Cats are such unique and interesting creatures! They were first domesticated thousands of years ago in Egypt and were worshiped like gods. Fast forward to today and there are over 80 million cats in the US alone! There’s a lot about these fast-moving felines that many people know already, like the fact that they are carnivores and natural predators. They typically weigh an average of 10-15lbs and they have spiky barbs on their tongue to help with grooming, eating, and drinking water. However, there are so many things about cats that aren’t as commonly known! Here are four facts you may not have known about our fascinating feline friends:
1. Cats can hear in the ultrasonic range. They can hear high frequencies, like mouse squeaks. To compare, humans can hear up to 20,000 Hz, dogs can hear 35,000-40,000 Hz, but cats can hear up to 100,000 Hz! Their ears also rotate independently to zero in on sounds in different directions, distances, and volume levels
2. Cats do several unique things to show affection and trust!
- Head-bunting/head-butting: If they lower their head and tap into your forehead, arm, or shoulder, they are marking you and this is a sign of deep affection.
- Soft eye blinking: If cats do soft, slow eye blinks at you, this shows they feel safe and comfortable around you!
- Kneading: When a cat presses their front paws on you rhythmically (aka “making biscuits”), this is a sign of affection and trust. It’s a behavior that evolves from nursing as a kitten!
3. Cats have an incredible sense of smell. They have over 200 million odor-sensitive cells, whereas humans only have about 5 million. They also have glands in their cheeks and paw pads that release pheromones that communicate their health, age, reproductive status, confidence level, and even what they’ve eaten! Cats depend on their sense of smell even more than taste. They only have 473 taste buds (compared to humans who have 9,000) so they smell to choose between foods before tasting either. This also helps keep them from eating dangerous foods!
4. Cats have whiskers not only on their face but also on the back of each front leg! These whiskers help them determine if they can fit through openings as well as sense the presence of prey and express their mood.
These are just a few facts about cats that you may not have known. Each cat is so unique, yet they share so much in common. Cats are such fascinating animals and there’s more to learn every day!