7 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Your Cat

30/3/2017

Cats are mysterious creatures, and we ask ourselves plenty of questions about what they're all about. Prep yourselves with these 7 fun facts, and you'll have a deeper understanding of your furry companion.

1. They are more resistant to heat 

chats-chaleur

 Source: Instants Exquis

While humans have extreme difficulty with anything over 110°F, our four-legged friends have no problem resisting much higher temperatures. But when your cat's skin gets close to 135°C, he will quickly go hide in the shade.

2. Their sense of smell is super powerful 

chats-nez

 Source: Le Jardin des Animaux

Cats have a sense of smell which is much stronger than humans. With 20 million olfactory glands (four times more than us), they can perceive odors that we completely miss. It's generally thought that their sense of smell is between 50 and 70 times better than that of a human.

3. They can't see the color red 

chat-vision

 Source: Tout pour mon chat

Cat's eyes don't function like ours. Besides having almost perfect night-vision, they have a much larger peripheral vision (287° contre 180°). However, their eyes are "dichromates," and they can't see the color red.

4. Their tongue is a universal tool 

chat-langue

 Source: Remèdes Animaux

Cats' scratchy tongues have several functions. Of course, like ours, they help felines swallow their food, but they are also used to clean them selves. The "taste buds," which give the tongue this strange texture and appearance, are like clawsmade of keratin, allowing them to "brush" their fur and clean it perfectly.

5. Their whiskers are essential 

chat-moustache

 Source: Tout pour mon chat

The whiskers of a cat are an essential tool, and under no circumstance should you attempt to cut them or shorten them. Even though they will eventually grow back, your cat will be disoriented for several weeks.They are useful for several reasons: they detect variations in the air to find their prey in the dark, but also the measure the width of a passage or to express their emotions.

6. A particular organ to pick up pheromones in the air

[caption id="attachment_31420" align="alignnone" width="617"]

chatpristi-flehmen-akisama-harada

The Flehmen reaction. Source: Chatpristi[/caption]Cats, like many other mammal species, possess "Jacobson's organ." Located between the nose and mouth, and disappears during embryonic development in humans, allows them to capture pheromones present in the air and regulate their social behaviors (sexual, parental, aggression...).When a cat keeps his mouth open, with a fixed gaze and rapid tongue mouvement, it's because he's using this organ to analyze his environment. This phenomenon is called the "Flehmen reaction."

7. They can drink sea water 

chat-mer

 Source: Natalia Tsoukala

If, by some chance, you find your self stranded in the middle of the ocean, drinking sea water to stay hydrated is a very bad idea. The high levels of salt will only make your dehydration worse, and your chance of survival will be considerably reduced with each sip.However, your four-legged companion would be able to consume it. A cat's kidneys are more resistant than human's and can filter out large quantities of salt.With these seven surprising fact, you will be able to better understand your pet and his or herquirks, and the shocking "grimace" they make during the "Flehmen Reaction" won't worry you.

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At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!

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