Those of you who know me well know that my first love was not actually dogs but cats, and even though I now make my living working with dogs, that’s right, your dog trainer lady is also a bonafide “cat person.”
I am currently teaching a six week enrichment class about pets for 2nd – 5th graders at my son’s elementary school and this week’s class was “All About Cats!” We celebrated cats by having a True/False Cat Facts Quiz and making cat nip toys for shelter cats in our area. Some kids also drew pics. Go ahead and test yourself to see how much you know about cats…
CAT FACTS: TRUE OR FALSE?
A group of cats is called a clowder. True
A group of kittens is called a kindle. True
A male cat is called a Sam. False – He is called a Tom.
A female cat is called a Queen or a Molly. True
Domestic cats usually weigh around bet 8 – 11 lbs. True
Dogs are more popular than cats. False – In USA there are approximately 88 million cats and 74 million dogs.
A feral cat is the term for a large wild cat such as a leopard, cheetah or jaguar. False A feral refers to a cat who has reverted in some degree to a wild state. They come from domestic cats who were abandoned or lost and then learned to live outside or in environments with little human contact. In most cases, feral cats still depend on people for their food source, whether it’s a human who takes care of a feral colony or dumpsters/garbage cans etc. Relatively few feral cats can survive only by hunting.
Cats can see in complete darkness. False – only at low light levels. Cats can see at light levels six times lower than what a human needs in order to see.
The average life span for an indoor cat is 13 to 17 years. True
The average life span for an outdoor cat is 13 to 17 years. False – 3-5 yrs for outdoor only/feral.
You should give your cat a bath once a month. False – cats use their sandpaper like tongue to fully clean themselves and only need a bath in extreme circumstances (if they get into something really nasty!)
When cats walk, their back paws step almost exactly in the same place as the front paws. True This keeps noise to a minimum and limits visible tracks so they can be sneaky.
America’s cats, including housecats that go outdoors and feral cats, kill between 1.3 billion and 4.0 billion birds in a year. True
The average cat sleeps 22-24 hours/day. False – 16-18 hours per day.
Calico cats are almost always female. True
Most cats are lactose intolerant and should not be given cow’s milk. True
Cats knead with their paws when they are happy. True
When a cat rubs against you it just means he likes you. False – well, he may like you too but it also means he is marking you as his territory with his scent glands. Cats have scent glands on the head and paws. Whenever they rub their head or paws against an object, it is as if they are leaving a message for other cats to recognize and translate.
Cats can get tapeworm from eating mice. True
Cats can get tapeworm from fleas. True
Cats have more than 100 different vocal sounds. True – Dogs only have 10.
An adult cat has 40 adult teeth. False – they have 30
Cats have 50 loosely fitting vertebrae, which makes their back really flexible. True – the number is variable though. They all have have 7 neck bones, 13 back bones with ribs, seven without ribs and three fused together at the pelvis. That’s 30. Cat tails have vertebrae too though, and the number varies by breed and, sometimes, individual. Cats with longer tails have as many as 23 vertebrae; those with shorter tails have as few as 18, creating a range of 48-53 vertebrae. Humans have just 34.
Cats can run up to 60 miles per hour. False – 30mph
A cat can jump approximately 3 times its body length. False – up to 6X!
Cats never swim. False – although cats do tend to dislike water because their fur does not insulate well when it gets wet. It is said that one breed of cat that does like to swim is the Turkish Van.
Like humans, a female cat carries her kittens for 9 months before they are born. False – cats are pregnant for about 65 days
Humans have a better sense of taste than cats and can taste more.. True – cats have 473 taste buds whereas humans have around 9,000 taste buds.
Cats love sweets. False – they lack the gene that senses sweet flavors.
Cats have 3 eyelids. True – the 3rd eyelid comes out from the inner corner of the cat’s eye and is also called the nictitating membrane.
A cat’s body is covered with roughly 130,000 hairs for each square inch. True
Adult cats meow at other cats to communicate with them. False – they only meow at humans.
Cats sleep 50% of their lives. False – they sleep approximately 70% of their lives.
Keeping a cat is good for your health. True – it can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by nearly one third.
A cat’s sense of smell is approximately 14 times greater than that of a human. True – though a dog can smell about 40 times greater than a human.
Cats have 20 toes/claws False – they have 18 total, five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
A polydactyl cat is a cat with more than the normal number of teeth. False – they have a greater number of toes/claws (more than 18 toes). The Guinness record is 28!
Declawing (amputating the claw at the 1st knuckle) is illegal in at least 22 countries, including Britain, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Israel. True – with the exception of a few cities, it is legal in the USA
Cats who fall five stories have a 90 percent survival rate. True – because of what is called a “righting reflex”.
A cat’s whiskers help him detect objects and navigate in the dark. True
Cats have very small collarbones that allow them to fit through small spaces. False – cats do not have collarbones; that allows them to fit through very small spaces.
Cats have whiskers on the back of their front paws. True
Humans have 6 muscles in each ear that control their outer ear movement, a cat has 32. True
Humans greet each other by shaking hands; cats greet one another by hi-fiving with their paws. False – cats greet by touching their noses together.
Cats have 103 bones in their bodies False– they have approximately 250 (remember, they can have a variable number of vertebrae). Humans have just 206.
A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart. True – the average feline heart beats 110 to 140 times/minute.
Cats sweat through their paws and mouth. False – they sweat only through their paws.
Dogs can hear better than cats. False – Cats can hear 100,000 hertz, dogs from 35,000 to 40,000 hertz and humans only 20,000 hertz.
Cats have terrible peripheral vision. False – they can see things in a panoramic view due to their ability to dilate their pupils. Their excellent peripheral vision helps them capture the movement of a mouse or a bird in a much wider range than humans.
Cats have superior vision but also have a blind spot. True – right under their nose about 4 -5 inches in front of their face, so sometimes they may not see the toy that is placed right underneath their chin.
Cats play with toys for fun. False – cats “play” is actually though to be the cat mimicking or practicing hunting behaviors.
The love of cats is called felineaphilia. False – the love of cats is called ailurophilia.