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Cats make popular companions for their mysterious and bossy. Here are fun facts about your favourite feline.


FACT 1 Cats are clean drinkers

A cat lapping water from a dish is a delicate process. Instead of scooping water into their mouths like dogs, a cat touches the tip of its tongue to the surface of a liquid, creating a column that stretches as it pulls its tongue back. Right before gravity overcomes the upward motion of the cat's tongue, sending the liquid crashing back down, the cat snaps its jaws shut, capturing a mouthful inside.

On every lap, domestic cats get about 0.1 milliliter of liquid. At four laps per second, that's 5 teaspoons (24 ml) each minute.


FACT 2 Fat Cats

Pet cats are getting fatter. Most indoor cats get little sustained aerobic activity, which means they need little in the way of calories. A typical 10-pound cat needs just 180 to 200 calories of food each day while on average, 1 cup of cat food is equal to 300 calories.


FACT 3 Cats have 10 minutes memory

Cats remember obstacles in their environment for only about 10 minutes, according to a 2007 study. What's more, cats have better muscle memory than they do visual memory. When researchers stopped domestic cats after their front legs cleared a hurdle but before they lifted their back legs, the kitties only remembered to do a hind-leg high step if they got to start walking again within 10 minutes. When the cats saw the hurdle but were distracted from crossing it, they forgot it was there within seconds, the researchers found.


FACT 4 Cats are controlling your brain

It's true, cat parents - your kitty is in charge. Some cats have perfected a purr-cry that sends humans scuttling for their food. A 2009 Current Biology study found that humans find this mix of contentment and obnoxiousness hard to ignore. Cats tend to use this cry when they want food, the researchers found, and their owners get the message, judging the calls as more unpleasant and urgent.


FACT 5 Cats may not be as smart as dogs

Despite their dignified carriage, cats may be dumber than dogs. A 2010 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that social species such as dogs have experienced greater brain growth over the last 60 million years compared with solitary animals such as cats.

A 2009 article in New Scientist magazine pitting research on cat smarts against findings on dog intelligence also came down in favor of the canines. Dogs were smarter in some domains and cats have more expressive vocalizations, but the tiebreaker came down to which animal was more useful. Given that cats can only catch vermin and dogs can sniff drugs, rescue lost hikers and even diagnose cancer, dogs were judged as the smarter of the two species.




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