15 Strange Facts About Cats That Will Astound You
There are around 38 species of cats—including the beloved house cat—and if you’ve ever owned one…
Wait a second. Our editor is bothering us yet again about our choice of words. Let’s try this one more time. Sorry!
If you’ve ever been owned by any type of cat, then you know they can be straight-up weird.
How weird, you might ask?
Stick around for a bit and we’ll give you not one, not two, but FIFTEEN strange facts about cats that are guaranteed to astound you.
Disclaimer: The above guarantee is not legally binding.
1. Cats can make over 100 vocalizations.
Around a fifth of their vocalizations are common; however, the vast majority of sounds that cats can produce are far rarer.
We love dogs too, but they can only make about ten different vocalizations. Step your game up, pups!
It’s time to spike the football: Cat “language” is so complex that it can vary based on breed and even on tone.
We hope that you’ve got an ear for language if you have or ever want to have a cat!
2. A typical house cat shares 95.6% of its genome with tigers.
Cats and tigers share an evolutionary history that dates back to around 10.8 million years ago.
You know that your kitty is adorable, but that doesn’t mean she can’t scrap.
It’s time to face the fun fact: If you were cruel enough to try to fight her, you’d get wrecked.
After all, you’re not the one with tiger blood.
3. Cats sometimes yawn as a way to defuse tense situations.
Despite their bluster, cats truly are all about giving peace a chance—or at least the ones who yawn a lot are all about that.
Yawns reduce tension and can put a cat back at ease, especially when in conflict.
Their yawns can signal that they surrender, would like to immediately end a fight, or think the whole situation is ridiculous (how catlike!).
4. A cat spends roughly two-thirds of their lifetime asleep.
This hefty amount of shut-eye helps them conserve energy between meals.
Here’s a simple way to keep on your cat’s good side and not be considered a potential meal: just let them sleep, ok!
5. Cats often dream while they’re sleeping.
Research has shown that cats, while asleep, have similar brain activity to humans.
And just like us, sleep isn’t always that restful for cats. They may cry or shift their head, paws, torso, or neck around, possibly from nightmares.
Obviously, living with certain people (we’re not looking that closely at you) is the stuff of nightmares, for cats and just about any other living organism.
6. You can toilet train a cat.
Now don’t get confused here, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to toilet train a cat.
And it certainly doesn’t mean your cat would be pleased if you go hard on the toilet training.
But here’s a swerve: It’s easier to toilet train a cat than it is to toilet train a baby. This is because cats have an instinct to keep themselves clean.
Cats 1. Baby humans? A big, fat ZERO.
7. Cats can jump up to seven times the length of their tails.
Do you think that your school’s basketball team has some elite athletes?
No way! Or even if they are good, no one on the team has anywhere near the level of athleticism of your feline friends.
I mean, can your team’s 5’6” point guard jump the equivalent of a three-story building? Because that, proportionally, comes naturally to kitties. Just sayin’!
8. Cats have approximately 285 degrees of sight.
Their peripheral vision blows our measly 180 degrees out of the water.
This enhanced field of vision helps make cats excellent hunters.
We’re sure this superpower also terrifies mice, rats, crickets, and anything else that your cat has an appetite for, but that you probably do not.
9. Cats think that slow-moving objects are stagnant.
Cats are kinda like the sports team your dad follows that wins against tough opponents and loses against easy ones.
We don’t mean that they inspire a constant mix of angry and joyous outbursts. Wait, umm, that kinda does apply…
Got it! Your dad’s eyes aren’t designed to notice fast movements in order to gain an advantage when hunting prey.
Unless you lunge for the remote. What kind of kid are you? You should be on TikTok!
10. Cats tend to dislike the way that citrus and mint smell.
And with good reason, given that citrus and mint both contain substances that are toxic to cats.
The good thing is that cats have sensitive noses, which allow them to sniff out such potential sources of danger.
Now here’s what to do the next time your grandma reaches for the grapefruit: tell her that your doctor said you were allergic to citrus, just like your kitty.
11. Cats use their whiskers to discover whether an area is too tight to squeeze through.
Don’t take it from us; take it from Nathalie Dowgray, the head of the UK’s International Society of Feline Medicine.
Dowgray explained that “The base of each whisker is packed with nerve endings, providing cats with a highly sensitive navigational system that conveys a large amount of information about their surroundings…This includes judging the size of small spaces before attempting to squeeze through.”
Hey Calvin, cats can do some pretty amazing things, but falcons will always be our first love, ok.
No, we’re not just trying to placate you, Calvin!
12. There are approximately 40 million hairs on a house cat’s body.
Cats have about 60,000 hairs per square inch on their backs and another 120,000 per square inch on their undersides.
It’s a good thing that laser treatments aren’t needed—or a norm—for these hairy, lovable creatures, isn’t it?
13. Cats have 32 muscles in each outer ear.
These muscles allow cats to swivel and rotate their ears up to 180 degrees, making it easier to zero in on where a noise is coming from.
We humans only have a rather pedestrian six muscles in each outer ear.
Once again, cats get the win while humans are left with yet another “L.” Maybe it’s time to find some easier competition, huh?
14. In 1894, Thomas Edison recorded the first cat video.
It gets even stranger: The video Edison filmed was of two cats—each with miniature gloves on their paws—boxing.
You can watch it on YouTube.
Over and over again.
15. There are more than 200 feral cats at Disneyland.
Disneyland gives these kitties a lot of freedom because they’re a natural way to keep rodents and other nogoodniks away.
The cats typically appear only at night, outside of Disneyland’s normal hours of operation.
Just watch it with those Mickey Mouse ears you picked up on your last family vacation. Your cat might get the wrong idea, bud!