Cat Facts

42 Little Known Facts About Cats

March 30, 2021 14 min read


42 Little Known Facts About Cats

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Compared to other furry animals, your cat isn’t exactly an open book, but you love her all the same.

Cats are cool, playful, and fun animals which may explain why 42.7 million Americans have these adorable animals as their live-in pets. In fact, most of these households keep an average of 2 cats.

Here, we give you more reasons to keep loving your furball. Please have a look at our 42 interesting and fun facts about cats.

1. Why Your Feline Loves To Flip On The Floor
cat flipping on the floor

You must have noticed that your cat rolls on the ground when they see you. Why you ask, because:

  • She feels safe around you
  • She wants you to pay attention to her
  • She is claiming the space by marking it with her scent

2. Your Feline’s Butt Pose Is A Form Of Greeting

cat’s butt pose is a form of greeting

Do you wonder why your furball is fond of presenting their raised tail or butt to your face?

Well, don’t get offended by your cat’s behavior of giving you a chance for a butt sniff. To her, it’s like giving you a kiss or a hug.  Cats do this to other cats as a form of greeting.

The good news, you don’t have to reciprocate by giving your cat’s butt a sniff as petting them on their raised tail is good enough.

3. Why Do Cats Arch On Their Backs

Cats arch on their backs to stretch their muscles after a nap.

But arching also happens when your cat feels threatened. In case of a threat, the arched back will also be accompanied by standing hair on your feline’s back and tail. This posture is also meant to scare away a threatening animal.

4. Cats Rub Against Your Leg For Several Reasons

Cats rub against your leg for several reasons

Cats will rub against your leg to greet you when they can’t reach your face. A cat also rubs against you to mark you with her scent. This behavior anoints you with the cat’s smell, and it’s a way for your feline to claim you as his own.

5. Why Does It Seem So Hard For My Cat To Climb Down A Tree?

cats have a hard time climbing down a tree

Climbing up a tree is fun for most cats, but getting back down becomes tricky once they are at the top. If this sounds too familiar, you aren’t alone. Many cat parents have a hard time convincing their cats to come down a tree.

What makes it so difficult for your cat to come down a tree is her claws. Cat claws face backward, making it easy for them to climb up but difficult to climb down.

Similarly, the claws cannot support your furbaby’s weight when your cat is trying to back down a tree which is why most cats will try to skid down or jump from the tree.

6. Your Cat Grooms You To:

  • Show affection
  • Mark you and let other animals know that you belong to them
  • Taste something interesting on your skin
  • Get your attention
  • As a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress

7. My Cat Won’t Come When I Call

cats won't come when you call them

Your cat may recognize your voice when you call, but this doesn’t mean they will trot right over.

This behavior frustrates many cat parents, with some concluding that their cats are just plain rude and stubborn. But before you take it personally, understand that this behavior has nothing to do with you but with your pet’s nature. Cats aren’t obligate social animals. This means that social contact isn’t necessary for them to thrive, unlike human beings.

It also means that your cat will not find it necessary to respond to your call if they aren’t interested in what you’re saying. So, next time you call kitty, and she doesn’t respond, try giving her an incentive such as their favorite treat to encourage her to come to you.

8. Why Cats Toy With Their Prey?

Cats toy with their prey which to us may seem like they enjoy torturing their victims.

Unfortunately, this is normal cat behavior. Cats are predators, and when they catch a large or more dangerous prey than them, they will wear the prey out, ensuring it’s safe to kill.

Your cat may also play with their prey simply because they aren’t hungry. This often happens with indoor cats as their drive to chase and hunt may not be related to hunger.

9. What Are Your Cat’s Ears Telling You?

reading cats body language: ears

Cats use their ears to communicate. To get an idea of what your feline’s ears are saying, look out for the below cues:

  • When the ears are facing forward and slightly leaning down to the side, your cat is very relaxed.
  • If the ears are up and facing forward, she is very alert and may be ready to pounce onto something
  • When the ears are back and slightly raised, the cat feels threatened and may be ready to run away
  • If his ears are flat and pinned back, your cat may be angry or frightened
  • If her ears are twitching, your cat may be nervous or uncertain

10. What Are Your Cat’s Eyes Saying?

reading cat body language: eyes

To know what your cat is saying with her eyes, look at the pupils:

