It Always Reigns Cats and Dogs at Paws N Reflect

 

Feline Facts

Ailurophilia is the love of cats.
The term comes from Herodotus, the Greek historian, who called the cats he found in Egypt "ailuroi" - tail wavers.
People who like cats are called ailurophiles.

Ann Baker, a breeder who lived in California during the 1960s, is credited with creating the Ragdoll. Baker took a domestic longhaired white female that was found running wild in her neighborhood, and bred her with another long-haired cat. The resulting kittens were the progenitors of the Ragdoll breed. By selecting for traits like a friendly personality and long, plush fur, Baker eventually produced the big, soft kitty we know and love today.

The world’s most famous two-faced cat, Frank and Louie (also known as Frankenlouie) was a Ragdoll. He had two functioning eyes, a blind central eye, two noses, and two mouths.

Wankee, born 1895 in Hong Kong, became the first UK Siamese champion in 1898.

Most orange cats are male and a vast majority of calicos are female.
 
In 1950, 4 month old kitten from Geneva, Switzerland, followed a group of climbers to the top of the Matterhorn.

A cat walks by moving both left feet and then both right feet. This promotes speed, agility and silence. The only other animals that walk this way are giraffes and camels.

The first official cat show in Great Britain was held at the Crystal Palace in 1871.

The first cat show in the United States was  held in 1895 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

A cats field of vision is 185 degrees.

Light colored cats are more likely to develop an auto immune disease.

The domestic cat is the only type of cat that can hold its tail upright when walking. Wild cats tuck their tails between their legs or hold them horizontally when walking.

 
It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one's blood pressure.
 
A cat's sense of smell is 14 times stronger than a human's.

Cats whose coats are red (orange), cream or calico can develop freckles as they age. The spots can appear on the eyelids, mouth, nose and paw pads - all areas of exposed skin.

Cats have five toes on the forefeet and four on the hind feet. The fifth toe is set high on the forefoot and does not touch the ground during walking, but it is used in grooming and capturing prey.

Cats are almost entirely covered with hair. One of the few bare areas is the end of the nose, which is  known as leather. Kept damp by nasal secretions, the leather is highly sensitive to touch. A cat's version of kissing a human or another cat, is to touch her nose leather to the other nose. It is the only part of the cat's skin that has no sweat glands.

A cat generally has 24 whiskers. There are 12 on each side. They are divided into upper and lower rows which move independently of each other.  They are used to detect objects in low light for the ability to slip through narrow openings. Whiskers tell a cat whether the space they are entering is big enough for it!

Cat's whiskers known as vibrissae are controlled by various facial muscles which can point the whiskers out or pull them backwards toward the head when eating or fighting! The long upper-lip whiskers called mystacials and the muscles under them can move the bottom and top rows of hairs independently. The short whiskers on the lower jaw are called mandiculars. The whiskers on the cheeks are called genals, and the antennae-like whiskers above the eyes are known as superciliaries. Each front leg has backward-pointing hairs that serve the same function as the head whiskers. All are supersensitive touch receptors.

A domestic cat can sprint at about 31 miles per hour.
 
Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run.
 
The cat's front paws have 5 toes, but the back paws have 4. Some cats are born with as many as 7 front toes and even extra back toes (called polydactyl).
 
Cats walk on their toes.

In animal fables, the beasts usually had no proper names, and so in Aesop's Fables they are referred to as, "the cat," "the fox," "the mouse" etc. Occasionally, the cat in the fable did have a name...Tibert (just as the fox was sometimes called Reynard). Exactly why and how Tibert cane to be the stereotypical name for a cat is unknown. The name Tibert is probably the source of the the name Tiddles, a common name for cats in Britain.

A kitten in the womb acquires whiskers before acquiring body hair. This is appropriate because when she is born, her eyes are shut and her ears are practically deaf at first, so the fully functioning whiskers are one of the chief sources of information about the world around her.

A cat can't see directly under her nose-that's why they have trouble finding treats on the floor.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cat-headed goddess Bastet, who symbolized fertility, motherliness, and feminine grace. They treated their feline companions with great affection and respect, making it a capital offense to kill one. when cats died, they were laid to rest with ceremony. Archaeologists have unearthed thousand of mummies, accompanied by mummified mice, presumably to keep the cats snacking on their way to the afterlife.

In relation to body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

Light from light bulbs or the TV can make a cat shed fur. Light makes cats shed and that is why they tend to shed more in summer than in winter.

A cat's peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.

Cats come in 3 body types: Cobby - compact body, deep chest, long legs, broad head with large round eyes...Muscular - sturdy body; round, full-cheeked head...and Foreign - slender body, long legs, long tail, wedge-shaped head with tall ears and slanting eyes

Feeding a cat dog food can cause blindness. Dog food lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat health. Taurine keeps their hearts healthy and their eyesight sharp.

Cats have three eyelids. The third eyelid is called the "haw" or nictating membrane. It's the tiny triangle of pink tissue that you see in the corner of the eye. When your cat is ill, you may see a good amount of the haw and it's time to see the vet.

