Cats are certainly mesmerizing creatures, from their bold personalities to their regal appearance. And just when we think we can’t love them anymore, they find new ways to surprise us. If you’re wondering what could possibly make you more in awe of your feline friend, maybe these fascinating facts about cats will do the trick!
Cat domestication likely began about 12,000 years ago
House cats are no passing fad! Based on archaeological records, scientists believe domestic cats are descended from Middle Eastern wildcats and were first domesticated in the Near East as many as 12,000 years ago. It is believed that cats were used to control rodents without food storehouses.
Domestic cats were also beloved by the Ancient Egyptians, who had cat-like gods and were often entombed with their mummified pets.
Purrs have healing qualities
Cat purrs emit vibrations at frequencies that stimulate bone growth and regeneration within the body. Veterinarians suspect that this is why cats rarely experience bone or joint-related issues.
Cats are 95.6% tiger
If you’ve ever caught your feline friend with a fierce look in their eye, it might be a trait they’ve inherited from their Tiger relatives! Genome sequencing has revealed that domestic cats share 95.6% of their DNA with tigers.
Cats spend as much as 50% of their waking hours grooming themselves
It’s no secret that cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, but it’s not because they’re vain. Your cat’s barbed tongue helps comb their fur and remove mats and tangles as they lick themself. Additionally, grooming is said to help remove a cat’s scent, making it easier for them to hide from their predators and prey!
They have a special organ that enhances their sense of smell
Cats have something called a Jacobson’s organ inside their nasal cavity that can detect scents and odourless chemical substances. Given that their nose is already 14 times more sensitive than a human nose, it’s safe to say nothing gets past your cat! No wonder they spend so much time grooming!
Cats meow to communicate with humans
According to Live Science, before domestication, cats relied primarily on their sense of smell, urine markers, and body language to communicate with other cats. Since these methods of communication were lost on their human companions, cats learned to vocalize to communicate with us. As you know, cats use many different meows to boss us around, each with a unique meaning!
Felines are a top threat to wildlife in the US
Since early domestication, cats have been used to control rodents, but their affinity for hunting has been linked to the extinction of 33 species around the globe. Whether or not cats are truly at fault is hard to say, as there are many contributing factors to extinction. However, cats kill billions of birds and mammals yearly, namely rodents like squirrels, mice, and shrews. Researchers in the US believe that cats (particularly stray and feral cats) are one of the primary threats to US wildlife.
One litter of kittens can have multiple fathers
Have you ever noticed that some litters of kittens have a very diverse array of colours and markings? This could be because a single litter of kittens can have multiple sires! Yes, you read that right.
This is due to a process called superfecundation when more than two eggs are fertilized by different males within a single heat cycle. Female cats ovulate within 24 to 48 hours from when they’ve mated, and it’s pretty common for them to mate with multiple males, making it probable that a litter will have multiple sires.