Cat Trivia

Did you know...?

Cats are America's most popular pet, with more than 63 million kept as pets, compared to 57 million dogs.

Americans spend more on cat food than baby food -- over $3 billion a year.

A "kindle" is a bunch of kittens, while a "clowder" is a crowd of cats.

Back in 1947, a Michigan woman stopped by a sawdust factory to replace the sand in her cat's litter box, which had frozen over in the cold. Instead, the owner's son, Edward Lowe, offered her kiln-dried clay used for soaking up grease spots -- and thus Kitty Litter was born.

After experimenting with many different kinds of animals (including the hyena), the ancient Egyptians finally settled on cats as their only ally in the war against grain-eating rodents. They also trained cats to hunt wild birds along the Nile and even to fish for their masters!

The cats of ancient Egypt were clearly depicted in sculpture, papyrus drawings, paintings and tomb frescoes. Regarded as symbols of wisdom, they were never shown in a sleeping position.

The Romans were slow to appreciate the utility of cats as mousers. In fact, the Roman world regarded the cat as a symbol of liberty before they perceived its practical value as a mouser.

Cats sleep, on average, a whopping 16 hours per 24-hour day! This is about twice the snooze time that the average human needs per day!

At 2 litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter, with a 10-year breeding life, 2 uncontrolled breeding cats can produce 80,399,780 kittens!

The record for the most kittens ever born to one cat was more than 420 in a life-span of 18 years!

The longest distance ever traveled by a cat was 1,500 miles! The poor kitty tracked its former human family all the way from California to Oklahoma!

To defeat the Egyptians in war in ancient times, Persian warriors strapped cats to their shields! The Egyptian warriors were so afraid of killing a precious cat that they wouldn't even fight!

Cat's Age vs. Human Age (in years)

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Ancient Egyptians worshipped their cats and prohibited their exportation. The cult of the cat was so important that special envoys were sent to other parts of the then-known world to find, buy, and repatriate any cats that had been spirited out of the country.

The first major official cat show took place at London's Crystal Palace in 1871. The show was the first time a Siamese, Mrs. Poodles, was ever exhibited in England. In 1895, the first major show in the U.S. was held at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In 1602, the Japanese government set all adult cats free and prohibited buying, selling, or even making gifts of them.

Ceramic cat statues, ancient cousins of the scarecrow, were once used in Asia to frighten away mice. Small oil lamps were lit behind the statues' hollow eyes so that rodents would think the cats were real.

In ancient China, cats were looked upon as living assistants to the Hearth God, the protector of the home. The older the cat, the higher it was held in esteem.

Ancient Egyptians believed that cats' eyes glowed at night because they harbored the reflection of the sun long after it was hidden from man. The Egyptian sun god, Ra, who fought the malevolent powers of darkness, was depicted in the form of a cat.

A cat spends about 1/3 of its day grooming itself. For a human, that would be 3 hours of primping a day.

The oldest cat ever lived to be 36 years old! The average life-span of a cat is around 10 to 12 years.

The Egyptians believed that cats, which have exceptionally good visual powers, were also "seers" in the occult sense. Their eyes were also believed to tell time: cat's eyes shone more brightly at full moon and grew dimmer at its wane.

During the Middle Ages, tricksters and witches were thought to use the form of a cat to wander unnoticed around the countryside.

When a cat died in ancient Egypt, the head of the household shaved off an eyebrow. The period of mourning wasn't over until the hair grew back.

In Greek mythology, the sun god Apollo created the lion to frighten his sister Artemis, goddess of the moon. To get back at him, she created her own small cat -- and the rest is history.

For more than 120 years, cats have served as government employees in post offices throughout Great Britain. Their job is to protect sacks of mail from rats and mice.

Towser, a female tortoiseshell owned by Glenturret Distillery in Scotland, holds the record as the champion mouser of all time. She is reported to have killed 28,899 mice in her lifetime, an average of three mice a day.

There is a legend that many little kittens were thrown into a river to drown. The mother cat wept and was so distraught that the willows on the bank felt compassion and held out their branches to the struggling kittens. The little kittens clung to them and were saved. Ever since that time, each Spring, the willow wears grey buds that feel as soft and silky as the coats of little kittens. Thus, these trees were called "pussy willows."

The oldest known female cat was Ma, from Devon, who was 34 when she died in 1957.

Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the product of a lioness and a monkey -- the lioness endowing her offspring with dignity and the monkey, with curiosity and playfulness.

