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  • Pete Ablewhite

    Top 18 very obscure cats facts that you might not want to have known!

    cat sitting amongst fact books


    1. It is claimed that Isaac Newton invented the cat flap – While he is most known for his discovery of gravity, it has been documented that while working, Isaac was continuously interrupted by cats scratching at the door to be let in. Consequently, he invented a way for cats to enter the house/room without human intervention – The cat door or cat flap.

    2. Cats share almost all of their genetic makeup with tigers – 95.6% of your kittie’s DNA is identical to that of a tiger!  They also share almost identical behavioural traits, like marking territory with scent glands and in the way they stalk their prey.

    3. Spaying your cat can extend its life – Cats should be neutered during the first 5 months of their life. Studies on this suggest that spayed or neutered cats can live up to 62% longer on average.

    4. A group of cats is called a ‘clowder’ – A male cat i is known as a ‘tom’ and a female cat can b either be a ‘queen’ or a ‘molly’. While baby cats are still called ‘kittens’ a group of them born to the same mum is called a kindle.

    5. Cats sleep a lot! – While this may be obvious to us cat owners, cats sleep to conserve energy and will sleep up to 17 hours a day! This means that cats sleep for near to 70% of their lives.

    6. Cats have weird tongues – Like their very close relative the tiger, cats have spines down the middle of their tongue which helps them draw in food. They also have an extra organ that helps them ‘taste the air’ as well as smell.

    7. Cats are excellent healers – When either happy or sad cats tend to purr, this has been speculated to be a self-healing mechanism. Is it a coincidence that the frequency of a cat’s purr is the exact same frequency that bones repair themselves?

    8. Cats have preferred paws? – It has been noted in studies that male cats are typically right pawed but female cats are normally left pawed. However at least 10% of our feline friends are actually ambidextrous.

    9. Cats meow only for us – Cats have developed meowing to talk only to their owners, they don’t meow to communicate with other cats. Hissing, however, is used to in showing fear to both humans and cats. Cats can also change the tone of their meow to manipulate humans, they copy the frequency of human babies in order to get food from us.

    10. Cats have excellent hearing – They can rotate their ears a full 180 degrees and move each ear individually, giving them a large sound scope of their surroundings. When compared to humans who can only hear sounds up to 20Hz, cats come out on top, being able to hear up to 64hz.

    11. Does your cat not respond to catnip?– This is unsurprising as only half of all cats are sensitive to the herb. If a kitten has only one catnip sensitive parent it is half as likely to crave the herb, whereas if both parents are sensitive to the plant the kitten will have a three in four chance of being catnip crazy too!

    12. Cats don’t always land on their feet – While this fact is widely believed, it’s not always true. Cat has an impeccable sense of balance meaning, more often than not, all paws touch the ground together when they fall.

    13. Are black cats bad luck or good – Depending on where you live either could be true. In the United States, black cats are known for bringing bad luck and in Germany, the same goes. If your cat crosses your path from left to right it will bring you bad luck and if it crosses your path the other way you’re in good luck!  Also in Japan black cats are said to be very lucky and In the United Kingdom or more specifically the Midlands, black cats were given to new brides to bless their marriage!

    14. Some cats hate water –  Most cats are not fond of H20, scientists believe this is because their fur isn’t well insulated and it causes discomfort for kitties. On the other hand, there are a few breeds that are known, oddly, to love a swim or a bath every now and then. These breeds include the Maine Coon, the Bengal Cat and the Turkish Van

    15. Cats love boxes – We all know that cats will climb into any box they find lying on the floor but why is this? Scientists speculate that cats love boxes and other enclosed spaces because it brings them close to the feeling of being back in the womb. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. In animal shelters, boxes are used to encourage cats to settle in. It was found that cats with a box adapted to their new environment faster than cats who weren’t provided with a box

    16. Cats and taste – Did you know that cats can’t taste sweet things? This is because cats don’t eat anything sweet naturally and have never evolved to be able to taste anything other than savoury.

    17. Is your cat allergic to you? – Is speculated that at least 1 percent of cats are allergic to humans. Being kept inside increase the risk of asthma attacks due to inhalation of cigarette smoke, dust and human dandruff. But don’t worry, a special cat ventilator can be provided if your cat does turn out to have this rare allergy. Signs of this can be as simple of your cat coughing regularly! So keep an eye out!

    18. Domestic vs wild cats – Did you know there are considered to be over 70 different species of cat, however, some consider all domestic cats to be their own species! The largest of the wild cats is the Liger, a hybrid of a lion and tiger. These massive cats weigh in at over 900 pounds! On the other end of the scale, we have the rusty spotted feline, which on average, only weighs about two and a half pounds!

