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    From Accurately Predicting Death To Cheetahs Meowing, Here Are 11 Cat Facts That Are Bananas To Me

    A cat named Unsinkable Sam switched sides during WWII, survived the sinking of three naval ships by clinging to debris in the water, and then retired after the third because, well, I wouldn't want to get on a ship after that either.

    1. When cats walk, their back paws go exactly into the footprints left by their front paws. This is called direct registering.

    Direct registering means cats (and other animals like this fox) make less tracks and less noise when walking. Very stealthy!

    2. A cat named Oscar in Rhode Island who lived in a nursing home was eerily accurate in predicting the deaths of their patients.

    a cat looking off into the distance

    When a patient was near death, Oscar would go up during their final hours and curl up next to them. Rarely making a mistake and with accuracy that was sometimes better than doctors, Oscar correctly predicted around 50 deaths.

    a nurse pushing a man in a wheelchair

    The doctors of the facility have said families were thankful of Oscar, so the patients would spend their final hours with a companion. Doctors would even notify family when Oscar curled up next to a patient so they could rush to be with them.

    3. Scientists hypothesize toxoplasmosis, a brain parasite spread through cat poop, can spread to humans and make them care more for cats.

    closeup of germs

    And scientific studies show that humans infected with toxoplasmosis are perceived as more attractive than non-infected humans.

    While that's the silver lining, toxoplasmosis can cause serious side effects like headache, fatigue, seizures, and swollen lymph nodes. In pregnant people, it can be passed onto the baby and can cause severe birth defects.

    a man looking concerned

    Toxoplasmosis affects cat prey differently. It can infect the brain of cat prey (like rats and birds) and make them unafraid of cats and more likely to cross their path.

    4. The reason cats and dogs circle before they lay down is because they try to face the wind.

    a cat sleeping on a couch

    This is an instinct they've derived from ancestors so they are able to pick up the scent of predators while they sleep, so they can get away.

    5. Cats are rumored to have played a hand in the extinction of 63 species of birds.

    Some of the birds that have fallen victim to cats are native to the Hawaiian islands, which had no cats until the 1700s, but since the cats' introduction, birds like the Hawaiian crow have gone extinct due to toxoplasmosis.

    an illustration of a crow

    Animals other than birds have also been victim to feral cats and their hunting habits, like the numbat, native to Australia, and preyed on by feral cats and foxes.

    numbat on a rock

    6. Cheetahs are not in the same genus as other big cats like lions and tigers because they can't roar.

    a cheetah on a log

    They can only...meow. It's VERY cute.

    View this video on YouTube

    meskal44 / Via

    They also purr. I've got a video for that one, too.

    View this video on YouTube

    M C / Via

    7. The black-footed cat, a cat species native to Africa, kills over 10 rodents a night due to its elevated metabolism.

    black-footed cat

    The black-footed cat is typically less than 8 inches tall and 2–4 pounds, but while a lion typically kills 25% of its prey, the black-footed cat kills 60% of its prey.

    While they pose no danger to larger prey, the black-footed cat is considered the deadliest cat on Earth because of the success rate they have catching prey.

    black-footed cat under a log

    8. Cats can jump up to six times their height (between 5–6 feet), but have been seen jumping as high as 8 feet.

    Not only can they jump really high, they're also pretty fast, clocking in a running speed of around 30 miles per hour.

    a small cat running

    For context, Usain Bolt's top speed is a little over 27 miles per hour.

    Usain Bolt waving

    9. Cats can rehydrate by drinking seawater.

    a cat by the beach

    While we should by no means feed our feline friends saltwater instead of fresh water, cat kidneys have adapted to filter the salt out of seawater so the cat can use it as a source of hydration.

    an X-ray of a cat

    Cats need much less water than humans do. They actually have the ability to produce much more concentrated urine to save the fluids in their body.

    a cat on a toilet by a tub

    10. Unsinkable Sam, a World War II cat, survived the sinking of three naval war ships.

    illustration of a cat in water using a wooden board to float

    He first took residence on the Bismarck, a Nazi ship that was eventually sunk by Allied forces. A British naval officer found Unsinkable Sam floating on a piece of wood and enlisted him as an Allied force.

    naval ship

    Sam then sailed on the HMS Cossack, an ally convoy ship that sailed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, which was eventually sunk by a Nazi torpedo.

    a photo of HMS Cossack

    Once Unsinkable Sam was found floating on a ship plank, he was brought back to shore and later assigned to the HMS Ark Royal, which was afloat for a while, but, well, sank.

    closeup of HMS Ark Royal

    After the sinking of the HMS Ark Royal, Sam was relieved of ship duty and lived out the rest of his days in the UK on land. While some think this is just a seafaring legend, there is a portrait of Unsinkable Sam at the Naval Museum in Greenwich.

    illustration of a cat on a table with tea being poured into a cup

    11. Finally, in an emergency, cats can receive dog blood, as cat blood has no natural antibodies to dog blood.

    a kitten and a dog touching noses

    Xenotransfusion, the process of transferring blood from one species to another, can be carried out in a life-threatening emergency where cat blood is not available.

    a dog and a cat on a couch

    However, antibodies to canine blood develop within 4–7 days of a transfusion in a cat. Therefore, using dog blood in a lifesaving procedure for a cat can be fatal if done more than once.

    a cat being checked out by vets

    Do you have a wild story about something your cat has done? Share with us in the comments below!