15 Facts About Cats You Didn’t Know.
A cat is a beloved pet and an eternal companion of people. Cats give us love and affection, brightens up loneliness and makes us happy with funny actions.
Everyone is accustomed to its feline wayward character and a kind of loyalty. It seems that we know everything about them - after all, we have heard stories about domestic cats many times, we can easily predict the behavior of our cats, as well as read books and watched films about wild lions and tigers, however, this is not the case - there are many interesting facts about cats and felines that you may not have known about before. And today we have prepared a selection of such facts for you.
- Jaguarundi - a cat that eats fruits, makes friends with monkeys and chirps. Jaguarundi is a representative of the feline family who breaks stereotypes. Man tried to domesticate this cat, but the animal's hunting instincts were stronger. Jaguarundis live in dense woodland near water bodies, and their favorite treats are fruits, fish and birds. They are happy to attack fruit orchards together with monkeys, and also swim in the water for hours, hunting fish. In order to attract another prey - birds - to the ambush, jaguarundis have learned to make sounds resembling chirping.
- White fur of Thai cats irreversibly turns black from cold. Thai cats are the ancestors of Siamese cats. This incredibly beautiful and energetic animal was considered sacred and for a long time lived exclusively in the temples and royal palaces of Thailand (Siam). In addition to the delightful blue eyes, these animals had another highlight - thick snow-white fur, which turns black under the influence of cold. The reason for this reincarnation has nothing to do with a miracle. The hormone melanin is responsible for the color of hair and skin in the body of mammals, in most animals it is produced in a certain amount evenly throughout life. However, Thai cats have a certain "malfunction" in the system of the production of this hormone. Their skin almost does not produce it in the warmth, but at low temperatures the production of this hormone increases. The resulting dark color remains forever and does not lighten back.
- A unique gene breakdown turns a cat into a "sheep". Rex is not a dog's name at all, but a common name for unique breeds, whose representatives differ in sheep's curly hair. The cute, soft curls are the result of a Rex mutation that breaks the straightness gene, which can curl not only the fur, but also the mustache and eyebrows. Such a natural, random mutation hit the spot so much that breeders fixed it by creating several breeds: the German Rex has short fur, the Czech one has long hairs. There are also Ural Rexes, bred from an ordinary yard cat.
- Sumatran cat steals sweet potatoes from people. At first glance, Sumatran cats are unremarkable - camouflage color, small size. But the eyes ... They are so huge, penetrating to the depths of the soul that the character from the cartoon about Shrek is immediately remembered. However, Sumatran cats are known not so much for their big eyes as for their incredible love for sweet potatoes. They often visit the plantations, leaving pitted, empty beds behind. Sweet potatoes and the inhabitants of the reservoirs are the most favorite diet of the Sumatrans.
- Feline parasites make people better businessmen. What is toxoplasmosis? Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by unicellular parasites. More than a quarter of the world's population is infected with them. Most often, the parasite enters the body after a person touches cat feces. Protozoa also live in rodent organisms. It has been noticed that infected rodents behave atypically. They go towards the cat boldly, and do not run away from it. Further studies have drawn parallel with a person's ability to take risks. As a result of an experiment in which 1,500 students participated, it was revealed that people infected with toxoplasmosis are 1.4 times more likely to open their own business, are more likely to take risks, and therefore achieve greater success.
- Ancient lions peacefully coexisted with penguins More than 300 thousand years ago it was so. American lions were widespread. So these unusual neighbors lived on the territory of the South American continent. In the southernmost part of it, huge four hundred kilogram predators peacefully coexisted with clumsy and funny penguins. Of course, now it is difficult to see this with your own eyes, although there are stories from polar explorers about giant powerful cats that are found in extreme weather conditions of the Far North and South. These animals are little studied, but they do not cause much surprise among biologists.
- Pampas cat - a cat with a displeased face, living at an altitude of over 5 km. Why is this animal so unhappy? And the reason for indignation is serious - because of the beautiful wool this animal was hunted until the 70s of the last century. Perhaps that is why the animal climbed high into the mountains. It is distinguished by its secrecy, so it is not easy to spot the Pampas cat.