The richest cat ever inherited $250,000 when his wealthy owner passed away. Rich kitty!

Around 450 BC, anyone who killed a cat in Egypt was punished by death. It was also customary in Ancient Egypt, in the case of fire, to save the domestic cat before any attempt was made to put out the flames. When a cat died, the whole family would shave off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.

The largest recorded cat in Britain was a male called Poppa who died in 1985 weighing 44 pounds. He lived in Wales and his average daily food intake consisted of one and a half tins of cat food, one tin of evaporated milk, two handfuls of cat biscuits, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, gravy and homemade sponge cake.

John F. Kennedy was aided by a feline during his time at the White House. Tom Kitten, as he was known, belonged to Caroline Kennedy, the President's daughter, and was the first White House cat since Teddy Roosevelt's Slippers. Tom Kitten died on August 21, 1962.

Jimmy Carter's Presidential feline friend was Misty Malarky Ying Yang, a male Siamese, pet cat of his daughter, Amy Carter.

Born in 1809, Abraham Lincoln came to Presidential Office accompanied by Tabby, a cat belonging to his son, Tad Lincoln.

The largest litter in the UK belonged to Burmese female Tara who, in 1970, gave birth to nineteen kittens.

Margate was a black kitten that turned up on the doorstep of No. 10 Downing Street and was taken in on October 10, 1953, the day of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's speech to the Conservatives at Margate.

In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.

Winston Churchill, former war correspondent in the First World War and Prime Minister of Great Britain, owned a cat named Jock who attended many war-time Cabinet meetings. Rumour has it that meals in the Churchill household did not commence until ginger tabby Jock was present at the table.

According to legend, the "M" marking on the forehead of the tabby cat was created by the prophet Mahomet as he rested his hand lightly on the brow of his favourite cat.
According to the Koran, the cat is the essence of purity.

A cat hospital was built in Bab-el-Nasz, and it was considered a blessing to bring food to the paitents. It was unlawful to chase cats from mosques.

One of the holiest cats in history was Meuzza, which belonged to Mohammed. According to legend, the prophet was called to prayer one day. The cat was asleep on his arm and, rather than wake it, Mohammed cut the sleeve from his robe and set it down with the dozing cat. The blessed cat resides in Paradise.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius owned a cat and always kept it by his side. He apparently believed that the cat was sent from heaven to serve as a conduit for devine wisdom.

When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the middle of your palm, and make a wish. The wish will come true.

At one time, people believed that fur and blood drawn from various parts of the cat's anatomy cured all ailments.

If you kick a cat, you can develop rheumatism in that leg.

In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any animal.

Some people believed that if a cat washes its face and paws in the parlor (the living room), company's coming.

A cat has 9 lives. For 3 he plays, for 3 he strays, and for the last 3 he stays.

Cats respond most readily to names that end with an "ee" sound.

The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled since 1930 - from 8 to 16 years.

Did you know that in 1914 Kellogs Toasted Corn Flakes had a cat that appeared in their advertising? The cat, named Crinkle, was a gray cat who appeared on boxes in the arms of a child with the tag line: It is for kiddies, not kitties!

According to a Greek legend, the cat is believed to have protected the infant Jesus in the manger from rodents & snakes. This may be one reason why the cat is given a favoured place in Greek homes, while the dog is usually kept outdoors.

It is thought that the first domestic cats to reach North America were a pair of cats given by a missionary to a chief of the Huron Indians. Regretfully, the cats passed without breeding. It was not until 1749 that cats were imported to the American colonies from England to control the plague-carrying rat.

The luminosity of cats' eyes not only inspires poets, but has also found its way into everyday language. Ther term "cat's eye" refers to an opalescent gem and to an embedded highway reflector.

According to a study by Dr. Jeffrey Kelly, a psychologist at the University of Mississippi, pet owners scored higher than non-pet owners in independence, leadership, warmth, curiosity and self-reliance.

According to a Muslim legend, a cat saved Muhammad from a serpent by leaping onto the prophet's chest and taking the fatal strike himself. Muhammad then blessed all cats with 10 lives, so that the first time a cat died he would have an additional 9 lives on earth.

In France, it is not unusual to see a life-sized ceramic cat stationed on a rooftop. During the Middle Ages, cats were believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits, and the tradition of placing these feline "guardian angels" on high continues today.

Cats just seem to know things, and now there may be some scientific basis for their psychic ability. Paw preference tests in England showed that a majority of the cats consistently used their left paw. This indicated a dominance of the right brain, the hemiphere where intuition is said to reside.