Domesticated cats have ruled households globally for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest evidence of cat ownership dates back over two thousand years, before the pharaohs ruled Egypt.
We all know felines are masters at catching mice, sleeping, and rolling in catnip, but our furry friends are more intriguing than one may think. Let’s explore a few thought-provoking facts about Felis silvestris catus, the modern-day house cat.
Gold Medal Speed! An average house cat can run faster than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt: while the fastest man on Earth can achieve speeds as high as 28 miles per hour, a cat can run 30+ miles per hour.
Calling Dibs. When a cat rubs up against a human, it’s because they’re marking their territory. The scent left behind through glands in their cheeks tells other cats that this human has been claimed.
Carnivore Life Skills. Outdoor cats that bring home small dead animals are trying to teach their humans a lesson. While it’s a common belief that these 'treats' are a gift, many scientists believe this is the cat’s way of emphasizing their owner’s lack of hunting skills.
Instant Partnership. Unlike domesticated dogs, modern day house cats originally domesticated themselves. About 9,000 years ago, when humans began methodically farming grains and livestock, cats took to spending time closer to humans and catching mice that got into grain stores. Their elite hunting skills made cats an invaluable pest control solution for farmers.
Beauty Sleep is Hard Work. Cats spend approximately 70% of their entire life sleeping. They will sleep during the night or day, and will snooze in just about any spot they can fit into – for many, the smaller the space, the better! YouTube is packed with videos of cats sleeping in hilarious and curious positions.
Highlight-Reel Athleticism. Cats are extremely agile and can survive falls from extreme heights. There are cats on record that have survived falls from as high as 32 stories, or 320 meters. Much of this can be attributed to their excellent balance and body control, ensuring they land safely on their impact-absorbing legs.
Better Health. Owning a cat is associated with a decreased risk for heart attack and stroke. In fact, the risk in cat owners is decreased by one third! Cat owners experience lower levels of anxiety and stress, which in turn lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Cats are unique in ways other house pets are not: they have adapted perfectly to domesticated environments for millennia without losing their apex predator instincts and abilities. They are both social and independent animals with physical skill sets all but unmatched in nature.
And they also make excellent snuggle buddies.
Brandon Forder – also known as The Pet Expert – is Vice President of Canadian Pet Connection, a family-owned and -operated business located in Meaford. He has over twenty years’ experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour and lifestyle. Canadian Pet Connection is an industry leader committed to providing their clients with the highest levels of personal, attentive service. Learn more at CanadianPetConnection.com.