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33 Cat Facts That You Might Not Have Known

cat facts

When you spend as much time around cats as our cat doctors do, you tend to pick up a few cat facts.


From why is my cat moaning to why cats can’t climb down a tree head-first, we have compiled some of our favorite cat facts below. 


Be sure to let us know if you have any questions – or if we missed any of your favorites – and we’ll update the list!


  1. Cats can’t climb down trees headfirst. Since their claws face forward, they wouldn’t be able to grip, so they’d have to climb down backward. 
  2. While your cat may rub their head against you because you’ve got a deep bond, it’s also meant to mark you as part of their territory. They do this with scent glands near the face, tail, and paws.  
  3. The United States Army hired cats (even before they hired dogs!) to help protect the early commissaries. 
  4. It is more common for a household to have more cats (1.8) than dogs (1.6), according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. 
  5. Though your cat may seem to like ice cream, it’s not for the sugar. That’s because feline taste receptors can’t detect sweetness. 
  6. Wondering why your cat is moaning? They make different meowing sounds at different times, from being hungry or sick to just wanting attention. If your cat is moaning non-stop, we recommend bringing them to Catonsville Cat Clinic. 
  7. A recent study suggests there could be as many as 73 million feral cats in the U.S. 
  8. Though they’re popular in Egyptian art, evidence suggests domesticated cats have been around since 3600 B.C.E. (which would be over 2,000 years before the Ancient Egyptians!).  
  9. Cats can recognize your voice. Whether they choose to acknowledge it or not is a different story. 
  10. Cats are famous as the stars of online videos, so it’s only fitting we share the oldest cat video from 1894. It is called Boxing Cats, and it was produced by an employee of Thomas Edison. 
  11. Cats and humans have similar sections of our brains that help to control our emotions.  
  12. Not only can cats control each of their ears independently from the other, they can move them up to 180°.  
  13. While dogs may have a higher social IQ than cats, cats have been known to solve more difficult cognitive problems (when they want to).  
  14. Cats, like other animals (including the mountain gorilla!), have a nose print that is unique to them, just like we have our fingerprints.  
  15. If your cat is leaving its feces uncovered, it could be viewed as a sign of aggression.  
  16. Your cat’s whiskers are related to how big your cat is. This way, they can use their whiskers to know if they’ll fit in a small space.  
  17. One of the oldest domesticated cats is the Egyptian Mau. 
  18. Being brought dead birds or dead rodents by your cat is a sign that they don’t think your hunting skills are up to snuff.  
  19. Cats may spend up to ⅓ of their lives cleaning themselves.  
  20. They dedicate another ⅓ of their lives to naps. 
  21. Wondering why cats are so flexible? A cat’s spine is so flexible because it’s made up of 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans? Just 33.  
  22. Like some other meat eaters, cats can’t move their jaws side-to-side. They also don’t have teeth for grinding, so they can’t easily chew. Instead they take big chunks and swallow them whole. 
  23. Cats like to keep their tracks to a minimum, which is why you’ll see their back paws step in the same spot as their front paws. 
  24. For cats that respond to catnip, it’s due to the herb’s compound nepetalactone, which a cat will detect thanks to receptors in its nose and mouth. 
  25. There’s a one-in-two chance your cat will respond to catnip. 
  26. Creme Puff, the oldest cat ever, lived to be 38 years and 3 days old.  
  27. If your cat has six toes on their front paws, you have a polydactyl cat. 
  28. Disneyland is home to around 200 feral cats, all spayed and neutered. In exchange for helping control the park’s rodent population, park staffers give them medical care and food.  
  29. Since feline kidneys are able to filter salt out of water, your cat can actually drink seawater.  
  30. While kittens love milk, your adult cat may not. As a kitten gets weaned, it loses the lactase enzyme that helps it digest lactose. This can lead to adult cats having some stomach issues.  
  31. Cats have both short-term and long-term memory, and their short-term memories last about 16 hours. 
  32. More than just a meow, cats are known to make more than 100 different noises. 
  33. A cat’s tongue has 473 taste buds, compared with 1,700 for dogs and 9,000 for humans.

Get Your Cat Questions Answered At Catonsville Cat Clinic

While our staff of cat veterinarians loves a good cat fact, we understand that you may have some cat concerns that go beyond this list. 


We’ve been providing complete and compassionate feline care in the Maryland area since 1997, and we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to schedule your next appointment.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2023 at 1:13 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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