    Why your cat may change behaviour after staying at a cattery

    You love your cat and your cat loves you. That’s why separation can be quite hard on our kitties (and us!). So if you come back to collect your pet and it is acting a little differently, it’s probably down to a few simple things. Cats don’t like change, they are creatures of habit and are very comfortable in their routine. Your separation and having been in a new location may have had an effect on your pet. If the abnormal behaviour persists the reason may be medical and it would be best to get your pet checked out by a vet, however, before you panic, give your cat time to settle back down at home and back into a routine. Cats need time to adjust to change, just like us!

    Before you go away

    If you are planning to go away on holiday, leaving your feline friend in a cat hotel, it’s important to keep your schedule as normal as possible beforehand so you don’t alarm your kitty! Remember to feed your cat at the usual times and make sure to keep your own stress at a minimum. Cats are very clever and they can sense if you are anxious or upset. If they sense something is wrong they will pick up on your stress, and it will stress your cat out too, and that wouldn’t be good terms to part on. Do your best to keep your own schedule as normal as possible Kitty will notice all the extra shopping trips and the unavoidable chaos that accompanies the preparation to go away. Another tip to use in order to keep your cat as calm as possible before you go on holiday is to pack slowly. Up to 2 weeks before you go away, set out your suitcases, then slowly over the two weeks fill them with everything you will need. This gives your pet plenty of time to investigate and accept the change in their own time. It also means you will avoid frantic packing as your vacation date approaches, minimising the stress on both you and your cat.

    Returning your cat to normal after being on holiday

    When you return from your (hopefully wonderful) holiday, you will be ecstatic to see your best feline friend for a reunion. However, do not be surprised if your cat doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. Cats take a while to adjust to new situations Whilst you may be ready to go back home, your cat has just become used to being at the cattery, and it will take them a few days to settle back down into a routine.

    Speaking of routine, it’s important that you don’t overfeed your cat or give him/her excessive amounts of treats. While their unusual reaction to you may have made you feel bad, don’t overcompensate by overfeeding, although a few extra treats to make kitty feel appreciated is fine. If you feel your cat has lost weight due to stress, (this is hard to tell without going to the vet), you needn’t worry. Feed your cat at normal times with their usual amount of food and your cat should bounce back within a few weeks. If the weight issue continues to concern you after this time, please seek advice from your vet.

    Give your cat undivided attention for a few minutes every now and then during the days when you return from holiday. While you are busy unpacking and getting everything straight, your cat will also be busy exploring and reacquainting his/herself with the house again. It’s important to help build your cat’s confidence with affection and play, and to let them know that things will be returning to normal now that you are both back at home. Playtime will be essential in distracting your kitty from the fact you were separated, helping them to more quickly re-adjust to being back with you.

    If you feel your cat is still stressed after a few days, don’t worry, they probably just need a little extra support in knowing that your bond is still strong and that they are safe. For extra help in calming kitty, you can purchase calming drops or plug-in scents at your local pet store to help relax your feline friend. Additionally, you could put on some calming or natural music. There is scientific evidence behind a cat’s mood being influenced by music. Soothing music will also help you to relax too, which kitty will sense and take on board, helping reduce stress for both of you.


    Take a look at how you’re feeling after your return from holiday, as you may have noticed by now, our cats are super sensitive to their owner emotions and mood changes. Perhaps find time during the day for some self-care, whether it’s meditation, reading a book or even partaking in your favourite indoor hobby. You may find that if you are relaxed and calm your cat will soon follow your mood. Keep these things up alongside your normal routine and soon enough your cat will readily reacquaint itself with both you and his/her surroundings.


    All in all, remember to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Everyone’s cat reacts differently to their time in a cattery, and the experience can differ each time. Be patient, prepare to give your cat time to regain confidence. Get back into a normal routine, and remember, the more stressed you are, the more stressed your cat is going to be. You know your cat best at the end of the day, so if you feel something is further amiss with your cat, please take them to a vet as soon a possible.


    Training your kitten

    obedient cat, hanging on your every word

    Forgiving and patient

    Kittens, not unlike our own children, need to be taught how to live in a home. Training a Kitten takes practice and patience. For a kitten to understand what is deemed good or bad, rewards and punishments need to be put in place to reinforce behaviours. You, as the owner, also have a responsibility to provide your pet with the necessary means to carry out desired behaviours. For example; if you don’t want your kitten to defecate in the house, you should provide a litter box.

    Setting the right example to your kitten

    young litter of kittens

    Kittens do not inherently know how to behave, therefore it’s important to set the right examples and standards as they develop their behavioural skills. Have a spray bottle full of water nearby and spray your cat when he or she displays an undesirable behaviour, for example; scratching anything other than the scratching post.


