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
- Are facts about cats, really facts?
- Some real cat facts – probably!
- Have A Say Page – exclusively your views (340+ posts)
- Established pages****
- Human Behavior/Cat Behavior – what we do affects cats a lot. In fact it is at the center of a cat’s life. For that reason these articles have been categorised by reference to our behaviour. The articles are quickly prepared discussion pieces mainly:
- Exclusively human behavior in relation to cats
- Direct human behavior beneficial to cats
- Direct human behavior detrimental to cats
- Indirect human behavior beneficial to cats
- Indirect human behavior detrimental to cats
- Neutral human behavior affecting cats
- Comment on human behavior affecting cat behavior
- Human Behavior narrative plus links
- Cat Behavior
- Cat Facts about cat breeds – overview chatty section on cat breeds.
- Cat Health – an overview
- Dedicated page on cat health – this is a major page and a big page with tons of links.
- Cat appearance
- Cat Food – this page
- Best Cat Food – growing page dedicated to this subject
- Declawing Cats – a most important subject. Over 100 articles and 2,000 comments at Sept. 2010!
- How to Do It! – things we can do for cats to improve their lives and their behavior & other topics
- Why Do Cats…..started 26-8-09. Still being built at 2010.
- Cat Food Coupons…started 5-10-09. Odd subject because you can hardly find the blinking things.
- Something particularly bad (for me) – about declawing on this page.
- Your cat facts – questionnaires answered by visitors
- More cat facts – a spillover from this page
- Link to all the input forms to have your say on almost any subject.
- Cat Media Reviews – books etc.reviewed
- Please tell us about your cat experiences – this link takes you to a list of submissions by visitors and a form to fill in if you would like to say something – please do. We listen.
Above: Serval giving birth – see serval reproduction and development.
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 www.xmission.com 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:
- cat genetics
- wildcat classification
- wildcat distribution
- wildcat conservation
- number of cat breeds
- breed standards – e.g. Manx breed standard
- number of feral cats
- how to deal with feral cats (shoot them, “euthanise” them, TNR them)
- animal welfare legislation on an international level
- genetic illnesses in cats and how to deal with them (e.g. HCM)
These are just some illustrative examples.
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.
- Purebred Cats – cat breeds
- The largest purebred cat that is not a wildcat hybrid is the Maine Coon. Domestic cat size.
- The cat fancy started in England in the late 1800s.
- The most popular (with the public) purebred cat is probably the Maine Coon.
- The most registered (at cat associations) purebred cat is probably the Persian.
- The most intelligent cat breed is the Sphynx. The stupidest is the Persian, although this is not one of the cat facts, more a lose assessment rather than a fact.
- An F1 Savannah cat called “Magic” is the world’s tallest (at the shoulder) domestic cat.
- An F2 Savannah cat called “Motzie” is probably the second tallest domestic cat.
- The LifeStyle Pets, Allerca cat called the Ashera GD is in fact an F1 Savannah cat. This comes from a person who knows, Kathrin Stucki.
- Savannah cats are hypoallergenic to a certain degree but as mentioned there is no science yet available to support this so it is not quite one of the cat facts.
- There are 4 cat breeds in which the cat must be grey (new window) and no other colour: Korat, Nebelung, Russian Blue and Chartreux.
- There is one cat breed in which the cat must be black: Bombay.
- There is one white cat breed, the rare Khao Manee. Although the breed standard of many breeds allows white cats.
- Black Persian cats can start off looking grey!
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
- Dogs Smell Signs of Cancer – this is about cats too!
- Make Cat Repellent – better to build an enclosure I say.
- Cat Color and Patterns – nice simple set of pics and links to more.
- Cat Body Language – most if not all the permutations are covered.
- Cat Sounds – domestic and wild cat sounds can be heared here
- Cat Abuse – An overview of cat abuse and in the USA.
- World Biggest Cat – Short page covering wide range of factors.
- Male Cat Spraying – How it is a useful form cat communication.
- Domestic Cat Hunting – What hunting is like in the domestic cat world.
- Allergy Free Cats – Are there such cats in the cat fancy?
- Cat Genetics – A glossary of the most used terms are listed.
- Glossary of Cat Terms – What is says. Some useful terms defined.
