t's not news to anyone that cats are strange creatures. The slinky felines have taken over our homes and our Internet memes. They spit up hairballs, poop in boxes, and sleep 16 hours a day. And somehow, these traits make them desirable pets.
Their everyday habits are bizarre enough, but there are some lesser known facts about cats that are sure to make you go, "Whaaaaa?" and give your kitty some serious side-eye. Ready to be surprised? Snuggle up with your cat and start scrolling.
Cats sweat through their paws.
Cats are, as you know, covered in fur (except for this guy!), so they don’t really have sweat glands. So when cats become overheated or frightened, they sweat through their paws. They can cool themselves off by panting (though that’s usually more stress-related) or licking their fur. If you see a bunch of little watery paw prints on the ground, follow them to the sweaty kitty!
Cats and umbrellas have a lot in common.
We’ve all heard that cats always land on their feet, right? And we’ve all thrown a cat out of a window to test this theory, right? Right?* Well, to a certain extent, it’s true. Cats have a righting reflex. When a cat begins falling, he will rotate his head until he’s facing right side up, then he’ll arch his back, position his legs under him and fall softly, spread out like an umbrella.
In fact, it has been found that cats that fall from greater heights (even more than five stories) generally suffer fewer injuries than those that fall from just a few floors up because they have a longer time to right themselves.***
*Don’t actually throw a cat out a window. Even if it lands on its feet, it will never forgive you.**
**No, I do not know this from personal experience.
***Again, do not test this theory.
A group of cats is called a "clowder."
Yep, a group of cats is called a “clowder.” And a group of cats from Maine that has an affinity for seafood is called a New England Clam Clowder.
(Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.)
Purring can heal their bones.
This may be the craziest fact of all, but it’s true. Yes, cats purr when they’re happy, when they’re relaxed, or even sometimes when they’re stressed.
But, and here’s where it gets insane, domestic cats purr at a frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz, which according to Live Science, “happens to be the frequency at which muscles and bones best grow and repair themselves.” That’s right — many believe that cats naturally evolved their purr over time as a healing and survival tactic. Biology is wild.
Cats can drink straight from the ocean.
If you get stranded on a desert island, you should not drink seawater. You will die. The good news is, if you get stranded on a desert island with a cat, you will still die, but that cat can lap up as much seawater as its little heart desires. Cats’ kidneys are much more efficient than ours and can filter out all that salt. Little buggers.