Fun Facts About Our Feline Pals

Fun Facts About Our Feline Pals

Did you know that cats are among the sleepiest animals on the planet? Only a few creatures, including bats and possums, can catch more Z’s than Man’s Second Best Friend. This is perhaps not surprising: we all know that cats are, for whatever reason, very fatigued. As it turns out, these little furballs have quite a few unique special charms, aside from their napping obsessions. In this article, a local Mt. Airy, GA veterinarian reveals several things you might not have known about your feline friend.

Kitties and Catnip: The Purrfect Match 

Fluffy’s catnip fixation is undoubtedly one of her more amusing quirks. It’s always fun to see a kitty acting playful and goofy while enjoying the benefits of her favorite plant. Our feline pals have a very special relationship with this plant. Cats’ cute little noses have scent receptors that work perfectly with the molecules that catnip gives off.

Fluffy May Not Care For Catnip

Does your feline friend go crazy when you give her catnip? If so, she is in the majority, but not by much. As many as one-third of our feline companions are immune to its effects.

The Meow: A Universal Language

Does your cat’s vocalizations sound like meows? The word for Fluffy’s vocalizations actually does not differ all that much between various human languages.

Here are several ‘translations’:

  •  Catalan: Meu
  •  Chinese: Mao
  •  Danish: Miaav; Dutch: Miauw
  •  Finnish: Miau, Kurnau
  •  French: Miaou 
  • Greek: Naiou
  •  Hebrew: Miau 
  •  Hungarian: Miaaau
  •  Japanese: Nyan
  •  Korean: Yong or Nyaong
  •  Norwegian: Mjau
  •  Portuguese: Miau
  •  Spanish: Miau

Also worth mention? The Hungarian word for ‘cat claws’, macskaköröm, is also used to denote quotation marks.

Kitty’s Career Changes

Many cats now live lives of pampered pets, lazing in warm, sunny areas, cuddling up on their humans’ laps, and generally enjoying life. Fluffy has tried a few different careers, though. She has worked as a spy, astronaut, therapist, and even a politician. There’s even a kitten in Japan who runs a train station!

One thing she didn’t do particularly well? Postal delivery. Back in the 1870s, a city in Belgium attempted to train kitties to deliver people’s mail. The experiment went a bit south, which explains why mail cats are not a thing today. (Fluffy fared somewhat better as a smuggler, but that’s another topic.)

Raining Cats And Dogs

This particular proverb appears to have originated during a time when thatched roofs were commonplace. Kitties have always liked high vantage points, but if Fluffy tried to get onto the roof in or after a rainstorm, she may have fallen through the roof. The ‘catchphrase’ first appears in the Olor Iscanus, a collection of poems that was released in 1651.

The Cat’s Meow

In the 1920s, flappers used the term ‘cat’ to describe someone they considered hip. This statement has been around for a while, and is still occasionally used in that way today!

Green with Envy

A green cat was born in Denmark in 1995. The peculiar tint may have been caused by copper in the nearby pipes.

Brown & Out

Have you ever thought about how rare it is to see brown cats? You might be seeing them more than you realize. Black cats actually have brown coats. If your cat has black fur, examine it closely when she is in the sun. You’ll see the lighter color, and may even notice patterns. However, this does not explain why we rarely see cats with lighter brown coats. Nobody truly knows why.

Furry Fashion Icon

Our feline friends can wear a variety of designs, including tabby, parti-color, tortie, and calico. Fluffy’s skin color truly reflects the patterns in their fur. So do her paw pads, also known as ‘toe beans’.

Mapping It Out

According to one study, Fluffy creates a mental map of her territories that she uses to track your location. Consider it a feline version of a GPS program, with you as the moving symbol.

Milking It

We’ve all seen those iconic photos of adorable kittens joyfully lapping up bowls of milk. However, most adult cats are unable to metabolize processed milk. In fact, drinking it may give Fluffy an upset stomach! 

What’s In A Name?

Are you a cat lover? If so, you are an ailurophile. The word—which is a bit of a mouthful—comes from ailouros, meaning ‘cat’ and phile, which means ‘lover’.

Some things Never Change

This one might be taken quite literally. There have been discoveries of medieval manuscripts with ink paw prints of cats. Fluffy also left her mark in the cement of an ancient Roman building!

Your Cat Might Be Allergic To You

You most likely know someone who is allergic to cats. (Not-so-fun fact: responses are caused by dander on your pet’s skin, not fur.) But did you know that kitties can be allergic to humans? According to a 2005 study, around one in every 200 cats has feline asthma. This is one of the (very) few disadvantages of Fluffy’s indoor life: pollen, cat litter, and cigarette smoke can aggravate the problem. However, this is quite rare.

Fluffy Spends Up To Half Of Her Time Primping

It’s no secret that our feline friends are extremely clean. Fluffy devotes time each day to keeping her fur clean and in good shape. Grooming isn’t just for looks; it also helps cut down on the smells cats give off. In the wild, odors attract predators, which can of course be quite dangerous. 

Grooming also improves circulation. Furthermore, eliminating all of the dead fur and dander enhances the insulative properties of your pet’s coat, allowing her to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Redheaded Stepchild

The majority of redheaded cats—around 80%—are male. That’s because the gene for orange fur is carried on the X chromosomes. This means that female kittens require copies of the gene from both parents. Boys, on the other hand, simply require one of their parents to have red hair.

Cat Burglars

You might assume the term ‘cat burglar’ originated due to the fact that cats can be incredibly silent and covert. However, it may have been a little more factual than that. Some felines have a propensity of stealing goods and returning them to their owners. No one knows why cats do this, but the list of items they have taken is rather impressive.

Some examples:

  • Money
  • Socks
  • Underwear 
  • Hair Ties
  • Elastics
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Inhalers
  • Jewelry 
  • Keys

While this is rather amusing, there is a more serious note: many of the items Fluffy steals, such as hair ties and rubber bands, can be very dangerous to her if consumed. If your furry friend has red paws, keep small and pointy items–and anything else that could be unsafe– stored away!

Cats Don’t Just Purr When They Are Happy

One of the cutest things about Fluffy is the fact that she literally vibrates with happiness. Fluffy does not simply purr to express contentment, though. Cats purr when they are sick, agitated, or birthing kittens. This is perhaps a technique for them to relax and possibly heal themselves.

Purrs Are A Little Bit Magic

If we were able to ask feline companions about themselves, we’d most likely have some questions regarding their purr. It turns out that Fluffy’s rumble has some quite distinct characteristics. Kittens purr at specific frequencies, usually between 25 and 150 Hertz. Those same frequencies have been demonstrated to increase bone density and facilitate healing. They’re also employed in therapy.

Contact Your Mt. Airy, GA Animal Clinic

Do you have any queries concerning your cat’s health or care? Contact us here at your Mt. Airy, GA pet hospital today!

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