatically administered. They are necessary if you place your cat in cattery while you are on holiday (applies to the UK). But cat vaccination recommendations are changing it seems. Perhaps some cats are vaccinated too often. Cat facts need to include a discussion on the risk/reward element of vaccinations.

I discusss the fact that some people think that a cat’s dry nose is a sign of illness. I outline the possible reasons behind hair loss in cats, which is a  disturbing symptom. The cat facts on the hair loss page are useful, I think.

Cat food is closely linked to cat health. The more you study cat food the more you realize a high standard of care is required and that a lot of commercially produced food is less than good. First if will not do to let your cat eat dog food. Cats are obligate carnivores, dogs aren’t; low carbohydrate cat food is required. Secondly there is a growing awareness that the convenience of dry cat food is outweighed by its inappropriateness as a healthy food for cats. Dry cat food it is argued can cause or be a factor in causing diabetes in cats and/or obesity. Having done a lot of reading a raw food diet is best for a cat provided the correct supplements such as Taurine are added. This requires care, expertise and time, however. A cat food diet should as near as possible replicate the kind of kind of food that is hunted, caught and eaten. I look at two wildcats that are very adept at doing just that, the endangered Scottish Wildcat and the American Bobcat

cat with ceiling and bright light
Cat Facts Photo by fofurasfelinas under creative commons

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Cat Facts – Cat Appearance

A page has since been dedicated to this subject: Cat Appearance.Cat facts recognizes the importance of appearance. Cat appearance is the most important aspect of cats for many people. Each cat breed has its own special distinguishing appearance. This is governed by the cat association breed standards. Within the standards there is sometimes room for a variety of coat types. In mixed breed cats anything goes as to coat type; the most common of which is the tabby coat. The tabby pattern is found in many cat breeds, sometimes almost disguised. The Bengal cat comes to mind. Some Bengal cats though have something that most cats haven’t and that is glitter. Some mixed cat breeds though have coats that the Bengal cannot have, for example tabby and white. Cutting across the breeds as it does means that Tabby Cats are not a type of cat breed. Mix the tabby coat with a tortoiseshell coat and you have a torbie cat coat.

Cat Facts Photo by fofurasfelinas under creative commons

white cat looking up

There are some cats that under their standards need to be a certain color such as the grey cats. Blue/Grey is a dilution of black. Black forms the basis of tuxedo cats, a classic mixed breed coat. Cat breeds such as the Bombay have to be black to be a Bombay cat.

Tortoisehell is another interesting and popular coat type, which can extend from the black tortoiseshell to the calico (tortoisehell and white). The white in this instance is caused by the white spotting gene. Torbie in cat coat parlance means a mix of tortoiseshell and tabby. This mix can be further mixed with white to make torbie and white(this is the same link as the one immediately preceding it). Here’s a further complication;you can modify the tortie and torbie and whites by diluting the colored parts of the coat.

The white spotting gene can be responsible for totally white cats. The Dominant White gene can also be responsible. Both genes can produce odd-eyed cats. It is easy to forget that coat types such as tabby and calico are not cat breeds but coat types, which cut across the cat breed boundaries. Some people think that the calico cat has a certain personality due to genetics – I don’t. But I could be wrong. If I am please tell me.

Cat coats often result from a subtle combination of genetic effects. An example is a mix of tortoiseshell and tabby (torbie), dilution and white mixed. You can see one or two cats like this on this page.

If you’re interested in a rare cat even by rare cat standards an example would be the American Wirehair, which has another very distinct coat type. There are other cats with curly cat coats Another rare cat would be the Elf cat, an experimental cat breed, not yet accepted by the associations. She is one of the hairless cats.

Pointed cat coats are popular. I know this because this website’s popularity poll clearly indicates that by voting the Siamese one of the most popular cats. Pointed with white coats as found for example on the Ragdoll are also popular coat types. To get the white face markings symmetrical is a work of art and patience.

The Japanese like bicolor bobtailed cats. Bicolor is solid and white, meaning a single color of hair follicle in groups mixed with white hair. The Turkish Van is a classic solid and white.

cat eye
Cat Facts Photo by webber0075

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Cat Facts – Something Terribly Disturbing

Cat facts cannot ignore the underbelly. This section covers two linked areas, cat meat and killing cats. There are many ways to kill a cat and many are killed in the most unpleasant of ways and some are then eaten. The human population’s relationship with the domestic cat covers a wide spectrum from those who hate cats through to those who love them. Those who hate cats sometimes kill them and those that love cats through their actions sometimes kill them (indirectly). We are breeding too many cats (or more accurately letting cats breed to freely). Cat breeders love cats but I think that in order to give true credibility to cat breeding the cat breeders through their associations need to stabilize and then reduce the feral cat population.

There are also a number of breeders who do the profession a disservice, which only serves to heighten the perception of some people that cat breeders are in part responsible for the unsustainable high domestic cat population. I don’t think that they are. The vast majority of cat breeders are very concerned people. Organizations such as the SPCA and RSPCA (UK) are under attack from cat breeders
for acting irresponsibly

The Associations have an obligation to be more vocal in respect of cat cruelty and some of the cruelest behavior takes place by some people in the Far East in China and Korea (but is not confined to these countries). Nor is it confined to individuals. Some companies animal test and some governments organize and promote unspeakably cruel behavior towards cats. It is not enough for breeders and cat leaders to only live in the rarified world of the Western Cat Fancy, surrounded by beautiful cats. All cats are equal and the most vulnerable are the most needy.

