Eight Surprising Facts About Cats, According to Science

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Research on cats is our favorite area of ​​research (after about dogs). We’ve gathered together some of our favorite facts about our feline friends, from whether they really love you to how they use their whiskers. So enjoy these eight flawless facts about cats, confirmed by science.

1) You can befriend a cat by blinking slowly.

Scientists have discovered that the best way to get up close with cats is to squint our eyes. In a study by the Universities of Portsmouth and Sussex, researchers found that this technique mimics what is known as “cat’s smile” called “slow blinking”, thereby helping to create a bond between human and cat. “As someone who both studies animal behavior and owns a cat, it’s great to be able to show that cats and humans can communicate this way,” said Professor Karen McComb, who supervised the research from the University of Sussex School of Psychology. she said.

“Try squinting at them and then closing your eyes for a few seconds, as you would with a relaxed smile. You will see that they respond in the same way so you can start some kind of conversation. ” Research; revealed that cats are more likely to blink at their owners after they slowly wink at their owners than when cats never interacted with their owners.

2) One in ten cats experience separation anxiety.

More than one in ten domestic cats surveyed in one study exhibited behavioral problems when they were temporarily separated from their owners. In their study of cats with separation problems, scientists observed that affected cats tend to come from homes with no women or more than one woman.

Lack of access to toys and no other pets at home have also been associated with similar behavioral problems in cats. Cat owners were asked to provide basic information about each cat they owned, including their interactions with pets, their behavior while the cat was absent, and the cat’s habitat.

Analysis; showed that thirteen and a half of all cats sampled exhibited at least one of several traits associated with problems with separation and destructive behavior was most frequently reported (for 20 out of 30 cats). Other behavioral traits were also observed, such as excessive vocalization (19 cats), urination in inappropriate places (18 cats), aggression (11 cats), agitation-anxiety (11 cats), and inappropriate defecation (7 cats). Depression-apathy, characterized by a lack of energy and loss of interest, was also seen in 16 cats with separation issues.

3) Your cat really loves you.

Food is what brings people and cats together for the first time, but that doesn’t mean they see you as an oversized tin opener. Chemical analysis of the bones of 5300-year-old cats from China showed that these ancient felines were rodent hunters living in grain stores. Actually we gave them shelter, they took care of insects and rodents.

As time went on, house cats, at least in western cultures, were chosen for their claws as well as cuddles. And from that point on, something deeper than closet love seems to have emerged. Just like dogs, the domestication of cats has unlocked a range of “kitten” behaviors. These include bringing half-dead rats home for grooming, game combat, and an impromptu playtime. These behaviors are more than eating, they are about family.

In September 2019, scientists announced that cats exhibit the “secure attachment” traits seen in dogs, and that the presence of a caregiver leads to behavior that indicates safety and calmness. There is even separate evidence that cats receive sudden doses of brain hormones as people do when they are with loved ones after a stroke. So maybe, for now, dogs have a rival in pursuit of the title of being people’s best friend.

4) Cats can understand when the storm will come.

Cats and many other animals are more sensitive to sounds, smells, and changes in atmospheric pressure than humans. Also, their enhanced senses can allow their owners to receive clues that a storm is coming before they can catch and understand the wind.

Just before the storm, your cat’s inner ears can detect a sudden drop in atmospheric pressure and associate this with an impending storm. If a storm that is happening is intensifying, it can detect the faint noise of thunder. It can likewise smell the characteristic odor of ozone gas, which is created by incoming rain or usually lightning and has a sharp, metallic odor.

5) Cats love boxes because they are comfortable.

Cats can sleep 18 hours a day. Being solitary animals, cats want a safe hiding place to sleep. But a cat curled up in a small box is probably just avoiding the cold floor, even in the open. Cats are happy at temperatures that are about 14 ° C warmer than comfortable for humans, and if they don’t have a suitable sunlight to lie down, they will handle it with a comfortable shoe box.

6) Domestic cats have a huge influence on local wildlife.

Studies show that domestic cats kill more prey in a given area than wild predators of similar size. Hunting with pets could have a huge impact on the local wildlife population, according to a study conducted in March 2020. Scientists say the impact is mostly concentrated in a cat’s home, as most of their movements are within a 100-meter radius. This usually covers several gardens on either side of the path.

This research shows that domestic cats kill two to ten times more wildlife than their equivalent wild predators. Lead author Roland Kays said: “Pets kill less prey per day than wild cats because they are fed cat food, but their habitat is so small that their impact on local prey is really intense.”

“In addition, the risk of bird and small mammal populations is increasing with an unnatural high density of domestic cats in some areas.” According to research, house cats kill an average of 14.2 to 38.9 prey per 100 acres or hectares per year. The research also showed that cats do most of the damage to wildlife in disturbing habitats where projects like housing development are involved.

7) Cats cannot be vegan.

Cats are completely carnivorous in the wild, and there are only a few amino acids found in meat, such as “taurine” that they cannot synthesize or store. For this reason, vegan cat diets should be carefully adjusted according to the age and body weight of the cats.

Too little taurine can cause blindness and heart failure, while too much can lead to serious urinary tract infections. Carnivorous cats get all the taurine they need from meat, but the synthetic taurine added to the vegan food comes in several different forms that are absorbed at different rates by the cat’s metabolism.

8) Cats’ whiskers make them wary killers.

A cat’s characteristic whiskers, consisting of up to twenty-four mobile hairs, are accompanied by other less pronounced hairs on the eyes, on the chin and on the back of the front paws (carpal whiskers). These thickened hairs are associated with deeply rooted nerves that help our feline friends literally feel their way, especially on a hunt in the dark.

The facial whiskers are adjusted according to the body width to help evaluate the distance while on the move, and the careful killing action; It is activated by “proprioceptors”, special sensory organs at the ends that follow the prey’s distance, direction, and even texture. The whiskers also monitor the flow of air to further coordinate their movements. No wonder your cat is such a graceful animal.