13+ Things You Didn’t Know About Cats

Find out why your cat acts the way he does. And if your pooch is still a mystery to you, get the dog facts you didn't know.

Adapted from Essential Cat (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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    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.

    Like dogs, they can also get sick or die from eating chocolate.

    Check with your vet if you have any questions about what your cat should be eating.

    Plus, more hidden dangers for pets at home »

    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

    Cats sweat!

    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.


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    Your Comments

    • kai

      i do not belife that they could sense earthquake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^_^

      • Deborah Hale

        I had a cat who could sense thunderstorms up to half an hour before they actually hit – she’d race to my recliner and dive under it, and she wouldn’t come out until the storm was long gone. My area isn’t exactly prone to earthquakes but the only storms she’d react to were thunderstorms – never simple rainstorms minus the thunder.

    • Branwyn Raven

      i have 3 cats, 2 of them ‘kiss’ me this way. Chloë just a little hi and Little Guy gives me wet nosies and little bites on my nose – LOL if he’s upset about something, he sometimes bites too hard, but i don’t let him do that, so he’s learned not to. his brother did the same thing :}

    • mishy

      “They can’t understand punishment”
      I call Bull.

      My roommate has a cat and we do not allow it in the kitchen. Whenever she goes in the kitchen we say her name very loudly and sternly and pat her on the butt firmly. Whenever she goes in the kitchen and we start walking towards her she knows and runs out.

    • Kyle

      Awww… my cat always comes up to me and bumps my nose… i thought it was smelling my breath or something but after it did it so much i knew it had to be something else

    • Ann M

      Very interesting. I had no idea that cats actually sweat. I will be on the lookout for wet paw prints.

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    • mike

      My cat loves those re-usable bags, and grocery sacks. I rescued her as a baby and she is about 1 1/2 yo. She plays pretty rough sometimes, but she is so funny to watch. She like to tease my neighbors little dogs

    • Jazwela Kraem


    • no way am I putting in my name

      I think that cats are better than dogs but another science thing says dogs are better than cats scientificly but I still like cats better

    • Marie217

      Hello, I am a cat lover, I have two and they are about 10 years old. Found them as stray kittens and took them in. One of my cats was a dog in his other life. He does certain tricks and follows me constantly. The other is not just a lap-cat. If she has the opportunity, she will perch anywhere on your body that she can. If I’m on my side she especially enjoys laying on my hip. They are the best companions ever. Wouldn’t want to be without them. Take care everyone.