Cats make good house pets. They do not need to be taken on walks and keep themselves clean diligently. They sleep for long durations during the day and make perfect companions for people who have to go out for work all day. Cats are affectionate, playful, and have their own characteristics that make them attractive.
Cats have been around for centuries, and most house cats we see now have adapted themselves to live compatibly with humans. Approximately 43 million households in the US have cats as pets, making them the second most common pets after dogs (1).
If your child is a cat lover, they would love to read this post with facts about cats for kids, or you could use them as cat trivia and check how much they know about their dear pet.
Are Cats Harmful For Humans?
There are several myths surrounding cats. For example, a black cat crossing your path is considered bad luck by some. Pregnant women are advised not to bring home cats due to the fear of a miscarriage. Some of them also believe cats suck the breath of a newborn.
While most of these myths are false, cats can indeed be carriers of several bacteria and parasites, which could cause diseases in humans. Especially if a human comes in contact with cat feces and does not clean hands, there could be chances of infection. Pregnant women are advised not to handle cat feces as it contain certain toxins that can cause miscarriage. Moreover, if a cat scratches or bites you, you can contact cat scratch fever or rabies.
Therefore, experts advise you to wash your hands every time you handle a cat or its feces to eliminate the chances of infection (2).
105 Fascinating Facts About Cats
- Pet cats have been known to exist 9,500 years ago.
- Cats spend a lot of their lifetime sleeping—in fact, up to 70%.
- Stubbs, an orange cat, was the mayor of the town of Talkeetna in Alaska for 20 years.
- The longest known cat was a Maine Coon named Stewie. He measured 48.5 inches.
- The tallest cat, Arcturus, measured 19.05 inches.
- The wealthiest cat, Blackie, had $13 million to his name.
- A male cat is called Tom, and a female cat can be called Molly or Queen when pregnant.
- Cats always land on their feet, and their balancing system is termed ‘righting reflex.’
- The higher the cat falls from, the higher chances it has for survival (as it has time to correct its posture before landing).
- A collection of wild cats is called “destruction.”
- A collection of house cats is “clowder.”
- A collection of kittens is called a “kindle.”
- A collection of kittens can also be called an “intrigue” due to their innate curiosity.
- Petting a cat releases oxytocin that reduces stress levels.
- The frequency of a cat’s purr reduces blood pressure levels.
- Cats purr when they are happy and also when they are hungry or injured.
- A cat’s purr has the power of self-healing their bodies in case of injury.
- Most cats are lactose intolerant.
- Cats can be trained, but they are usually not as willing as dogs.
- The brains of cats resemble human brains (about 90%).
- Former US President Abraham Lincoln was fond of cats and had several pets. His pets, Dixie and Tabby, are popular.
- Félicette (named after Felix the Cat) a.k.a. Astrocat was the first cat to visit space in 1963.
- A Burmese cat called Tarawood Antigone once had 19 kittens in a litter making the world record for the largest number of kittens in the same litter.
- Dusty was an ordinary cat in Texas who achieved the extraordinary feat of delivering 420 kittens in her lifetime. She holds the world record for the largest number of kittens.
- Cats meow at humans but never at other cats except for kittens who mewl at their mother when they are hungry or cold.
- People are not allergic to cat fur but a protein found in cat saliva, urine, and dander.
- If your cat likes you, it will bring you a “present” by offering you its hunting prize.
- Cat’s love for boxes is due to their predatory instincts of hiding in enclosed spaces that allow them to be invisible to prey and predators.
- Cats have a limited color spectrum.
- Cats have night vision. They can see in one-sixth of the amount of light humans need to see clearly.
- Cats scratch on things to sharpen their nails and stretch particular muscles in their shoulders and back.
- A one-year-old kitten is as mature as a 15-year-old human.
- Cats can instinctively use the litter box without training.
- Cat whiskers are connected to the nervous system, which helps them get an idea of texture, direction, and distance.
- A tabby cat has an “M” shape on its forehead.
- Black cats have traditionally been associated with Halloween.
- Cats have three eyelids.
- Cats hiss like snakes when intimidated to scare away predators.
- House cats aren’t nocturnal. They are crepuscular, which means that they are most active during dusk and dawn to adjust to the schedules of the humans they live with.
- Indoor cats have a lifespan of 12 to 20 years. Outdoor cats have a lifespan of three to 10 years.
- Male cats are usually left-pawed, and female cats are right-pawed.
- Cats have concentrated urine because they are believed to have originated in the desert, and hence cat pee smells bad.
