If Our Pets Could Talk – December 2022

The October issue was about dog trivia,  and  this column  is  giving ‘equal  time’ to cats, regarding trivia information.

Cats are believed to be the only mammals who don’t taste sweetness.  Cats  have  473 taste buds on their  tongue.

Cats don’t see in black and white—but they are somewhat colorblind.  Cats see colors on a limited spectrum; research suggests that they are red-green colorblind, and mostly see the world in blues, greys, and yellows. However, they can see in one-sixth of the light that the average human requires to see clearly. Cats are nearsighted, but their peripheral vision and night vision are much better than that of humans.

Cats make about 100 different sounds while dogs make only about 10. A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.

House cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers.

Cats walk like camels and giraffes. Their walking sequence is both right feet first, followed by both left feet, so they move half of their body forward at once. Camels and giraffes are the only other animals to walk this way.

If you’ve watched your little kitty charging around the living room when they’re feeling lively you know that cats are pretty quick. They can hit speeds of around 30 mph. Cats can have a dominant front paw. Studies have shown that male cats tend to favor their left paw while female cats may have a dominant right paw.

The cat body: Cats have 32 muscles in each of their ears, allowing them to swivel their ears to home in on the exact source of the noise. Cats can move both ears separately and about 180 degrees around. Humans have 206 bones, cats on average have 244. A Cat’s spine is so flexible because it’s made up of 53 loosely fitting vertebrae while humans only have 34. A Cat’s jaw can’t move sideways. Adult cats have 30 teeth, while kittens have 26. Cats, as well as dogs, have their own unique print, much like a humans fingerprint.

When cats climb a tree, they can’t go back down it head first. This is because their claws are facing the same way, instead, they have to go back down  backward.

Contrary to public belief, adult cats shouldn’t be given milk as most are lactose intolerant. After a kitten is weaned, the lactase enzyme, which is used to break down lactose, which  starts to disappear. Giving your cat milk can cause an upset stomach , etc..

 30%-50% of cats lack the gene that makes them react to catnip.  If your cat does possess the gene, it will only come to  maturity  between 3-6 months of age;  a kitten any younger will show no signs, one way or the other. 

Known for their distinctive patterns, capped by M-shaped stripes on their foreheads, they’re instantly recognizable worldwide. Tabby is not a breed of cat, but a set of distinguishing characteristics that can appear in many different breeds and colors. All Tabbies have the same forehead markings.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, absolutely loved cats and would play with them for hours. Lincoln owned several cats during his time in the White House. He  kept three cats in the white house. After the civil war was over, Lincoln found 3 kittens whose mother had died and took them in as his own. 

In just 10 years one unsterilized  female cat could produce around 49,000 kittens. A  good  reason to support our local spay and neuter organizations. 

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: chapala.com

Jackie Kellum

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