20 Cat Virtues That Dog People Should Know

Oct 29, 2015

Even dog lovers can appreciate fun facts about cats. Let’s start with the words of the great Sigmund Freud: Time spent with cats is never wasted.

June 4 is Hug Your Cat Day, so you might consider making a donation to your local animal shelter. Scientists believe cats have lived with people for at least 12,000 years. Cat domestication began in the ancient Near East, probably when humans allowed wild cats to hunt mice and other pests around homes and farms. It is said that cats actually domesticated themselves. Unlike the dog, which humans have actively tamed and bred, cats seem to have adopted the domestic lifestyle on their own.

But we get it. You’re a dog  person. Fine. So why not briefly stop to consider some of the many fun facts about cats, and perhaps you’ll come to the revelation that felines can be your friends, too. Maybe you’ve been thinking of adopting a cat but you’re afraid it won’t get along with your dog, Well, rest easy. Cats and dogs can get along just fine and cats are no harder than dogs to take care of, maybe even easier. To further increase your comfort level, here are 20 fun facts about cats that dog people should know.

  • Their Purr is calming, like ambient white noise.

    When cats are happy or content, they purr. All domestic and wild cats seem to be able to make a purring sound when they’re relaxing. Some domestic cats also purr under stress. Just exactly how cats purr is still under debate. But, most scientists believe they do it by vibrating their larynx.

  • They are very well groomed.

    Domestic cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. If given the opportunity, they’ll also groom other cats or, even, other pets. Grooming maintains healthy skin by stimulating production of essential skin oils.

  • They're live-in vermin exterminators.

    They’ll also hunt and kill other rodents, lizards or bugs that get in the house. The hunting instinct is left over from cats’ ancient predatory past. In the past, the instinct helped your cat’s wild ancestors survive. Today, it helps keep your house pest free.

  • They are always perfectly poised.

    Cat bodies are generally lighter than the bodies of similarly sized dogs. This gives cats a spring to their steps and allows them to jump or climb more easily than dogs.

  • They don't need to be walked.

    It is possible to train your cat to go out on a leash — one of our favorite fun facts about cats. However, most cat owners simply use a litter box. It is important to get the right litter box for your cat and your home and to keep it clean and ready for use.

  • They never lose at hide and seek.

    Cats are masters at hiding and not being found until they’re satisfied that you’re ready to panic.

  • They don't drool.

    Cats generally do not drool or slobber like some dogs do. In fact, drooling in cats can be a sign of dental or other health problems.

  • You have to earn their attention.

    While there are cats that will seek out your attention, most cats want you to come to them. This isn’t because your cat is stuck up or uncaring. It is because their ways of displaying affection are different than a dog’s. Learn to love your cat on its terms.

  • They know how to soak up the sunshine.

    Cats like to sleep in a patch of sunlight to keep them warm while they sleep. Some cats will move to follow the shifting pattern of light.

  • They're sometimes thought to possess magical powers

    The association between cats and beliefs in magic dates back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians went so far as to mummify dead cats as being sacred to the goddess Sekhmet. Another goddess, Bast, was said to be the protector of cats.

  • They fiercely protect their humans.

    Recently, when a California boy was attacked by a dog, his cat came to his rescue. Cats have also fought off mountain lions and alligators to protect people.

  • They like to kick back with some catnip

    Cats are fascinated by catnip. Most find the smell and taste of it irresistible. But, catnip doesn’t work on every cat.

  • They're mysterious

    Cats are particularly mysterious creatures. However, much of the mystery is that we don’t completely understand their behavior, partly because cats were domesticated relatively quickly and still retain their original behaviors, even though these behaviors have been modified by centuries spent alongside human beings.

  • They can be trained to use the toilet.

    A few cats have actually learned to use the toilet. There are many products and training instructions that will allow you to train your cat to use the people potty. Teaching them to put the lid back down is a whole other story.

  • They like the high road.

    Cats like to perch on a high table, a bookshelf or the back of a chair to survey their surroundings. They do this to feel secure, and because it is part of an ancient hunting technique.

  • They can climb trees.

    Partly for the same reasons, as needing to find high perches, cats like to climb trees. The tree provides a refuge from larger dangerous predators and also conceals prey such as wild birds, which cats can hunt.

  • Sometimes they bring home little presents.

    This is one of those not so fun facts about cats. Outdoor, and even indoor, cats often bring their owners dead creatures (or even live ones) that they have captured. Our domestic cats, though far from their ancient woodland homes, still have hunting instincts and the instinct to provide food for their tribe (that’s you). So praise kitty for her efforts and wrap the gross thing up in a paper towel or bathroom tissue and throw it away.

  • They are graceful.

    The impression of grace comes from the cat’s natural hunting and climbing instincts.

  • They make the Internet fun.

    We’ve all seen cat memes, grumpy cats, cats in hats, cats dressed as celebs. Why? Because cats can be cute, lovable and, above all, funny.

  • They've mastered the head butt.

    A cat’s head butt is essentially a cat hug. It is a form of affection. In fact, shy or inattentive cats can be brought out of their shells if you go through a regular head butting routine with them.

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