100 Fascinating Facts About Cats

There's no getting away from the truth that cats are mystical and fascinating animals.

When you start to dig deeper you can find incredible and fun facts about cats. As you reserach you find interesting facts or just weird facts about cats are all over the internet.

True cat people simply can't learn enough about these incredible creatures, and neither can we.


1. There are around 600 million pet cats in the world.

2. There are around 60 different recognized breeds of cats worldwide.
The International Cat Association recognizes 71 different cat breeds, while the Cat Fancier's Association only recognizes 44.
There is no official number because different people have different ideas about what makes a breed official.

3. Includes domesticated cats, tigers, and all other felines is called the Felidae family.
The largest of all cats is the tiger, or Panthera Tigris, which measures up to 12.5 feet (3.9 meters) long, and weighing anywhere from 143 to 717 pounds (65-325 kg).

4. The Rusty-Spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) wins the title for the world's smallest wild cat weighing a mere 1.8-3.5 lbs (0.8-1.6 kg) and is 14 to 19 inches (35 to 48 cm) in length (not counting the tail which is half the size of the body).
This feline has short grey fur over most of its body with rusty spots over its back and flanks from where it derives its name. Their underbellies are white with large dark spots and they have six dark streaks on each side of their heads, extending over their cheeks and forehead.

5. The average domestic cat can run up to 30 miles per hour (46km/h) and does so quite often!

6. Cat's hearts beat around twice as fast as ours do.
The normal range for a cat is anywhere between 140-220 beats per minute (BPM).

7. Pet cats can become ill due to changes in routine and environment.

8. On average, cats sleep for about 15 hours per day.
Cats are naturally nocturnal animals, which is why most domestic cats snooze throughout the day.

9. Feral cats that live outdoors have a life span of around 2 years.

10. Indoor cats live much longer lives, with the average cat living for around 10 to 15 years.

11. Cats have been domestic animals for at least 10,000 years.
The oldest record of a tamed cat comes from the island of Cyprus. Remains of an African wildcat were found in the same burial ground as a human.

12. Cats have a strong sense of direction, called a homing instinct, that helps them find their way back home if they get lost.

13. In most cases, outdoor cats don't roam too far from home.
Males tend to explore further afield than females, with their territories extending to a 1500-foot (457 m) radius from home.
Females explore much less, with the average female cat only exploring a radius of around 750 feet (228 m) from home.

14. Kittens require a lot more sleep than adult cats.
Kittens require more time cat-napping than older cats as they are developing mentally and physically at rapid rates.

15. Cat's taste buds cannot detect sweet things.
It is scientifically accepted that cats do not experience sweetness the way humans and dogs do because they lack an important taste receptor gene that enables the brain to recognize sweet tastes.

16. A study by Banfield Pet Hospital, the world's largest veterinary clinic, has announced that it can seriously increase your pets' lifespan.
The data they analyzed showed that female cats could live, on average, 32% longer. Males, on the other hand, could live, on average, 62% longer!

17. Cats have more toes on the front paws than their back toes!

18. Some cats can have up to eight toes per paw!
Cats with more than six toes on one or more of their toes are called polydactyl, which comes from the Greek term meaning "many fingers or toes."

19. Cats have extraordinary night vision.
As mostly nocturnal creatures, cats rely on their eyesight to hunt at night.

20. If a cat goes without taurine for long periods of time, it can cause a variety of health issues, even leading to blindness!

21. Cats have a great sense of hearing and can hear ultrasonic noises.
Their ears can detect sounds ranging from the 55 Hz that we can pick up, all the way to 79 thousand hertz. Their ultrasonic sensitivities help them when hunting for animals such as rodents.

22. Those cute furry bits inside a cat's ear are called "ear furnishings."
They ensure that dirt doesn't go inside and also helps them to hear well by picking up sound vibrations.

