5 little known facts about cats
Fun and interesting cat facts that we bet you didn’t know!
Our feline friends have been a popular choice of pet for thousands of years. It is easy to see why as cats often make friendly and easygoing companions. Whether you are a cat person or a dog person, there is bound to be something you can appreciate about cats. In fact, there may be many things you never knew about them. We hope that if you are barking mad and usually dismiss feline friendships, you might just change your mind!
1. People have kept cats as pets for 9,500 years!
Ancient Egyptians are well documented as being one of the first groups to regularly bring cats into the domestic sphere, around 4,000 years ago. This is thanks to the wealth of Egyptian art which is still appreciated today. However, a grave of a cat found in Cyprus by archaeologists in 2004 is thought to have been a whopping 9,500 years old!
Their popularity in ancient times was likely a result of far more practical purposes than pet cats of today. For example, cats were not only seen as useful for killing rodents but were deployed as trusty guardians to fend off more vicious animals such as venomous snakes. Perhaps a stretch too far for little Whiskers down the road.
2. Cats sleep for 70% of their lives!
Humans can only look on longingly at the ease in which cats snooze throughout the day - it's almost as if they have nothing better to do! You would be correct in thinking that all the little cat naps add up to a large proportion of their day. Indeed, cats spend about 70% of their time sleeping, often in these light dozes we are so used to seeing.
Thankfully, kittens and cats are cuddly creatures and will often sleep on our laps. However, cats will often wake up very easily if approached, whether it be for cuddles or something far more dangerous. Indeed, a cat's natural instinct is to be alert, especially if they sense danger. Luckily, these instincts are not relied upon quite so much in their peaceful domestic setting.
3. A cat has been to space!
Although they are sleepy creatures, cats do hold brave ambitions. In 1963, Felicette was an astrocat who catapulted France into the space race when she became the first feline to go into space. Felicette was no ordinary cat, having been chosen ahead of 13 others to begin the spaceflight training programme.
However, while the first chimps and dogs to venture into space have been memorialised, many feel that Felicette has been unfairly forgotten. This even led to a crowdfunding campaign in 2017 to give her the send-off she deserved, resulting in a statue being erected two years later in Felicette's home country of France.
4. Cats are very stubborn eaters!
All cat owners are likely to have experienced their cat being rather fussy with their food. It is a bit of a game, right? She refuses the dry biscuits long enough that you eventually give in and hand out some of that juicy chicken you have on your plate.
It goes even further than that, though. Cats have been found to refuse food they find to be unpleasant to the point of starvation. If there is any animal that wins the prize for being stubborn, cats are surely it. Sadly, some foods which are tasty to cats are extremely harmful. You may not know that onions, raisins, grapes and garlic are all damaging to cats' organs.
5. There’s more to all that grooming than just staying clean!
We mentioned cats like to sleep, but in the 30% of time cats are awake, they spend about a third of it grooming themselves. However, this is not purely to keep their fur shiny and soft.
When cats lick their paws and other body parts, it actually stimulates blood flow, which has a number of benefits. This process helps regulate your cat's body temperature, as well as helping her to relax and unwind - their equivalent of a candle-lit bubble bath, perhaps.