- Choosing a Cat Breed – A kind of a technique to help choose a breed.
- Microchiping Pets including Cats – Risk versus benefit, which wins?
- Cat Intelligence – some interesting stuff and some old stuff..
- World’s Tallest Domestic Cat – A Maine Coon on her hind legs.
- World Tallest Pet Cat – this one is a Guinness World Record.
- Cat Breeds Places of Origin – Unique map of all mainstream breeds.
- All Breeds of Cat – one video 77 breeds of cat!
- Cat Quotes – a long perhaps complete list of the best.
- Kitten Development – succinct but complete discussion.
- Homemade Cat Toys – easy peezy lemon squeezy
- Domestic Cat Territory – how far would your cat like to roam?
- Cats vs Dogs – who wins in a general assessment?
- Cat Hoarding – illness or misplaced out of control cat love?
- Hybrid Cats – a pretty complete list of everything!
- Cat & Kitten Names – nice selection
- Ownership of cats in the UK – interesting stats for 2007
- Cat Climbing Trees – here is how
- Crazy Facts About Pet Ownership In America – poster and comment
- Cat Names –Gotta have these on this site. Male + female names.
- Black Cat Names – page headed by a large tailless black cat..
- Cat Media Reviews – Looking at books, images etc. featuring cats.
- Face Painting a Cat – A lot of people like doing this. Video instruction.
- Cats in Paintings – This is a very big subject and a growing one.
- Cat Quotes Mark Twain always comes to mind, and Churchill.
- Can We Tell a Cat’s Sex – Yes, I can. I think!
- Origin of the Word Meow – I speculate wildly on the influence of “M”
- Purebred Cat Rescue – list of rescue options and more.
- Big Cat Rescue I think they do good work. Some criticize them.
- Cat and Pet Trusts Cats sometimes out live us. We might do this.
- Cats prefer a melodious human voice Cats are noise averse.
- Communicating with Cats This all turns on whether we get close.
- Disappearing cats More of the same animal cruelty in the UK.
- Feline Herpes Virus A way of controlling the Feline Herpes Virus.
- Give a Cat a Pill Sometimes we gotta bite the bullet and do it.
- HCM Testing at Cat Shows This needs to be done routinely.
- Hervey Foundation for Cats A rehoming and caring foundation.
- Homemade Flea Control Some simple remedies to control fleas.
- Music for cats – Keeps ’em calm when you are away. Check this.
- Scottish Wildcat Positive steps are being taken to save this cat.
- Tiger Patterns and Tiger Stripes Each tiger has a unique pattern.
- What do cats need? A concise list of things a cat needs from us.
- Cat Rescue Centres in London – select grouping on interactive map
- Abandoned Cats Increase on abandoned cats discussed.
- Animal Cruelty Statistics USA what is says on the tin. Too common.
- Cat Abuse – An overview of the problem associated with violence.
- Cat Scratching Two examples as to why it happened.
- Cat Hoarding The reasons of this sad condition discussed.
- Cat poison It is illegal to poison a cat deliberately. Please read ***
- Economic Euthanasia of Cats can’t afford the vets billl..euthanize.
- Gentleman Jim Corbett A well known “white hunter”. Not so good.
- Ground Shooting of Feral Cats For me this Australian policy is bad.
- i hate cats – some people, lot of people do and they hurt cats too.
- Iberian Lynx and Iberian Eagle The worst kind of idiotic hunting.
- Inbreeding Makes Pedigree Cats Diseased Constant breeder issue.
- Ionizers Hurt Cats They (the experts) say ozone hurts cats.
- Leopard Terrorizes an Indian Village Who is terrorizing who this time.
- Link Between Cat Abuse and Child Abuse Well known + important.
- Litter Box Habits The habits referred to should be human habits.
- Mistakes Cat Owners Make My thoughts. These are personal.
- My Cat Bites My Ankles Advice Please Person should play with cat.
- Pictures of Animal Abuse – some people are plain sick & bad, period.
- Psychology of Declawing This talks about our guilt at declawing.
- American Veterinary Medical Association Policy on Declawing Cats – !!
- Declaw Cats – about 70% or more Americans don’t approve.
- Shoot a cat dead in Michigan? Plain case of animal cruelty.
