13+ Things You Didn’t Know About Cats
Find out why your cat acts the way he does. And this holiday season, you and your kitty can sing along with our hilarious 12 Cats of Christmas.
Adapted from Essential Cat (Reader's Digest Association Books)
They can sense earthquakes!
Well, possibly. The pads of a cat's feet are very sensitive, and some cats behave strangely just before an earthquake hits. Though it's not a proven theory, some believe cats can detect vibrations of the earth through their foot pads.
They can swallow and digest their food without chewing it.
That's good news for famed internet cat Lil Bub, who was born without teeth.
They really are manipulative.
Cats can adapt their vocalizations to control your behavior. If they want food, they can make their cries sound more urgent.
They can dream!
Cats prefer to nap, but if they're relaxed enough to enter a deeper sleep, they produce the same brain wave patterns that we do when we dream.
They can't understand punishment as humans do.
They must be praised and rewarded for desired behavior instead.
We shake hands, they bump noses—sometimes.
Nose-to-nose greetings between cats are unusual, as it puts both in a vulnerable position. However, cats who know each other well feel safe enough to do this. It helps them confirm visual recognition and gain information about how the other cat is.
More weird cat behaviors explained »
Scientists still don't know exactly where purring comes from.
Some believe that it originates in the cardiovascular system rather than the throat.
When they purr, they're content—usually.
However, a deep purr can also indicate pain. If you know your cat well you will be able to tell the difference in his demeanor.
They can purr continually as they inhale and exhale.
They start doing so at one-week old.
Young cats purr in a monotone.
Older ones do so in two to three resonant notes.
They appear to retain their kitten vocal signals to communicate with their owners.
But they use a different repertoire of sounds with other cats.
They blink and narrow their eyes when they accidentally make eye contact.
To make friends with an unfamiliar cat, blink and look away when you catch his eyes.
Giving them a strip of raw meat everyday to chew on will keep their gums and teeth in good condition.
Suitable meats include poultry, rabbit, or beef that has been deboned.
They tolerate heat very well.
This is because the ancestors of cats were originally desert-living animals.
Their pulse is between 160-240 beats per minute, depending on their age.
The younger he is, the faster the heartbeat.
Photo by mtrichardson via Flickr
But they do so through their paws. If you see wet little footprints in the summer months, make sure to put out some fresh water.