CATS ARE AS FASCINATING AS THEY ARE SNEAKY!
Cats are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet, and we’ve put together 13 amazing cat facts to prove it.
1. ASTRO CAT WAS LAUNCHED INTO SPACE
We’ve all heard of monkeys and dogs going to space, but did you know that French scientists used a rocket to launch the first cat into space? On Oct. 18, 1963, a French cat named Félicette, also known as Astro Cat, became the first and only feline to ever travel to space. She flew nearly 100 miles above the Earth, where she briefly experienced weightlessness before parachuting back to Earth. The 15-minute mission was a success, and Astro Cat gained an impressive cult following. You can buy Astrocat shirts, coffee mugs, pillows, socks, posters, and much more.
2. THOMAS EDISON INVENTED CAT VIDEOS
Long before “Angry Cat” became the most popular cat video on YouTube with 89-million views, inventor Thomas Edison shot a 20-second short film called Prof. Welton’s Boxing Cats in 1884, which featured two kittens “boxing” inside a ring. Obviously, It’s not actually a video, but it’s definitely documentation that even at the dawn of cinema, well over a century before YouTube, people have always been fascinated with cute cats!
3. DISNEYLAND EMPLOYS FERAL CATS
More than 100 feral cats freely roam Disneyland, where they are employed to control the rodent population. That’s right, the Happiest Place on the Earth uses feral cats to hunt mice and rats at the amusement park. The cats have been at Disneyland basically since the amusement park opened in 1955. Today, you can spot them along the tracks near Main Street Station, or perched on the cliffs of Big Thunder Trail, or chilling around White Water Snacks. According to Vice, Disney has quietly instituted a policy of neutering, vaccinating, and tagging all the felines in the Magic Kingdom.
4. A FEMALE CAT IS CALLED A MOLLY
If you’re a “Cat Person” and want to hang out with other “Cat People,” you should definitely study this cat fact. Here’s a crash course in “Cat Linguistics.” A group of cats is called a clowder, a male cat is called a tom, a female cat is called a molly or queen, a young cat is called a kitten, and a group of kittens is called a kindle.
5. ISAAC NEWTON INVENTED THE CAT DOOR
Isaac Newton is best known for having invented calculus and for formulating the theory of universal gravity, but one of his more obscure inventions changed the lives of millions of house cats. Apparently, Newton was working at the University of Cambridge when he was continually interrupted by his cats scratching at the door. Newton asked a carpenter to saw two holes in the door for the cats to make the passage. The invention of the pet door was attributed to Isaac Newton (1642–1727) in a story (authored anonymously and published in a column of anecdotes in 1893) to the effect that Newton foolishly made a large hole for his adult cat and a small one for her kittens, not realizing the kittens could use the large hole as well.
6. QUOTATION MARKS HAVE A FELINE CONNECTION
This interesting cat fact is guaranteed to wow the guests at your next dinner party. Did you know that the Hungarian word for “quotation marks,” macskaköröm, literally translates to “cat claws?” Now you know!
7. ANCIENT EGYPTIANS SHAVED EYEBROWS TO MOURN CATS DEATHS
Ancient Egyptians revered cats and believed they were the most magical creatures on Earth. To honor these treasured felines, wealthy families adorned them in jewels and fed them meals fit for kings. When the cats died, they were mummified, and as a sign of mourning, the cat owners shaved off their eyebrows and continued to mourn the death until their eyebrows grew back. Cats were so adored in Ancient Egypt that they even worshiped a half-feline goddess named Bastet. The Egyptian goddess protected the home from evil spirits and disease, especially diseases associated with women and children.
8. THE FATTEST CAT IN THE WORD
The average domesticated cat weighs eight to eleven pounds, but the “unofficial” World Record for the “Fattest Cat” goes to a Siamese cat in Russia named Katy that weighed in at a whopping fifty pounds. The Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t officially have a “Fattest Cat” category because they don’t want to encourage people to overfeed their pets.
9. HOUSE CATS AND TIGERS SHARE 95.6% OF DNA
An international team of scientists has sequenced the genomes of tigers, lions, and snow leopards, intending to preserve the iconic felines. The results of the study will genuinely blow your mind. The biggest and perhaps most fearsome of the world’s big cats, the tiger shares 95.6 percent of its DNA with the domestic cat, from which it diverged about 10.8 million years ago. Tigers and domestic cats also share many of the same behaviors, such as scent and urine marking, prey stalking, and pouncing.
10. HOUSE CATS CAN RUN FASTER THAN USAIN BOLT
The fastest land animal in the world, a cheetah, can reach 69.5 mph in just three seconds, so it’s no wonder that the average house cat can reach speeds of up to 30 mph. That’s faster than Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, at 27.78 mph, and the average dog at 20 mph. Unbelievably, the seemingly laziest creature in the world, the house cat, can run faster than you can drive in a school zone.
11. CATS ARE NATURAL-BORN PREDATORS
Cats can be lethal predators and very sneaky while on the hunt for food. When cats walk, their back paws step almost exactly in the same place as the front paws did beforehand; this keeps noise to a minimum and limits visible tracks. Cats have powerful night vision, allowing them to see at light levels six times lower than human needs; this gives cats a significant advantage when hunting prey at a maximum distance. Cats also have excellent hearing, a powerful sense of smell, flexible bodies, and teeth adapted for hunting small animals such as mice and rats.
12. 9,500-YEAR-OLD HOUSE CAT UNEARTHED
Many people believe the Egyptians domesticated the cat thousands of years ago, but that cat fact has been proven to be wrong. In 2004, French archeologists discovered a 9,500-year-old gravesite on Cyprus’s Mediterranean island with human remains buried with a cat and other decorative artifacts. The new find predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more.
13. CATS SPEND 70% OF THEIR LIVES SLEEPING
Cats have evolved to sleep for long periods throughout the day. Wild cats need to sleep to conserve their energy to hunt, chase and kill their prey. Although our domesticated house cats may not need to hunt, they instinctively sleep and prepare for the next hunt. That’s right, cats actually spend 70% of their 9 lives sleeping, and they spend almost half of their waking hours eating, grooming and cleaning themselves.
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