- From "The Encyclopedia Britannica".
All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families. All cats share certain characteristics that are unique to the cat family. Cats are pure carnivores. They need a high level of protein in their diets - around 30% - and lack the digestive equipment to do well on a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables. In fact, if you were to design a creature to live from hunting mammals you would have trouble doing better than the design of the cat. If you know cats at all, you know that they have powerful jaws, long, sharp teeth, and claws that draw back into their paws when not in use. Cats hear extremely well. Their eyes are adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and just after dusk, the prime hunting periods.
- Don't be alarmed when your cats bring you gifts of birds, mice or other wild critters. This is a natural part of their gift ritual, and they do it to please you.
- Cats purr to communicate.
- Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
- Cats have true fur, in that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.
- Contrary to popular belief, the cat is a social animal. A pet cat will respond and answer to speech , and seems to enjoy human companionship.
- If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using neutering and spaying is so important.
- Kittens are born with both eyes and ears closed. When the eyes open, they are always blue at first. They change color over a period of months to the final eye color.
- When well treated, a cat can live twenty or more years.
- Cats live 14 to 20 years, some 30.
- Cats beat dogs for the #1 spot as the most popular pet in the United States.
- Dogs and cats are color-blind.
- If you sneeze whenever you're around cats, chances are it's not the cat hair that sets you off, but the saliva that remains on their fur.
- Aspirin is poisonous to cats.
- A smooth, shiny coat is the sign of a healthy cat.
- Cat saliva contains a detergent that keeps their fur clean.
- Dogs and cats that are not around people before they reach the age of three months seldom turn out to be good pets.
Cat Facts Page 2
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