23. A male cat is called a Tom. A female cat can be a Molly or a Queen.
A female cat is called a "queen." A male cat is called a "tom." A neutered male cat is called a "gib." A spayed female cat is called a "molly."

24. There are several names for a group of cats. Common terms include "clowder," "clan," "colony," or "family."
It really depends on the cats, too. The collective noun for wild cats, for example, is "a destruction of cats."
Regular house cats are generally called a "clowder of cats."
However, they can also be called a "glaring of cats" if the cats you're referring to don't know each other and are glaring at each other.

25. A group of kittens can be called a litter, kindle, or intrigue.
A litter refers to kittens birthed by the same mother, while kindles or intrigues of kittens can be unrelated to one another.
An "entanglement of kittens" is another name, as it's often hard to tell where one kitten ends and another begins when they're playing!
Finally, they can also be called a "kindle of kittens," although this usage is less common.

26. A litter of kittens can have different fathers. It's called superfecundation, and it's a pretty common phenomenon in cats.

27. All kittens are born with blue eyes.
This eye color will remain in the developing stages, until the real eye color begins to appear within 30 days after the eye opens, and develops fully in about 9 months.

28. Kitten teeth, also known as milk teeth, only last for a few months, and by the time a kitten reaches around 3 or 4 months of age, adult teeth will start to push through and cause the kitten teeth to fall out. By the time a cat reaches 6 months of age, it should have a full set of adult cat teeth in place.

29. Most female cats prefer using their right paw, while males are more likely to be "left-pawed."

30. Cats usually get along better with cats of the same gender.

31. Feeding your cat smaller meals more frequently could be a key to a healthier lifestyle.

32. Feed a cat too much tuna, and they can become addicted to it.

33. In fact, fat is absolutely essential in a cat's diet.
Many essential vitamins and nutrients can only be absorbed properly with the aid of fat, so a lack of fat can be bad for a cat's health.

34. It doesn't matter what your own dietary beliefs are, cats simply need meat to thrive.
Cats also have a requirement for pre-formed vitamins (such as vitamin A and vitamin B3) and a vegetarian or vegan diet simply does not provide enough of these proteins and vitamins for cats to be healthy.

35. Although chocolate poisoning is generally associated with dogs, cats should also never be given chocolate.
Chocolate is made with cocoa solids, which contain a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is harmless to humans, but toxic to cats and other pets because they struggle to metabolise it (break it down).

36. Cats instinctively avoid water sources that are potentially contaminated, meaning they won't drink water when it's too close to their food.

37. There are, unfortunately, many more reasons a cat won't drink water.
One reason is that they may not like the taste of tap water or the scent of their water bowl. Another reason is that they may prefer running water, as it is more appealing and resembles a natural water source. Additionally, some cats may associate their water bowl with negative experiences, such as being scolded or startled while drinking.

38. Cats have been observed to purr when they want attention or food.
Some studies suggest that cats have developed a special type of 'solicitation purr' that is specifically designed to appeal to humans. This purr often incorporates a cry or meow within the purr, making it more difficult for humans to ignore.

39. The rough texture of a cat's tongue is primarily due to its numerous filiform papillae. These papillae are backward-facing and made up of keratinized cells, giving them a hard, spiny texture. The papillae are also essential for grooming, as they aid in removing dirt, debris, and loose fur from the cat's coat.

40. The milky-white sap of the poinsettia plant is mildly toxic to both cats and dogs.

41. There's a charming reason your cat brings dead mice to you. It means that your pet likes you!
In fact, it means that they consider you to be a part of their pack!

42. Nearly all white cats with blue eyes are deaf.
Around 85% of all white cats with blue eyes will have some form of congenital deafness. The gene that gives cats blue eyes seems to be closely linked to the gene associated with hearing.

43. Cats can be allergic to humans in much the same way that people can be allergic to cats.

44. Cats are pretty amazing at jumping; they can jump up to six times their own height!

45. Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees.
In fact, cats can rotate both of their ears 180 degrees in different directions at the same time.
This means that they can listen carefully to anything, anywhere, with their combined 360-degree hearing abilities!

