Domesticated more than 4,000 years ago, the household cat has become a close companion throughout the ages. Few people do not know of the story ?Puss in Boots? or of the cat’s reputation as a mouser, but how much do you REALLY know about your feline friend? Read on to learn some interesting facts about cats.
A cat’s eyes are incredible jewels of mystery, but cats cannot see in the darkness as many legends claim. It may seem that they can, however, as a cat only needs one sixth the amount of light that we, as humans, need to see. In the daylight, however, a cat’s vision is only fair when compared to ours, and a cat cannot see things directly under their own nose (hence why they appear unable to find tidbits dropped at their feet). Interestingly enough, however, a cat is not colorblind as humans tend to believe. Studies have shown cats to distinguish between red and green, red and blue, red and gray, green and blue, green and gray, blue and gray, yellow and blue and even yellow and gray. In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
Ever notice how your cat appears to talk to you? It’s true, they do! In fact, cats have over 100 different vocalization sounds as opposed to a dog’s mere 10. Additionally, the “meow” sound that a cat makes is not a common sound that they make for other cats. Meow is, in fact, a sound reserved only for humans and kittens.
Did you know that, when comparing brains, a cat’s brain is more similar to a human’s brain than it is to a more obvious-seeming choice, such as a dog’s? Additionally, both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain that are responsible for emotion. Cats are intelligent, emotive creatures and there are many benefits to sharing one’s life with one of these fascinating felines; people who own pets live longer, have less stress and have fewer heart attacks.
Interacting with their human friends can be dangerous for cats, however. There are many substances in the home that can be harmful to our furry friends; antifreeze has an addictively sweet smell but is highly toxic to animals and human painkillers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be deadly to cats. Chocolate, while a tasty treat for us two-legged types, is also harmful to pets and should always be kept well out of reach. Never underestimate the cat and his talent for finding trouble to get into.
While cats can actually be trained to do tricks, they are highly independent and very difficult to train. Additionally, cats are one of the laziest animals alive. It?s true! The cat spends an average of 16 hours per day catching cat naps, happily sleeping until someone makes that magic can opener sound. When they are awake, a cat spends 30% of his time grooming himself, hence why cats are considered to be such ?clean? animals. Studies actually show that cats not only groom themselves to clear away dead hair or to remove pungent human scent after we?ve pet them, but cats will also groom themselves after a fight or other traumatic occurrence; a gesture which is believed to help the cat calm himself and soothe his nerves. This, of course, is done because a cat cannot break out into a nervous sweat (or any other kind of sweat, for that matter) because they have no sweat glands. Of course, they have to be pretty desperate before they will resort to anything so? dog? as panting.
(To be continued…)
Check back tomorrow, as we will be adding more interesting facts about our feline friends!