Updated 05 September 2013

12 cool cat facts

Thought you knew a lot about cats? Read these facts and think again.


Cats are part of many of our households. Yet they can be strangely elusive creatures. If you thought you knew a lot about cats, read these facts and think again.

  • Cats spend up to 30% of their time grooming themselves. They lose almost as much fluid through saliva as they do through urination.
  • Cats can run at a top speed of about 48 km/h over short distances - just marginally faster than dogs. But, like cats in the wild, they can't keep it up for long.
  • Ginger cats are mostly male and tortoiseshell cats are mostly female.
  • Adult female cats can have a new litter every four months, which is why it is important to have domestic cats spayed.
  • Egyptians first domesticated the African Wild Cat about 4 000 years ago, apparently to keep rodents at bay in their granaries. Many domestic cats spread by travelling on ships on trading routes to the rest of the world from Egypt.
  • Cats are true carnivores and need at least 30% of protein in their diets. They are the only domesticated carnivores - if they were any bigger, it would be very expensive to feed them.
  • When cats walk, they step first with both left legs and then with both right legs. The only other animals who do this, are the camel and the giraffe.
  • Cats have a higher body temperature than humans do at 38,8 degrees Celsius. Humans have a body temperature of about 37 degrees Celsius.
  • Ever wonder why cats's eyes shine at night? It's because they have an image-intensifying device at the rear of the eyes, helping them to use every scrap of light that is available.
  • Cats, both domestic ones and wild ones, spend up to eighteen hours a day sleeping. Humans need about half the sleep that cats do.
  • Several studies have shown that owning a cat can reduce your blood pressure levels.
  • When a cat purrs, it does not always indicate that it is happy. Cats also purr when they are in distress or in pain, such as during the birth process.


- (Health24, updated February 2013)


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