Cats

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While wild cats such as the famously fleet-footed cheetah can reach incredible speeds of 70 miles per hour, domestic cats can hold their own with speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

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  • Are Siamese Mix Cats Good Pets?

    Q: Are Siamese Mix Cats Good Pets?

    A: Siamese cats are affectionate, good-natured, vocal, communicative and playful. The dominant Siamese cat traits that prevail in the Siamese mixed breeds alike, are the enormous attention they require and their high intelligence. They are suitable for those looking for a pet that they can interact with regularly.
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  • How Common Are Polydactyl Cats?

    Q: How Common Are Polydactyl Cats?

    A: The exact frequency of polydactylism in cats may depend on the breed, with some domestic cat breeds, such as the Maine coon, boasting a greater occurrence of extra-toed cats than other breeds; overall, however, this is a relatively common condition, and it is totally harmless for the cat who is born with extra toes. The word 'polydactyl' means 'many toes,' and the term refers to the fact that polydactyl cats are born with more than the standard 18 toes. This is technically a genetic mutation, but it is not an issue or a burden in and of itself.
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  • What Scents to Cats Dislike?

    Q: What Scents to Cats Dislike?

    A: There are a variety of scents that are unpalatable to most cats, from the unwanted smell of a dirty litter box to natural smells such as citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, banana, lemon thyme and certain cleaning products. Cats have an incredibly acute sense of smell, with some reports indicating that they smell up to 14 times more effectively than humans, so the presence of an unwanted smell may have a strong impact on a cat. Some of these smells can be deployed in the process of cat training, specifically as a means of repelling cats from certain areas where its presence is not wanted.
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  • Do Cats Prefer Women?

    Q: Do Cats Prefer Women?

    A: A study published in the scientific journal 'Behavioural Processes' in 2011 indicates that cats do indeed tend to have a preference for women. This favoritism may be because women tend to show more affection to cats, which influences the bond cats have with their human caretakers.
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  • Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

    Q: Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

    A: Cats wag their tails to send messages to both humans and other animals. The positioning of the tail as well as the position of the ears and the cat's facial expression are all clues as to what the cat's tail wag or wave means.
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  • How Fast Can a Cat Run?

    Q: How Fast Can a Cat Run?

    A: While wild cats such as the famously fleet-footed cheetah can reach incredible speeds of 70 miles per hour, domestic cats can hold their own with speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
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  • How Closely Related Is a Domestic Cat to a Lion?

    Q: How Closely Related Is a Domestic Cat to a Lion?

    A: Though they are different in many ways, including levels of hostility to humans and overall body size, domestic cats and wild cats such as tigers actually share about 95 percent of the same DNA, meaning the two types of animals are very closely related on a basic genetic level. According to a study published in the journal 'Nature Communications' in 2013, researchers sequenced the genomes of three big cats, tigers, lions and snow leopards, and found that, from a genetic point of view, these wild creatures actually have a lot in common with house cats. Specifically, it was the tiger that was found to be a close relative of the furry human pet, but the research published in 'Nature Communications' did provide new insight into the genetic makeup of critically endangered animals.
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  • How Old Do Kittens Have to Be Before They Can Have Hard Food?

    Q: How Old Do Kittens Have to Be Before They Can Have Hard Food?

    A: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, kittens should start nibbling on dry food at about five to six weeks of age. They should begin dry food even if they are still nursing.
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  • What Do You Call a Group of Cats?

    Q: What Do You Call a Group of Cats?

    A: According to the Oxford English Dictionaries, the standard collective noun used to refer to a group of domestic cats is a 'clowder,' as in 'a clowder of house cats.' Other sources indicate that there may be other collective nouns that can be applied to cats, though these may be more colloquial in nature. Alternate collective nouns for a group of domestic cats include clutter, pounce, glare, nuisance, cluster and glaring.
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  • How Can Owning a Cat Improve a Person's Health?

    Q: How Can Owning a Cat Improve a Person's Health?

    A: Pet ownership, and cat ownership specifically, has been proven to be beneficial to human health in a variety of ways, including general stress reduction and positive mood alteration in addition to more specific markers of improved health such as lower heart rate and blood pressure. Studies that have covered this topic note that the presence of a companion animal such as a cat has a marked positive impact on human mood. However, getting to the exact root of some of these supposed health benefits isn't easy; it is difficult to determine cause and effect in these situations.
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  • What Does It Mean When a Cat Wags Its Tail?

