Ten Facts of the Feline Kind

August 8th is International Cat Day. To celebrate our furry felines, check out these 10 feline facts you might not have known.

1. A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound. (A)

2. Cats hate the water because their fur does not insulate well when it’s wet. The Turkish Van, however, is one cat that likes swimming. Bred in central Asia, its coat has a unique texture that makes it water resistant. (F)

3. The heaviest cat on record is Himmy, a Tabby from Queensland, Australia. He weighed nearly 47 pounds (21 kg) and lived to the age of 10. (B)

4. The tiniest cat on record is Mr. Pebbles, a 2-year-old cat that weighed 3 lbs (1.3 k) and was 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) high. (B)

5. Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. Cats are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can. (C)

6. Cats are North America’s most popular pets: there are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat. (E)

7. Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor. (C)

8. Approximately 1/3 of cat owners think their pets are able to read their minds. (D)

9. A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human has 206. A cat has no collarbone, so it can fit through any opening the size of its head. (C)

10. A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance. (A)

A) Bidner, Jenni. 2006. Is My Cat a Tiger? New York, NY: Lark Books.
B) “Cat World Records.” Cat World. Accessed: July 20, 2010.
C) Clutton-Brock, Juliet. 2004. Cat. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc.
D) Fogle, Bruce. 2006. Cats. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
E) Frith-Macdonald, Candida. 2008. Encyclopedia of Cats. New York, NY: Parragon Books Ltd.
F) Piven, Hanoch. 2009. What Cats Are Made Of. New York, NY: Ginee Seo Books.