This is a guest post by Daniel Richardson.
The everyday domestic cat is anything but everyday and domestic when you scratch beneath the surface of their history. Their demise was instrumental in the spread of the black plague in Europe and their relationship with the Egyptians has left a mark on history. Cats have held special places in cultures throughout the world for centuries, and deservedly so, there are hundreds of fascinating facts about them, nine of which we list below courtesy of tuxedo-cat.co.uk:
1. Domestic cats have the largest eyes to body ratio of any animal in the world. This is due to the way in which cats eyes are structured, rather than being circular like a human eye they are elliptical which allows them to narrow and grow wider when they need to let more light in such as during the night. In fact, cats can see quite happily with 8 times less light than humans need to see by!
2. 300,000 mummified cats were found in a temple dedicated to Bastet (an Egyptian feline-human god) in the ruined city of Bubastis which is close to the modern-day city of Zagaziz. Many of these cats were buried with their owners.
3. It is a little-known fact that the Vikings loved cats almost as much as the Egyptians did. It was common for Vikings to give cats as good luck wedding gifts.
4. Owning a cat decreases your risk of heart disease. Yes, it’s true! Having a cat helps calm you down, and reduces stress in your life.
5. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant. Kittens drink milk but as they grow, their bodies undergo changes and their digestive systems are no longer able to deal with the lactose.
Giving an adult cat milk will lead to loose stools and sickness so don’t do it!
6. One of the oldest videos in the world features two cats boxing (shown below), this was filmed way back in 1894, only 6 years after the world’s first video had been filmed. Cats haven’t looked back since this moment and have gone on to dominate the world via YouTube!
7. Cats falling from 6 storeys or less are less likely to survive than cats falling from over 6 storeys. This is because they have more time to adjust their bodies and in longer falls they relax more, whereas in shorted falls they are more likely to tense up and thus the impact of the landing will do far greater damage to their bodies.
Cat righting reflex
8. A 15 years old domestic cat will have slept for as long as 10 years of its life! It wasn’t always like that though, back when cats had to hunt for their own food on a daily basis, they would sleep for as little as 5 hours a day or less if necessary, but modern life means there is no urgent need for them to do much other than sleep!
Have you ever tried drinking salt water? Don’t! It will make you very sick. However, not many people know that cats can drink salt water. This is because cats originate from the deserts so have developed the ability to handle high salt intake. It is also possible for cats that hunt for their food to survive exclusively on the moisture in their prey!
References (Click to Show)