Cats are mysterious creatures. There’s plenty of folklore from all over the world that connects our furry friends to magic, witchcraft, and superstition. And even if you’ve been a cat owner all your life, you might see your cat do things that leave you scratching your head and wondering if maybe they are a little mystical.
Well, we can’t promise that you’ve got a Professor McGonagall ( professor from Harry Potter ) on your hands, but we can crack the code on some other mysteries that surround felines. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about cats!
Cat Facts You Never Knew
Cats don’t have a sweet tooth
It’s not just that Fluffy doesn’t enjoy sweet foods. They literally can’t taste them.
Thanks to a genetic defect, cats don’t have the gene that allows them to taste sweet things.
But while they don’t like sugar, they do love meat. In fact, it’s about all that wild cats eat. While undomesticated dogs will eat other things like plants, cats really only ever want meat. Unfortunately, most manufactured cat food has lots of the stuff that cats don’t like or don’t want, including sugar, corn and wheat. This might explain why your cat is such a picky eater.
Your cat is probably manipulating you
We’re sorry to be the ones to break the news to you. You may have suspected that your cat was the one controlling you, and not the other way around, and science has finally confirmed it.
As you may know, cats don’t usually meow to other cats; that’s their way of communicating with people, not other adult cats. And they’re smart enough to know what kind of meow is annoying and hard to ignore for humans. You know the one—it’s high-pitched, loud, and frankly pretty irritating.
And, unsurprisingly, it means they want food.
But you can’t stay mad at your cat for too long for their manipulative behavior. They’re just too cute!
Some cats like water—even swimming!
There’s plenty of tropes and old wives’ tales about how much cats hate water—and of course, there’s thousands of funny cat videos to document how much some felines tend to hate the bath. There’s lots of guesses as to why cats tend to stay away from swimming, including how annoying it is to take care of a thick, wet coat of hair and the fact that many cats originated in arid climates without large bodies of water. Plus, they don’t need humans to bathe them; they’re fully capable of keeping themselves clean.
But the fact is, some cats actually love water! The breeds that are most known for loving H20 are:
- Maine Coon
- Turkish Angora
- Japanese Bobtail
- American Bobtail
- Manx Cat
- Norwegian Shorthair
- American Shorthair
And while many cats don’t like swimming, they still love running water. You might notice Fluffy playing with the sink when you leave the tap on; this might be because they’re instincts attract them to running water. In the wild, running water is safer to drink than still water because it probably has less bacteria in it. But it also might just be because running water is fun to play with!
So if your cat ever climbs in the bath with you, they’re not bad at being a cat, they’re just jealous.
Cats spend most of their time asleep
Do you ever leave for work, jealous of your furry friend who’s all curled up in their soft bed, fast asleep? And then later that night, when you get back home, you find your cat still snoozing?
Your feline spends almost 70% of its life sleeping—up to 15 hours a day! That’s why there’s no need to be concerned if your kitty spends all day lazing around (but we do give you permission to be jealous)—it’s normal.
It’s actually an evolutionary habit that helped wild cats conserve their energy while they waited to hunt some prey. Because cats chase their prey, they need all the energy they can get when it comes time to eat. Over time, they learned to spend most of the day napping so that they are all fueled up for the hunt.
Because your fur child spends so much of their time snoozing, it’s important that they have a cozy place to do so. Pick a bed that’s soft and machine washable, or a cat tree that offers multiple nap spots. If your cat spends so much time in bed, it should be a good one!
Scratching isn’t naughty—it's necessary
We’re not saying you should be happy that your cat just scratched up the arm of your brand-new couch. But, unfortunately for your furniture, scratching is an absolute necessity for cats. It’s how they file their nails and keep them becoming too long or thick. It’s also how cats mark their territory, because they have scent glands in their paws.
While it’s frustrating to have your furniture scratched up, you should never, ever declaw your cat. That would be like cutting off the tips of their fingers. It's even illegal in some countries.
Instead of declawing, buy your cat a scratching post that doubles as a bed and a toy! It will keep them entertained, happy, and healthy. And it will keep your couch intact.
(Cat) Knowledge is Power
Now that you’re a smarter cat owner, make sure to use your knowledge to make your feline friend a happier kitty. Don’t buy sweet foods for your cat, and make sure not to get too made the next time they scratch up your couch. Instead, buy them a Mau cat tree that triples as a bed, toy, and scratching post! Give Fluffy a place to nap for 15 hours a day as well as a nail file that won’t ruin your aesthetic.