Are you a certified cat lover? You already know that cats are amazing creatures, but you might not know all of these remarkable cat facts, and you just might start looking at that little fur ball asleep on the couch in a whole new way.
1. Cats can’t taste sweet things
Both wild and domestic cats have a defect in the sweet taste receptor gene, which makes them uninterested in sweet-tasting food. Unlike humans and some other animals, cats are true carnivores and desire protein. It’s meat, not ripe fruit, that gets them excited.
2. Cats meow like human babies
A cat’s meow is in the exact same frequency range as a human baby’s cry. Cats have learned that meowing in a certain way (high-pitched and urgent) will almost always elicit some sort of attention and response from us. We find meowing as hard to ignore as a baby’s cry.
3. A third of all cats are not affected by catnip
Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone which triggers an intense response in a majority of cats. Sensitivity to catnip is determined by a particular gene. Most cats have it, but some don’t. Young kittens under 3 months of age are also usually not affected by catnip.
4. One litter of kittens can have multiple fathers
A female cat in heat will continue to mate with multiple males as long as she remains in the heat cycle, and sperm from the different males will fertilize separate eggs. This is why one litter can contain kittens with all sorts of coat length and color variations.
5. Cats sleep 16 hours a day
The average cat sleeps up to 16 hours a day and an elderly cat can sleep up to 20. Cats sleep so much because they are hunters. Cats in the wild expend a lot of energy going after prey. Sleeping in between meals helps conserve energy for hunting.
6. Body temperature can determine coat color
“Pointed” coloring in some cats like the Siamese and Himalayan is due to a recessive gene that causes body parts with cooler temperatures (ears, face, tail, legs) to have darker fur, while fur on the warmer areas of the body remains pale. Pointed cats are born all white because it’s very warm in the uterus.
7. Cats can be either right or left pawed
Like human left or right handedness, cats tend to favor one paw over the other. Researchers found that most cats will use either paw for very simple things. But when faced with a complex task that requires dexterity, female cats will favor the right paw while male cats will favor the left.
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