Fun Facts about Cats
At TCAP, we love cats! We have compiled a list of our favorite feline facts. Check them out and it may help you understand your cat’s needs a little bit better and improve your bond with them.
Origins of Domesticated Cat
We know that common housecats derived from their wild ancestors. This genetic lineage began in the Fertile Crescent (Western Asia) somewhere between 10,000 to 12,000 years ago when humans in the region started farming. Evidence shows that farmers were likely the first to domesticate wildcats because of their usefulness in hunting mice and other pests that plagued farms in early human settlements.
We have a few famous cat-based sayings. Ever wonder where they come from? The phrase “let the cat out of the bag”, in other words, to “reveal a secret”, seems to stem from Europe in the late 18th century. While no exact origin has been officially settled upon, several theories indicate that this phrase came from traders at a market cheating their customers by claiming to sell a certain type of animals such as piglets or hares, but instead sell them a feral cat. In these times, these animals would be transported in burlap sacks. These customers were instructed not to open the bag containing the animal they purchased until they got home so as to not let it get loose. However, when they got home they would “let the cat out of the bag” and thus reveal the seller’s secret scam.
Ever wonder how your cat can sleep so much? On average, cats spend around 15 hours of every day sleeping. There are a couple of factors that lead to this amazing phenomenon. Cats are crepuscular, which means that they are most active around dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low during the darkest time of night and brightest time of day. This cycle is based on instinct passed down from your cat’s wild ancestors. Cats also spend a large chunk of their shut eye in a light sleep in order to be most responsive to danger should it arise. Cats can experience deep sleep as well, but it usually only lasts for about 5 minutes at a time. Sleeping with one eye open may make it harder for your cat to get the most out of his rest, but it does allow him to be more responsive to his environment should a predator approach.
Cats have adapted their senses to make them highly efficient low-light predators. Cats have acute sight, hearing and smell, and their sense of touch is enhanced by long whiskers that protrude from their heads. The shape and biology of cats’ eyes give the cat a minimum light detection threshold up to seven times lower than that of humans. Humans and cats have a similar range of hearing on the low end of the scale, but cats can hear much higher-pitched sounds, up to 64 kHz, which is 1.6 octaves above the range of a human, and even 1 octave above the range of a dog.
There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognized breeds. The largest domesticated breed is known as a Maine Coon which can weigh anywhere between 15-25lbs on average. The smallest cat breed is known as the Singapura with most cats of this breed only reaching half the size of an average cat.
Thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine and nutrition, the housecat’s life expectancy has improved from 7 years in the early 80’s to about 12-15 years today. However, the oldest cat on record is named “Crème Puff” from Austin, Texas. Crème Puff lived from 1967 to August 6, 2005, three days after her 38th birthday.
We at TCAP want to meet your fascinating feline! If you cat needs an update on vaccines, flea medication, or a variety of other walk-in services, come by a walk-in TCAP location available throughout DFW Monday-Saturday. To find our hours and locations, visit our vaccine event calendar: https://www.texasforthem.org/hours-locations/vaccinations/.