February 10, 2009 4:54am CST
Those who love cats have some great facts to read : Ailurophilia is the "love of cats." The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human. There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with 33 different breeds. The American cat population reached nearly 68 million in 1996. American Demographics magazine estimates that's about 200 million kitty yawns per hour and a whopping 425 million catnaps each day! A cat's heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute. 25% of cat owners blow dry their cats hair after a bath. The largest cat breed is the Ragdoll. Males weigh twelve to twenty pounds, with females weighing ten to fifteen pounds. The smallest cat breed is the Singapura. Males weigh about six pounds while females weigh about four pounds. Calico cats are almost always female. If your cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you. If her tail starts thrashing, her mood has changed --- Time to distance yourself from her. Cats wag their tails when it is in a stage of conflict. The cat wants to do two things at once, but each impulse blocks the other. For example: If your cat is in the doorway wanting to go outside, and you open the door to find it raining, the cat's tail will wag because of internal conflict. The cat wants to go outside, but doesn't want to go into the rain. Once the cat makes a decision and either returns to the house or leaves into the rain, the tail will immediately stop wagging. Don't pick a kitten or a cat up by the scruff of its neck; only mother cats can do this safely, and only with their kittens. Cats knead with their paws when they're happy. Your cat loves you and can "read" your moods. If you're sad or under stress, you may also notice a difference in your cat's behavior. The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking. An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter, and 2-3 litters per year. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. In 1952, a Texas Tabby named Dusty set the record by having more than 420 kittens before having her last litter at age 18. The largest known litter (with all surviving) was that of a Persian in South Africa named Bluebell. Bluebell gave birth to 14 kittens in one litter!
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