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Fun Facts about Kitties

March 01, 2024

Did you know that cats are among the sleepiest animals on the planet? Only a few creatures, including bats, possums, and some human teenagers, can catch more Z’s than Man’s Second Best Friend. This is perhaps not surprising: we all know that cats are, for whatever reason, extremely tired. As it turns out, these little furballs are full of cute quirks. In this article, a local North Redington Beach, FL veterinarian reveals several things you might not have known about your feline friend.


Kitty Tracking Methods

We may never fully understand Fluffy completely, but we have made significant progress in recent years. For instance, we’ve learned that kitties are much more emotionally attached to their humans than previously thought. (Anyone with a cuddly cat could have attested to this, but that’s beside the point.) 


According to one study, cats create a sort of mental map of their territories that she uses to track your location. Consider it a feline version of a GPS program, with you as the moving symbol.


How Now, Brown Cat?

Have you ever noticed how rarely you see brown cats? Actually, you may see them more than you realize. Black cats are actually brown; if your cat has a black coat, examine it closely when she is in the sun. However, this does not explain why we rarely see cats with lighter brown coats. Nobody truly knows why.


Yes, Fluffy Really Is A Cat Burglar

It may appear natural to suppose that the term ‘cat burglar’ originated from the fact that cats can be incredibly silent and covert. However, it may have been a little more on the nose than that. Some kitties actually steal things, and then bring them back home to their owners. No one knows why cats do this, but the list of items they have taken is rather amazing.


Some examples:


  • Stuffed Animals
  • Inhalers
  • Jewelry 
  • Socks
  • Underwear 
  • Hair Ties
  • Barrettes
  • Elastics
  • Keyrings
  • Money 
  • ID Cards


While this may seem amusing, there is a more serious note here: many of the items Fluffy steals, such as hair ties and rubber bands, are quite hazardous if consumed. If your furry friend has red paws, keep small and pointy items stored away!


A Universal Language


In English, we often use the phrase ‘Meow’ to describe kitty vocalizations. Actually, our feline friends’ language has been translated very similarly all over the world. 


Here are several ‘translations’:


  • Catalan: Meu
  • Chinese: Mao
  • Danish: Miaav 
  • Dutch: Miauw
  • Finnish: Miau, Kurnau.
  • French: Miaou 
  • Greek: Naiou
  • Hebrew: Miau or Miya
  • Hungarian: Miaaau
  • Japanese: Nyan
  • Korean: Yong or Nyaong
  • Norwegian: Mjau
  • Portuguese: Miau
  • Spanish: Miau


Kitty’s Career Changes

Most of our feline friends now live the luxurious lives of pampered pets, lazing around in warm, sunny areas, cuddling up on their people’ laps, and generally enjoying the good (nine) lives. Fluffy has had to work for a living before, though. In fact, she has dabbled in a variety of different fields. She has worked as a spy, smuggler, therapist, and even a politician. There’s even a kitten in Japan who runs a train station!

One thing Man’s Second Best Friend didn’t do particularly well? Postal delivery. Back in the 1870s, a city in Belgium attempted to train cats to deliver mail. The experiment went as expected. (Spoiler: there are no Belgium mailcats today.)


Cats Are Lactose-Intolerant

We’ve all seen those iconic photos of adorable kittens lapping up bowls of milk. However, most adult cats are actually unable to digest milk. Drinking it may even give Fluffy an upset stomach! This misconception could have stemmed from the days when many people raised their own livestock. Raw milk contains enzymes like lactase, which help cats digest lactose in dairy products. Kittens also make this enzyme. However, once they stop nursing, their bodies cease producing it, thus making them lactose intolerant. Ask your North Redington Beach, FL veterinarian for more information on this. 


A Cat Lover Under Any Other Name

Are you a cat lover? If so, you are an ailurophile. The word—which is a bit of a mouthful—comes from ailouros, meaning ‘cat’ and phile, which means ‘lover’. It definitely sounds more sophisticated than Crazy Cat Lady! 


Fluffy Left Her Mark On Language

This one might be taken quite literally. There have been discoveries of medieval manuscripts with ink paw prints left by the scribes’ cats. (Apparently Fluffy hasn’t changed much in all that time.) Also of note: The Hungarian word for ‘cat claws’, macskaköröm, is also used to denote quotation marks.


Good Vibrations


You have to admit, the fact that cats practically vibrate with joy is pretty cute. Fluffy doesn’t only purr to express contentment, though. Cats also purr when they are sick, agitated, or birthing kittens. This is perhaps a technique for them to relax and possibly heal themselves.


That Magical Purr


If we could ask our feline buddies about themselves, we’d most likely have some questions regarding their purr. It turns out that Fluffy’s rumble has some quite distinct characteristics. 


Kittens purr at specific frequencies, usually between 25 and 150 Hertz. The same frequencies have been demonstrated to increase bone density and facilitate healing. They’re even employed in therapy!


Your Cat Might Be Allergic To You

You probably know someone who is allergic to cats. (Not-so-fun fact: responses are caused by dander on your pet’s skin, not fur.) But did you know that kitties can be allergic to humans? 


According to a 2005 study, around one in every 200 cats suffers with feline asthma. This is one of the (very) few disadvantages of Fluffy’s indoor life: pollen, cat litter, and cigarette smoke can sometimes bother her. However, this is quite rare. In any case, your pet is still much safer indoors.


Beauty Queen

It’s no secret that our feline friends devote time each day to keeping their fur clean and in good shape. Grooming not only improves cats’ appearance, but it also helps to minimize the scents they emit. In the wild, odors attract predators. Not good! 


Grooming also improves circulation. Furthermore, eliminating all of the dead fur and dander enhances your cat’s fur’s insulative properties, allowing her to stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.


Kitties and Catnip: A Purrfect Match?


Fluffy’s catnip fixation is undoubtedly one of her more amusing traits. It’s always fun to see a kitten playing playful and goofy while she’s enjoying the benefits of her favorite plant. Our feline pals have a very special relationship with this plant. Kitties’ cute little noses have scent receptors that perfectly match the fragrance molecules released by catnip.


… Or Maybe Not


Does your cat go crazy when you give her catnip? If so, she is in the majority, but not by as much as you may think. Not every kitty is susceptible to catnip. As many as one-third of our feline friends are immune to its effects.


When It Rains 

You’ve likely heard the saying ‘It’s raining cats and dogs.’ This particular proverb appears to have originated during a time when thatched roofs were commonplace. If a cat got to a high observation point, she may fall through a damp roof on rainy days. The ‘catchphrase’ first appears in the Olor Iscanus, a collection of poems published in 1651.


The Cat’s Meow

In the 1920s, flappers used the term ‘cat’ to designate someone hip. This statement is still occasionally used in that way today!


Some Kitties Are Green with Envy

A green cat was born in Denmark in 1995. The peculiar tint may have been caused by copper in the nearby pipes.


Do you have any queries concerning your cat’s health or care? Contact your nearest North Redington Beach, FL pet hospital today!

Posted in Cat Care