1. A cat can always detect a person in the room with an animal hair allergy – and will promptly sit on that person’s lap.
  2. Cats never belittle themselves by begging like dogs, they merely stare at you from a dignified distance until you give in.
  3. Small spaces are often described by the common phrase, ‘…there’s no room to swing a cat in here.’ Origins are unclear; did someone actually once pick up a cat to swing it, only to discover there was no room?
  4. The ‘cat-o-nine-tails’ is a leather whip once used as a method of severe punishment. Probably given its name by the claw like effect on the recipient, it may also provide one explanation for the expression, ‘…no room to swing a cat.’ Known to have been a popular punishment on board Royal Navy ships, where space would have been limited, it’s thought the saying may have referred to the amount of space needed to swing ‘the cat’ to administer the punishment.
  5. Cats use the length of their whiskers to judge whether the rest of their body will fit through a gap.
  6. The fattest cat on record measured 33 inches around his middle; how long were his whiskers?
  7. The heaviest cat on record, also the fattest, weighed in at 21.3 kg / 46.9 lbs. His name was Himmy and he lived to the age of 10 years in Queensland, Australia.
  8. Cats are said to have 9 lives: this probably originates from ancient Egyptian times when it was believed that gods took feline form.
  9. Cats have an innate ability to rotate their bodies during a fall, allowing them to land on their feet. This often makes it seem as though they survive the unsurvivable, adding fuel to the fire of belief that cats have 9 lives.
  10. Cats don’t always land on their feet! If the fall is a relatively short one, the cat has no time to perform the rotational movement which will bring it to the ground feet first. Besides, some cats are just clumsy!
  11. A cat has a sophisticated way of making a misjudged landing or a flat-on-its-face fall look like that was exactly what it intended to do all along – and will walk away with dignity still intact!
  12. Cat quotes: Mark Twain – ‘If animals could speak the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.’
  13. An old English proverb says, ‘A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.’
  14. An adult cat has 30 teeth. An adult human normally has 32.
  15. The oldest cat on record is Puss from England who died in 1939, 1 day after his 36th birthday.
  16. A cat described as calico in the USA, is described as tortoiseshell in the UK.
  17. Calico cats are almost always female.
  18. Ginger cats are almost always male.
  19. Calico male cats and ginger female cats are usually the ones to appear on the vet’s operating table for the ‘wrong’ neutering procedure!
  20. Neutering a cat can extend its life by 2 or 3 years.
  21. In English we say a cat says, ‘meow, meow’, but in Japanese a cat says, ‘nyaa, nyaa.’
  22. In Japanese folklore, all cats are clever but the wicked ones are easily identified by their double tails.
  23. You can buy your cat every kind of ‘scratching post’ on the market but they’ll still prefer the upholstery of your furniture.
  24. On the Isle of Man, home to the tailless Manx cat, locals affectionately refer to the cats as a ‘rumpy’ or a ‘stumpy’ depending on how little tail is in evidence.
  25. Cats have 290 bones. Humans have 206.
  26. Cat quotes: Mary Bly – ‘Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.’
  27. An old Chinese proverb says, ‘I gave an order to a cat, and the cat gave it to its tail.’
  28. At the National Cat Centre in the UK, cat loving children can have a feline-themed birthday party.
  29. The cat population in the UK is approx. 7.2 million.
  30. The USA has the highest cat population in the world with over 76 million. China comes in second with over 53 million.
  31. Cats are the top favoured pet in the UK and the USA as they are low maintenance, affectionate, independent, and fit in well with urban, working lifestyles.
  32. Men who own cats are likely to be between 45 and 54 years of age.
  33. Men who own cats are generally more successful than their non-cat owning counterparts. They are also less likely to have children.
  34. Women who own cats are likely to be between 35 and 44 years of age.
  35. All cat owners are more likely to be divorced, separated, or widowed.
  36. A lonely old woman living with a black cat in the 17th Century would probably have been accused of witchcraft.
  37. Cats were often hung at the gallows in the 17th Century along with those accused of witchcraft.
  38. The early Christian Church believed all cats to be in cahoots with the devil, especially black cats.
  39. Anti-cat hysteria reached fever pitch in the Middle Ages when cats were hunted down and persecuted for no reason other than being a cat.
  40. In ancient Egyptian times, the killing of a cat was punishable by death.
  41. In 500 BC a Persian king besieged an Egyptian city by ordering each of his men to carry a cat as they advanced. The Egyptians dared not strike a blow for fear of killing a sacred cat – they surrendered!
  42. Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows when mourning the death of a beloved cat.
  43. There’s no such thing as a Cheshire cat. One explanation for the saying, ‘…grinning like a Cheshire cat,’ is that cheese moulds from the Cheshire region of England were once shaped like a cat with a grinning face.
  44. A fear of cats is termed ailurophobia.
  45. Cat quotes: Faith Resnick – ‘People that hate cats will come back as mice in their next life.’
  46. The Christian persecution of the cat allowed the European rat population to grow unchecked, contributing to the spread of many diseases, most notably the plague.
  47. The cat with the world record for catching the most mice is Towser who ‘worked’ at the Glenturret Distillery in Scotland for 24 years. A long-haired tortoiseshell, she is reported to have caught 28 899 mice in her lifetime – that’s 3 a day!
  48. The cat who replaced Towser, the world’s greatest mouser, was named Amber and apparently never caught a single mouse.
