Cat Facts and Tidbits

catSummer, often referred to as “kitten season” for those dedicated to all things cat, is the time when local animal care facilities are flooded with thousands of homeless kittens and cats in need of adoption.  

With so many loveable options to choose from, there is no better time to add a little more joy to your home than with a feline friend or two.

Cat Facts

  • Cats adopted in pairs learn new behaviors from one another, help each other burn off energy, and ensure a friend for life!
  • A cat can be spayed or neutered at eight weeks of age or 2 lbs in body weight.
  • Cats rarely ever meow at one another, this behavior is adapted to communicate with their human friends.
  • Cats are some of the smartest animals and with a little dedication can even be taught how to use the toilet or open a door.
  • Kittens instinctively know to use a litter box and don’t need to be “trained”.
  • The print on a cat’s nose is like that of a fingerprint of a human, each is unique.
  • A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.
  • Purring is not always a sign of contentment, cats also purr when they experience pain and discomfort.
  • The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.
  • There are three different body types for a cat. “Cobby” body type is compact, with a deep chest, short legs and broad head with large, round eyes.  “Muscular” body type is sturdy and round, with big, full cheeks.   “Foreign” body type is slender, with long legs and  tail.  The head is wedge-shaped, with tall ears and slanting eyes.
  • Cats almost always land on their feet. How? First the head will rotate, then the spine will twist and the rear legs will align, then the cat will arch its back to soften the impact of the landing.
  • Cats have amazing night vision, they only need 1/6th of the amount of light we humans need to see.
  • In 2010, an estimated 87,000 cats entered Los Angeles area animal shelters and 65,000 (or 75%) were ultimately euthanized.
  •  If kept indoors and taken to the vet regularly, domestic cats can live 15-18 years. While the average lifespan of an outdoor cat is only 2-5 years.
  • An unaltered female cat typically goes into heat in the winter months giving birth to 3-5 kittens in the spring. 
  • Female cats can become pregnant at 5 months of age. Spaying a female cat before her first “heat cycle” will prevent unwanted litters of kittens and may reduce the risk of uterine infections and mammary cancer.
  • A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.
  • It’s estimated that only 10% of domestic cats entering animal shelters are spayed or neutered. Less than 1% of feral cats have been previously altered.
  • Stopping a cat’s breeding cycle is the most effective way to manage cat overpopulation.
  • Although dogs are traditionally referred to as “man’s best friend”, in the United States alone there are 93 million owned cats (56% of which own more than one!) as opposed to 77 million owned dogs.