They’re most people’s cuddly best friends, with razor-like claws and vampire-like fangs, the common household moggy – or cat – is a fixture that has been in our homes and hearts since the times of ancient Egypt. With a whole host of varieties of kitty to choose from, the common shorthaired cat is one of the most common in many parts of the world. Specific breeds can be found if you fancy something a bit unusual or unique, and along with owning a cat comes all kinds of different things you will learn, whether you want to or not. We all know some of the common factoids about our favourite feline friends, but what about the unusual facts? Here are six not so well known facts about cats that you may not have known, perhaps unless you’re a real cat fancier!
They ‘See’ Smells
That’s right! They can see smells almost like a vapour in the air, which could explain why some cats go absolutely crazy when there have been other animals around or a storm is coming in. Think of it as having a different coloured stream of shimmering light pass by you every time another human crossed your field of vision. You’d probably go crazy too! This is how cats find prey, even after it’s supposedly gotten away!
If you’re not up to speed on the hit series ‘Big Bang Theory’ you might not know that a group of cats is known as a clowder. Clowders are composed of multiple cats who live, eat and hunt together, often forming friendships and other bonds. Many clowders of small, domestic style cats will take on the same format as bigger cat groups such as lions, with a head female commanding the group.
Those Toe Beans
Toe beans – or more commonly known by those not obsessed with cats as ‘pads’ – aren’t just for cute photos! Those pads are integral to cats feeling where there are hot or cold patches, as well as spreading their scent as they walk or claw things. Their pads contain special scent glands that leave a bit of their scent everywhere, which is important for leaving their scent in their territory.
Cat Crazy Disney
Did you ever notice how Disney films seem to have cat somewhere in them? They even have entire films dedicated to cats, such as ‘The Aristocats’. That’s because Disney loves cats! In fact, they love cats so much that the Disneyland theme park employs over 200 moggies to help keep the mouse and rat population down so visitors can enjoy their stay without running into a minefield of mice.
Cats adore being up high, and as a result have evolved to be able to survive seriously high falls. Did you know that a cat is more likely to survive a fall from higher heights than lower ones due to the whole concept of landing on their feet? This is because aligning themselves to land on their feet means their bodies become an umbrella, decelerating their fall and increasing chances of survival. The higher the height and longer the fall, the more time the cat has to adjust to land safely.
While it may seem that cats meow to each other to communicate, the fact is that the meow is primarily designed to attract attention from their mother in the first instance, and humans later on. The meow is pitched in a way to be of similar frequency to crying babies, making it nigh on impossible for humans to ignore the sounds of the meow coming from a cat.
So if you’re a cat fancier, or even if you aren’t, these interesting and lesser known facts about cats are a great way to help get to know one of our domestic favourites a little more.