Do you love cats? Either you love them or hate them, cats are one of the most popular pets in the world. We put together a huge list of cat facts. Some facts are fascinating, funny, and some are heart-breaking. We just want you to know the unknown about cats. Check out these cat facts and see which ones you have never heard of before.
1) It's estimated there are over 500 million domestic cats in the world.
2) Even though most people think Egyptians started domesticating cats (around 3100 BC), the relationship between humans and domestic cats goes back to around 7500 BC. Archeologists found a cat skeleton buried near a human grave in Cyprus, which indicates that Egypt is not the first to initiate cat domestication.
3) A group of cats is called a "clowder", a male cat is called a "tom", a female cat is called a "molly" or "queen" while pregnant, and a young cat is called a "kitten."
4) A cat's average head-to-body length is about 18 in (46 cm) and height is about 9 - 10 in (23 - 25 cm).
5) According to Guinness World Records, the wealthiest cat on the planet is worth $12.5 million. In 1988, Ben Rea in the UK left his fortune to his cat named Blackie. Holy meow, so a multi-millionaire cat lived on this planet.
6) 46% of cat owners learned about their pets through word of mouth.
7) An adult domestic cat typically weighs between 8.8 - 11 lb (4 - 5 kg).
8) The average lifespan of cats is 12-18 years.
9) The oldest known cat ever lived was Creme Puff who lived 38 years in Austin, Texas. Currently, the oldest living cat is Rubble, who celebrated his 31st birthday in 2019.
10) Stewie the cat from Reno, Nevada is the longest domestic cat in the world, which was 123 cm (48.5 in) long. She sadly died from cancer in 2013 at age 8.
11) Himmy, a cat from Australia is the recorded heaviest domestic cat on Earth, which weighed 21.3 kg (46.8 lb). He died at age 10 and Guinness World Records stopped recording the heaviest pets because of deliberate overfeeding of the pets.
12) Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and four on their rear paws.
13) Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears.
14) Cats can't taste sweet because of a mutation in a key taste receptor (there's no definite answer for this but that's what scientists believe).
15) There are about 40 recognized cat breeds around the world.
16) Cats can make about 100 different sounds, and that's 10 times compared to dogs.
17) It is estimated that people in southern China's Guangdong province eat about 10,000 cats per day. It's estimated that 4 million cats a year are eaten in Asia alone (Even though this is heart-breaking and can make you angry, we want you to know that these things exist in this world. So, we can better understand the issues and find better solutions).
18) Cats are great detectives. In the 1960s, the behavior of two Siamese cats led the ambassador of the Dutch embassy in Russia to find 30 tiny microphones planted in the walls by Russian spies 🙀😸.
20) A French cat named Félicette is the first and only cat to ever travel to space. She safely returned to Earth after 15 minutes of space travel.
21) APPA reports that 31% of cats are obtained from an animal shelter or humane society.
22) Whiskers help cats with navigation and sensation. Cats can obtain information about the width of gaps and location of objects in the dark by using their whiskers either by touching or sensing air current.
23) The most common reason for cat fighting is the competition between two males to mate with a female, and most fights are won by the heavier male.
24) Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey or waiting to attack until the prey comes close enough.
25) Domestic cats in the US kill about 1.4 - 3.7 billion birds and mammals a year.
26) In ancient Egypt, people worshipped cats as gods. In Greece, killing a cat was forbidden. The entire family shaved their eyebrows when their cat died.
27) According to the Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam.
28) Some cultures believe that a black cat crossing one's path brings bad luck.
29) In the 1400s, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats are a form of evil and ordered to kill thousands of cats. That caused millions of people to die from the Black Death due to the rising population of rats throughout Europe. This is a great example that we should not mess up with nature. So, the cats are a huge part of it.
30) In medieval France, people burnt a basket or a sack full of live cats as a form of entertainment (It's sad how cruel people are to do something like that to any animal).
31) Cats have an extreme ability to sense vibrations. It is said that cats can detect earthquakes 10 or 15 minutes before humans.
32) Many cultures believe that cats have multiple lives (7 or 9 lives).
33) Approximately 40,000 people are bitten by cats in the U.S. annually.
34) You should never feed cats onions, garlic, raw potatoes, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. Check out our cat feeding guide for more information.
35) Have you ever noticed that your cat starts chattering or moving paws while sleeping? Do you wonder why? That’s because cats can dream. Seriously they do. Watch this cat video, where the cat mom hugging the kitten when having a bad dream.
36) A Gallup poll in 2007 revealed that both men and women in the United States were equally likely to own a cat.
37) The most expensive exotic domestic cat in the world is Ashera, which costs about $125,000.
38) Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies so, they sweat only through paws.
39) Cats sleep 2/3 of the day and spend 1/3 of their waking hours cleaning themselves.
