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Fun Pet Facts

True pet lovers love to learn more about pets and animals; especially the fun and weird stuff. Got a fun pet fact you'd like to share? Send it to us! Make sure you leave your name so we can give credit where it's due.

General Pet Facts

  • It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
  • The term "Raining cats and dogs" was coined from the days in seventh-century England when, because of poor drainage systems, heavy rains would drown dogs and cats and their bodies could be seen floating down the streets. Yuck!
  • Most pet owners (94%) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
  • Pet owners see doctors 25% fewer times than people who don't have pets.
  • Pets promote social interaction, decrease the feeling of loneliness and isolation, and increase morale and optimism.
  • Pets encourage playfulness, exercise, and laughter.
  • Pet satisfy the need for touch and to be touched, and give nonjudgmental warmth and affection.
  • 56% of dog owners and 42% of cat owners bought holiday gifts for their pets last year.
  • Seventy percent of people sign their pet's name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits.
  • Some 39% of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of
    their spouse or significant other. Only 21% say they have more photos of their spouse or significant other than of their pet.
  • According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 71.1 millions homes.

Dog Facts & Bones

  • The American foxhound is the Virginia state dog.
  • Adult dogs have forty-two teeth. And 'that's the tooth'!
  • After a dog reaches the age of two, each year equals about four or five human years.
  • Female dogs have 310 bones; male dogs have 311.
  • A dog can carry half its weight comfortably in a backpack.
  • St. Anthony is the patron saint of dogs.
  • A dog's normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees. Thus, the term 'hot dog'!
  • Dogs chew on grass to add fiber to their diet. It's the K9's salad.
  • The world's first space traveler was Laika, a female husky, whom Russian scientist rocketed into space in a Sputnik satellite in 1957.
  • The word 'dog' in Spanish is 'perro'; French is 'chien'; German is 'hund'; Italian is 'cane'; Chinese is 'goou'; and Japanese is 'inu'.
  • 'Fido' means 'loyalty' in Italian.
  • A dog's height is measured to the shoulders or withers, not the top of its head.
  • The position of the dog's tail can represent as many as six different messages.
  • Ruff-ly, half of the 65 million pet dogs in the U.S. are mutts.
  • Most dogs have two coats, an outer coat of long, guard hairs and an uundercoat of shorter, fluffly hair.

Cat Facts & Tidbits

  • About 50% of all cats are right-handed. The other 50% are southpaws.
  • Cat saliva contains a deodorizing agent which keeps cats clean and healthy. Hmm. that's some good licking.
  • Cat puberty begins at about four months of age.
  • The maximum speed of a domestic cat is 30 miles per hour.
  • The average weight of a female cat is 7.2 pounds -- the male cat is 8.6 pounds.
  • 95% of all solid white cats with both eyes blue are deaf. It is a dominant genetic trait linked to the white fur and blue eyes. —Submitted by Debra Weidman, Charlottesville Virginia
  • 99.999% of calico (3 colors) cats are female. Only 1 in a million calico cats are male. Only 1 in 10 million calico males are fertile. The rest are sterile and cannot reproduce. —Submitted by Debra Weidman, Charlottesville Virginia
  • When a domestic cat goes after mice, about one pounce in three results in a catch. Not bad—that's a .333 batting average!
  • At the back of a cat's foot is a single carpal pad that doesn't touch the ground. Instead, it acts as a brake when the cat leaps forward.
  • Kittens are born blue-eyed. If their eyes change colors, it generally occurs at four to five weeks of age.
  • Cats can hear frequencies up to 50,000 cycles per second, more than twice that of a human.
  • Cats have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their back feet.
  • The cat generally has 24 whiskers, 12 on each side of its face.
  • Most cat owners are couples, but with single people, a larger percentage are female owners.
  • Cats usually meow at people but rarely at other cats.
  • Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.
  • A cat's tail held high means happiness. A twitching tail is a warning sign, and a tail tucked in close to the body is a sure sign of insecurity.
  • The cat's equivalent of a kiss is to touch nose to nose.
  • A group of cats, when not a litter, is called a clowder. A group of such kittens is called a kyndyl.
  • America's first cat exhibitoin was in Madison Square Garden from May 8-11, 1895. Over 200 cats were shown in cages.
  • Ever notice that cats' eyes appear to glow in the dark? That's because a reflective layer, the tapetum licidium, possesses crystal-like reflective properties.

Bird Facts & Seeds

  • The maximum speed of a chicken is 9 miles per hour.
  • Ostriches stick their heads in the and to look for water.
  • The hummingbird is the only bird than can fly backwards.
  • The eggs laid in a bird's nest is called a clutch.
  • Birds actually dream when they sleep. According to research conducted by the University of CHicago, they dream about their songs, have dream rehearsals, and sign the same songs better the next day.
  • Penguins can swim but they can not fly.
  • Flamingos must turn their heads upside down to eat.
  • A group of chickens is called a peep.