Cats are among the most popular pets. They require the owners’ care and pampering all through the year, but there is a special day dedicated to them. Celebrated on August 8, the International Cat Day is an occasion to remind people about how the adorable species contributes to the betterment of the planet. Having cats as pets leads to a positive effect on human health, even helping in cognitive functionality. After a busy day, coming back to your cat and observing its cute antics helps calms nerves.
Cats have enjoyed human company for centuries. They were first domesticated by hunter-gatherers who used them as companions.
Cats are among the most highly specialized of the flesh-eating mammals. Their brains are large and well developed. They also have the ability to walk on their toes – this is called digitigrade.
The International Cat Day was started by International Fund for Animal Welfare to honor cats and protect them from abuse. Since 2020, the custodianship of International Cat Day has come to International Cat Care, a British non-profit group that has been working for the welfare of the cats since 1958.
Here are some fun facts about cats:
- The average weight of the household cat varies from 2.7 to 4.5 kg (6 to 10 pounds). Average lengths are 71.1 cm (28 inches) for males and 50.8 cm (20 inches) for females.
- According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, the skin of the cat, composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly.
- They also have the ability to bristle due to tiny erector muscles attached to their hair follicles. This allows cats to frighten enemies by arching its back and hissing.
- Unlike the dog and horse, the cat walks or runs by moving first the front and back legs on one side, then the front and back legs on the other side. Only the camel and the giraffe move in a similar way.
- The cat’s body has great elasticity. This is possible because the vertebrae of its spinal column are held together by muscles rather than by ligaments, as in humans. Thus, the cat can elongate or contract its back, curve it upward, or oscillate it along the vertebral line.
- Cats have no flat-crowned crushing teeth and therefore cannot chew their food. Instead, they cut it up.
- Cats are generally nocturnal in habit. The retina of the cat’s eye is made extra sensitive to light by a layer of guanine, which causes the eye to shine at night in a strong light.
- The sense of touch is acute in cats. The eyebrows, whiskers, hairs of the cheek, and fine tufts of hair on the ears are all extremely sensitive to vibratory stimulation.