  • Hard constricted and dilated pupils are a sign that your cat is aggressive
  • Half-closed eyes mean that your cat is comfortable and relaxed
  • If the eyes pupils keep darting around, your cat feels frightened and is looking for a way out
  • Wide eyes may mean your cat is alert, maybe because she feels threatened

11. What Your Cat’s Tail Is Saying?

reading cat body language: tail
  • A lashing tail shows that your cat is agitated
  • A slow-moving tail is a sign that your cat’s attention is on something
  • A tail that is up with a slight curve indicates that your cat is approaching something slowly
  • When your cat curves their tail around you, she is bonding with you
  • If your cat tucks their tail next or under their body, they are frightened or in pain

12. Cat Whiskers

reading cat body language and emotions: whiskers

Your feline’s whiskers are their sensory tool, but you can also use them to read your cat’s emotions.

  • When whiskers are rigid and pulled around your cats face, it’s a sign that your cat feels threatened
  • If the whiskers are relaxed and back, it shows your cat is happy and content
  • If the whiskers are pushed forward, your cat may be interested or curious about something

13. My Cat Won’t Cover Her Poop

All cats cover their poop. It’s a natural feline instinct. Felines will cover their waste to avoid attention from predators.

But sometimes, your furbaby will leave their poop uncovered. Why?

The main reason why your cat may leave their poop uncovered is to claim the territory of a particular area. A cat who is competing with another one will also leave their waste exposed to show dominance.

14. Your Cat Covers Their Bowl Of Food To Keep It Safe From Other Felines

why does my cat cover her bowl of food

Cats may fake bury their food with shredded paper or a handkerchief because it’s instinctive cat behavior.

This strange behavior is referred to as catching, and cats also do it to save leftovers for later while also ensuring the food is safe from predators.

15. Cats Are Near-Sighted

If you often wonder why your feline can’t focus on anything less than a foot in front of them, it’s because they are near-sighted.

Although felines are nearsighted, they will use their whiskers to feel what they can’t see, which means they don’t miss much.

16. Cats Have An Excellent Sense Of Smell

cats have an excellent sense of smell

Cats’ sense of smell is impressive! It’s 40 times better than that of humans.

Your cat relies primarily on their sense of smell than what they can see or taste to figure out their environment. Your feline’s sense of smell is also their most reliable tool when it comes to hunting.

17. Your Cat’s Sense Of Taste Isn’t So Impressive

cats sense of taste is below average

Unlike their sense of smell, your feline’s sense of taste isn’t as good. In fact, cats have only a few taste buds compared to humans with more than 9000 taste buds.

It’s believed that cats can’t taste sweetness. The good news is that their impressive sense of smell makes up for their poor taste.

18. Cats Have A Blind Spot Under Their Chins

cats have a blind spot under their chin

A cat’s vision is powerful, but you may notice that your beloved pet can’t seem to see objects directly under her nose or chin. This is because your furbaby has a blind spot under her chain.

The good news is that her sense of smell is so good that she rarely misses anything, even when it’s right under her nose.

19. My Cat Won’t Eat The Layer Of Food At The Bottom Of His Bowl

Most cats won’t eat the food at the edge of their bowls, especially when the bowl is too deep. The reason, the bowl causes whisker stress.

Cats’ whiskers are very sensitive, and when they bump against the side of a deep narrow bowl, the result is discomfort.

The solution, feed your cat on a broader shallow bowl or a flat plate.

20. My Cat Loves Plastic Bags

cats love plastic bags

Isn’t it funny how some cats are fascinated by plastic bags?

While some love to play with them, others can’t get their tongue off them. The reasons cats love plastic bags so much include:

  • Plastic bags make crinkly noises that are similar to prey scurrying through grass or leaves, which is enticing to cats
  • A plastic bag may have absorbed the tantalizing smell of your cat’s favorite food, and they just have to taste it
  • Some plastic shopping bags are made of corn starch biodegradable materials, which some cats find delicious
  • Plastic bags provide physical and mental stimulation for bored cats

Plastic bags can be a choking hazard to your feline, so it’s best to get them safe catnip chew toys.

21. Why Your Cat Loves To Eat Grass?

Your cat often grazes on the grass to boosts her nutrients levels. Grass contains folic acid, a nutrient that helps move oxygen from your feline’s body to their bloodstream.