- Cats have an excellent hearing ability, even better than dogs.
- Cats knock things off edges searching for prey.
- White cats with blue eyes are most likely to suffer from hearing deficiencies. White cats with different colored eyes often go deaf only in the ear that is nearest to the blue eye.
- Egyptians worshipped cats. They used to bury their cats with offerings for the journey into the afterlife.
- American novelist Ernest Hemingway was fond of polydactyl cats or cats with more than the usual number of toes on their paws. Polydactyl cats are called “Hemingway cats.”
- Some cats can be allergic to humans.
- Creme Puff was a domestic cat that holds the oldest cat’s record in the world. She passed away at the ripe age of 38 years and three days.
- Cats groom themselves for around five hours a day.
- Grooming helps a cat regulate body temperature and remain cool.
- Many cats do not respond to catnip.
- Cats cannot taste sweets.
- Cats walk on their toes.
- Cats have better peripheral vision than humans.
- Cats have detached collarbones that help them get into tight spaces without injuring themselves.
- A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times better than a human’s.
- Most cats dislike being touched or rubbed on their bellies.
- Raw fish can be harmful to cats.
- Cats can make more than 100 different sounds for different moods.
- Cats have the same emotion centers in their brains as humans and have similar long- and short-term memories.
- Cats are neurologically smarter than dogs.
- Cats can jump six times their length.
- Cats sweat through their footpads.
- Cats use their tails for balancing themselves.
- Each cat has a unique nose print, just like human fingerprints.
- Cats rub against people and objects to mark their territory.
- Cats have 230 bones in their body.
- Cats can “taste” scents in the air.
- Cats have rough tongues that can lick meat off a bone.
- Cats move their left feet first and then their right feet. In other words, they put forward one-half of their bodies and then bring forward the rest. In this aspect, their movement is similar to camels and giraffes.
- Some cats can swim, though most of them hate water.
- Cats sleep for 12 to 16 hours a day, more when they are too young and old.
- Catnip affects cats the same way marijuana affects humans.
- Cats do not like to share litter boxes.
- Cats and tigers share a similar genome and have many similar traits.
- Cats can be toilet-trained.
- Neutered/spayed cats live longer than unaltered cats. They also have a higher chance of living a healthier life.
- Grooming is a sort of meditation for cats. It helps them relax and stimulate their blood flow.
- Onions and chocolates are poisonous to cats.
- When a cat has its tail curled in a question mark, it means it is in a playful mood.
- Cats dream while they sleep.
- When a cat’s tail is straight and shaking slightly, it is happy to see you.
- A cat has sheathed nails. It brings them out only when it feels threatened or accidentally while playing.
- There are around 200 feral cats in Disneyland.
- Hissing is a sign of fear, stress, or discomfort and not aggression in cats.
- Cats have 18 toes—five on each front paw and four on each back paw.
- In 1995, a green cat was born in Denmark.
- If a cat attacks your ankles, it means it is bored.
- Cats like grooming other cats and humans (and even dogs). It is called allogrooming.
- If a cat is wagging its tail, it means it is angry or upset.
- If a cat blinks at you slowly, it means it likes you.
- Pet cats can also suffer from separation anxiety.
- Cats show affection to humans, though showing love by a cat is different from that of a dog.
- Cats are sensitive and sense earthquakes and thunderstorms before they occur.
- Outdoor cats help keep pests in control more than any other similar-sized animal.
- Cats are carnivorous.
- Cat whiskers consist of nerves that make them superb hunters.
- A cat’s hairball is called “bezoar.”
- A cat cannot climb down from a high place face forward. It must always back down.
- There are approximately 40 recognized cat breeds.
- There are nearly 500 million domesticated cats in the world.
- Cats can travel at a top speed of 31mph.
- The face, paws, and tail area of a cat consist of scent glands.
- The smallest pedigree cat is a Singapura, which weighs just 4lbs (1.8kg), and the largest is Maine Coon which can weigh 25lbs (11.3kg).
Why Do Cats Have a Favorite Person?
Cats are usually not as outgoing and social as dogs. They are moodier, quieter, and judge people before getting closer to them.
A cat can choose a favorite person simply because they play with it more. It could also be arbitrary as the cat liking a person’s scent.
You have to remember that cats are animals, and like other animals, they gravitate naturally towards those with whom they feel safe. If you enjoyed reading these fascinating cat facts for kids, share them in casual conversations or add them in your trivia inventory and reel them out as and when required to see the look of awe and surprise on those around you.