- Manul (Pallas’s cat): a cat that cannot be tamed, even if you are a professional. Man was able to tame a powerful lion and a formidable tiger. Pallas' cat is significantly inferior to these animals both in size and strength. But today in all the zoos of the world there are barely 50 of these truly wild cats. Even if you raise a Pallas cat from birth, it will not become attached to a person and at the first opportunity will disappear somewhere far away. These animals are real loners. Each has its own territory. The favorite habitat of Pallas' cat is the mountain steppes. They spend most of their lives on the hills, and only come together to mate once a year.
- Instincts make domestic cats drop Christmas trees. For some people Christmas means a family dinner, for others it’s going to church, for some it’s gifts. Owners of furry pets have another traditional fun - rescuing a fallen tree from cats. The tree, covered with lights, tinsel and toys, attracts the cat's attention and awakens his natural instinct. The fact is that tree climbing is a common thing for cats. And even the most educated cat will take the chance at the first opportunity.
- If a cat is “chirping” in a funny way and bangs its teeth - most likely it is swearing. Surely you have heard with surprise the funny sounds that a fluffy pet utters at the sight of prey that is inaccessible to it. Some experts compare these sounds with ... swearing. Yes, cats can swear when they are desperate from the insolence of sparrows or other animals outside the window, which they can not attack. Usually this behavior occurs when there is an insurmountable obstacle between potential prey - for example, glass or large distance.
- Dune cat - the smallest feline in the world. This cute and miniature animal weighs only 2.5-3 kg. Its length does not exceed 90 cm, and only 60% is a cat’s body, and the rest is the tail. A charming fluffy feline looks harmless only externally. It is endowed with extraordinary natural instincts that help it survive in extreme conditions. The dune cat lives in desert places: the Sahara, Pakistan, Iran, the vastness of the Arabian Peninsula. To prevent the paws from walking on the hot sand, thick wool grows on them. Only with the help of its claws the red fluffy cat can dig holes up to 1.5 meters deep. The animal is able to do without water for a long time; it gets enough liquid, which is contained in the prey.
- Munchkin - a breed of cats with short legs, which were not specially bred. Funny short-legged cats have become one of the most beloved animals. Unlike other breeds, this one was not artificially bred. The short legs are the result of genetic mutation. One woman picked up an unusual cat on the street, and later presented her kittens at an exhibition, and then the fashion for cat-dachshunds came. Despite the violation of the gene responsible for the length of the paws, the representatives of this breed are distinguished by excellent health. The only feature is that due to their short paws, such cats cannot run very quickly or jump on trees deftly. The name of the Munchkin breed came from "The Wizard of Oz". In the book, this was the name of the magical little people.
- "Craziness" of cats from the smell of catnip in the past helped them protect themselves from insects. Catnip is a plant that drives both domestic and wild cats crazy. It was noticed that the effect does not occur through the sense of smell, but through the opioid receptors with the help of a pheromone - nepetalactone - a substance known for repelling insects. Studies have shown that cats that have come into contact with catnip have half the number of insects, so the incredible love for this plant is due to the natural mechanism of fighting mosquitoes, fleas and other parasites.
- Research has shown that cats love to sit not only in real, but also in imaginary boxes. You have probably noticed how much your cat loves to sit in a cardboard box. If there is a box on the floor, the cat will definitely be inside it. Scientists still cannot explain exactly why the animal loves to be inside empty packaging. Perhaps the cramped space gives the feeling of comfort and security. However, it was noticed that cats prefer to be even in imitation boxes. If you put a sheet of paper on the floor or mark a rectangle with lines, there is a high probability that this is the place that will attract the cat. An experiment was carried out in which 500 cats took part. Such an attachment to rectangles manifested itself in each of them.
- In Belgium they tried to make postmen from domestic cats.
People have cats not only as companions. Skillful mouse catchers were often hired and even got paid. For example, in the late 60s of the 19th century, three cats worked in the post office in London. Belgium decided to adopt the experience of their London colleagues and go further, using cats as postmen. An experiment was conducted in which nearly 40 cats participated. A waterproof bag with correspondence was hanged on each cat and it was released into a field far outside the city. The first cat came to the indicated address after 5 hours, while it took more than a day for the rest of the cats. Despite the fact that the experiment was successful - all the cats made it to their destination, the Belgian postal workers refused to develop this topic further. Cats could not replace human labor.