Cats also enjoy nipping on grass because they find the texture and taste pleasing. Other experts believe that eating grass helps ease your furbaby’s digestion. Cats also eat grass to induce vomiting to clear out indigestible remains such as feathers and fur from their stomach.

22. What’s With That Feline Sneer?

why does my cat sneer

The sneer in your cat’s face often occurs when your cat smells something. This weird face is also called the flehmen response.

Your cat exhibits this grimace when she is analyzing a particular scent. She uses it to analyze pheromones from other felines or for investigating any other smells in the area.

23. Your Cat’s Wink Is Akin To A Hug Or A Handshake

The cat wink is also called a cat kiss. The slow eye blink is a simple way of your furbaby telling you that she trusts you. The wink is a non-threat signal telling you that your cat is comfortable with you. It can be likened to a kiss or hug.

If you want your feline to know that you trust her too, give her the same slow eye-blink, and you’ll notice that she will most likely wink back.

24. Cat Kneading Behavior Explained

why do cats knead

Cat kneading often referred to as “making biscuits,” is characterized by your feline rhythmically pushing their claws in and out on a soft surface such as a cushion or blanket. It almost looks like your cat is kneading dough or making biscuits.

So, why exactly does your cat knead?

Kneading is an instinctive cat behavior that they inherit during kitten-hood. Kittens do it to encourage milk flow from their mother’s teats

Adult cats knead when:

  • They feel happy, safe, and comfortable
  • They are marking their territory
  • Female cats also knead when they are on heat

25. When Your Cat Rolls On Her Back, What Is She Telling You?

cat rolling on her back

If your cat often rolls on her back, exposing her belly or private areas, she is telling you, “I feel secure with you, and I trust you.”

Your cat may also roll on her back to seek your attention, especially if it happens as you get ready to leave. But if the rolling happens after you give your cat catnip, it probably has incited a strong sexual reaction from your feline.

26. When Your Cat Hisses, What Does It Mean?

A hiss from your feline means back off. She is probably feels threatened, and depending on the situation, your cat may run or fight.

Cat owners can use the hiss to let their furbaby know that they need to stop an unpleasant behavior.

27. When Your Cat Yowls?

cat jowling

The yowl goes like WoOOOOwwoooOOOOoowwwwooOOOoow, and it’s certainly a step-up from a hiss.

Your cat makes this sound when she feels threatened and is ready to fight. If you try to touch her in this state, she will definitely scratch you. So, keep off.

A yowl may also be an indication of emotional or physical discomfort. For instance, your cat may yowl when they are about to vomit a hairball.

28. What Does Your Cat’s Meow Mean?

Did you know that cats meow more to humans than they do to other cats?

A cat meow is her way of communicating to you- so listen to her. Various meows from your cat may mean different things. So, you better learn what your cat is trying to tell you.

29. The Purr

why do cats purr

For most cat parents, purring is a sign that their cat is content. While this is true, purring may also indicate that your cat is in pain and needs your care. It may also be her way of saying, “please don’t stop what you’re doing,” especially if she purrs when you’re gently petting her.

The difference between a comforting purr and a pain or injury one is that the latter is deep and husky. This purr is also louder, and while the former purr is often accompanied by kneading, the latter purr isn’t.

30. Cats Chirping

A cat’s chirp is almost like a purr, but it’s shorter. It’s the sound, ‘prrt, prrt,’ and cats do it when they greet other felines they are familiar with.

Your cat will also chirp when she is responding to your voice. A cat may also chirp when they are frustrated after seeing prey that is out of their reach.

31. How Do Cats Survive High Falls?

how do cats survive high falls

Cats have been told to always land on their feet due to their ability to survive falls from incredible heights. While some people think it is magic, science records that cats have an incredible balancing system called the righting reflex. They can turn themselves during a fall so that they can land safely on their feet.

But the height of the fall will affect the cat’s ability to fall on their feet. The higher the fall, the more likely the cat has a chance to right themselves.

32. Cats Can Jump As High As Six Times Their Length

Cats are amazing jumpers

As a cat owner, you must know by now that your pet has a fantastic ability to leap over counters and tables. Your cat will even find their way onto cupboards and shelves.

If you have been wondering how high your feline can jump. Well, a healthy cat can jump six times their height which is about 8 feet.

