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23 February 2024

10 weird and surprising facts about cats

Published

Cats are known for their unusual behavior and peculiarities. While many cat lovers think they know everything about their feline friends, there are still some weird and surprising facts about cats that many people don’t know. Here are the top 10 weirdest facts about cats.

1. Cats have a ‘sixth sense’
While this characteristic is not scientifically known as having a “sixth sense,” cats’ senses are more sensitive which gives them an amazing ability to sense vibrations and frequencies that humans cannot perceive. For example, they can detect subtle changes in the air, which allows them to sense approaching danger or even supposedly detect earthquakes before humans can.

2. Cats are ‘milk junkies’
Most cats love milk, but not all cats can digest it properly. The lactose in milk can cause digestive issues for some cats, so it’s best to give them milk in moderation.

3. Cats can see in the dark.
Cats have a layer of cells called the tapetum lucidum that reflects light back through the retina, allowing them to see in low-light conditions – the reason their eyes seem to glow in the dark.

4. Cats have retractable claws
Unlike dogs, cats have retractable claws that they can extend and retract at will. This allows them to climb trees and catch prey without damaging their claws.

5. Cats are excellent hunters
Cats are natural-born hunters, and their sharp senses and quick reflexes make them formidable predators. They can catch prey with incredible speed and agility and are known to be particularly effective at catching rodents.

6. Cats can’t taste sweet flavors
Unlike humans and many other animals, cats do not have taste buds that can detect sweet flavors. This is thought to be because their diet, which is high in protein, does not require them to have a sweet tooth. According to an NPR report, “one of the two genes necessary to make the sweetness receptor [in cats] got permanently switched off millions of years ago.”

7. Cats have a ‘kneading’ behavior
When cats knead with their paws, it’s a behavior that’s often associated with affection and contentment. This behavior is thought to be a holdover from when cats were kittens and kneaded their mother’s mammary glands to stimulate milk flow.

8. Cats can get ‘high’ from catnip
Catnip is a plant that contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which can trigger a response in cats that makes them feel euphoric and “high.” Not all cats are affected by catnip, but those that are can become very playful and even a little bit wild.

9. Cats have a ‘social’ language
Cats communicate with each other using a range of vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. They can convey a range of emotions and intentions, from affection and playfulness to aggression and fear.

10. Cats have a strong sense of smell
Cats have an incredible sense of smell that is about 14 times stronger than that of humans. They use their sense of smell to detect prey, identify other cats, and mark their territory.