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10 Sassy, Fun Cat Facts for Curious Owners

In case you haven’t noticed, cats are … everywhere. They’re all over social media, they’re the boss in millions of homes and they’re ingrained in cultures around the world. No wonder they have so much cattitude!  

And despite this kitty ubiquity — this flood of fantastic felinity — cats are still rather mysterious and interesting. What’s true? What’s myth? Are we just lab rats caught up in a global cat-spiracy? Here we’ll explore a handful of the questions pawing at people’s curiosity. 
 

yellow icon of cartoon gray cat or kitten hiding behind a cloud with a halo over its head assuming to give the presence of a cat acting like an angel showing nine lives of cats

1. Do Cats Have Nine Lives? 

Not really. It’s just that life as a cat is so awesome, to them it feels like living nine at once. Or maybe the idea comes from this Old English proverb: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays.” In some countries, the belief is that cats have six or seven lives. The takeaway? If there’s an animal worthy of multiple lives, it’s the cat.  

 

yellow icon with text bubble stating "purrrr"

2. Why Do Cats Purr?

Sometimes cats purr to drown out the nauseating baby talk humans use during an otherwise enjoyable back scratch. And while we associate purring with contentment, experts have also found that cats will purr when stressed, such as at the vet or while recovering from injury. It’s been found that the sound frequencies of cats’ purrs can improve bone density and promote healing. That’s purr-ty amazing! 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten arm reaching for running water from the sink to play in

3. Do Cats Hate Water?

If you invested half as much time keeping your hair looking fabulous, you wouldn’t want to get it wet either. And really, wet fur is heavy and takes a long time to dry, which is not only uncomfortable, but can also slow a cat’s response to any threats.  

Baths aside, a lot of cats are fascinated with running or dripping water and prefer to drink the rippling, burbling water of a fountain versus the still water in a bowl. 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten tail protruding from cardboard box as cat plays

4. Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

Cats only pretend to love boxes because it endlessly frustrates their humans when they’re more interested in cardboard than the pricey toys and treats that were inside. Truth be told, it’s instinctual for cats to seek confined spaces. Boxes provide a sense of safety; plus, concealment is key for ambushing predators. Experiments have shown that cats can be drawn to the illusion of a square on the floor — so, not even a fully defined square, much less a box! 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten arm and paw eaching for catnip

5. Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

When you’re a highly advanced species living among humans and dogs, you need something to take the edge off. Beyond that, researchers suggest cats evolved to crave catnip because it might help protect them from parasites. In testing, cats that rubbed themselves in a catnip-derived solution were less likely to be attacked by mosquitoes than cats that ignored the solution. 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten legs landing on their feet to a blue rug

6. Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet?

Just about always, but it’s a trick of the eye: The planet Earth actually changes position in space to put itself underneath a cat’s paws. Oh, the real answer? To evade predators and reach the best hunting locations, cats developed superb climbing skills. Despite their extraordinary balance and coordination, falls can still happen — so they developed the “righting reflex” to help them fall as safely as possible. Cats 1, gravity 0. 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten in raindrops

7. How Does It Rain Cats and Dogs?

It doesn’t. But if it did, cats would land on their feet (see question six above). And dogs would land nose-first because of the rocks in their noggins. Just kidding, canine pals!  

This age-old saying is interesting in that there’s no clear consensus on its origin. It might be that “cats and dogs” was simply a nonsensical way to describe a lot of rain. 

 

yellow icon with text bubble stating "meow"

8. Do Cats Only Meow at People?

Narcissistic much? But to be honest, that is essentially true. Kittens meow to get their mother’s attention, but past that stage of life, cats don’t really meow except to humans. Felines speak to each other through scents, body language and facial expressions, but once they realize those methods don’t work as well with people, they find meowing very effective. 

 

yellow icon of cat or kitten bringing gift to owner

9. Why Do Cats Bring You Dead Animals or, Um, “Gifts”?

If you had more fresh protein in your diet, maybe you could finally grow a healthy coat of fur and sleep more than eight hours a day. The more accepted explanation is that cats bring you dead animals because they consider you family. They’re presenting their catch in an effort to urge you to hunt on your own. Because again, you could clearly be taking better care of yourself. 
 

yellow icon of cat or kitten holding smartphone looking at the internet

10. Why Do Cats Rule the Internet?

That’s a trick question: Cats rule everything. The internet is just one facet of their global domination. Cute photos, funny memes, goofy videos. Heartwarming news stories that make you go “Aww!” We think we choose them, but they choose us. We’re sure we’re making the decisions, but there are furry forces at play — and we wouldn’t want it any other way. 

