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7 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Cats

Whether it’s their heart-warming purrs or fluffy coats, cats are one of America’s most beloved animals—and while easily adored, cats are also known as one of the more mysterious and interesting pets to own! Check out these seven unique facts that will shock even the most dedicated cat lover and help you better understand your favorite feline friend. 

 1. A house cat can reach speeds of up to 30mph.

cat laying on couch

Out-sprinting the world’s fastest human (27mph), the average healthy house cat can bolt at an impressive speed of 30 miles per hour. In the wild, small cats rely on intense hunting instincts such as speed and cunning to catch their prey. These powerful traits have been passed down to our dearest domestic cats, giving them the ability to move quickly and swiftly. 

2. Cats can’t taste sweets.

Felines lack the taste buds for sweetness because one of the two genes necessary to make the sweetness receptor got permanently switched off millions of years ago. Most mammals have five different receptors—salty, bitter, sour, savory, and sweet. Unfortunately for cats, a chance mutation appears to have broken one of these genes, enabling their brains to recognize sweet tastes. 

3. Cats have a detached collarbone.

Ever wondered how cats are able to fit in such small spaces? Cats actually have a free-floating collarbone, which allows them to squeeze through the tightest of places. Unlike humans, their clavicle is buried in the shoulder region muscles and doesn’t connect with other bones. 

4. Cats have better peripheral vision than humans.

Cats are known to be nearsighted, and while their vision is blurrier than humans, felines actually have a wider field of vision. A human’s field of vision is about 180 degrees while a cat’s is about 200 degrees. Because of their wider field of vision, cats have better peripheral vision and are actually stronger at picking up subtle movements and changes in light. 

5. They sweat through their paws.

It’s true—cats sweat through their paws. Like dogs, cats have sweat glands located in each of their paw pads. That’s why if your cat is overheated or frightened, you may notice a trail of wet paw prints. However, because their paws have too small of an area to do a lot of cooling, cats have developed different strategies for coping with heat such as grooming or drinking water.

6. Cats have 3 eyelids. 

Believe it or not, cats have a third eyelid called the nictitating membrane. It is located in the corner of their eyes, towards the center of their face. While it exists, the third eyelid is retractable and usually not visible. What is its purpose? The nictitating membrane helps protect the cat’s large cornea from injury to the eye. 

7. Cats can jump six times their own height.

If you’re familiar with cats, you aren’t surprised at their ability to jump to great heights. When cats are preparing to leap, they usually begin in a crouching position which allows their strong back legs to send them up and forward, gaining about 8 feet or 2.4 meters of air. However, not all cats enjoy jumping. In fact, some felines are happier with all four paws on the ground. 

Are You “Team Cat” Yet? 

As proven, cats are some of the most interesting animals. If you have a question about your feline friend or are thinking about adopting one and want to learn more about caring for a cat, contact our specialists today and they’ll be happy to help!

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