Cats almost never meow at another cat. They use this sound to communicate with humans.

Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door.

Scratching is an innate feline behavior. It keeps their claws in shape by removing the old outer husk of the nail and it just feels good;  just as a manicure feels good to humans. It does however, also serve as a territorial marker. The sebaceous glands in a cats' paws, leave an odor at the scratched area. Try trimming your cats nails weekly and provide a scratching post because they like to stretch during this behavior.

 
When a cat spots prey, her excitement is told in a swishing tail and chattering teeth! The manner in which she is chomping is the same killing bite she would use on prey. In effect, she is carrying out the attack despite her inability to reach her target.  Cats make 3 general types of sounds: murmurs, vowels and strained high-intensity sounds...and at least 16 distinct vocalizations and maybe more! The chatter, which falls into the category of strained high-intensity sounds, may come from the mother cat's training. She uses much the same sound to alert her kittens to potential prey.

Kitty Litter was invented in 1947 when delivery man, Edward Lowe, who was out of sand, suggested to a cat owner that she use a grease and oil absorbent instead.

Some cats groom excessively. Sometimes these cats are bored, perhaps because they receive little human or feline interaction. These cats suck obsessively at their fur, some even going so far as to mutilate themselves. Often too, the cause can be allergies. On the other hand, a sick cat may groom less frequently or stop grooming altogether. Consult your veterinarian with any concerns you may have .
 

Cats with six toes are so common in Boston and surrounding areas that they are considered an established mutation. They're also common in Key West, where they're known as Hemingway cats.
 
Feline ears are incredibly sensitive. They are able to detect sounds as high as 65 kilohertz, and ability some believe may be even greater than that of the dog. Not surprisingly, a cat's hearing is far better than a human's. The highly mobile pinna, or ear flap, permits the cat to move her ears in the direction of a sound, allowing her to determine the source of a sound with a high degree of accuracy.
 
Cats have about 100 different vocalization sounds. In comparison, dogs have about 10! Cats respond most readily to names that end in an "ee" sound! 

Besides their noses, cats can smell with something called the "Jacobson's organ", located in the upper surface of their mouths. This is what cats are using when they scrunch up their eyes and open their mouths after sniffing something intently.
 
Cats have 244 bones in their bodies! (About 40 more than humans!) and 2 muscles in each ear!

Cats only sweat from the pads of their paws.
 
Cats aren't hunters by nature; their mothers teach them to hunt!
 
Female cats can reach adulthood in as little as five months, but male cats can take nine months to a year to reach adulthood. Most breeds of cats have reached their full growth by two years!
 
The first feline racetrack opened in 1936 in Dorset, England? However cats chasing electric mice failed to attract large audiences and the last track closed in 1949. Much more popular are today's agility contests, better suited to feline skills.
 
To drink, a cat laps liquid from the underside of its tongue, rather than the top! 
 
Cats are said to see color. Studies have been able to prove that cats can distinguish between red and green; red and blue; red and gray; green and blue; green and gray; blue and gray; yellow and blue, and yellow and gray!

The Maine Coon cat is America's only "natural" breed of domestic feline. It is FOUR TIMES larger than the Singapura (the smallest breed of cat)!
 
In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal!
 
If a cat is frightened, the hair stands up fairly evenly all over the body; when the cat threatens or is ready to attack, the hair stands up only in a narrow band along the spine and tail!
 
Cat families usually play best in even numbers. Cats and kittens should be acquired in pairs whenever possible!

Cats must have fat in their diet, because they can't produce it on their own!

Cat's urine glows under a black light!
 
If a cat is frightened, put your hand over its eyes and forehead, or let him bury his head in your armpit to help calm him!

Cats with long, lean bodies are more likely to be outgoing, and more protective and vocal than those with a stocky build!

A cat can jump FIVE TIMES as high as it is tall!
 
Within two to three days of birth, each kitten in a litter chooses his own teat, and from then on, generally only takes a nip from this.
 
A cat will spend nearly 30% of her life grooming herself!

Cats have one thing to lord over the "King of Beasts" and other more formidable felines. A cat can purr, but the lion can't, nor can any big feline. The tiger can rumble a friendly greeting but only on the exhale. No big cat can get his motor running the way household cats can, purring constantly as effortlessly as breathing, both in and out.


Cats can purr to express pain or fear in addition to expressing pleasure. Female cats often purr when they are in labor, as well as when they are nursing their kittens!

A cat's brain is more similar to a man's brain than that of a dog! 
 
Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion!
 
Cats respond better to women than to men, probably due to the fact that women's voices have a higher pitch!

If your cat snores, or rolls over on his back to expose his belly, it means he trusts you!
 
Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
 
Chinese parents used to embroider a cat's head on the shoes of a baby learning to walk, to make it surefooted.

Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had four of them while he lived in the White House.

The term, "cat's pajamas" comes from an English tailor of the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds who made fine silk pajamas for royalty and other rich patrons. His name was E. B. Katz.