46. Extensive scientific studies and research have solidified the understanding that cat nose prints are as unique as human fingerprints.
One noteworthy study conducted in 1922 examined over 350 animals, including cats, and unequivocally concluded that no two cat nose prints are alike.

47. It's been scientifically proven that cat owners are healthier people.
Patting a cat has been proven to release oxytocin, which lowers stress levels.
There's also a clear link between cat ownership and a lowered risk of strokes or heart problems, as a cat's purr lowers blood pressure.
Most importantly, cats keep you from being lonely – and it's now known that loneliness plays a big part in many diseases!

48. Taylor Swift's cat is one of the richest cats in the world.
As of 2020, she was worth $97 million, which she gained through advertising certain brands such as Diet Coke and Keds.

49. Around 60 percent of cats in the United States are currently classified as overweight, and this growing issue has a link to various health complications, including diabetes and chronic inflammation.

50. The record for the largest number of kittens in the same litter was 19.
August 7th, 1970, Tarawood Antigone gave birth to 19 kittens – the world's largest known number (a Guinness World record!) of kittens to be born in a single litter.
In order to understand the magnanimity of this number, remember: the normal number of kittens in one litter is generally around 5 and sometimes up to 9. Tarawood more than doubled the normal amount in a litter. In fact, she almost tripled the normal number of kittens born to a single litter.

51. Cats do recognize their owners' voices but often act like they don't care.

52. A cat called Dusty had a total of 420 kittens.
Her last litter was born on June 12, 1952.

53. The world's first cat show took place in Hyde Park, London.
Held in the famous Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, the cat show took place in 1871.
The flyer for the event claimed that there would be 500 rare and beautiful cats being showcased, including Siamese, Polydactyl, Manx, and Scottish Wild cats.

54. The oldest known cat to give birth was 30 years old.
Her name was Kitty, and she belonged to a man called George Johnstone.
They lived in Staffordshire, UK, where Kitty broke the record by having a litter of two kittens when she was 30.
She gave birth to a total of 218 kittens throughout her life.

55. Cats purr for many more reasons than you would think.
Including contentment, communication, and seeking attention or food.
Most unexpectedly, cats sometimes purr when injured, and it's been suggested their purr helps their body heal faster!

56. Cats always land on their feet.
Cats have a natural ability to land on their feet called the "righting reflex." This reflex allows cats to quickly assess which way is down and rotate their bodies while in mid-air.

57. The higher the fall, the more likely a cat is to survive it.
It turns out that if a cat falls from a lower height, then it's actually more likely to be injured!
If a cat falls from a greater height, it has more time to correct its position mid-flight and prepare itself more for the landing.

58. You should probably stop feeding your cat milk.
It's common knowledge that cats are fans of milk, but many of them are actually lactose intolerant.
If you really want to reward your cat with some milk, make sure you buy lactose-free!

59. Cat brains are very similar to human brains.
Physically, at least, their brains are about 90% similar to ours. Their brains are smaller, weighing just 0.9% of their total weight, while ours weigh 2%.
While most people think that cats aren't as smart as dogs, they can also be trained – they just think it's a little bit beneath them!

60. As a committed cat person, you're in the minority.
According to a large study and survey of people, only 11.5% self-identified as cat owners. That puts cat lovers in the minority compared to the 45% of people who said they were dog people.
Unfortunately, the study does go on say that based on personality testing cat owners were also found to be less organized, less friendly, and a bit more anxious. But it's not all bad because cat owners were found to be more artistic and intellectually curious too!

61. Cats actually have one more eyelid than humans do.
It acts like a windshield wiper.
You generally won't ever get a chance to see a cat's haw, but if you do, it could indicate an underlying health issue.

62. Cats don't have eyelashes!
Many cat owners claim their cat does indeed have eyelashes, but in reality, these are just longer bits of fur or even whiskers located above their eyes.

