Not all cats hate water. And not all cats chase mice. And there are many, many examples of cats and dogs becoming best friends. Here are some other little-known facts about cats. Even if you have a pet cat (or more accurately, is a cat’s pet human) you’ll be surprised exactly how little you know about these amazing creatures.
Fact: Rubbing noses is a cat’s version of a hug.
Most cats hate having their noses touched; it puts them in a very vulnerable position. So when you see two cats greet each other by rubbing noses, you know that they’re friendly, even fond, of each other. With this small gesture they are showing recognition and, in a manner of speaking, asking ‘How are you?’ The scent allows them to find out the cat’s health, where he has been, and what he’s been doing.
Myth: The deeper the purr, the happier he is.
While purring is usually a sign of happiness and contentment, a very low and deep purr may be an expression of pain. The best gauge is your pet’s overall behavior and disposition. Is he restless? Is he eating or drinking less? This could be a sign that he is sick or stressed.
Myth: All purrs sound alike.
There’s actually a difference between a ‘kitten purr’ and an ‘adult cat purr.’ Kittens begin purring at the age of one week, and may do so instinctively as they breathe in and out. (This has led scientists to think that the purring is generated by the cardiovascular system, and not the throat.) This constant purring will often sound like a monotone. Older cats will purr less, but the quality of the purr is shorter and more resonant (like ‘bursts’).
Fact: Cats try to communicate with their humans.
Have you ever felt that your cat is trying to tell you something? Here’s an interesting tidbit. Cats continue to use their kitten vocal signals when they are with their pet owners, and then use other, deeper sounds when they’re with fellow felines.
Fact: cats have dreams.
They do take the proverbial cat nap, but in the instances that they actually enter longer and deeper sleep, studies show that their brain activity resembles ours when we dream. Would be interesting to know what they dream about. Catnip?
Photo from catster.com