Most people eat 1,000 pounds of food every year. Our stomach holds over four quarts (think Thanksgiving), with increasing levels of discomfort above a quart.

Compare that to a cat, which eats about 115 pounds of food every year, give or take a rodent.  The average cat’s stomach holds about 2 tablespoons.  Throw-ups are easy to avoid knowing this fact.  Tip: small, frequent meals work best.

Cats sleep away half of their lives, averaging 12-16 hours a day.  Any friend sleeping that much raises concern.  But brief, deeply restful “cat naps” are so good for our health that American social psychologist and sleep researcher James Maas redefined them in the 1990’s as “power naps.”

Cats are terribly near-sighted. They need to be within 10 feet of what humans can clearly see at 100 feet.  Their poor vision is offset by excellent hearing, which is far better than dogs.  Cats may not see mice in barns, but they sure hear them.

Paws down, cats excel at night vision. They see a blurry world where ultraviolet waves light up urine stains, blood, and other natural secretions. Prepare to be horrified when using an ultraviolet flashlight to see their world. Tip: vinegar neutralizes urine.

Mating cats can detect scents four miles away.  First heat occurs in kittens as early as four months of age (or 7 human years).  Cats become adults at age one (or 15 human years).  An average litter of three to seven kittens gestate for 63 days from conception to birth.  Tip:  fix by four months to prevent first litters.

Knowing cat behavior helps keep field litters united with their lactating mothers until weaned at 8-10 weeks.  The biggest threats to outdoor kitten survival are 1) exposure to harsh weather and 2) misguided humans.  Not all litters are abandoned!   Momcats move babies from soiled nests more than once because predators sniff them out.  It’s likely that she was watching you examine her nest.  Momcat needs time to find a new burrow and then relocate her babies.  Tip:  Be patient; be observant. Keep your distance.

Our last tip is on the left ear.  LUYE’s free community cat spay/neuter/shots package includes cropping that ear to show it’s fixed, no trapping needed.  Meow!

 

An abbreviated version of this article by our Head Cat, Susan Kumpf, appeared in the May 2021 issue of Vicinitus Haywood as “Amazing Facts and Best Tips for a Cat” .