Ten Little Known Facts About Cats


While cats are counted as the most-owned pet in the U.S., dogs still receive more attention from their owners. This might be attributed to the fact that most people don’t know very much about cats and thus, have no idea what kind of attention they need. Cats are regarded as aloof and independent and so, require less attention. Cats can take care of themselves in ways dogs cannot, but this does not mean they prefer to be left alone.

  1. They need as much attention as dogs. Cats are emotionally sensitive and need companionship, too. If we ignore them, they learn to be aloof, but they’d rather be affectionate.
  2. Cats can be trained to do many things, including walk on a leash, “speak,” beg, sit, lie down, etc. It just takes different training methods and lots of patience.
  3. The average lifespan is about 15 years, but it can be much longer with good care. A stray might manage to survive two years in harsh surroundings, but a well-cared-for pet cat can easily attain 20 years.
  4. Fossil records have shown that cats have been around for more than 35 million years, without much change in their shape or behaviors.
  5. As long as a space or an opening is not smaller than their heads, cats can squeeze through them, because their skeletal structure is narrow at the shoulders and the clavicle and shoulder blades (that give humans their wide shoulders) are very narrow and rotate easily. It is incorrect to say that cats do not have shoulder blades.
  6. A cat’s whiskers are essential equipment for analyzing their environment and can be moved in independent groups with the many tiny muscles that control them. They can detect the slightest air movements, which can help with hunting small prey. Blind cats hold them forward, using them much as a blind person uses a cane.
  7. Their ears also are controlled by many more muscles than humans have. Cats can move their ears over 180 degrees using the 30 or so muscles they have, compared to only 6 for humans.
  8. A cat’s jaws move only up and down; there is no sideways movement. This means they cannot grind their food. They can only chomp down on it. This means that so-called dental treats or chew toys are ineffective, therefore, they need to have their teeth cleaned fairly regularly.
  9. Allergies to cats involve a skin secretion called “sebum,” rather than hair, saliva, fur or dander, as many believe. Thus, a hairless cat is not really hypoallergenic, and those breeds require frequent bathing to control it. They also require more skin care for protection, since hairlessness is not natural.
  10. Cats have better hearing than dogs. Humans can hear up to 20 kilohertz, cats are at about 65 KHz, and dogs are somewhere in between, depending on breed and health.


by Dr. R.J. Peters

#trintrin.org

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