  49. An ancient Welsh law valued cats by their age, condition and mousing ability. One cat was valued to be worth a whole barn of wheat.
  50. According to Hebrew folklore, Noah asked for God’s help when he became worried about the survival of the grain supplies on the ark with mice and rats on board. God answered by making a lion sneeze and the first two cats popped out of its nostrils.
  51. The skin of a cat’s nose has a unique individual pattern, just like a human fingerprint.
  52. Japanese sailors believe that a tortoiseshell cat can banish storm devils.
  53. Ancient Egyptians believed that the sun’s rays were kept safe in a cat’s eyes at night.
  54. A cat has larger eyes than any other mammal.
  55. Catseyes, the reflective road studs which help drivers on dark and foggy roads, were patented by English inventor Percy Shaw in 1934.
  56. Sir Isaac Newton is often credited with the invention of the cat door. In the UK, 90 per cent of indoor cats have access to a cat flap.
  57. Cat quotes: Roberta – ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff.’
  58. In the USA, a white cat is considered a symbol of good luck.
  59. In the UK, a black cat is considered to be lucky.
  60. In China, cats in general are considered to be symbols of good luck and are kept in shops and businesses as well as in homes.
  61. Pure white cats are rare and white cats with blue eyes are almost always deaf.
  62. A white kitten born with a tiny patch of dark hair may not be deaf. The dark hair disappears as the kitten grows creating the impression that it’s a ‘hearing’ white cat.
  63. In the USA, some people believe that a white cat sneezing towards the bride-to-be on her wedding day signifies lasting happiness.
  64. It’s a popular Italian belief that a cat sneeze will bring good luck to all who hear it.
  65. In Scotland, a strange black cat sitting on your porch is believed to be a sign of prosperity.
  66. A kitten’s stomach is the size of a walnut.
  67. The collective noun for kittens is kindle.
  68. The collective noun for cats is clowder.
  69. In the Netherlands, superstitious people believe that a cat should never be in the room when a delicate subject is being discussed as they will then spread it as gossip around the town.
  70. Cats Protection, the UK’s leading cat welfare charity, re-homes or reunites 55 000 cats each year.
  71. There are thousands of stray cats living in the historic buildings of Rome, including the Coliseum.
  72. There are currently around 14 ‘invited’ stray cats living in the grounds of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.
  73. Cat quotes: Albert Einstein – ‘No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.’
  74. A female cat can have as many as 420 kittens in her lifetime.
  75. Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours a day.
  76. Cats don’t sleep, they meditate!
  77. When moving to a new home, putting the cat through the window instead of the door will prevent it from leaving, according to a popular American myth.
  78. According to a popular British myth, putting butter on a cats paws will prevent it from straying after moving to a new home.
  79. The longest journey made by a cat is thought to be that of Tom who traveled across America from Florida to California to find his owners when they moved home. It took him just over 2 years to cover the distance of 4000 km.
  80. The most traveled cat is thought to be a black and white cat named Tom who got lost in the cargo hold of a British Airways plane. He traveled 800 000 km and visited several continents over a 2 month period before being found.
  81. A cat can jump over 7 times its own height.
  82. Cat burglars, like cats, are stealthy, quiet, and approach their prey without being noticed.
  83. A black cat crossing your path is considered to be bad luck in many countries.
  84. In Scotland, a black cat crossing your path is believed to bring good fortune.
  85. The Normans believed that if a black cat crossed your path in the moonlight, you would die in an epidemic.
  86. To reverse the ‘curse’ of a black cat crossing your path, first walk in a circle then walk backwards to the place where the cat crossed and count to 13.
  87. Cat quotes: Albert Einstein when asked to describe radio – ‘You see, wire telegraph is a kind of very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.’
  88. A cat has 5 toes on its front paws and 4 on its rear paws – 18 toes in total. One cat in Canada, Jake, made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for having a total of 27 toes.
  89. The earliest known picture of a cat was painted in an Egyptian tomb about 2600 BC.
  90. The Egyptian word for cat was Mau, derived from the cat’s voice.
  91. An old British superstition is that if a cat washes behind its ears, there’s wet weather coming. Don’t cats always wash behind their ears? Isn’t it always raining in Britain?
  92. During the Second World War, animals were awarded the Dicken Medal for bravery. Considered as the animal version of the Victoria Cross, the medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 and the recipients were 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses, and 1 cat.
  93. The only cat to be awarded the Dicken Medal for bravery was Simon, who served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident. He was awarded posthumously in 1949 for ‘… disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast.’
  94. Unsinkable Sam was the name given to the ship’s cat who survived the sinking of 3 battleships he sailed on during the Second World War. He ‘served’ on both German and Royal Navy vessels!
  95. The Royal Navy banned cats and other pets from ships in 1975 on grounds of hygiene.
  96. Orangey, a red tabby cat, had a prolific film and television career in the 1950s and 60s and was the only cat to win 2 ‘Patsy’ awards – the Picture Animal Top Star Award – the animal equivalent of an Oscar.
  97. In Bubastis, Egypt, archaeologists discovered 300 000 embalmed cats. Few of them were preserved so the bodies were used as fertiliser instead: a whole new angle on recycling!
  98. The Scottish wildcat is Britain’s only remaining large wild predator. Until as recently as the 1950s, wildcats were believed to be man killers.
  99. Cat proverb: ‘Never feed your cat anything that doesn’t match the carpet.’
  100. Cat’s motto: No matter what you’ve done wrong, always try to make it look like the dog did it!
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