Break out the balls of yarn – it’s time to celebrate National Cat Day! Each year, feline aficionados everywhere take a day, October 29, to recognize how amazing our kitty pals are and the joy they bring to our lives. (But let’s be real, National Cat Day is pretty much every day thanks to the internet’s cat videos and sites like I Can Has Cheeseburger!)
Not just a day dedicated to doting on our furry pals, National Cat Day was established to bring awareness to the abundance of cats in local shelters and foster groups who need forever homes. From the National Cat Day website, here are a few ways to recognize and celebrate National Cat Day:
- Adopt a kitty friend from a shelter or rescue group or donate needed items or money to them.
- Don’t have extra items or money? Donate your time and volunteer with an animal shelter!
- Do a safety check of your home and make sure you’ve got an emergency plan in place. We recently put together recommendations on being prepared in our post on pet fire safety.
- Have a brushing and grooming session with your kitty. They’ll love the attention, you’ll love that less hair will randomly collect around your house! You can learn more about the benefits of grooming from our recent post on pet shedding.
- Help an elderly friend or family member by cleaning their cat’s litter box and tidying their home if their cat has been shedding or knocking things over (not that cats are known to do this…)
These are all great ways to recognize a wonderful day, but we have another way we like to celebrate – with cat trivia! We’ve collected some of our favorite trivia tidbits below. And now, without further ado, kitty trivia!
- 4,000 years ago in Egypt, the penalty for killing a cat was death.
- Cats can be right-pawed or left-pawed.
- The reason cats get stuck in trees is because their claws curve downward, so they can’t climb forward down out of a tree, leaving them the option of backing out or waiting for a rescue.
- Felines have the largest eyes relative to the size of their head of any mammal.
- Their whiskers are roughly the same width as their body, which allows them to gauge where they can or can’t fit.
- The earliest recorded cat is called Proailurus, which means “first cat.”
- Cats walk by moving both legs on one side at a time, versus alternating like most animals. The only other animals that walk like this are giraffes and camels.
- They are digitigrade animals, which means they walk on their toes.
- Cats have a third eyelid called a haw.
- A group of kittens is properly referred to as a kindle.
- When a cat kneads the ground, this is called snurgling.
- A group of cats is called a clowder.
- Ailurophobia is the extreme fear of cats. Both Napolean and Julius Caesar would practically faint if a cat approached them.
- Catnip has an effect on cats that is similar to the effect marijuana has on humans.
- Like snakes, cats have a Jacobson’s organ in the roof of their mouth that is used to analyze scents.
We could go on and on about the many interesting things there are to know about cats, but we all really should get back to work. Have a few cat trivia facts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, go scratch your favorite cat behind the ears and have a very happy National Cat Day!