63. When a cat rubs up against you, it doesn't necessarily mean they're being affectionate.
Cats also have scent glands in their cheeks, so when a cat purposefully rubs up against anything, it's a way of transferring its scent to it. It's most likely that they are claiming that they are yours.

64. 'The swimming cat', the semi-longhair Turkish Van is an ancient natural breed thought to have originated in the eastern part of Turkey. They have a unique texture to their cashmere-like coats that make them waterproof which lets them enjoy swimming and other water games.

65. Cats can develop a condition similar to dementia called cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS).
CDS can affect a cat's responsiveness, general awareness, and memory, as well as being a major cause of anxiety.

66. To maintain their optimal body temperature, cats rely on external heat sources, such as heated blankets, to supplement their internal heat production.

67. Americans love dogs more than cats!
According to a 2021-2022 survey by the American Pet Product Association, approximately 69 million households in the U.S. own dogs, compared to under 45.2 million for cats, which is still an impressive number (via Insurance Information Institute).

68. The domestic cat has been named at least partly responsible for the extinction of 63 species: 40 birds, 21 mammals, and 2 lizards. Kitties pose an existential threat to 367 more.

69. Cats have eccrine sweat glands in hairless areas of the body, namely their paw pads, nose, lips, chin, and the skin around the anus. Despite the small surface area, the evaporation of sweat has a cooling effect on cats, keeping the feline body temperature between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

70. Abraham Lincoln's only hobby was "cats," according to his wife.
While he lived in the White House, he kept a number of pet cats, most famously Dixie and Tabby.
He adored all cats and would quite often bring home strays that he had found.
He was even known to feed Tabby directly from the table during formal dinners, much to his wife's displeasure!

71. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a microscopic parasite that can be spread by cats.

72. If a cat approaches a narrow opening, they will move their head side to side and forward to back to see if their whiskers touch the sides of the opening. This allows them to assess whether the space is wide enough for them to pass through without getting stuck.

73. Cats use them to express emotions and intentions.
Content and relaxed cats have whiskers forward and slightly spread out.
If scared or startled, whiskers flatten against their face. By observing the whisker position, we can get an idea of their mood.

74. Another way to tell a cat's mood is by watching its ears.
If their ears are angled slightly, pointed forwards but still relaxed, then they're probably happy!
Although if a cat is angry, it will normally flatten its ears against its head to protect them in the case of a fight.
If a cat is a little bit nervous or upset by something, its ears will generally shake slightly.

75. The first cat to take a trip to space was called Félicette.
On October 18, 1963, a black & white "tuxedo" cat named C 341 was rocketed out into space, making world history.
Upon its safe return, it was decided that it deserved an actual name, so it was named Félicette, after the popular cartoon character Felix the Cat.

76. Disneyland Park "employs" nearly 200 cats.
Shortly after Disneyland Park opened its doors in the 1950's it began to have issues with rodents.
Fortunately for the park and its visitors, the problem soon began to solve itself; a group of feral cats had moved into the park and begun to hunt the unwanted mice.
The park staff soon realized the value of the cats and has since taken care of them and their offspring.

77. A cat was the honorary mayor of an Alaskan town for 20 years.
His name was Stubbs, and he ruled the town of Talkeetna from 1997 until his death in 2017.

78. The record for the world's longest cat is 48.5 inches.
His full name was Mymains Stewart Gilligan, although his friends called him Stewie.

79. The most widely syndicated cartoon in the world is Garfield, the lasagna-loving cat.

80. The best "mouser" in the world was a cat called Towser.
It is estimated that over the course of her life, she caught some 28,889 mice, averaging 3 mice per night.

81. The British TV show "Bagpuss" was ranked as the fourth greatest kid's TV show.
The TV show featured a cat sewn out of old cloth and falling apart at the seams.
Although it originally aired in 1974, the show was appreciated for a long time.
In 1999 the TV show was ranked as the 4th best TV show for children that ever aired on the BBC.