The constant battle between the cat fancy and PETA and HSUS would be much reduced if the actions described above took place.

cat eating in big bowl
Cat Facts Photo by fofurasfelinas
under creative commons

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Cat Facts – Cat Food

Cat Food precedes cat health. These are important cat facts. There is a growing awareness I believe (albeit slow) that commercial cat food is just not always that good quite frankly. For example, for some cats we have all experienced the “jelly syndrome”. Meat in jelly once eaten becomes meat and no jelly. Cats love the jelly and are not sure about the meat or just leave it.

Cat Food ingredients can be a bit of a mystery. They include “ash”. I thought ash was the stuff in the fire after burning. Not the case thankfully. Don’t you think the packets could be a bit more transparent about the ingredients?

There may be a connection between dry cat food and obesity and diabetes.  We need to as near as possible replicate what a cat eats in the wild. This could be raw cat food and supplements, which is on the face of it the best diet. Dry cat food possibly causes more problems that those mentioned above. It may cause urinary tract health problems and be a factor in the development of feline diabetes. Is there a cat food which is good for the urinary tract? The cat food manufacturers thought that producing low magnesium cat food would provide the answer. It does and doesn’t. The better answer is to avoid dry cat food generally as a sole source and use it as a secondary source. Also watch out for rice in cat food. There is an argument that supports the idea that rice affects the metabolisation of an essential amino acid, Taurine. Bengal cats particularly need Taurine.

If you combine indoor living (encouraging inactivity) and high carbohydrate dry cat food you can get obese cats which is a growing concern. Up to 70% of American domestic cats are obese we are told. This leads people to seek an inactive cat food diet. A major cat food manufacturer is Purina, how good are they? One thing people should not do is feed cats with dog food as cat’s digestive system is hard wired to process protein (meat) and dogs are omnivores (flesh and vegetable matter). Dog food can hurt cats.

Can dry food help clean a cat’s teeth? Read this. Want to really do to the right way? – Home made Cat Food (advice from breeders – one of the best sources of cat facts).

Major page on cat food: Best Cat Food contains some of these links and new links.

Cat Photography – cat facts in photographs

This website and its sub-domain feature the best cat photography. Helmi Flick is probably the best cat photographer (and I mean anywhere). She does it on an international level.

Miscellaneous cat facts

Cat Website Directory
Cat Show Calendar UK only

From cat facts to home page

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

7 thoughts on “Cat Facts”

  1. I like your article, but I need to clarify these facts:

    “A cat’s eyes are much larger than ours in relation to the head – ours would be 8 inches in diameter if they were the same size.”

    maybe 8cm, as a human head, to contain two 8in eyes, should be at least 16in wide!

    “20 million cats in the USA have their toes amputated to please their owners”

    I’m pretty sure this number is wrong… I HOPE!

    1. Thanks for that, Andrea. I think this might be a typo! However, the information comes from Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. To quote:

      The eyes of cat are unusually large. In fact, if humans has an eye of comparable size, it would measure almost 8 inches (20cm) in diameter.

      Diameter is the distance across the eye. I think the complication is this. The vet authors are referring to the size of the eye in relation to the size of the head and face. However, I believe they are wrong and you are nearer the truth. I would have thought our eyes would be about twice the diameter is we had cat-like eyes which is even less than 8 cms, more like 4 cms maximum. Anyway, I’ll leave a note next to the fact to refer to these comments.

      The 20 million figure is correct I am afraid or it is close to that figure. Lots of people in the USA declaw their cats.

      It is estimated that 25% of owned cats in the United States are declawed (Patronek 2001)

      There are about 85 million domestic cats in homes in the USA so that makes over 20 million are declawed.

  2. Your “facts” page is humorous. The things that you include as “facts”, such as the “best” foods is laughable. Its too bad that you take such liberties as this could be a really good source but instead it is a display of your vanity. As there are so many areas where you substitute your own opinion for fact, the reader is left not being able to trust any of the statements here.

    1. Thanks for the comment. At the top of the page I say the page is about facts and opinion. At the top of the page I list hard facts. What are facts? I think you need to answer that question because a lot of so called facts on the internet are not facts. At least I am being honest in declaring at the beginning that I am giving my opinion.

      Also I do provide a lot of facts because a lot of the posts are based on top quality sources and on most pages I quote the sources. Who does that other than Wikipedia? I really don’t know what you are getting at. The site is packed full of facts. You are referring to one page out of 7,000! What are you talking about?

      Update: I have just reminded myself what is on this page as it was written about 4 years ago and I can honestly say that you are talking a lot of mumbo jumbo. There are piles of facts and on the site generally there are tons more. And I don’t have any vanity. I do have the courage to criticise when it is justified. Perhaps you are one person I have indirectly criticised.

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