- Should I Reprimand my Cat? No, because a cat doesn’t understand.
- Some Indians Eat Cat Meat A very few are reported to eat cat.
- The Sportsman’s Handbook on Skinning a Tiger It is still read!!
- Tiger Truck Stop Grosse La – This place is famous for a caged lion.
- Torturing a cat in Pennsylvania Animal cruelty, a crime.
- Why people abandon cats One reason why this happens.
- American Bobcat Population Rise the Bobcat is bouncing back…
- Cats are Equal to Humans Sounds crazy. I said it. I am not crazy.
- Cat’s Eyes Helping Whales The science of cats eyes helping others.
- Cat Fiber Art Cats can be artists with a human as an agent.
- Cat Scratching – New Approach Care more for what we do.
- Psychological Benefits of Human-Animal Interaction It is good for us.
- Cat and dog cruelty in the Philippines – This is a culture thing.
- Cat Breeders and Animal Rights – Should be on the same page! No?
- Cat Fur – Switzerland – This is about culture, ideas and politics.
- Cat Inbreeding Means Poor Sperm – Inbreeding is a wildcat problem.
- Cat Meat Name Shame – Counties involved in this hideous practice.
- Cat Pee on the Bed – This is to do with stress by being alone.
- Cats in Cold Weather – Outdoor cats can suffer when in the cold.
- Cats left alone – Some considerations when leaving our cat alone.
- Cats Lick Plastic Bags – What is the reason and why is it dangerous?
- Cats and Corruption – About higher authorities failing the wildcats.
- Cats Protection and lost millions – Major charity loses investments?
- No Government Compensation for Cats Protection – a sad follow up.
- Critically endangered Iberian lynx – How could we let this happen?
- Feral cats of Australia – My thoughts on some people’s attitude.
- Feral cats spread disease? – Misinformation about feral cats.
- i hate cats – I explain why people who do are wrong and ignorant.
- Human Nature to Breed Extreme Looking Cats and Dogs – Not good.
- Lynx is Hunted in Romania – Education, ignorance and money.
- Man Eating Leopard – The question is: why a leopard eats people?
- Some People Hate Cats – I discuss the provocative subject again!
- The Modern Cat – Higher human population. Busy People = change.
- Tabby Cat Personality – It doesn’t exist.
- Behavior of a Calico Cat – This is about our perceptions of behavior.
- Can cat fleas bite humans – This is interesting. I had my suspicions.
- Cat allergy symptoms – The range of symptoms described.
- Cat and Dog Fur is Banned? – A gradual change but how effective?
- Cat bites – Compares the strength of bite of a cat to other species.
- Cat Has Nine Lives – The sum total of the “trinity of trinities.”
- Cat in Hell’s Chance–Old phrase refers to being in a hopeless position
- Cat feces and pregnancy – Some misconceptions discussed.
- Cat Leash Laws – Controversial. The vews of people are polarized.
- Cat of nine tails – A well known saying of the naval history of old.
- Cat Video – This is a selection of catnip vidoes, carefully chosen.
- Cats are Less Flexible than Dogs – About introducing cats to dogs.
- Cats Can Protect Children Against Asthma – Hidden benefit of cats.
- Cat scratch fever symptoms – What is says on the box.
- Domestic Cats – Long article on the domestic cat generally and us.
- Having Kittens – Another old saying harking back to a different time.
- How To Make Cat Toys – Some (a few) of us might like to try this.
- Keep cats away – Ideas for people who want to keep cats out.
- Kitten Health – What to look for in a healthy or unhealthy kitten.
- Let the Cat Out of the Bag – Refers to an 18th century fraud/trick.
- Men Who Dislike Cats Are Jerks – Some women might think this.
- No Room to Swing a Cat – Old sailor’s phrase when punishing.
- Picture of Cat Tattoo – Tattoos are increasingly popular & cats too.
- Servals for sale – Some ideas about the legal issues. Important.
- Stop Other Cats Using My Cats Cat Flap–Deals with time-share cats.
- Stopping the Inappropriate Elimination of Cats – Mainly about litter.
- The Tiger is the World’s Favorite Animal – Yes, so why do we kill it?
- Tiger of Mysore – He was a famous Indian named after the tiger.
