Surprising Cat Facts - 10 Things You Don't Know About Your Favorite Feline
1. A domestic cat can run about 31 mph. Running fast is something usually attributed to wild cats, gazelles and greyhounds, but your house kitty is pretty speedy.
2. It is possible for every kitten in a litter to have a different father. Hopefully, she is spayed so there's no risk of an unexpected pregnancy.
3. Cats walk on their toes, which probably accounts for their graceful movements. In ballet there is a step called pas de chat -- the cat step. It's a little jump to the side, but in truth nearly every move your cat makes is lovely.
4. A cat's collarbone isn't connected to his other bones; it's buried in the muscles, which is how kitty can fit through small places. He's not boneless -- even though it looks that way sometimes -- but he is adaptable. A cat actually has more bones than a human.
5. Your cat will respond only to catnip (an herb in the mint family) if she has the catnip gene. Not every cat is born with this gene, and it doesn't show up right away, so don't expect a young kitty to respond to catnip the way an older one will.
6. Thirty-two muscles control a cat's outer ear, and he can rotate it 10 times faster than a dog. In fact, kitty can rotate each ear 180 degrees.
7. Cats have scent glands in their cheeks, so if your cat rubs against you she is "marking" you as hers. She really does love you. She'll also mark furniture and clothing this way. Everything she likes is hers. It's also her way of leaving her "mark" to say that she was there.
8. Cats can move their jaws only up and down; they can't move them side to side like a dog or human.
9. Cats whiskers are extremely sensitive. They not only help the cat locate where she is in the dark, but how the cat moves them is an indicator of the cat's feelings at any given time. The top two rows of whiskers can move independently of the bottom two rows.
10. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they must eat meat. So even if you're a vegetarian, you need to come to grips with the fact that your cat can't be. He will get very sick and die without meat in his diet.
As you probably already know, spending time learning more about your cat is time well spent. In fact, these cat facts are just the tip of the iceberg. Your cat has much more to tell you if you pay attention, watch and learn. As the late Ernest Hemingway said, "A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."