If domestic cats were left to breed on their own, without human interference, there would be very few long haired cats and very few solid colored ones. Genetically, the normal cat would be a tabby with a mostly grayish-brown coat and familiar striping. That is also the typical coat of many of the world's smaller wild cats. Most of the larger cats, such as leopards and tigers, have spots or stripes to help conceal them when they stalk prey. Even solid colored cats, such as lions and cougars, have coats of muted colors that serve as camouflage. For a predator in the wild, a grey-brown coat with irregular stripes is the perfect camouflage, so the grey-brown tabby is, because of the coat, the perfect stalking machine!

Cats eyes reflect light. The reflective layer called the tapetum within a cat's eye intensifies any light coming in. In a low light situation, a cat's pupils are dilated enormously and that is when you feel as if you are looking into 2 small mirrors when you look into her eyes.  Sometimes humans seem to have eyes that are more reflective than normal and we often say that such a person has cat eyes.

There are three types of cat hair. The longest are the guard hairs which form the topcoat, along with the shorter bristly awn hairs. Underneath these is the undercoat, which insulates and is composed of short, soft down hairs. Some hot climate breeds such as the Siamese, lack down hair, while cold climate breeds, such as the Maine Coon, have thicker down. A cat's skin, like human skin, has erector muscles that raise or lower the hairs in response to emotion or temperature.

The predator instinct is inborn, but, kittens also learn hunting by watching their mothers. Most kittens can catch and kill a mouse at the age of 2 months. A minority of cats are afraid to hunt, and those cats are also fearful of humans. A cat who doesn't like to hunt can make a poor pet. There is an old axiom...a good hunter is also a warm companion.

Many white cats are deaf, particularly cats with blue eyes. This is caused by genetics and there is no known way to prevent it...yet!  There are plenty of perfectly contented deaf cats in the world. Their owners just need to be a little extra watchful.

In the past, tabby cat meant any house cat, even though the name was used more often to refer to a female, as in toms and tabbies. Later, it came to mean a cat whose coat showed bands or stripes of a darker color than the base color. There is really not a breed called "Tabby" but the word is used among cat fanciers to refer to several types of coat patterns. The Classic Tabby has clearly defined  bands on the body. There are bars of the darker color on the face and there is a defined M-shape of the darker color on the cat's forehead. The Mackerel Tabby is similar to the Classic Tabby except that the stripes are narrower. The M can be seen on the forehead. The descriptive word, mackerel comes from the mackerel fish. Most people find "Tabbies" very sweet and affectionate. They make wonderful pets.

Most cats have four types of hair in their coat:
1. Down - short, fluffy with great insulating properties 2. Awn - mid-length hair 3. Guard - longer, straighter hairs and 4. Vibrissae - specialized hairs called whiskers (most cats have 24 whiskers, divided equally on opposite sides of the face and arranged in four rows. They also have whiskers on their forelegs that help with pat-pat-patting objects.) There are exceptions to the four-hair model. For example, the Cornish Rex has no guard hairs, and the down and awn hairs are crimped, as are the whiskers. The Persian has a long coat where even the down hairs are long, making the coat prone to matting. And the unique hairless Sphynx typically has only a bit of fur on the extremities, with the rest of the body covered in peach-fuzz.

Purring:
People love the sound of a cat purring but the soothing sound is not very well understood. You probably think a purring cat is a happy cat, but this explanation doesn't cover all the bases. Cats purr not only when they are happy but also when they are stressed - for instance, at the vet's office. (Some when they are dying). Think of purring as the cat's equivalent of our smile, indicating no hostile intent. HOW cats purr has long been a mystery. In a Breton folktale, cats are said to have developed the purr after spinning ten thousand skeins of linen thread to help a princess break an enchantment. It's easy to understand how a cat's purr could be compared to the whir of a spinning wheel. Today however, the mystery has been solved. The sound a cat makes is caused by vibrating muscles surrounding the larynx (windpipe). Researchers have also discovered where the purr originates: in the brain! Stimulation of a specific area in the cat's brain causes cats to begin purring. The purr is one of the first sounds newborn kittens make as they snuggle up to their mother for suckling and warmth. As they mature, their purr becomes more complex. While young cats tend to purr in monotone, adults are capable of reaching 2-3 notes and sometimes as many as five. Purring can go on for hours without a break, even while a cat is eating or sleeping. In fact, it has been suggested that the purr is nothing more than a form of snore. Often, purring cats drool as well. The combination of saliva, purring and paw kneading in an adult cat may indicate a temporary regression to feeding time in kittenhood. It was once believed that the Big Cats did not purr, but experts have discovered that wild members of the felis genus, which includes includes bobcats, cougars, and lynxes, can purr like domestic cats. Members of the genus panthera - lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, and jaguars - can purr, but only with outward breaths, unlike domestic cats, who can purr while inhaling and exhaling. The difference may be a matter of throat construction. 

 

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