Curious Cat Trivia (And Some Frequently Asked Questions, Too)!

Cat Trivia! We like Trivial Pursuit and any sort of random fact games, so we decided to include some interesting cat trivia - and some frequently asked questions, too.

Can Cats See In The Dark?

Yes and no. Compared to humans, cats can see very well in the dark. Cats' eyes have a special layer of cells behind the retina called tapetum lucidum. These cells increase light intensity by reflecting the light back, causing the eyes to have the "glow in the dark" look. Cats can't truly see in the dark, their eyes just make much better use of any small amount of light than humans' eyes. If there was no light at all, cats would be as blind as you or I.

Can Cats Be Vegetarians?

No, cats can never truly be vegetarians. Cats cannot manufacture an essential amino acid called Taurine like some other animals can. Without taurine cats would go blind, lose muscle control and pass away. Unfortunately, taurine is only available from meat sources. There are some vegetarian diets out there for cats, but taurine must still be a supplement.

Are Most Calico Cats Females?

Yes, most calico cats (or tortoiseshell cats) are females about 95% of the time. It is a genetic quirk that links having all three markings - red/orange, black and white markings - to the X chromosomes in females. The 5% of males who have all three colours have an extra X chromosome. However, because of this genetic quirk, these males will be sterile.

What Is Cat Scratch Fever?

Cat scratch fever is caused by a bacterium (Bartonella henselae) and can come from the scratch, bite or lick from a cat. It can cause swelling/tenderness of the lymph nodes, loss of appetite and a general unwell feeling. Most cases will pass on their own, but you may want to check with your doctor if you have the symptoms - sometimes a course of antibiotics will speed the healing. If the cat was a stray cat or one who you do not know, check with your doctor regardless.

Can A Litter Of Kittens Have More Than One Father?

Yes! Sometimes kittens in a litter will all look very different from one another. This can be just genetics, especially with a calico mom, or it can be that the litter has more than one father. When females are in heat they release more than one egg. If she mates with more than one male in a short period of time, the eggs can be fertilized by the sperm from different males.

Why Do Some Cats Become Wool Suckers?

Some cats suck on wool (or if there is no wool, something else that is fabric) for the same reason some people suck their thumb - it is comforting. It tends to happen in cats that have been taken from their mother too soon. They are not fully weaned and independent and like the soothing feeling of sucking on a bit of cloth. Some cats will also knead their front paws while sucking, in the same way that kittens do to generate milk flow. There is no danger to the behavior - except if the cat does it frequently you need to make sure they are not ingesting the wool particles, as it can cause intestinal problems. Most cats who suck wool will probably stop as they reach adulthood, but some don't. You can try removing all wool from their reach. If they turn their attention to other fabrics, distraction may work. Some cats suck fabric when they are stressed or bored. If you can relieve the emotion that triggers the need for comfort it may help. Siamese are more prone to be wool suckers than other breeds. (It can also take other forms - our cat Comey is part Siamese and licks plastic bags.)


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