Cats are undoubtedly amazing creatures. If you’re a cat lover, or have spent time around your friend’s or family’s cats, you know how unique each cat’s personality is. At VetDepot we love our feline friends and have picked 5 of our favorite amazing cat facts to share with you! We hope you enjoy our top 5 Amazing Cat Facts:
1) Cats Have an Amazing Sense of Smell
Ever notice your cat is quite the sniffer? Their nose is highly sensitive to scents. There are an estimated 200 million nerve cells inside their nostrils that detect odor. To put this into perspective, humans only have 5 million.
Cats also have scent glands on their head and paws that release chemicals known as pheromones. These pheromones are unique to each cat. Anytime a cat rubs against any object, their pheromones are left behind for other kitty cats as a means of marking their territory.
Have you ever come home after petting the neighbor’s cat to discover your own cat almost immediately begins to sniff you? Panic sets in as you begin to think, “Oh no! My sweet kitty knows I pet another kitty!” You begin to feel guilty and apologize profusely to your kitty, begging for forgiveness, promising him or her it will never happen again! Don’t worry, your kitty will forgive you, but he or she definitely knows you were around another cat because of the scent/pheromones the neighbor’s cat left on you.
Ever seen a cat’s reaction to catnip? They go bonkers! Catnip is a perennial herb, which is closely related to mint. The chemical compound within the plant that attracts and makes cats act excited is called nepetalactone. When nepetalactone is sniffed by a cat it’s believed to produce a euphoric feeling, lasting approximately 10 minutes. Nepetalactone is thought to mimic feline pheromones, which is the reason your kitty becomes so excited. Most cats will sniff the catnip excitedly or roll in it. Some cats may begin to scratch which may present a problem. You can prevent any potential catnip excitement scratching damage by purchasing a scratching post similar to this one.
In addition to their impressive sniffing abilities, a cat’s nose is comparable to a human fingerprint. If you look closely at your cat’s nose you will see ridges and tiny bumps. These little details on a kitty’s nose are exclusive each cat. No two cats will have identical details, just like human fingerprints.
2) Groups of Cats Have Specific Names
While kittens are typically referred to as a litter, the word kindle is used to describe a group of kittens as well. Pretty cute!
Once out of the kitten stage, a group of cats is known as a clowder. Not to be confused with delicious chowder soup, a clowder is a group of 2 or more cats. Think of it like having your own posse of cat friends. Only instead of calling them your cat group, you refer to them as your clowder.
3) A Single Litter of Kittens May Have Multiple Father Cats
Weird? Yes, a bit so. Is this why a litter of kittens may have different color fur or eyes from one another? Yes and no. That’s partly due to genetics, but it can also be due to each kitten having the same mama cat but a different papa cat.
This is known as superfecundation. Superfecundation is the fertilization of two or more ova from the same cycle by sperm from more than one act of sexual intercourse. Huh?! In simpler terms, a female is in heat 1-4 days and during those days she will potentially mate several times with different males. Females release several eggs per ovulation and are “induced ovulators”, meaning the act of mating causes them to ovulate. Therefore, each time a female mates, she ovulates and releases another egg, which can be fertilized by a different male. Does this make your brain hurt too?
4) Hissing is Reaction Due to Fear, Not Anger
If you ever heard a cat’s hiss or been hissed at, the noise may jolt you a bit. It can be a scary noise. Typically it’s believed cats hiss because they’re angry and may attack. However, this is the opposite. Hissing is a defensive expression that arises due to uncomfortably, stress or fear. In cat language hissing serves as a warning to stay away. Have you ever seen two cats fighting? If you notice only one is hissing, it’s because the hissing cat is more vulnerable.
5) Cats Roll Over to Show Their Belly as an Indication of Trust
Initially you may think your cat is asking for a belly rub, and in all fairness some cats do want belly rubs when displaying this behavior. Although, laying down and rolling to expose their belly is a sign that they are are relaxed and trusting. This means your kitty is trusting of you and comfortable with you. If you were a cat instead of a human, your kitty would probably invite you to be part of its clowder!