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Friday, August 9, 2013

"Odd" Kitty Facts

Have been going through some articles and found a few cat facts that were interesting, so I thought I would share them with you.  The first one is the answer to a question about whether your cat is right-pawed or left-pawed.  The answers might surprise you!

Interestingly, most female cats are right pawed, while the majority of males are lefties. Guess what - the same goes for humans! Well, almost. 90% of humans are right handed, but the majority of the remaining 10% are left-handed males.

Next time you break out the kitty toys, take note of which paw your kitty uses first. You can also try placing some tuna or any treat your kitty loves at the bottom of a narrow jar. Which paw did your kitty use to try and get it?

According to that definition, this kitty artist must be a male:

None of my cats have ever been blue-eyed or two different colors.  Quite a shock to look at them.  :>)  Many white-haired, blue-eyed cats are actually deaf. This has to do with the connection between the kitty's iris (the part of the eye that holds color) and the inner ear, which kitties (and humans) use to hear.

This only goes for pure-white cats, which make up 5% of the population. Out of all pure whites, 15%-40% have blue eyes, and 60%-80% of pure white, blue-eyed cats experience hearing loss. We're talking about quite a small proportion!

Plus, if a kitty has only one blue eye and another eye that's a different color, there's an even lower chance they'll be deaf. This phenomenon is genetic and quite complex.

Who could ever resist these eyes?

The next fact had to do with their sensitive hearing.  Ever wonder what makes your kitty snap its head around at the slightest sound? You guessed it -- their hearing is far superior to ours and even that of doggies! Here are a few important things to know about your kitty's hearing abilities:

  • Cats can pinpoint the location of a sound within six one-hundredths of a second from up to three feet away.
  • Cats can hear four or fives times better than humans can!
  • A cat's outer ear (a.k.a. the "pinna") can rotate up to 180 degrees.  Combined with their exceptionally long ear canals, it's practically a satellite dish!
The next time you're in a room with your kitty, check out how their ears respond to the slightest sound you make! Also, keep your music down -- since your kitty can hear things much more loudly than you, loud noises could frighten it!

Maybe this kitty is trying to protect those sensitive ears:

Has your cat ever gone missing and reappeared later.  Sometimes  MUCH LATER?

Do all kitties have a magical pair of ruby slippers we don't know about? If not, how is it that they always seem to find their way home, despite disappearing from home for hours on end? Well, science will tell you it isn't a glittery pair of shoes that miraculously teleports them back to their starting point.

Known as "homing," there are a couple of theories about how kitties find their way home. One theory is that they judge their location based on the angle at which the Sun is hitting the Earth. Others believe that kitties have magnetic cells in their brain that act as an internal compass. While both theories seem a little far-fetched, they actually are used by other animals. Plus,how else would you explain this eery phenomenon?

One thing is for sure: there have been some astounding stories about cats traveling vast distances to return home. Just earlier this year, a cat living in West Palm Beach, Florida went missing while vacationing with her family 200 miles away in Daytona Beach. Two months (and 200 miles) later, she reappeared on a neighbor's doorstep -- weak, but alive, and leaving her family wondering just how she was able to make it home.

This neighborhood cat runs a taxi system, so his friends can get home easily:

As I said in a previous blog, I couldn't believe how high one of my females could jump!  Now I know why.

A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound?! Height-wise, that's about eight feet high -- over two feet taller than the average adult male!

So how do they manage this seemingly ambitious feat? It's all thanks to a powerful set of muscles in their hind legs, which serve as a kind of springboard that allows kitties to sail effortlessly over countertops, balconies, you name it! When jumping, kitties also use their tail for stability, their stretchy spines to extend their leaps, and their whiskers as distance markers! Who knew?!

In addition to jumping high, kitties also exhibit something known as the "righting reflex." This is a reflex that is unique to kitties, and allows them to land on all four legs with ease -- even if they have fallen from tall heights.

The name for this reflex comes from the process a cat uses to orient its body when falling: first it turns its head in the right direction. For example, if a kitty is falling head first, it would turn its head upwards so that its spine and hind legs would follow. Just before the kitty lands, it bends its back to absorb the force of the fall, and its soft paw pads help with harsh landings as well.

Oh, yeah, these guys know how to do it:

Those are your "cat facts" for today.  Hope you learned something new.  :>)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Marion,
    This was informative as well as adorable. Some I knew, a lot I didn't. My own tom cat Toby is left-handed--I remember that's the paw he smacks me with. He's going on 18 years old and can still race up the spiral steps but his 8 foot jumps are a thing of the past--he has trouble jumping up on my bed, which the tears in my sheets will attest to. But he's healthy so far and a lazy, very large white-chested tabby.