By Jayn Corral
I learned the other day that most female cats are left-pawed, and most male cats are right-pawed. And sure enough, I watched as Annabelle and Piper, two female kittens, played spin the ball with their left paws, while Bob mostly used his right paw. Who knew? And who conducts studies to determine this stuff?
Here are some other feline fun facts I didn’t know:
- Genetically, domestic cats are 85 percent tiger.
- Adults have 30 teeth while kittens have 26.
- Cats have 244 bones, of which 20–23 are in the tail, compared to 206 bones in humans.
- Cats can jump five to six times their height and run short distances at 30 miles per hour.
- Cats probably don’t like music, but you might try David Teie’s “Music for Cats.” I did try it, and I liked it. Not sure how it went over with the cats.
- Cat’s whiskers are as long as cats are wide. It helps them determine if they will fit in the space.
- “Ailurophile” is a person who loves cats and “ailurophobe” is a person who doesn’t like cats. “Ailuros” is Greek for “cat.”
- A group of kittens or cats is called a “kindle,” “litter,” “intrigue,” or “entanglement.”
- Cats are lactose intolerant.
- Cats have five front toes and four back toes.
- Cats cannot taste sweet. They have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents in the air.
- Cats meow to communicate with humans, not with other cats.
- Cats have the largest eyes in proportion to their size of all mammals.
- All kittens are born with blue eyes. The color changes at about eight weeks.
- Calico and tortoiseshell cats are almost always female, whereas ginger cats are almost always male.
- Cats walk with both right feet together and then both left feet. They “direct register” which means they place their next step in same place as the previous step.
- Cats sleep 12–16 hours per day (yes, cats can dream) and spend about 30 percent of their awake hours grooming.
- In 1963, a cat named Félicette went to space and safely parachuted back to earth.
- Cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk and have extraordinary night vision.
- Eighty-five percent of white cats with blue eyes are deaf in one or both ears.
- Each cat’s nose is unique, much like human fingerprints.
- The record number of kittens in a litter was 19 kittens, in 1970. Of the 15 that survived, only one was female.
Keep these fun facts in mind when you meet SPA cats available for adoption at Los Pinos 7, Monday–Saturday, 11am-2pm SPA’s telephone number is 415 152 6124.