Test your knowledge of feline facts with our fun quiz.
1. Domestic cats spend what percentage of their lives sleeping?
a. 37 percent b. 45 percent c. 70 percent d. 56 percent
2. Which of the following is the only big cat capable of purring?
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a. Leopard b. Cheetah c. Cougar d. Jaguar
3. True or false? A cat’s taste buds do not have receptors for sweet flavors.
4. Which of the following treatments can help cats suffering from idiopathic cystitis (a bladder infection)?
a. Providing interactive toys and tall cat trees b. Keeping the litter box very clean c. Reducing stress d. All of the above
5. True or false? The ability to respond to catnip is genetic.
6. What are the names of the two cats who pull the chariot of the Norse goddess Freya?
a. Loki and Thor b. Bygul and Trjegul c. Huginn and Muninn d. Geri and Freki
7. Cats have been associated with people for how long?
a. 10,000 years b. 5,000 years c. 7,500 years d. 2,000 years
8. What term is used to refer to cats with extra toes?
a. Multidigital b. Phalanges c. Polydactyl d. Metatarsals
9. When you hear that familiar hacking sound in the middle of the night, your cat is getting ready to bring up what?
a. A dead mouse b. Bile c. A trichobezoar d. A bolus
10. Which of the following is the most common pattern seen in cats?
a. Calico b. Tabby c. Tortoiseshell d. Bicolor
Answers: 1. (c) Domestic cats spend approximately 70 percent of their lives sleeping, which works out to 16 to 18 hours a day. Now, if we could only get them to sleep the same hours we do, we might all get some good rest. 2. (b) Cheetahs are the only big cats capable of purring. We think of cats purring when they are content, but they also purr when they are injured, giving birth and even dying. Interestingly, the sound frequencies of the purr may promote healing. 3. True. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth. As far as we know, they are the only mammals that lack the receptors for sweetness. That’s just one of the ways in which they are unique. 4. (d) We don’t know why cats develop idiopathic cystitis – the word “idiopathic” means “unknown” – but enriching a cat’s environment by providing places to climb and interesting toys, and reducing stress by keeping to a regular schedule and keeping the litter box scrupulously clean are some of the things that can help to decrease the problem. 5. True. Approximately two-thirds of cats have a special receptor that allows them to respond to nepetalactone, the active ingredient in catnip. Kittens don’t develop a response to catnip until they are 3 to 6 months old. 6. (b) Freya’s cats are nameless in mythology, but fantasy author Diana L. Paxson named them Bygul (bee-gold) and Trjegul (tree-gold) in honor of Freya’s associations with honey and amber. Legend has it that today’s Norwegian forest cats descend from Freya’s gigantic cats, which were said to be so huge that not even Thor could lift them. 7. (a) It has long been thought that cats were domesticated as recently as 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, but new archaeological evidence suggests they have been our companions for closer to 10,000 years. They had a commensal, or mutually beneficial, relationship with people – living near them, but not with them. 8. (c) Cats with extra toes are referred to as polydactyl. The word comes from the Greek polydaktylos, poly meaning “many” and daktylos meaning “toe.” Perhaps the most well-known polydactyl cats are found at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Fla. 9. (c) Trichobezoar is the scientific term for, yes, a hairball. 10. (b) Tabbies are tops among cat lovers. The striped pattern comes in many different colors and serves as effective camouflage. When the sun shines just right on some solid-colored cats, you can see underlying tabby markings.
Pet Connection is produced by a team of pet-care experts headed by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and Kim Campbell Thornton, author of many pet-care books. The two are affiliated with Vetstreet.com. Dr. Becker can also be found at facebook.com/DrMartyBecker or on Twitter at DrMartyBecker.