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5 Interesting Facts About Cats

Caitlyn loves animals of all species and sizes. Yes, that includes creepy-crawly bugs and snakes.

This is Charlie!

This is Charlie!

Interesting Cat Fact # 1: 3 Sets of Whiskers

Most people know cats have at least one set of whiskers. The stiff and sensitive hairs at either side of a cat's nose and mouth are one of their most well-known features. They use these hairs to feel around their surroundings when they cannot see and to judge how narrow a passage is they may want to walk through.

Cats have more than just one set of whiskers, however; in fact, they have three!

The second set is also on their face, just above their eyes. They look like really long eyelashes, and serve the same purpose as the whiskers by their mouths.

Where is the third set? They aren't necessarily the easiest to spot, especially on darker colored cats or any cats with long hair, but a peek behind their front legs will reveal the third set of whiskers. These whiskers, unlike the ones on the face, are not used to sense distance. Instead, they are used when the cat is hunting! Cats do not have very good short-range vision, so when they get close enough to their prey, they can't actually see it anymore! The whiskers on their feet help them to track the movements of their prey and then know where to grab their prey once they have caught it.

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Interesting Cat Fact # 2: Obligate Carnivores

Unlike their canine counterparts, cats are considered obligate carnivores. That means that their diet needs to be made up of meat and animal protein in order for their bodies to function properly. They cannot tolerate too much of anything else, though some cats do fancy themselves a vegetable every once in a while!

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Interesting Cat Fact # 3: The Cat Nose & Tongue

Cats are incredibly made little creatures. They are extremely flexible, they can land on their feet nearly every time they fall off of something, and they can twist their ears to the side and behind them in order to pick up where a sound is coming from. Cats are amazing!

The tongue of a cat is just a special as the rest of them. Most people know the sandpaper-like texture of a cat tongue, the scratchy feeling fascinating to feel on the skin. This rough texture serves two purposes- washing and eating their food. Their tongue works like a comb while washing their fur, pulling out any burrs or sticks while they groom. When it comes to eating their food, the tongue is then used to remove the fur or feathers of the prey before they eat it.

The nose of a cat is quite amazing all on its own. Their sense of smell is far more sensitive than that of humans, though less than the dog, and helps them track prey, find danger, and identify others around them. The nose is also unique to each cat, much like the human fingerprint!

This is Magic! He loves feet.

This is Magic! He loves feet.

Interesting Cat Fact # 4: Cat Meow

The domestic cat meow is one of the most known features of the cat, but what if this wasn't even something cats do naturally? Ask anyone what sound a cat makes, and they will certainly mimick the meow we hear in television shows and have heard from cats in the home as well. The meow, however, is not something part of the cat's nature.

The meow as people know it is believed to have developed as a way to communicate with humans. Cats are more fond of subtle sounds hard for the human ear to pick up, but their ancestors needed a way to communicate their needs to their human caretakers, so cats began mimicking the pitch and tone of our voices so that we could hear them and understand they needed something.

Some even believe cats have manipulated their meows to mimic the sound of a baby's cry when they need something - such as food - in order to get their humans to do what they want.

Ziggy and Frankie!

Ziggy and Frankie!

Interesting Cat Fact # 5: Floating Collarbones

Cats seem to be able to squeeze themselves in the most impossible places. Cat owners often wonder how in the world their feline wiggled through a jar opening or through the smallest of openings in the door.

Cats can fit themselves through any space they can get their head through (barring any overweight felines, who often find themselves stuck due to their larger bellies) due to something called a 'floating collarbone'. A cat's collarbone, unlike that of a human or canine, is actually not attached to their sternum, meaning it can move around almost impossibly so a cat can fit into smaller spaces than their shoulders would normally allow.

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Sources:

  • Pets4Homes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Caitlyn Booth

Comments

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on September 08, 2019:

Caitlyn Booth

Thank you for your very informative article about interesting facts about cats. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about felines, but I learned something from each of the items you listed above.

I have often wondered about the multiplicity of tones a cat is capable of. Our granddaughters have two sibling cats, one male, one female. They have different voices for different occasions. The "little girl" cat is so demure and has that teeny little voice that is irresistable. She is very much like our younger granddaughter.

Hat Whit from North East USA on September 08, 2019:

What fun!

I'd only pick a bit at the idea the cat adjusted its meow to match a baby's cry. The time a cat most sounds like a howling baby is when it is in the throes of its most primal modes—love and war. When a cat is fighting or mating, the last thing he or she wants is human attention.

Kim Mann on September 07, 2019:

Very good commentary! You have given some facts that I didn't know, which makes it really interesting to read! Keep up the good work!