According to the ASPCA, there are more than 86 million house cats in the United States. While we love our cats and believe we know our feline companions, there are lots of interesting things you may not know. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza tells you some of the most bizarre facts about cats.
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The word ‘cat’ refers to a family of meat-eating animals that include tigers, lions, leopards, and panthers.
Animal behaviorists believe our feline companions think we are big cats with poor hunting skills. While we are the giver of food, we are also in need of instruction. This is why they deliver prey to our door. Always accept the gift with praise for your brave hunter and dispose of it later.
Try not to allow them to eat their catch as it may contain parasites. Feeding your cat a quality commercial cat food will help keep them healthy and add years to their life. A steady diet of dog food, without any cat food, may cause blindness in your cat because it lacks Taurine, a substance that is essential to your cat’s eye health.
Speaking of eyes, newborn kittens always begin with blue eyes. Then, the color changes over a period of months to the final eye color, which is commonly green, yellow or orange. Blue eyed cats that are completely white are often deaf.
Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw. You have probably seen a few seven toed cats. When a cat is born with extra toes it is called polydactyl, and many cats are able to use these extra toes to catch prey and grip surfaces.
You may have noticed that cats sleep a lot, typically 16-18 hours a day. When cats are asleep, they are still alert. Try speaking to a sleeping cat and watch their ears move in your direction. Those sensitive ears can move independently, 180 degrees, to listen for threats and prey.
One of the most agile athletic creatures in nature, a cat can jump seven times as high as its tail and will always land on their feet.
One more fact about cats: By 1990 they were a more popular pet than dogs in the U.S.
Special thanks to the Humane Association of CNY