Cats are unique creatures that humans began incorporating into their daily lives when they started transitioning from nomadic hunter-gatherers to more stationary farmers, prompting the development of ancient civilizations replete with burgeoning food supplies in need of guarding. Since then, they’ve featured prominently in history by morphing from tolerated sources of pest control to companion animals while attaining revered status in different parts of the world.
Here are 5 interesting facts about domestic cats that you probably never knew.
• For starters, did you know that cats have 230 bones in their bodies, which is a whopping 24 more bones than human beings? It’s true. Like nearly all mammals, cats have seven cervical vertebrae, thirteen thoracic vertebrae (humans have twelve), seven lumbar (humans have five), three sacral (humans have five because of their bipedal posture), and, with the exception of shorter-tailed cats, they have twenty-two or twenty-three caudal vertebrae (humans have three to five, fused into an internal coccyx).
• Cats can sometimes be seen staring with their mouths agape. The reason is that they have an extra organ that tastes scents in the air. It’s known as Jacobson’s organ, and it’s located on the roof of the mouth. It’s believed that creatures with this organ use it to “taste-smell” the aromas they encounter, like food and pheromones.
• Cats have rough tongues, which can clean all the meat off a bone if given the opportunity. Of course, it’s not a good idea to give bones to your pets due to the chance of splintering, so don’t get any crazy ideas about testing this one out. If you’ve ever looked at a cat’s tongue closely, though, you can begin to understand how they might be able to pull this trick off.
• Speaking of a cat’s tongue, it’s believed that the act of grooming themselves actually helps cats to relax while stimulating their blood flow and regulating their body temperature. That’s one handy dandy attribute. On the flip side, this same action is responsible for the need to occasionally hack up fur balls so vile in appearance that we’ll just skip the description.
• Cats use their whiskers to navigate through the world. It’s true. They use their whiskers to gauge whether they can fit in small spaces because their whiskers are generally the same width as their body. This is why you should never cut or trim your cat’s whiskers. They are there for more than show.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →