Updated: Mar 3
1) Cats can jump up to 6 times their height, this is about 5 feet. They have incredibly strong muscles in their legs which means jumping up on the kitchen work top or garden fence is no bother to them! The longest horizontal jump recorded is 7 feet!
2) Cats sleep around 15-20 hours a day, if napping was an olympic sport cats would get the gold medal. They do this to conserve energy as in the wild they need it all to hunt for prey. That's why house cats are so lazy....its in their genes! This means about 70% of their life is spent sleeping.
The majority of the time your cat sleeps it is not in a deep sleep, more of a catnap, they are alert enough to wake quickly if they need to.
3) Domestic cats may be lazy cat nappers most of the day but they can be super athletes when they want to be. Not quite as quick as their larger cousins, but a domestic cat can run up to 30mph -this is quicker than Usain Bolt! The cheetah can run an amazing 75 mph!!
4) Cats have 18 toes... sometimes more! Cats have 5 toes on each front foot and 4 on each back. Some cats are polydactyl which means they have a few extra toes! They can have up to 9 toes on each foot. A cat in Canada has been recorded as having 28 toes. This can be caused by mutations that regulate the sonic hedgehog gene (yes i'm not joking- real name) in the limb.
Polydactyl cats are considered lucky!
5) There are more than 500 million pet cats, they are one of the most popular domesticated animals and found all over the world (except Antartica). In the UK studies show 51% of adults own a cat! Domestic cats originated from one single ancestor, a Near Eastern Wildcat. This wild cat decided 10,000 years ago to join humans and leave its old life behind.
6) The first year of a cats life is equal to 15 years of a human, the second is equal to about 9 years then each subsequent year equal to 4 years. So the traditional 1:7 ratio is very misleading. Cats age very quickly in their first 2 years then the ageing process slows down after that. These guidelines are based on physical and behavioural changes.
7) The largest domestic cat is the Maine Coon, the longest domestic cat recorded measured 120cm! They commonly weigh 8-11kg. They have thick fluffy coats, striking good looks and are excellent hunters. Unlike other cats they don't meow, they yowl!
Some argue the Savannah cat is the largest but this is a hybrid and is related to the wid Serval so isn't a true domestic breed.
8) The smallest cat breed is a Singapura from Singapore. They have large eyes and ears, ticked coat and blunt tail. They usually weigh under 2kg as an adult. Despite their small size they are powerful, assertive cats with bundles of personality.
9) Purring means a cat is content, it is thought to be partly voluntary and partly instinctive. Kittens start purring just a few days after birth, mainly to alert the mother to where they are. Cats often purr when stroked associating purring with pleasure. Its thought the purr maybe use to encourage further interaction.
Despite all this you shouldn't always assume that purring means your cat is in a good mood. Some will purr when its food time but this purr often sounds different. Many cats can also purr when they are injured or in pain, it's thought to be a way to self soothe, some even say the vibrations from purring promote bone growth, skin and soft tissue repair.
10) The oldest cat on record was 38 years old! She was called Cream Puff and was from Texas, US. She had a diet of dry cat food, broccoli, eggs, turkey, bacon and coffee with cream and a splash of red wine every 2 days apparently!! I am not suggesting this is a good idea at all.