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15 Fascinating Cat Facts

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15 Fascinating Cat Facts

If you’re a bona fide cat lover, you are an ailurophile, and you will love this interesting collection of lesser-known feline facts. Enjoy!

  • The first kitty to get launched into space was a French kitty named Felicette. Felicette was blasted into outer space in 1963 and she thankfully survived the trip. Interestingly, the cat originally chosen for the expedition was named Felix and on his launch day he managed to escape (who can blame him?). Felix and Felicette were both commemorated in France on a postage stamp.
  • Cats have reportedly survived falls of over 65 feet thanks to their “righting reflex.” A cat’s eyes and special inner ear “guide” a falling cat in space so that it can twist, turn and land on all four feet. It is interesting to note that shorter falls can be more damaging to a cat as they may not have enough time to prepare for their landing.
  • Cat urine glows under a black light.

  • The word “tabby” likely comes from Attabiyah, a Baghdad neighborhood famed for silk weaving. The warm rich colors and the famous wavy patterns were thought to look like the cats that are now referred to as tabbies.
  • You are highly unlikely to ever see a house cat climb down a tree head-first. A cat’s claws all face the same direction and thus to get down a tree a cat must back down, tail first. The arboreal clouded leopard is one cat that does have the option to climb down trees head first in addition to climbing upside down along thick tree branches — thanks to their flexible joint ankles and specialized paw pads. To see the cute Tigger-like antics of two clouded leopard cubs from the San Diego Zoo click here.
  • Cats lack sweat glands, so the only way they can actually sweat is through their paws.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

189 comments

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1:19AM PST on Nov 14, 2014

Thank you!

6:27AM PDT on Sep 8, 2013

"Spithead???" Really Sir Isaac, you couldn't come up with a cuter, nicer name than that? No wonder the cat kept ruining his experiments!

10:06PM PDT on Aug 29, 2013

I never knew that about their noses! Thanks for the post!

8:33AM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

loved it!

9:26AM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

I am, too.

9:17AM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

Interesting.

12:47PM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

Thank you!!

8:45AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

1:34PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013

Thanks for the article :)

5:23PM PDT on Aug 11, 2013

Love this article!

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