82. A train station in Japan employs cats as stationmasters.
The first in a line of stationmaster cats was Tama, a black, white, and orange calico cat who had taken up residence by Kishi Station in the Wakayama Prefecture.

83. The first known film of cats was created in 1894 by Thomas Edison, the famous inventor of the electric light bulb.
The short film was titled "Boxing Cats" and was, unsurprisingly, a video of two cats boxing!

84. Cats are still consumed as food in some parts of the world.
In times of war, cat meat was also consumed in some European countries, such as Italy, France, and Spain.
Cat meat is still consumed today in some regions of Africa and Asia, whether legally or not.

85. Black cats hard to adopt out.
For hundreds of years, black cats have been associated with witchcraft & bad luck.

86. Cat's tails are the most expressive parts of their bodies. They use them to communicate their different feelings.
If a cat's tail is pointed straight up and shaking or quivering, it means they're happy, excited, and glad to see you!

87. The most alarming message a cat's tail can give is when they're angry, scared, or getting ready to fight.
In this case, the hairs of its tail stand on end, puffing the volume of the cat up!

88. Bastet, ancient Egyptian goddess worshiped in the form of a lioness and later a cat.
The daughter of Re, the sun god, Bastet was an ancient deity whose ferocious nature was ameliorated after the domestication of the cat around 1500 BCE.

89. In Ancient Egypt, civilians would suffer severe punishment if they hurt a cat.
From at least the year 450 BC, if anyone even hurt a cat, though, the punishment was death.

90. Ancient Egyptian cat owners would shave off their own eyebrows when mourning for their dead kitties.
The mourning period lasted at least until their eyebrows grew back.

91. The oldest known breed of cat is most likely the Egyptian Mau.
While other cats didn't come onto the scene until around 1000 AD, there are mummified remains of Egyptian Maus dating from at least 1500 BC!
In fact, Mau is simply the Egyptian word for "cat."

92. It may well be a myth, the story of Newton inventing the cat flap first came to light back in 1893 when a series of anonymous anecdotes about Newton were published. Because they are anonymous it is impossible to verify their truth. Two historians and biographers both attest that there is no evidence that Newton kept either dogs or cats.

93. Cats enjoy spending time alone.
They don't need much attention and can be very happy without any companionship.

94. It's best practice to start feeding your cats from different bowls.
While not as much as dogs, cats can get aggressive during feeding times. Separate bowls can help prevent this.

95. Parsley, sage, and other herbs are among a cat's favorite foods.
There are many common plants and flowers which vary from mildly irritable to highly toxic, which should never be brought into the home.
Some of the more commonly found dangerous plants include any types of lilies, aloe vera, daffodils, geraniums, and tulips.

96. Cats are natural predators. Just don't rely on them to control a potential mouse infestation, and do your best to keep them from hunting mice. While your cat should win the battle, they might end up with an injury or disease along the way!

97. Cats aren't really that great at hunting rats, either!
The reality is that cats will hunt whatever is easiest and available, which generally means they prefer to hunt birds, mice, and small lizards rather than rats!

98. If you put a collar on your cat, make sure it's not too tight.
There are many good reasons to put a collar on a pet cat; they're not just cosmetic.
Even though you may have microchipped your cat, a tag on a collar is the first place anyone will look for identification or contact details in case it becomes lost.
A bell on a collar can also prevent your cat from hunting the local wildlife.
The best collars are those that have a buckle that will snap open if it gets caught on anything to prevent injuries to your cat.
It's also important to not have the collar too loose or tight, with it ideally being loose enough that you can fit 1-2 fingers underneath it.

99. The oldest cat to be recorded lived to be 38 years old.

100. If you have an unreasonable fear of cats, you may have Ailurophobia.
It is also known as elurophobia, gatophobia, and felinophobia.

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