They say a dog may be man’s best friend, but a cat is their master. For those who own cats, they can most likely relate to this saying. Despite the master-servant relationship between man and cat, there has been a growing trend of cat ownership in the past few years. According to an updated consensus, 45.3 million households have cats. So what makes cats so popular anyway? Here are ten weird facts about cats that help explain their appeal to humans. 

1. Purring can help improve a human’s mental health

When cats purr, no one can resist them. This is one of many charms that cats have that seemingly put humans under a trance. Some may think that purring cats do nothing to humans, but in reality, there are several health issues that purring can alleviate. 

Purring helps relieve stress. It also helps people sleep, calm down, lower blood pressure, can aid in treating infections, and heal bones. Purring has a therapeutic effect on humans, which makes them the purrfect companion for those who are struggling with health issues.

To support this fact, cats are being used in hospitals, schools, and rehabilitation centers to help people heal and get through their problems. 

2. Cats run pretty fast 

Cats show their admirable speed at times when they are catching something or when they are having the zoomies. Owners who have seen their own cats perform the aforementioned actions can attest to a cat’s speed. 

Cats can run up to 30 mph. To help people visualize this, a household cat can beat the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt, in a race. 

3. Too much milk will cause discomfort to cats and this is probably one of the weirdest facts about cats

Contrary to popular belief, cats must not drink too much milk because this would make them queasy and gassy. Therefore, it is not entirely accurate or healthy for cats to drink milk from their bowls as depicted in cartoons. 

To prevent digestive problems such as diarrhea, cats should not be fed with milk. 

4. A cat has already went to space

Space expeditions used to be quite common, and before a lot of people became interested in exploring the depths of space, scientists turned to animals for experimentation. 

Scientists wanted to see what the effect of space would be on large living organisms. French scientists decided that a cat would be a perfect example for this given that they fit the size they were looking for and they have enough neurological data on them. 

The first cat sent to space was a Parisian cat named Félicette, and she set out on her trip to space in October 1963. 

5. Like dogs, cats can do tricks as well

Some people believe that cats are not trainable, especially when it comes to tricks that were often taught to dogs. This belief is false. Cats are actually very capable of being trained and performing a variety of tricks. 

One cat has proved that cats can do a lot of tricks the same way dogs do, and this cat’s name is Didga. This cat has been recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2017, wherein she performed 20 tricks in one minute. 

6. Cats have caused the extinction of other species 

Naturally, cats are predators, and amongst their prey are reptiles, birds, and mammals. Since the 1600s, they have caused the extinction of 21 species of mammals, 40 species of birds, and 2 species of reptiles. That is a total of 63 species! 

7. A cat became mayor in a town in Alaska

When we talk about mayors, we often think of people, be they men or women. However, in the town of Talkeetna, they had something different in mind. In 1997, a Manx mix named Stubbs became mayor. This cat exercised his role as mayor for 20 years until the day of his passing in 2017. 

Of course, the cat had no legislative power, but nonetheless, he was adored by the locals in the town and the tourists that paid a visit there. The next mayor who replaced Stubbs is also a cat, and his name is Denali. 

8. Egyptians had a strange way of mourning their cats 

As we all know, cats were revered during the time of the ancient Egyptians. This deep admiration led Egyptians to act a certain way whenever their cats passed away. Egyptians would shave their eyebrows as a symbol for mourning their loss. They would continue to mourn their cats until their eyebrows grew back. 

9. The oldest cat in the world lived up to 38 years of age

Another feline that was recognized by the Guinness World Records was the Texan cat named Creme Puff, who died at the age of 38 years old in 2005. Before Creme Puff, there was a cat named Granpa Rex Allen, and he was owned by the same person (Jake Perry) who owned Creme Puff. 

And although this was sad news, there are other cats that have a shot at beating this record. Currently, there are three cats that have the possibility of breaking Creme Puff’s record: Rubble, a 30-year-old cat from the UK; Sasha, a 32-year-old cat from Ireland; and Boo, a 24-year-old cat from New Zealand.  

10. A cat can fit into (almost) everything 

Cat owners always find themselves dumbfounded by their cats’ ending up in every nook and cranny of their homes. One factor that allows them to do such things is their collar bones. Their collar bones are not attached to any other bone in their body. Due to such bones, they have been branded as “floating collar bones.”

A cat’s flexibility does not stop with their collar bones as it extends to their spines as well. The discs sandwiched in a cat’s spine are much more flexible compared to humans (who also have discs in their spines). Furthermore, cats are able to rotate their bodies by 180 degrees. 

Now read some weird facts about dogs.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.