Cats are revered for all that they are and renowned for everything they are not. We know a great deal about them, but when you look back into a cat’s eyes, there seems to be so much more hiding behind that slow, deliberate blink. Just keep asking questions and our feline overlords will let us understand it all when they decide we’re ready. Or maybe you could try bribing them with cat treats … 

 

  • orange and white tabby cat on persons lap touching fists

    5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

    Let’s face it:  Our feline friends can be real weirdos at times. But most cat parents adore their odd yet endearing behavior. Plus, it keeps things entertaining around the house! Check out our list of five mystifying cat behaviors and why they do them.

    1. Kneading

    A lot of cat parents call this behavior “making biscuits” because it looks like a baker kneading dough. According to PetMD.com, when cats knead by rhythmically pressing down with one paw and then the other, it usually signals happiness. Not all cats do it, but those that do usually knead soft blankets, pillows, other animals or (of course) their owner’s lap! A lot of felines also soothingly purr at the same time.

    Kittens instinctively knead their mother to get milk flowing, but why do adult cats do it? According to Vetstreet.com, pet experts think it’s a way to show contentment, display affection and mark a person, object or another animal with the scent glands in their paws. While it’s usually a sign of love, some cats also knead to calm themselves if they’re feeling a little stressed or anxious. Whatever the reason, though, one thing’s for sure: Cat parents usually enjoy their kitty massages!

    2. Going Bums Up

    When you stroke your cat’s back or brush them, do they suddenly go into elevator-butt position (yep, that’s really what it’s called!) by lowering their front end, raising their hindquarters high and pointing their tail straight up? If so, this is your cat’s way of saying, “That’s the spot!” It’s how your cat lets you know you’re scratching them in juuuust the right place — usually at the base of their tail — and that they want you to keep doing what you’re doing!

    Sometimes your cat might stick their elevator-up backside in your face. And while it might seem a little rude, it’s actually a friendly gesture that tells other cats your kitty feels secure and is kindly offering up the chance for a butt sniff. (Which, like with dogs, is 100% normal.) The good news? You don’t have to take them up on the offer; you can just keep scratching instead.

    3. Squeezing into Small Spaces

     

    “If I fits, I sits” isn’t just an online phenomenon; it’s a way of life in the cat world. That’s because felines love to squeeze themselves into and sleep in tight spaces like bathroom sinks, baskets, bags, bookshelves or, of course, B-O-X-E-S! They may even choose a cardboard container over an expensive, comfy cat bed. Why? Because they like the security and warmth these places provide. According to Vetstreet.com, some pet experts consider cats’ love of tiny spaces to be a nod to their wildcat ancestors that hid and slept in small, enclosed places as a way to avoid predators and stalk prey.

    4. Chattering

     

    When your cat sees a bird outside the window, they might chatter at it. Chattering is a distinctive, repetitive clicking sound made from a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also sprinkle in soft, birdlike “chirp” sounds.

    This strange cat trait is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the bird that’s making them cuckoo. Moderncat.com also reports that some animal behaviorists even think the chattering sound mimics a “killer bite” used to break the bones of prey. (Wow! Who knew Fluffy was so ferocious?!)

    Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter at birds, most feline parents find it hilarious and worthy of a social share.

    5. Being Terrified of Cucumbers

     

    Who knew such an unassuming fruit (yes, fruit!) could strike so much fear into most cats? The internet is packed with videos of unsuspecting cats shooting straight in the air and fleeing from a cucumber secretly placed behind them.

    But have you ever wondered why most cats react this way? Animal behaviorists have a couple of leading theories for the “cucumber cat phenomenon.” Most agree that cucumbers look like snakes, which cats are instinctively scared of. Another theory is that they’re reacting to an unexpected object suddenly showing up behind them.

    Whatever the reason cucumbers make a cat’s blood run cold, we don’t recommend pulling this prank on your poor cat — your little furball could get hurt! (Plus, you can already find plenty of videos to get your “scaredy cat vs. cucumber” fix.)