Some people are more likely to be cat people than others, but I think we can all agree that they're pretty cute. They can also be super bossy and in need of a ton of attention, especially when compared to other types of pets. We know a lot about cats, but they also have their more mysterious aspects which is part of what makes them such fun pets. You never really know what kind of mood they're going to be in, and their independent nature means they take care of themselves a lot. Whether you're a major cat lover or not, here are 12 really weird facts that you should know about the felines of the world.
12 Cats Can Be Allergic To People
A lot of people are allergic to cats, but did you know that cats can actually be allergic to people? A 2005 study on cat asthma (which affects one in 200 cats) found that a lot of cats live indoors, and they can be understandably sensitive to things like cigarette smoke, human dandruff, dust, and even some kitty litters. If your cat gets sneezy, you might want to assess your living environment.
11 Only Half Of Cats Like Catnip
Catnip is classic for getting cats attention (and riling them up), but turns out that half of the cats in the world don't give a crap about it. The sensitivity to catnap (aka Nepeta cataria) is an inherited one and it doesn't get passed along to all kitties. If both cat parents are sensitive to it, then the chances they will pass along the sensitivity are three out of four, but if only one parent is the odds of passing it along are one in two. Catnip, by the way, is actually a member of the mint family. The more you know, right?
10 Most Cats Love To Be Pet
Once, someone suggested that cats get super anxious when you pet them. This can be true, but only if they dislike being pet all the time. Most cats enjoy and appreciate being pet and it won't give them anxiety unless you're being rude about it or something. Do keep in mind that cats can be a little picky about where on their body they are being pet. Many cats don't appreciate being pet on their belly, unlike the dogs of the world. Around the ears, though? Go for it.
9 Cats Love Their Sleep
Some estimates suggest that cats actually spend two-thirds of their life sleeping, which isn't too surprising when you take into account all of those cat naps. But why does it always seem like they're up so early when you're trying to sleep in? Even though a cat might sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day, they're not sleeping in the same way that humans do. They are always alert enough to respond to noises and potential dangers, whether they are in a REM cycle or not.
8 Cats And Dogs Can Totally Get Along
You've heard the saying "fighting like cats and dogs" but it turns out that both animals can actually be the best of friends. When you introduce animals when they're young, they'll generally get along just fine. Dogs should be under a year and cats under six months. That's the best time to try and guarantee a friendship. You can follow some basic steps to help them get along as best as possible, like making sure the dog is trained and on a leash when they first meet.
7 They're Super Smart
Cats have relatively small brains, but they are about 90 percent similar to ours. Their cerebral cortex is more developed than a dog's, and their emotion-oriented areas of the brain rival that of humans. It's actually really hard for researchers to properly study how smart cats actually are because they're so aloof and they won't always do what they're told when in a laboratory setting. Classic cat. What we do know is that cats are pretty unwilling to need or want help in a lot of situations.
6 Cats Are Good Hunters
Cats are really great hunters which is helpful for surviving out in the wild, but they have actually contributed to the extinction of 33 different species that include not only birds and reptiles but some mammals, too. Cats are listed on the top 100 most invasive species in the world.
5 Cats Like Getting Stuck In Trees
Cats are great climbers, but since all of their claws go the same direction, they can't just turn around and climb back down, so they have to wait to be rescued by their human friends. You should always keep in mind that cats are not always stuck when they aren't coming down out of a tree. Sometimes they just feel like being up there and away from everyone else, which a break that most of us could use from time to time.
4 They Sweat Through Their Paws
Cats don't have sweat glands like we do, and they're actually only capable of sweating out of their paws. When they sweat out of their feet sweat glands, they release a scent that can be used to mark their territory, so when they are marching around that's very often what they are doing. While most humans are right handed, female cats tend to be right pawed and male cats tend to be left pawed.
3 Cats Can Drink Salt Water
Humans would be in trouble pretty quickly if they only drink salt water, but cats can totally do it. Their kidneys are actually effective at filtering the salt out so they can literally rehydrate themselves by drinking the ocean water. This is probably so that they can live through droughts and really live off the land. However, if you're a cat owner, you should give your cat fresh water and replace it often because you're nice like that.
2 People Once Thought Cats Were Evil
Cats have been considered evil a few times throughout history. Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats during the Spanish Inquisition and they killed so many that there were way too many rats. This was a huge problem and spread a plague called the Black Death which killed an estimated 25–60% of Europeans in the 1300's. Whoops. In the Middle Agesm people associated cats with witchcraft as well. Some people still consider black cats bad luck, but that's probably not really accurate.
1 Cats Have Been Our Pets Since Forever
Many people think that the Egyptians were the first to domesticate the cat, but a pet cat was found in a grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. That probably predates the Egyptian era by over 4,000 years. Today, cats are the most popular pet in the U.S., and over 30 percent of households have them. There about 73 million cats in the U.S. to 63 million dogs in the country.