Facts and Trivia about Cats and Dogs

Feline Facts and Trivia

  • Cats have been domesticated for only half as long as dogs.
  • Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat-flap door.
  • There are approximately 100 breeds of cat.
  • The first formal cat show was held in England in 1871; in America, 1895.
  • The Maine Coon cat is America’s only natural breed of domestic feline.
  • Cats walk on their toes.
  • A domestic cat can sprint at about 31 miles per hour.
  • Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. Domestic cats purr both when inhaling and exhaling.
  • In relationship to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.
  • Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.
  • Blue-eyed, white cats are often deaf.
  • Six-toed kittens are so common in Boston and surrounding areas of Massachusetts that experts consider it an established mutation.
  • A cat spends nearly 30% of her life grooming herself.
  • Cats lose almost as much fluid in the saliva while grooming themselves as they do through urination.
  • If a cat is frightened, the hair stands up fairly evenly all over the body; when the cat threatens or is ready to attack, the hair stands up only in a narrow band along the spine.
  • Cats respond most readily to names that end in an “ee” sound.
  • 37% of homeowners have at least one cat.
  • Declawing a cat is the same as cutting a human’s fingers off at the knuckles. There are alternatives to complete declawing, including trimming or a less radical (though more involved) surgery to remove the claws. Train your cat to use a scratching post.
  • It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cast can lower one’s blood pressure.
  • On average, Americans spend over $2 billion annually on cat food.
  • Cats should not be fed tuna, exclusively, as it lacks taurine, an essential nutrient required for good feline health and vision.
  • The life expectancy of cats has nearly doubled since 1930 — from 8 to 16 years.

Facts and permission to reprint courtesy of the responsible cat guardians at http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/catstuff.htm.

Canine Facts and Trivia

  • According to ancient Greek literature, when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years, disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master, and then died.
  • Pekingese dogs were sacred to the emperors of China for more than 2,000 years. They are one of the oldest breeds of dogs in the world.
  • The expression "three dog night" originated with the Eskimos and means a very cold night – so cold that you have to bed down with three dogs to keep warm.
  • An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away.
  • Seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association.
  • There are 701 types of pure breed dogs. The smallest breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club is the Chihuahua, which stands six to nine inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs two to six pounds. The largest is the Irish Wolfhound, which stands 30 to 35 inches at the top of the shoulders and weighs 105 to 125 pounds.
  • While small dogs are gaining in popularity, the top dogs are still the big ones. The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog are first, second, and third on list of the American Kennel Club's most popular breeds.
  • Scientists have discovered that dogs can smell the presence of autism in children. “Seizure Alert” dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.
  • Dogs reserve their tail wags for living things. A dog will wag its tail for a person, or another dog and may do so for a cat, horse, mouse or even a moth. If the dog is alone, however, it does not wag its tail.
  • Many people believe dogs that crouch or lower their heads when approached have been abused, but some dogs are so submissive that they naturally behave this way.
  • The best time to train your dog is from the day you bring it home regardless of its age. Use positive rewards and ignore bad behaviour. When your dog does something good then reward it. If it does something bad, like jumping up on you, then ignore it.
  • If your dog requires professional dog grooming try and choose a company that specialises in your dog breed. You will find that your dog will look so much better if you find someone who knows their job.
  • Bad breath can be a sign of tarter buildup and bacteria. To reduce odor, brush your dog's teeth, and take him to the vet for routine dental cleanings.
  • The theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous to dogs and can even be lethal.
  • Though human noses have an impressive 5 million olfactory cells with which to smell, sheepdogs have 220 million, enabling them to smell 44 times better than man.
  • The common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color, but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. They distinguish between blue, yellow, and gray, but probably do not see red and green. This is much like our vision at twilight.
  • Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.

Compiled and reprinted with permission from http://www.i-pets.com/petfunt-dog.html.