You may know that your feline friend is the cat’s pyjamas, but did you also know that Napoleon ran a mile if he saw a cat? Or that the average cat meal is the equivalent to five mice? Adrian Flux Insurance Services, which provides a full range of cover for all kinds of pets, discovers 50 funny, quirky and downright amazing facts about cats.
1) Cats get stuck up trees because, while their claws are perfectly evolved for climbing up trunks, the curved claws make it impossible for them to climb down – unless they climb backwards.
2) Only three animals walk by moving the front and hind legs first on one side and then the other: giraffes, camels and cats.
3) The richest cat in the world, Blackie, was left a staggering £15 million by his owner, Ben Rea.
4) A cat purrs at 26 cycles per second, the same as an idling diesel engine.
5) Egyptians shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when they lost one of their beloved cats.
6) Cat jaws only have the capability to move up and down and not side to side.
7) The first cartoon cat was Felix the Cat in 1919.
8) A cat has no fixed collarbone and so can fit through any opening the size of its head.
9) A group of kittens is a kindle, a group of grown-up cats is a clowder.
10) Cats do not have a sweet tooth.
11) The first cat show was held in London in 1871.
12) Cats can make around 100 different sounds in comparison to a dog, which can make around different sounds.
13) The word ‘tabby’ comes from the Spanish word ‘tabi’ which was a kind of cloth made of watered-silk.
14) Cats have almost 60 vertebrae in their spines compared to the 34 that humans have.
15) The first mention of a cat flap in literature was a hole described in Chaucer’s the Miller’s Tale from his Canterbury Tales. The first use of the words “cat flap” was in 1957.
16) Cats can independently rotate their ears 180 degrees.
17) Along with primates, cats are the only species that can choose shapes – such as triangles – out of a group of circles.
18) A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31mph over a short distance.
19) The first cat in space was a French cat called Felicette who went into orbit in 1963. She survived the journey.
20) Cats need whiskers in order to determine whether or not a space is too small for them to squeeze through.
21) A cat can jump up to five times its height in one bound.
22) In just seven years, a single pair of cats and their offspring could produce an astonishing total of 420,000 kittens.
23) It is believed that cats can detect earthquake tremors up to 15 minutes before humans can.
24) Cats were first domesticated more than 4,000 years ago.
25) Most cats detest the scent of orange and lemon.
26) Cat urine glows in the dark if a black light is shone on it.
27) It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one’s blood pressure.
28) The Turkish Van cat is one of the few cats that enjoys swimming. It has a coat with a unique texture that makes it water resistant.
29) Just like fingerprints, every cat’s nose pad is different.
30) In addition to using their noses to smell, cats also use an additional organ called the Jacobson’s Organ which is located in the upper surface of the mouth.
31) Cats can see clearly in only one sixth of the light that humans need.
32) Kittens begin dreaming when they are a week old.
33) The world’s most expensive coffee is made with beans that have been excreted by Civet cats.
34) Napoleon was terrified of cats.
35) In America, there is one cat for every four people, in the UK the ratio is one cat for every ten people while in Austria the ration is one-to-one.
36) If a cat is frightened, its fur stands up all over its body. If it is ready to attack, the hair only stands up in a narrow band along the spine and tail.
37) The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice.
38) An unneutered male cat is called a tom while an unsprayed female cat is a queen.
39) A tower was built in Scotland to commemorate a cat called Towser who had killed more than 30,000 mice throughout her lifetime.
40) Onions, garlic, green tomatoes, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes and raisins are all bad for cats.
41) The largest cat breed is the Ragdoll – a male Ragdoll can weigh up to 20lbs and females up to 15lbs.
42) Cats respond to names best when they end in an “ee” sound.
44) The cat is one of the only animals that can stare fixedly into the human eye.
45) In order to drink, cats lap liquid from the underside of their tongues rather than the top.
46) In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
47) Two out of 10 cats don’t have the gene that allows them to enjoy the effects of catnip.
48) A cat will spend nearly 30 per cent of its life grooming.
49) The domestic cat is the only species able to hold its tail vertically as it walks. Wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs.
50) Nikola Tesla was inspired to understand the secrets of electricity after being shocked by static electricity from his beloved cat Macak.
* Adrian Flux is one of only a handful of brokers in the UK to offer a full range of insurance cover to owners of all kinds of pets, including cats. All polices are designed for individuals to ensure you get the very best deal. Call Adrian Flux on 0333 55 55 000 or visit adrianflux.co.uk for the best quote for you.