When they are about to jump, cats’ powerful back legs will propel them in the air allowing their bodies to gain significant height.

33. Why Does My Cat Sleep So Much?

Did you know that cats spend 70% of their lifetime sleeping? A cat can sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day, although most of this sleeping is catnapping.

When your cat is napping which is ¾ of the time when they are asleep, they are still alert, and you may notice their eyes are slightly open.

Your cat sleeps so much to conserve their energy to hunt for their next kill. Even if domesticated may not need to hunt, their instinct to sleep remains.

34. Why A Cat’s Tongue Is Rough?

why is a cats tongue rough

If your cat grooms you, you may notice that their tongue is not as soft as it looks. Actually, it’s rather scratchy and rough and will often feel like sandpaper when your feline drags it on your skin.

A cat’s tongue is rough because it has small spines running along it. These spines or papillae are helpful in the following ways:

  • They are perfect for rasping meat from bone
  • They make the perfect hairbrush
  • They are responsible for the ingenious way cats drink water
  • The tongue is transformed into an air conditioner that cools off your feline’s body when she licks her fur

35. My Cat Can’t Stand A Bathtub Full Of Water

As the saying goes, cats and water don’t mix.

If your feline is one of the many cats that can’t stand a bathtub full of water, it may baffle you.  Most cats have no issue with drinking water, but they can’t stand it when it comes to water that gets near their fur. One of the reasons is because when water touches your cat’s fur it weights her down. Wet fur feels to your furbaby feels like a wet blanket.

Another explanation why cats don’t like water is that with their excellent scent abilities, a cat can probably smell the chemicals in the water, and they wouldn’t like their fur submerged in a liquid that smells a little different from their coat. Not to mention that your cat feels out of control when he is immersed in a bathtub full of water.

36. Why Cats Love Small Spaces?

cats love small spaces

Undoubtedly, cats love to squeeze in small spaces. You’ll often find your beloved pet hiding in a small shoebox, the flower vase, or even in a small shopping bag. But why would your feline find comfort in such a small enclosed space?

Here’s why:

  • Cats feel safe and comfortable in small spaces
  • It’s an instinctive cat behavior as your pet can hide from predators in small spaces
  • Cats have a natural need for warmth, and small spaces preserve your feline’s body heat

Did You Know?

Here are some other little-known facts about cats that are bound to baffle you.

37. A Cat Named Stubbs Was A Mayor For 20 Years

Stubbs was an orange tabby cat that became an uncontested mayor of Talkeetna- an Alaskan town for an amazing 20 years!

Stubbs was a favorite among locals and tourists in the small town.

38. Your Domesticated Cat Shares 95.6% Of Her DNA With Tigers

According to a 2013 study, researchers discovered that domesticated cats shared 95.6% of their DNA with tigers.

Some of their common behaviors include urine marking, scent, and prey pouncing, and stalking.

39. The Oldest Cat In The World Lived For 38 Years

Crème Puff is the oldest cat to have ever lived. She was born on 3rd August 1967, and she lived for 38 years and three days.

Crème Puff’s owner Jake Perry was also the owner of the previous oldest cat record holder- Grandpa Rex Allen, who died at 34.

It looks like Jake Perry has a secret under her sleeve when it comes to keeping cats alive.

40. Your Cat Can Make More Than 100 Different Sounds

From the meowing to the yelping, your furbaby can make more than 100 sounds while your dog can only make ten.

Scientists have sought to understand how cats make most of these sounds, but some, like the purr, are still a mystery.

41. The First Cat To Land In Space Was Called Felicette

Felicette, a French cat, was the first to be blasted into outer space. She had electrodes implanted in her brains that sent signals back to the scientists on earth.

The good news is that Felicette survived the space trip.

42. Cats Don’t Really Have Nine Lives

The saying that cats have nine lives isn’t really true. It’s believed that the saying came about due to cats’ incredible ability to cheat death multiple times. With their lightning-fast reflexes, their ability to always land on their feet, and their remarkable agility, cats have been known to cheat death several times.

However, as a cautious cat owner, always be careful with your pet as she only has one life to live.

There you have it, a list of 42 fun facts about your furball.

If you liked this article feel free to share it with other cat lovers. You can also let us know of an interesting cat fact that we may have forgotten to mention. And if there is something unusual that your kitty does that you would also like us to know, please tell us about it in the comments section.

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