    Q: What Does It Mean When a Cat Wags Its Tail?

    A: Although, there could be several reasons behind a cat wagging it's tail, one potential reason is If a cat is wagging its tail in a violent swishing motion this could mean that the cat is hunting and is about to pounce. Another possibility is if the cat is slowly wagging it's tail, it often means the cat is stressed.
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  • What Breed of Cat Is Grumpy Cat?

    Q: What Breed of Cat Is Grumpy Cat?

    A: Grumpy Cat's breed is unknown. Her mother is a short-haired domestic calico. A male cat in Grumpy's house has gray and white stripes, but Grumpy's owners are unsure if that cat is Grumpy's father.
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  • What Is the Only Taste Cats Can't Experience?

    Q: What Is the Only Taste Cats Can't Experience?

    A: Cats lack the proper genetic coding that allows other mammals, including humans and other animals such as hyenas, to experience sweet tastes, a trait that may be unique among mammals. In addition to lacking the ability to taste sweets, cats have only 470 taste buds, whereas humans have upwards of 9,000. However, this doesn't mean that cats don't experience flavor; on the contrary, taste buds are a small part in the complex anatomical system, which includes their acute sense of smell, that allows cats to experience vivid taste.
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  • How Long Have Cats Been Domesticated?

    Q: How Long Have Cats Been Domesticated?

    A: Cats have been a domesticated human companion since the reign of the Ancient Egyptians more than 4,000 years ago, according to National Geographic. While these ancient people may or may not have been the first to domesticate the cat, they were the first to show widespread evidence of human interactions with cats thanks to the wide variety of art and artifacts indicating this culture's reverence for the cat, including mummified cats that were prepared for the afterlife in much the same way as humans, as well as the presence of snacks in the form of mummified mice. However, because the archeological record is not necessarily reliable due to the physical similarity of domestic and wild cat skeletons, it is difficult to know exactly when cats were domesticated, with some estimates ranging as far back as 12,000 years ago.
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  • Why Is It Bad for Cats to Drink Milk?

    Q: Why Is It Bad for Cats to Drink Milk?

    A: Though the stereotype of feeding cats a saucer of milk may have influenced the way some humans feed the cats they encounter, adult cats actually cannot properly digest the lactose in dairy products such as milk and cream, making it a bad idea to let an adult cat drink milk. Not only will this lactose intolerance likely cause some discomfort for the cat, but it will also most likely result in diarrhea, vomiting or other symptoms of an upset stomach, which can be unpleasant to clean up. However, even though adult cats are lactose intolerant, this doesn't stop the furry felines from wanting to drink milk, so it is best for cat owners to make sure their pets don't have access to it.
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  • Why Do Cats Hiss at People?

    Q: Why Do Cats Hiss at People?

    A: Cats hiss at people and other animals, including cats, as a show of aggression. This generally occurs because a cat feels like it is cornered and has no means of escaping or the cat is provoked. Aggression can also be invoked by pain, punishment or fear.
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  • Why Do Cats Meow?

    Q: Why Do Cats Meow?

    A: As a kitten, a cat may meow because it needs to let its mother or owner know that it is hungry, and kittens also meow because they are cold or scared. For older cats, meowing is a form of communication.
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  • Do Cats Need Baths?

    Q: Do Cats Need Baths?

    A: Cats do not require baths as much as other pets. While cats naturally groom themselves, outside cats may need baths more often than strictly indoor cats. Overweight cats or cats with health issues that prevent them from properly grooming themselves may also need regular baths.
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  • Where Do Cats Outnumber Humans 6 to 1?

    Q: Where Do Cats Outnumber Humans 6 to 1?

    A: Aoshima, Ehime is an island in Southern Japan where cats outnumber humans 6 to 1. It is known locally as Cat Island, though it is only one of about a dozen islands dominated by cats in Japan. The island has a human population of 22, and at least 120 cats.
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  • Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

    Q: Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

    A: A cat's whiskers contain sensitive nerves that allow the animal to judge distance and space effectively and to sense objects in the dark to avoid danger. By gently brushing the whiskers against an object, a cat gains an extra sense of what's nearby as a means of protection.
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  • Can Cats Smile?

    Q: Can Cats Smile?

    A: Cats cannot smile. They do experience emotions, including happiness. Cats have several physical ways of expressing pleasure, such as high-pitched meowing, a vertically position to the tail, narrowed pupils and a low, trilling purr.
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