February 17th is a National Cat Day in Poland, although for us, here at myKotty, celebration is on the entire month! How could we not celebrate, together with our dear fabCats, the wonderful life of a cat: their attitude, purring, the soft fur, pink noses, toe beans… the list goes on and on. It’s also no secret that everyone dreams, at least once a week, to switch places with a cat and lay in the sun while someone else works to pay off our bills and debts :) Cats are full of little peculiar customs and quirky features which make them so perfect. Today we’re going through some of them. Enjoy our list of top 5 cat tidbits for the Cat Day!
Cat rituals: I can sleep through ⅔ of the day
Napping all day? For a cat it’s not a dream, it’s reality which most of us can only be envious of. Cats can spend up to ⅔ of the day napping, sleeping for about 16 hours a day. It’s not a full-on, deep sleep, however: as natural born hunters, but also prey, cats stay aware for most of the time and when they sleep, they know exactly what’s going on around them. For that reason, they can sleep somewhere high up or by the window - basking in the sun, with birds, insects and traffic as their cat tv, it sounds like a perfect nap.
What do cats do in between their naps? You probably know, dear fabCats, about the hunting cycle that starts with playing (or hunting) and ends with a snack, grooming and sleep. While the playtime and hunting is rather short (cats are made for speed, not distance), the grooming ritual can take up to ⅓ of the time they have left between naps. They’re really clean creatures!
100 different ways of communication
Did you know that your cats can make up to a 100 different sounds and, apart from their kitten days, most of them are directed to hoomans, not other cats? According to the experts, who have been observing and documenting cat (and dog) behaviour, while cats can make so many different sounds, for dogs it’s only around 10.
Best example? Meowing. Not all cats meow and not all of them use the same sounds of meowing to communicate they’re hungry, bored, annoyed, in pain or just in need of talking to their Hooman. Among cats there are both the typical quiet ones, who use their voice only in emergencies, and the talkative ones, who will answer any question and let you know, in their own way, what they want. We also know cats whose “meowing” sounds more like a quiet, whispering “haa”, as if they wanted to blow some air on you. At first you might even get scared your cat has lost his voice!
The halloween cat: third eyelid and glow-in-the-dark eyes
If you have a cat at home, you’ve probably seen him sleeping in a “zombie mode” at least once in your life. Their eyes seem to be open, but instead of the pretty pupils there’s a white veil. A sight like that is nothing other than the third eyelid which protects the eye from drying up. A half-shut, visible third eyelid might be a sign of an illness or eye problems, which you should consult with your veterinarian. It doesn’t always have to be a problem, though - if it happens to a cat who’s sleeping, it’s usually a sign that they’ve woken up for a bit and fell asleep again, forgetting to close their eyelids again :)
A bonus tidbit about cat eyes, equally as intriguing, is the glow-in-the-dark effect. Tampetum lucidum is a special membrane inside a cat's eyes responsible for allowing cats to see well in low lighting, up to 8 times better than humans can! The membrane is like a set of tiny mirrors which reflect the light and make it go through the retina again to strengthen the picture seen even if the lighting is bad. It doesn’t mean your cat can see in complete darkness, but they will do perfectly well during dask and dawn.
Cat’s perfect hearing abilities
Can cats ignore their Hooman’s calling? Of course they can. Not everything is worth getting up from a sweet nap inside the MIA cathouse! It doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that they can’t hear you - their ears are working constantly and thanks to 32 muscles controlling the ears, they can move each one separately and turn it 180 degrees! For comparison, human ears are controlled only by 6 muscles and most of us can’t use them consciously. Don’t be surprised if your cat comes running from the bedroom on the sound of you opening a can of tuna or cutting a chicken breast on the cutting board - we’re sure their ears (and all radars) were set to the right direction this whole time.
How do cats decide which Carer is the hooman?
The last, but certainly not least, element of our cat facts list is the cat’s need to rub against our legs. Fluffers can show their trust and friendship or ask for cuddles and treats that way, but from their perspective each stroke against your legs is a way of marking their hooman and territory.
Around their cheeks and whiskers, cats have many scent glands by which they mark their territory to know exactly where they are and where they can feel safe and secure. There’s no magic, no catnip effect of favouritism. If you belong to the cat world and your furry friend trusts you completely, sooner or later they will start their ritual of rubbing against your legs. We just take it as the best sign of cat affection.
We hope, dear fabCats, that you have found out some interesting facts and tidbits about your cats today - we certainly did so. It’s wonderful how these tiny, furry creatures were able to adapt themselves to living both in the wild and at home and, after all those years, they still have some wild cat nature deep down inside them. If you know more crazy cat facts, the comments section is open for you!
Ps. On Thursday the fun continues - on our Facebook page we will be growing this list with some additional, purrfect kitty facts.