The tradition of building contraptions for cats goes back to the
time of Sir Isaac Newton who is credited with the invention of
the cat flap-door.
Though cats love the freedom of running around outside, in today's world this freedom is just not possible. Your cat's safety, its effect on the environment, and the nuisance it unwittingly creates for neighbours, are factors to consider.
One female cat and her offspring, left to breed at will, can produce 420,000 kittens in just seven years.
Outdoor cats are not free. They fight a daily battle for survival against exposure to the elements, accidents, disease, poison, abuse and fights with other animals, theft and loss.
So is it surprising that indoor cats live up to 5 times longer than their outdoor counterparts?
Cats have been raised as human companions for more than 6,000 years now. Domestic cats depend on us for their food, shelter and protection.
On the other hand, many indoor cats suffer from obesity and mental stress. They too want to experience the benefits of the great outdoors.
Cats lose weight the same way we do: by eating less and exercising more.
Cats get more sleep than just about any other animal, averaging about 16 hours of sleep a day, most of it in short naps that allow the cat to quickly become fully alert.
Cats have twice as many smell-sensitive cells in their noses as we do, which means they can smell things we are not even aware of.
Cats can make more than 100 different vocal sounds. Dogs can make about 10.
The cat appears to be the only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible.
Egyptians believed cats, who have exceptionally good visual powers, were also "seers" in the occult sense. They believed their eyes could tell time because the cat's eyes shone more brightly at full moon and grew dimmer at its wane.
To both the Egyptians and the Scandinavians, the coiled snake and the curled-up cat symbolized eternity.
Today the cat is now the number one pet in America.
Americans spend more on cat food than baby food - over $3 million (US$) annually.
When a domestic cat goes after mice, about one pounce in three results in a catch.
Cats have super peripheral vision, and can detect the slightest movement in prey that's yards away. But if they could read, they would need reading glasses, because their close-up vision directly in front of them is fuzzy.
Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.
Each cat's nose pad, or nose leather, has unique characteristics. Just as no two humans have the same fingerprints, it's a fact that no two feline noseprints are ever alike.
A cat lover is an ailurophile.
A cat hater is an ailurophobe.
Sources: Pawprints & Purrs Inc., The Dailycat.com, Ottawa Humane Society, Toronto Humane Society
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