- Understanding Cats – My views on getting along better with cats.
- Which sex of cat is better with kids? – This is an interesting thought.
- Zero odor – Lots of talk about removing cat urine odor. This is good.
- Zoonotic Disease Carried by Cats – Some diseases transfer to us.
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.
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
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
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
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
Hi, I’d like to hear the views of visitor on leaving cats at home alone. The way I see it, we can leave cats alone at home but the question is for how …
All About Cats: 50 Cat Facts
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
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.
ANY ADVICE …
Walking My Cat In The Snow
Walking on the leash is not just for dogs. Cats can learn it too and this way indoor cats can enjoy some of the sensations of the outdoors without risking …
Cats in Poetry
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
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
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?
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?
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
“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 …
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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.
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.
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.
Please note: All the links in this section on cat facts open a new window
- Aggressive Behavior in a Cat– Is it due to something that we do?
- Bengal cat is Antisocial – No but their behavior is a bit different.
- Bengal Cat Behavior – More on this ever interesting subject.
- Bengal Cat Behavior 2 – Some more on this popular topic.
- Blind Cat Dignity – One of two posts on blind cats. My heart hurts
- Blind Cat – The sad made beautiful.
- Bored Cats – They are bound to be bored sometimes living as we do.
- Building a cat enclosure – Some thoughts on this modern outlook.
- Cat Afraid of Mice – this can be the case dependent on development.
- Cat Behavior Explained – What is says on the box. I try and explain.
- Cat Behavior and Separation Anxiety – Modern life can cause it.
- Cat Behavior Kneading – Frequently experienced behavior explained.
- Cat Breed Characteristics – Are cat from different breeds different?
- Cat Collars – Good and bad of cat collars. It’s not all good.
- Cat Dominance Hierarchy – This is apparent in my home with strays.
- Cat hairballs – Information on a familar sight living with cats.
- Cat Head Butting – This common behavior is explained here.
- Cat Heat behavior – A more scientific word for “heat” is “estrus“.
- Cat Hiss – The reason why cats hiss.
- Cats indoors or out – Keep cats indoors or let them out?
- Cat Licking Behavior – find out why cats lick.
- Cat Licking Displacement Activity – Licking the nose. Scratch the head
- Cat Olympics Bengal cat – A bit of light hearted banter on agility.
- Cat Peeing Behavior – Water and cats have a connection.
- Cat Speed and Dog Endurance – This is repicated in the wild.
- Cat Whiskers – Cat whiskers are amazing bits of cat anatomy you’ll see
- Cat’s Purr -The resons explained and the moments when it happens.
- Cats Have Different Characters – Cats, like us, have different attitudes
- Cats Snore – Yes, mine does all the time and it is quite loud sometimes
- Cats Playing Fetch – Yes, cats can play fetch naturally like dogs.
- Damaged Cat Ears – Fighting feral cat or a disease? Still very sad.
- Darling Small Cat Steals Huge Chicken – This is a cracking video.
- Do cats dream? – Yes, they sure do just like us and they snore.
- Do cats grieve? – Discussed in some detail.
- Domestic Cat Hunting – They still hunt and some actions are explained.
- Intelligent Cat Breed –Are some cat breeds more intelligent?
- House Cat Breeds – About cat breeds that are more suited to indoors.
- House plants poisonous to a cat – List of house plants to avoid.
- How do cats see us? – Question that I had to ask and try and answer.
- Invisible electric cat fences – I fitted one. Here are my views on it.
- Lions Mating – Words and pictures. It is just like domestic cats.
- Maine Coon Cat Paws at Water – What is behind this MC behavior.
- Ragdoll Cat Behavior – This cat breed has a reputation. It is true?
- Referred cat aggression – This is something worth knowing about.
- Savannah Cat and Bengal Cat Behavior – Self explanatory.
- Sociable cats – Cats contrary to cliche can be and are sociable.
- The Fennec Fox and Cat – These two get on OK if a little uneasily.
- What does catnip look like? – Heard about it, where does it come from?
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 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.
(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
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.
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 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.
under creative commons
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.
Major page on cat food: Best Cat Food contains some of these links and new links.
Cat Photography – cat facts in photographs
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.