Interesting facts about cats

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  • most cats are lactose-intolerant and should not be fed cow’s milk
  • cats have downward-facing claws so they cannot descend a tree face first
  • cats are crepuscular – most active at dawn and dusk. Hence the early morning zoomies!
  • about 50% of cats have the catnip gene, and love it! Others are not interested at all. Young kittens are not interested in it at all, and male cats are more interested than female cats
  • a male cat is called a tom or tomcat
  • an unspayed female of breeding age, a pregnant cat, or a cat nursing kittens is called a queen,
  • a female cat is called a molly
  • kittens used to be called catlings
  • the word dam is sometimes used when talking about records or paperwork for a rare or purebred female cat
  • a group of kittens is called a kindle and a group of cats is called a clowder, a cluttering, a glaring, or a pounce
  • cats have milk teeth just like people do. When they start teething (at between 3 and 6 months) their permanent teeth will grow beside their milk teeth for a while, before pushing them out
  • cats do not purr when they are happy. They often also purr when dying, in pain, stressed and injured. They do this to self-soothe
  • cats lose heat by sweating through their paw pads and by stretching their body out. Cats only pant when very stressed, after very hard play as kittens, or when seriously unwell
  • cats do not chew their food so domestic cats manage very well if they have to have teeth removed. Cats use their teeth to hold their prey and to tear pieces off, but they do not need their teeth to chew
  • many cats do ‘biscuits’ but those that suckle on blankets have very often been weaned or homed too early
  • lone kittens and kittens raised by humans are often very ‘bitey’. This is because they are not corrected by siblings or mama as they grow
  • kittens ‘talk’ to their mother when they are little, but adult cats do not meow at other cats. They do, however ‘talk’ to their humans, no doubt because they know it causes reactions
  • Cats are believed to be the only mammals who don’t taste sweetness.
  • Cats have an extra organ (the Jacobson’s organ) that allows them to taste scents on the air, which is why your cat opens their mouth when there is an interesting smell about. This is called the Flehman response
  • Male cats are likely to be left-pawed, while female cats are likely to be right-pawed
  • cats can refuse to eat if they do not like the food, no matter how hungry they are
  • cat noseprints are unique, like human fingerprints
  • each kitten in a litter can have a different father, as a queen releases multiple eggs over days when she is in heat

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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