Grimalkin is the name of a female cat, especially an older one.
An ailurophile is a person who loves cats. The word ailuro is the ancient Greek word for cat.
Ailurophobia is a fear of cats
Male cats used to be called rams or boars, however, in 1760, an anonymous author wrote a book entitled “The Life and Adventures of a Cat” in which the central character was a male called Tom the Cat. This book was hugely popular, and the name tomcat quickly replaced ram or boar.
Cats have existed longer than humans.
Domestication of cats occurred in the Fertile Crescent, between 9,000-10,000 years ago. They evolved into a symbiotic relationship with farmers, helping to protect grains by keeping rodent populations down. Cats had a plentiful supply of food while being protected from predators.
Interesting cat facts
Cats walk in a direct register. Their hind foot lands in the same spot that the front foot was, which reduces tracks and noise, both of which help cats to remain less visible to predators.
There is no mention of the cat in the bible.
Cats can’t taste sweet.
Cat urine glows under black light. Clay cat litter came about by accident. In 1948 a neighbour by the name of Kay Draper went into her local sawmill to pick up some sawdust for her cat’s litter tray. She had been using ash but was fed up with it being tracked all over her house. Ed Lowe, the son of the owner, offered her some clay, known as Fullers Earth which was used to absorb grease. Ed realised he was onto something and started marketing the product in pet shops and at cat shows. It took a while to take off, but eventually, it became a multi-million dollar business.
Calico and tortoiseshell cats are almost always female.
Cats are not nocturnal; they are crepuscular, meaning they are active at dusk and dawn.
Cats are good for human health. It is said they help to reduce blood pressure, depression, cholesterol, and heart attack patients who own a cat have a higher survival rate.
Cats sleep approximately 16 hours a day.
Cats transfer feel-good pheromones from their face onto you, furniture and objects.
A cat’s meow is reserved for humans; they don’t meow to other cats or animals.
Cheetahs meow like cats.
Cat anatomy facts
The loose flap of skin some cats have on their belly called a primordial pouch, which serves two functions. To protect the vital organs during a right/attack as well as enabling your cat to extend and stretch during running. It has many nicknames, including flabdominals, jelly belly, and paunch.
Cats can jump five times their height.
The domestic cat is the only species of cat that can hold its tail vertically while walking.
Cats have the largest eyes in proportion to the body size of all mammals.
There are approximately 12 whiskers on either side of the cat’s nose.
Henry’s Pockets are the two folds of skin at the bottom outside of the cat’s ears. The medical name is cutaneous marginal pouches.
The ridged pattern on a cat’s nose pad is as individual as a human fingerprint.
All kittens are born with blue eyes. They change colour around the 8th week of life.
Cats can run around 48 kph (30 mph), but only over short distances.
Cats don’t only purr when they are happy; they also purr when they are in pain.
A cat’s tongue contains several backward-facing hooks known as filiform papillae. These assist with grooming and help to remove flesh from the bones of prey.
Whiskers are the same width as the cat’s body, helping it determine if a space is wide enough to walk through.
Cats can move each ear independently.
Adult cats have 30 teeth.
Kittens have 26 teeth.
An adult cat’s brain is approximately 5 cm (2 inches) long and weighs 30 g.
Claws and feet:
Cats are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes.
The cat’s front claws partially retract into their sheath when not in use this helps to prevent the claws from becoming snagged when walking as well as blunting them. The back claws aren’t as retractable as the front claws; this explains why the front claws are much sharper than the rear.
They are also quadruped, as they have four feet.
Cats don’t kill their prey with their claws, which it uses to hold onto the prey. They use their teeth to kill prey.
The claws on the cat’s back feet aren’t as sharp as the claws on the front feet because they can’t retract into the toe. They are continually worn down when they walk.
More cats are left-handed than right-handed. Out of every 100 cats, approximately 40 are left-pawed, 20 are right-pawed, and 40 are ambidextrous.
Cat bones facts:
There are approximately 244 bones in your cat’s body.
Cats have 30 vertebrae. Humans have 25.
Cats have between 20-23 bones in their tail.
The cat’s front paws have five toes, and their back paws have 4. However, some cats have more than this number of toes. A cat with more than 18 toes is called polydactyl. Poly comes from the Greek word polys, which mean many or more than one. Dactyl also comes from the Greek word daktylos or finger.
Male cats have a bone in their penis called a baculum.
Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs.
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