Mind-Blowing Cat Facts You Never Knew

Cats are natural hunters

Cats are skilled predators with natural hunting instincts. Even domestic cats who are well-fed will still hunt. According to Purina, the mere sight and sound of prey triggers a cat’s instinct to hunt, which is hardwired into their brains. Cats engage in hunting behaviors like stalking, chasing, and pouncing on prey. Their vision and hearing are adapted for locating and capturing prey.

Young kittens learn hunting skills by practicing on toys and through play. According to Four Paws, cats can spend 3-10 hours per day exhibiting hunting behaviors like locating prey, lying in wait, and pouncing. These natural hunting drives remain strong in domestic cats.

Cats are agile and athletic

Cats are known for their agility and athleticism. They have an excellent sense of balance that allows them to walk along fences, climb trees, and leap great distances. Their powerful hind legs enable impressive vertical jumps; cats can jump up to 6 times their height from a standing position!

A key factor in a cat’s agility is their flexible spine. Unlike humans, cats have many more vertebrae which makes their spine extremely supple and allows them to twist and turn with ease. When watching a cat leap and contort their body mid-air, it’s their spine that facilitates such acrobatic maneuvers.

Studies have found that cat agility relies on coordination between the eyes, inner ear, and spine [1]. This interplay allows cats to perfectly orient themselves and land on their feet.

Cats are territorial

Cats are territorial animals who like to mark out their own space. A cat’s territory is the area that it considers to be its domain and that it will defend against intruders [1]. Cats mark the boundaries of their territory using scents from glands around their face, paws and tail. By spreading their scent around their territory, cats feel more secure and settled in the area.

Within their territory, cats will have core areas that they are particularly attached to, such as prime hunting grounds, resting spots and their home. They will be especially defensive of intruders in these core areas. Some signs of a territorial cat include hissing, growling, swishing their tail and attacking. This territorial behavior is heightened if another cat infringes on their territory, as cats are solitary creatures that can be very hostile to unknown cats entering their domain [2].

Cats sleep a lot

Cats are known to sleep more than most other mammals. On average, they sleep between 12-16 hours per day, with some sleeping up to 20 hours per day according to Purina.1 They have a polyphasic sleep pattern, meaning they take short naps throughout the day and night rather than sleeping for one long stretch.2

Cats are light sleepers and can wake up easily if disturbed. They tend to be most active at night when hunting, so they sleep more during the daytime. Their nocturnal tendencies stem from being natural hunters.

Cats are low maintenance

One of the best things about cats is that they are low maintenance pets compared to dogs or other animals. Cats are able to groom and clean themselves, requiring little help from their owners. They are meticulous groomers and will spend much time licking their fur and paws to keep clean.

Cats are also able to use litter boxes, reducing the need to be let outside frequently. After a little training, cats will learn to use litter boxes and owners will only need to clean it out occasionally. This makes cats ideal for apartments or homes without easy outdoor access.

In addition, cats do not require walking like dogs. They exercise and explore on their own, so owners don’t need to take them on daily walks. Cats are independent and can entertain themselves when their owners are busy.

Overall, cats make great low maintenance pets given their ability to self-groom, use litter boxes, and be independent when needed. Their relatively hands-off care makes them an ideal pet for many owners.

Cats have a powerful sense of smell

A cat’s sense of smell is about 14 times better than humans. Their superior sense of smell is due to the fact that they have around 200 million scent receptors compared to only 5 million in humans.

Cats use their sense of smell for hunting and communication. They have scent glands on their faces, tails and feet that they use to leave scent marks. These scent marks allow cats to identify other cats and define their territory.

A cat’s powerful sense of smell also guides many of their preferences. They often rely on smell to decide what food they like or don’t like. Their sense of smell also allows them to detect when other animals have entered their territory.

According to https://petkeen.com/how-powerful-is-a-cats-nose/, “Cats are amazing creatures. They are independent, yet social. They are loving, yet territorial. One thing that makes cats extraordinary is their sense of smell.”

Cats are curious

Cats have a natural drive to explore and hunt, which makes them seem very curious creatures. Their explorer instincts lead them to investigate every little sound, smell, and movement in their environment. According to The Curious Cat, cats use their excellent senses of hearing, sight, and smell to fully map out their surroundings.

Cats are also intelligent problem-solvers. They excel at puzzles and learning tricks through repetition and positive reinforcement. A cat’s play closely mimics their natural curiosity behaviors. Stalking, pouncing, and chasing all allow cats to practice their hunting skills on safe targets. Their curiosity makes cats extremely observant of their environment and the humans in it.

Cats are observant

Cats have excellent peripheral vision allowing them to detect movements from the sides and behind without moving their heads. Their eyes are specially adapted with a large number of rod cells which allow them to see in dim light. Cats also have a reflective layer in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum which amplifies dim light and allows them to see up to 8 times better than humans in the dark.

Cats have sensitive whiskers above their mouths and on their cheeks and legs. These whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs that give cats information about their surroundings and help them make tight movements through narrow spaces and avoid obstacles in the dark. Whiskers can detect tiny changes in air currents, giving cats awareness of any movements near them, even in total darkness.

Cats are highly observant animals and notice small details in their environment that humans would easily miss. They can concentrate on small movements and sounds, helping them spot potential prey. Their excellent senses of sight, hearing, and touch give cats a strong environmental awareness.


Cats are athletic and agile

Cats have excellent balance and coordination that allows them to perform impressive physical feats. They are able to walk along narrow spaces, climb to high places with ease, and make quick turns and jumps. Their agility comes from having a flexible spine that helps them twist their bodies as they move. Cats are able to jump several times their own height thanks to their powerful hind legs. The average house cat can vertically leap up to 6 times their height to over 8 feet high. Some cats can even leap over 10 feet into the air when jumping horizontally. Researchers have found that cats use quick reflexes along with precise leg, paw, and claw movements to grasp and land securely as they jump. Their athleticism and nimbleness allow cats to hunt, play, and get around with grace.

Watch this video to see researchers unravel the secrets behind a cat’s acrobatic abilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr_mNpVS1Vw

Cats groom themselves

Cats are meticulous groomers and spend much of their waking hours licking and cleaning their coats. Their tongues are rough and covered in backward-facing barbs, acting as the perfect tool to comb through fur and remove dirt, debris, and loose hair. This frequent grooming serves several purposes for cats.

The barbs on a cat’s tongue stimulate the hair follicles and increase blood flow when they groom. This helps promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. Their saliva also acts as a cleaning agent to keep the fur free of parasites and matting. Excessive grooming stimulates natural oil production in the skin, helping the coat repel water and stay clean between baths.

Most cats will groom themselves for between 30-50% of the day. This instinctual behavior keeps their coat in peak condition. However, obsessive grooming that leads to hair loss or skin irritation may indicate an underlying health issue and warrants a veterinary visit.




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