40) Adult cats have 30 teeth and kittens have 26.
41) A domestic cat can run around 30 mph (48 kph) but only for a short distance.
42) Normally, a cat can jump 5 times its height.
43) Similar to the human fingerprints, each cat's nose is unique. Dare to check it out? Use a magnifying glass and look at your cat's nose, and you would see patterns of bumps and ridges that are unique to your cat.
44) Cats can sense motions in the dark much better than humans do because their eyes have 6-8 times more rod cells compared to human eyes.
45) According to scientific research, cats cannot tell the difference between reds and greens but they can see blues and yellows fairly well.
46) Cats are lactose intolerant so you should entirely avoid giving them dairy products.
47) No one knows why cats purr but according to scientists, it does improve bone density and promote healing.
48) According to research on cats, more than 50% of the cats in the world do not respond to catnip. Scientists still cannot explain why some cats go crazy for the aroma of this herb and others don't.
49) Many historic icons loved cats including Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale, and Pope Paul II.
50) Fear for cats is called Ailurophobia.
51) Carl Kahler's 'My Wife's Lovers' is the world's largest cat painting, which was sold at an auction at Sotheby’s in 2015 for a record-breaking $862,000. See, cat paints are more expensive than dog paints.
52) The smell is the cat’s strongest sense, which is 14 times better than that of humans. They use smell to identify humans and objects.
53) With the support of 32 muscles, cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees. Do you know how many you have? Just 6. Well, Mr. Been might have more than that though.
54) According to researchers, cats recognize their names but they typically don’t respond. You know cats are weird. Aren’t they?
55) Cats can drink salt water because their kidneys can filter sea salt. So, in an imaginary adventure, if you get lost in the middle of a sea with your cat, the cat would survive.
56) According to PBS, it’s estimated there’re 80 million stray and feral cats in the U.S alone. Due to overpopulation, more than a million cats are killed in animal shelters every year.
57) Cat diabetes is becoming increasingly common. 1 in 230 cats suffers from diabetes. 80% - 95% of them have symptoms similar to type 2 diabetes and heavily depend on insulin. According to the studies, the condition is treatable and diabetic cats can live up to the normal lifespan if they’re treated properly.
58) The world's largest litter of domestic cats is 19 kittens, born to a Siamese cat in Oxfordshire, UK.
59) A single pair of cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in seven years.
60) Napoleon is the world's most well-traveled cat. He travels with his owner, stylist Maggie Mann, mostly in jets and business class. Well, that’s more luxury most people can’t even imagine. What a lucky cat huh? Don’t feel bad. Napoleon probably had good karma in his last life.
61) Cats have more bones than humans in the body. A human has 206 while a cat has 230.
62) Cats don’t have a collarbone (a large curved long bone that connects the arm to the trunk of the body). If you’re wondering how the heck your cat can fit through any opening the size of its head, this is why.
63) Did you enjoy Tom and Jerry when you were a child? Well, that’s not the first cat cartoon though. It was Felix the Cat in 1919. The Tom and Jerry cartoon, “Puss Gets the Boot” was published in 1940.
64) The Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, California is the world’s largest cat rescue place, where more than 700 cats are taken care of in a 12 acres facility. Since its inception in 1992, it has saved more than 20,000 cats.
65) Savannah cat is the largest domestic cat breed on the planet. They grow up to 30lb, which is about the size of a small dog. Savannah cat actually was created by crossing domestic cats and an African wild cat called Serval.
66) According to History.com, domestic cats were introduced to the Americas by Europeans when they colonized North America. Before that, cats spread throughout Europe during the Roman Empire.
67) The smallest cat on record was Tinker Toy, a male Himalayan-Persian cat who lived in Taylorville, Illinois. He was only 2.75 in (7 cm) tall and 7.5 in (19 cm) long when fully-grown.
68) A cat’s heart beats nearly two times faster than that of a human’s heart (at 110 to 140 beats per minute).
69) Your cat shares about 95.6% DNA with tigers. According to the scientists, cats diverged on the evolutionary tree about 10.8 million years ago.
70) If your cat is licking you or each other, that’s a sign of affection.
71) You feel a rough tickling feeling when your cat licks you because their tongue contains backward-facing hooks called “filiform papillae.”
72) Typically, the width of the cat's whiskers is the same width as their body. Get a measuring tape and measure your cat if you don’t believe it.
73) When your cat comes to you with a straight and vibrating tail, that means he/she is very excited to see you.
74) A female cat can become pregnant as young as 4 months old. Read our cat pregnancy article if you're looking for information about cat pregnancy.
75) No one knows why cats are scared of cucumbers. Here are some expert opinions about that.
We bet you learned something new about cats from this article. Which cat fact amazed you the most? Comment below and share your thoughts.