If you consider yourself a trivia buff, then January 4th is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Why? Because it’s officially National Trivia Day!
We’re love cat facts and obscure feline trivia at CatTime, and we always get excited to share tidbits with our fellow cat lovers.
So, in the spirit of National Trivia Day, here are five weird and wonderful feline facts that you can impress people with.
1. Cats Are Pretty Much Mostly Tiger
We all know that house cats and wild cats are part of the same extended cat family, but were you aware just how closely your leisurely domestic feline is related to the noble tiger?
It turns out, the average domestic cat’s genome–that’s the genetic material contained in their cells–is 95 percent the same as a tiger’s.
2. Cats Could Be Olympic High Jumpers
Your cat is pretty skilled at springing up off the floor and then landing on the sorts of surfaces and countertops they’re not meant to be on. But did you know that cats can actually jump over six times their length in height?
That’s like a human jumping from the ground to the roof of a three-story building.
3. Cats Can’t Really Climb Down Trees
If you look closely at your cat’s claws, you’ll notice that they are curved in a downwards direction. This makes them excellent devices to sink into things and latch onto stuff. The shape of a feline’s claws also allows them to scale trees.
But if you watch closely, you’ll notice that when a cat wants to dismount from a tree, they have to sort of scurry down backwards. This is due to the curve of the claws, which prevents them from climbing back down the tree face first.
There are, in fact, only two known species of felines that can easily climb down trees head first–the margay and the clouded leopard. They have the ankle flexibility necessary to pull off that trick.
4. A Cat Went To Space In 1963 And Came Safely Back To Earth
In 1963, a cat named Félicette blasted off to space on a rocket courtesy of the French space program. While it almost certainly wasn’t the most pleasant experience for the feline, she did manage to safely parachute back to Earth in her capsule.
Luckily it was a short trip at only 13 minutes. Postage stamps around the world have honored Félicette, and she’s probably gone higher that any cat in history.
5. Cat Videos Existed In 1894
Cat videos are all over the internet these days, but long before we all logged online every hour, every day, Thomas Edison rustled up some early feline footage.
Titled The Boxing Cats, the black and white short shows a couple of cats sparring in a tiny ring.
Do you know a curious cat fact? What other feline trivia should we share? Tell us about it in the comments below in honor of National Trivia Day!