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National Cat Day: 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Cats

27 Oct 2020 | Written by Freshpet

To celebrate National Cat Day, which takes place on October 29th, we wanted to share 10 facts about your feline friends that you may not have known.

1. Cats have a dominant paw

Just like humans can be right- or left-handed, cats can be left-pawed or right-pawed. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast conducted a study of 42 cats and found that they used one paw more than the other while performing a task. What was interesting is that for males, the left paw was more dominant and for females, it was the right paw.

2. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth

It’s not that they prefer salty over sweet, it’s that they actually cannot taste sweet things. Due to a genetic deficiency, the taste buds that detect sugar have been removed from cats’ tongues. While this may seem like a nightmare to us sweet lovers, cats don’t mind. As obligate carnivores, they prefer the taste of meat over anything else.

3. Cats can jump seven times their own height

The average house cat can jump a vertical height of five feet or more without a running start, which equals about seven times their own height. If you’ve ever seen your cat jump from the floor to the counter without unbelievable ease, this fact will likely not surprise you, but it’s still very impressive!

4. Calico cats are almost always female

Calico’s have the most beautiful mix of black, white, and orange fur. What is interesting is that this coloring is directly related to the X chromosome – for a cat to have this distractive tri-color coat, it needs to have two X chromosomes. This means that the vast majority of cats will be female, but there are instances of male calicos that have an extra X chromosome (XXY), giving them the required double X.

5. Cats are like umbrellas

You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, how on earth is a cat like an umbrella, but just bear with us. When a cat is jumping from a high distance, they tuck their body into the rounded shape of an umbrella. By doing so, they’re able to stay upright and land on their feet – this is called the cat righting reflex. It begins to appear around 3-4 weeks of age and they’ve mastered it around 6-7 weeks.

6. Cat fur can get very staticky

For whatever reason, cat fur is prone to become ‘charged’ when you stroke it. So much so, in fact, that you can see little sparks when you pet them in the dark. This is also the reason why their backs begin to twitch and they may randomly attack you after you’ve been petting them for an extended length of time – you’re giving them continuous little shocks!

7. Cats can drink seawater

As a human, we know one of the more dangerous things you can do is drink seawater, but cats don’t have this same concern. Due to the strength and efficiency of their kidneys, cats are actually able to filter out the salt from saltwater. This means that they can stay hydrated, even if they only have access to saltwater. 

8. Cat noses are as unique as fingerprints

Just like every human as a unique fingerprint, every cat as a unique nose print. The bumps and ridges that make up a cat nose are similar to those that make up a fingerprint and can be used for identification.

9. Purring has healing properties

When a cat purrs, it is done at a frequency of between 25 and 150 Hertz. What’s important about this range is that it falls within the frequency at which muscles and bones best grow and repair themselves. Based on this, it has been hypothesized that purring has evolved from what was once a survival technique.

10. Cats greet each other by touching noses

One way cats communicate with each other is through touching noses. By doing this, they can smell all of the different scents the other cat has encountered and determine if the cat is familiar to them. It’s not uncommon for a cat to do the same thing to another human when they meet, so don’t be afraid to hold out your finger or hand for them to sniff – they’re simply just extending a friendly hello!

Have you own fun feline fact to share? We’d love to read them in the comments!

Responses to this Post

Jessica Madore
29 Oct, 2020 at 04:43 pm
My cat Sardonix is a leftie and loves to smell my breath, licks my hair and does get very staticky. He also does tricks for treats like a dog would. He knows paw, turn around, up and sit. He asks for treats by gently pawing my arm and gets very jealous when I ignore him and talk on the phone. He wakes me up by jumping up and down on my shoulder and pawing my face for breakfast. He's just too cute.
Sally Cotto dunlap
29 Oct, 2020 at 09:03 pm
I have three. That I rescued one only has three legs I did have two other rescues but sadly they passed IAM glad to see freshpet for cats I was only finding it for dogs which I also have now I will continue to look for it for cats for milo phone midnight
30 Oct, 2020 at 07:03 am
Very interesting. I have a cat Tilly . She always wakes me in the middle of the night to go out ? wouldn't be without her though?
Lisaann Danilla
18 Nov, 2020 at 04:24 pm
I have a tiger calico mix. she is such a loving purrr fect lil animal. she gives me kisses and rubs her face against mine. it is hard to read some animals. but I know that the ones I rescue seem to love n never leave my side.
Regina Wolf
19 Mar, 2021 at 06:03 pm
My girl, Sassy is very unique. She prefers to drink water from the sink faucet over a bowl of water. She does not use the litter box like most cats I've seen, she will "perch" the front paws on the edge of the litter box while doing her business, then she will get out amd then turn around and cover her business with one paw (mostly her right) then she shakes any excess litter off her paw. I like to say she doesn't like to get her dainty paws wet nor dirty. She's my baby girl. My little 7 yr old furbaby
25 May, 2023 at 08:39 am
thank you for the article
Zeeshan Ahmed
1 Jun, 2023 at 10:46 am
Amazing information about cats. I m also a cat lover. My favorite breed is the Bengal cat. And I love want to know and write about cats.

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