We all know that our feline friends are fascinating creatures, but you may be surprised by some of these interesting facts about cats…
1. The world’s smallest pedigree cat is the Singapura, which weighs approximately four pounds (2 kilograms).
2. A male cat is called a ‘tom’, and a female cat is referred to as a ‘queen’ or ‘molly’.
3. Despite the small size of cats’ ears, it takes 32 muscles to make them work. Cats can also independently rotate their ears 180 degrees.
4. Cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, which is about 26 purrs per second.
5. The way a cat holds its tail is very telling. If a cat’s tail is straight up it is because it is glad to see you. If it is pointing down to the ground, then it is frightened, and if its tail is pointing upwards and gently vibrating, then it is really pleased to see you.
6. Cats typically have five toes on their front paws, but only four toes on their back paws. Cats born with six or seven front toes and extra back toes are called polydactyl.
7. In World War I and II, cats would often act as ships’ mascots and help to keep the rodent population under control. When they weren’t carrying out their mouse or rat catching duties, they were given a hammock to sleep in.
8. In 1994, a Tabby cat from the United States went missing in the cargo hold of a 747 plane for a total of 12 days. Three-year-old Tabitha was found after the plane was grounded long enough to conduct a thorough search, and after she had journeyed 30,000 miles.
9. A long-haired tortoiseshell cat named Touser caught 28,899 rodents during her lifetime (1963 to 1987) working as chief mouse catcher at the Glenturret Distillery in Scotland. A bronze statue has been erected in her honour.
10. The fattest cat was Himmy who lived in Cairns, Australia and weighed in at 21.3kgs (46.8 lbs). He died of respiratory failure at 10 years old in 1986. Note: the Guinness Book of World Records no longer takes records for the fattest or largest animals as they want to discourage overfeeding of pets.
What other interesting facts about cats have you come across?