Fun Facts about Cats for World Cat Day

Did you know today (August 8th) is World Cat Day? To honor our furry friends (we have two) I am sharing some fun facts about cats. There are so many interesting things about cats out there so I divided them up into categories: General Facts, Cats in History and Around the World, Cat Records and Cats versus Dogs. 
Fluffy Napping with Hazel and Steve

General Cat Facts

  1. On average cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping (12-16 hours) or about double what the average human sleeps. Cats spend nearly 1/3 of their waking hours cleaning themselves.
  2. Female cats tend to be right pawed and males tend to be left pawed.
  3. Cats can travel at approximately 31 mph over a short distance.
  4. A cat usually has around 12 whiskers on each side of its face. A cat’s nose print is like its fingerprint. Each one is unique.
  5. 346 365 Mikan (6501084061)
    By Andrés Nieto Porras from Palma de Mallorca, España (346/365: Mikan) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

  6. Cats cannot use their jaws sideways so they cannot chew large chunks of food.
  7. Cats backs have up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae making them extremely flexible. Humans only have 34.

  8. Cat Stretching

  9. Cats have about 130,000 hairs per square inch.
  10. A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human’s at 110-140 beats a minute.
  11. Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees.
  12. Every year about 40,000 people are bitten by a cat.
  13. Cats rub against people and things to mark territory. They have scent glands around its face, paws and tail area.
  14. The most popular pedigree of cat is the Persian followed by Maine Coon and Siamese cats. There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world and about 40 recognized breeds.
  15. Doll face silver Persian
    Doll Face Silver Persian Cat By Andrey (originally posted to Flickr as Marcello the cat) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

  16. Cats don’t meow at each other. They only meow at humans. The spit, hiss, and purr at other cats.
  17. The weather can affect cats just like it can you. On a cold or rainy day, a cat will sleep more than usual and cats dream.
  18. The Turkish Van likes swimming. Its coat has a unique texture that is water resistant. Most cats hate water because their fur does not protect them from water.

PIper the Turkish Van cat
Piper the Turkish Van By 3Leonards (en wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cats in History and Around the World

  1. The oldest known pet cat was found in a 9500-year-old grave on Cyprus. It predates the ancient Egyptians art depicting cats.
  2. A Hebrew legend says that Noah prayed to God for help protecting the food stored on the ark from the rats. God’s reply was making the lion sneeze out a cat.
  3. In Ancient Egypt family members would shave their eyebrows off when the family cat died. They held elaborate funerals where they drank wine and beat their breasts and the cat was embalmed with a sculptured wooden mask and placed in the family tomb or pet cemetery with mice mummies.
  4. Box for animal mummy surmounted by a cat, inscribed MET LC-12 182 27 EGDP023744
    Ancient Egyptian Box for Cat Mummy Metropolitan Museum of Art [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

  5. Smuggling a cat out of ancient Egypt was punishable by death.
  6. Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil during the Spanish Inquisition. Thousands of cats were burned which lead to an explosion in the rat population which caused more cases of Black Death.
  7. During the Middle Ages cats were associated with witchcraft and would be burned all over Europe on St. John’s Day. People would put them in bags and throw them into bonfires. On other holy days they would toss cats from church towers.
  8. In the 1750s Europeans introduced cats into the Americas to control pests.
  9. In Australia and Britain black cats are considered lucky.
  10. The smallest pedigreed cat is a Singapura which can weigh just 4 pounds. The largest is a Maine Coon cat which can weigh 25 pounds or nearly twice as much as an average cat. The Egyptian Mau is probably the oldest breed of cat. Its name is the Egyptian word for “cat.”
  11. Abraham Lincoln had four cats in the White House.
  12. In 1963 the first cat went into space. The French sent a cat named Felicette into outer space with electrodes implanted into her brains while she went into outer space and back. She survived the trip.
  13. Felicette-équipe
    Felicette and Team Before Launch By Deefaze [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

  14. There is a tower in Scotland built to commemorate a cat named Towser who caught nearly 30,000 mice in her lifetime.
My Beloved Late Simba

On the Record

  1. The heaviest cat on record is named Himmy, a Tabby from Queensland, Australia. He weighted nearly 47 pounds and died at the age of 10.
  2. The oldest cat on record lived for almost 38 years. He was named Crème Puff and was from Austin, Texas. The average cat can live up to 20 years which is equivalent to about 96 human years.
  3. In her lifetime a cat named Dusty had more than 420 kittens. This is the largest amount on record.
  4. One cat traveled nearly 373,000 miles. His name is Hamlet and he escaped his carrier on a plane and hid for seven weeks on the plane.
  5. For 15 years Talkeetna, Alaska has had a cat named Stubbs as its mayor.
  6. Mayor Stubbs
    Mayor Stubbs By Jenni Konrad [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

  7. The wealthiest cat is worth $13 million after its owner died and left him all her fortune.
  8. The largest litter of kittens known is 19. Only 15 of them survived.  The average litter size is between one and nine kittens.
  9. A cat named Andy is on the record for the largest non-fatal fall. He fell from the 16th floor of an apartment building or about 200 feet. Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet. A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound. 

Cats versus Dogs

  1. Cats are the most popular pet in North America. There are 73 million pet cats versus 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat.
  2. A cat’s brain is more similar to a human’s brain than a dog’s.
  3. A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. A cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.
  4. Cat-ears
    Cat Ears By Jim Conrad [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  5. Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs only make 10.
  6. When a cat chases its prey, it keeps it head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.
  7. Cats do not have a sweet tooth, but dogs do.
Our Pumpkin

Cat Safety Tips:

Do not let cats eat onions, garlic, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolates, grapes, raisins, Tylenol, aspirin, poinsettias, lilies, amaryllis, and chrysanthemums. They are posionous to cats! Also milk can cause stomach issues and gas in cats. 

Cat Crafts Round-Up

1) Coding Cats from STEAM Powered Family 

2) Our Toilet Paper Roll Cats

3) Cat Embroidered T-Shirt from Swoodson Says

4) Cat Toob 3-Part Cards from In Our Pond

5) Felt Pocket Kitty from Swoodson Says

6) Our Cat Rocks

7) DIY Cat Toys Kids Can Make from Just One Mommy

8) Charlie Anderson Free Book Companion from Wise Owl Factory

9) Cat Activity Pack from Sunny Day Family

10) DIY Cat Food Maze from Sunny Day Fmaily

11) Cat Matching Memory Game for Kids from Sunny Day Family

12) Coffee Filter Cat Craft from Look! We're Learning

Cats in Books

1) Stack the Cats Board Book

2) The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

3) Mommies Are Amazing

4) Big Cat, Little Cat & Blue Ethel (not pictured)

5) The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-Cat

6) Cats in Paris Coloring Book