    Don’t declaw your kitten. Healthy kittens need their claws, however, if you are finding your kitten’s claws too sharp, you can ask the vet to cut the tips off. I wouldn’t recommend doing this yourself as kittens have tiny claws and it would be very easy to hurt your pet in an uncontrolled environment. Cats also have a need to scratch things. You can’t train scratching out of them, but you can discourage destructive scratching. You can do this by removing temptation. Cover any furniture your kitten is attractive to and provide an alternative such as a scratching post. Try to incorporate the scratching post into a game so that your cat can become familiar with scratching there.


    Kittens also have a tendency to bite while they are teething and playing. While it can be a difficult stage for owners, kittens will feel the need to bite during this time but it will pass. However while in the teething stage you can try to replace hands with toys while playing, or if your kitten gets too rough you can either spray them with a little water or simply walk away. This will show them they won’t get any attention when the game gets out of hand.

    While training your kitten to use the litter box, it’s imperative to keep the litter box very clean. The most common reason why kittens stop using litter boxes is due to litter box maintenance. If kittens have been raised with their mother, they will most likely be accustomed to using the litter box already and all you have to do is to re-enforce the habit. You can do this by placing your kitten in the litter box after feeding times, making sure they go to the toilet. You can also help by applying scent that’s attractive for cats if they are having a hard time learning this habit.


    Young cats love to jump, and they will jump up onto any and all surfaces. If this isn’t ideal for you it’s important to set boundaries. If your cat jumps up to somewhere you don’t want them to be, for example, a kitchen counter, simply scold them and remove them from the surface. If you repeat this your cat will learn that they are not allowed on that surface. If this bad habit persists, you can add other measures, like the spray bottle because your cat won’t like the feeling and will associate it with being on that surface.

    Top ten common household items that are dangerous to cats

    cat thinking about eating a flower

    Keeping your kitty out of danger when he/she is in your home shouldn’t be a problem for most of us, but occasionally special care is needed to ensure your home is 100% cat safe. Below we have listed our top ten household items that can cause a problem to your kitty!   

    1. Household plants – Especially if you have a kitten, make sure to keep any house plant away and out of reach. Not all houseplants are toxic to your cats, like bamboo or Christmas Cactus but others like the swiss cheese plant, aloe vera and lilies could seriously harm your cat if ingested.

    2. Yarn – This may be the most surprising dangerous item, considering propaganda would have you believe that all cats love playing with yarn! While this fact is true, if your cat eats the yarn, it could wreak havoc on the intestinal tract and could even kill your cat. So if you are a lover of knitting be sure to keep your yarns out of your cats reach.

    3. Some foods – While chocolate is the most know toxic human food to cats, there are a whole host of other pantry items that could make your cat seriously ill if they were to eat it. For example, raw fish carries pathogens that are no good for our cats; and yeast dough, for pizza or bread, if eaten the dough will expand in your cat’s tummy and cause pain and possibly internal bleeding! Please research a full list of foods that may be harmful to your cat before feeding them anything you are unsure of.

    4. Milk – As much as kittens like to drink milk and are depicted doing so, adult cats are actually lactose intolerant and ingesting it can cause massive pain and discomfort to them. If you would like to give your cat milk, it would be best to pick up some lactose-free milk from your local pet store.

    5. Insect repellents and traps – Whilst it is important to keep those pesky bugs away, a lot of these products contain ingredients that are toxic to most pets. Please do not spay your pets with insect repellant; instead use measures like, flea spot treatment and collars. Also, be sure to keep any insect traps out of your pet’s reach.

    6.Coins and other metals – Coins and metals containing zinc are extremely harmful to your cat. While swallowing a coin itself may not be, the zinc contained in coins dissolves and is absorbed into the bloodstream, causing kidney and heart failure in small mammals.  

    7. All household cleaning products – While this is pretty common knowledge, it is extremely important to keep these items out of your pet’s reach. Cats are very cunning and with practice are very good at opening cupboards, so make sure your cleaning supplies are kept under lock and key, for your pet’s sake.

    8. Exposed wires – Kittens especially like to chew on everything and anything, so make sure to keep all wires properly covered and well out of reach. Adult cats too are inquisitive and obviously don’t know of the danger of electricals. Don’t automatically assume your cat is ‘sensible enough’ not to be curious, so take the necessary precautions to keep your pets healthy and safe.

    9. Bones – As tempting as it is to feed your cat bones, they can be so dangerous for your cat to eat. When cooked most bones become fragile and can splinter, leaving sharp points that will cause internal bleeding. It is probably wise to keep your cat away from even uncooked bones as it isn’t worth the risk of them coming to harm.

    10. Mould – Don’t give your stale or mouldy leftovers to your cat. Any mould is toxic to cats, so even feeding them cheese is a no go! Especially as they are lactose intolerant anyway!