Tag Archives: Cats

Facts About Cats~


They Have Amazing Night Vision

  1. Cats can have 8 times as many rod cells than humans, allowing them to see much better in low light. They’re elliptical pupils and a structure called “tapetum lucidum” help collect more light back to the retina for better night vision. It’s because of this that cats are some of nature’s best nocturnal hunters!
Image by Nickolay Lamm 

2. Cats Show Affection With Their Eyes

When your cat gazes at you with its eyes half closed or blinks slowly, it’s a sign of trust! It means they are relaxed and content around you. These slow blinks can be thought of as kitty kisses!

3. The Oldest Known Pet Cat is From 9,500 Years Ago

Most people think the Egyptians domesticated cats, but the oldest record of a pet cat is from 9,500 years ago in Cyprus, Greece. This predates egyptian cats by 4,000 years!

Image by Kiara M. Newman

4. A French Cat Was Sent on a Space Mission

Félicette, also known as “Astro Cat” was the first and only cat to visit outer space. Electrodes wired in her brain sent signals of neurological activity back to earth. Her mission was in 1963 and she made it back safely!

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5. Cats Hear Better Than Dogs.

Cats can hear two octaves higher than humans and 1 octave higher than dogs. An article posted on animal planet’s websitesays that cat ears are “like a sophisticated satellite dish turning to pick up a signal.”

Image by Gregory Breton

6. Egyptian Cats Had Elaborate Funerals

In ancient Egypt, the family of a deceased cat would mourn by shaving off their eyebrows and having a burial ceremony. They would mummify the cat along with some mice to keep them company in the afterlife.

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7. Cat Brains are More Similar to Human Brains than Dog Brains

Human brains and cat brains have a very similar structure. Cats and humans have identical regions of the brain responsible for emotion. They even have the capacity for short-term and long-term memory, just like humans.

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8. Some Cats Like Water!

Some cats in hot climates like to cool off by taking a dip. For example, Turkish Vans love to swim and hunt fish. Most cats don’t like water because their fur is not water resistant, but the Turkish Van has a water resistant coat.

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9. Cats Sweat Through Their Paws

Cats don’t have sweat glands all over their body like humans do. Instead, they sweat through their paws. A sweaty cat may leave behind wet paw-prints! Since their paws have very little surface area, they take extra steps to stay cool like finding a shady spot or laying down on cool surfaces.

10. Cats Can’t Taste Sweet Things

Cats are the only known mammals who do not have taste receptors for sweetness.  A 2005 Monell Chemical Senses Center study in Philadelphia found that cats lack the amino acids needed to make the sugar detector gene. This is true for all cats- lions, tigers, and leopards included.

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Thank you for reading 🙂


Poisonous Plants

Autumn Crocus

There are two Crocus plants: one that blooms in the spring (Crocus species) and the other in the autumn Colchicum autumnale). The spring plants are more common and are part of the Iridaceae family. These ingestions can cause general gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. These should not be mistaken for Autumn Crocus, part of the Liliaceae family, which contain colchicine. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If you’re not sure what plant it is, bring your pet to their veterinarian immediately for care. Signs may be seen immediately but can be delayed for days.


In the same family as rhododendrons, azaleas can have serious effects on pets. Eating even a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling; without immediate veterinary attention, the pet could fall into a coma and possibly die.


The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous to pets. If ingested, cyclamen can cause severe vomiting and even death.


This popular flowering succulent plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmias if ingested by pets.


There are dangerous and benign lilies out there, and it’s important to know the difference. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs, such as tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus – this results in minor drooling. The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, and these include Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies – all of which are highly toxic to cats! Even small ingestions (such as 2-3 petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure. If your cat is seen consuming any part of a lily, bring your cat (and the plant) immediately to a veterinarian for medical care. The sooner you bring in your cat, the better and more efficiently we can treat the poisoning.

For more information on lilies, please visit our No Lilies for Kitties campaign.


Oleander is an outdoor shrub, popular for its evergreen qualities and delicate flowers. However, the leaves and flowers are extremely toxic if ingested and can cause severe vomiting, slow the heart rate and possibly even cause death.


Popular in many homes and offices, dieffenbachia can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing if ingested.


These flowers contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties (something that triggers vomiting). Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias or respiratory depression. Crystals are found in the outer layer of the bulbs, similar to hyacinths, which cause severe tissue irritation and secondary drooling. Daffodil ingestions can result in more severe symptoms so if an exposure is witnessed or symptoms are seen, we recommend seeking veterinary care for further supportive care.

Lily of the Valley

The Convallaria majalis plant contains cardiac glycosides which will cause symptoms similar to digitalis (foxglove) ingestion. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. Pets with any known exposure to this plant should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically.

Sago Palm

Very popular in warmer climates, this household and outdoor plant can be very harmful to pets. If ingested, the leaves and seeds can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure and, in some cases, death.

Tulips and Hyacinths

Tulips contain allergenic lactones while hyacinths contain similar alkaloids. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), so make sure your dog isn’t digging up the bulbs in the garden. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus. Typical signs include profuse drooling, vomiting, or even diarrhea, depending on the amount consumed. There’s no specific antidote, but with supportive care from the veterinarian, animals do quite well. With large ingestions of the bulb, more severe symptoms such as an increase in heart rate and changes in respiration can be seen, and should be treated by a veterinarian. These more severe signs are seen in cattle or our overzealous, chowhound Labradors.

This is only a partial list of poisonous plants.  For a more complete list of plants poisonous to cats and dogs, visit our Poison List.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Poisonous Plants and Flowers

tomato plant


The leaves are toxic to cats and dogs so, if you grow them, or make sure that animals can’t get to them.


Woman and girl potato farming on remote island

Unripe, green or raw potatoes are dangerous to dogs, and the leaves are toxic too. Again, make sure your pets can’t get to them.

Autumn Crocus

Autumn Crocus

Not to be confused with the spring crocus (which can still cause vomiting and diarrhea), all parts of this plant are toxic. It can cause liver and kidney damage, seizures and death.



Every part of a lily is toxic to cats (even one leaf or petal can make them very ill) and some kinds are poisonous to dogs as well. They are even toxic to horses.


tulips flowers

They’re a member of the lily family, so it’s not surprising that they are also toxic to cats, dogs and horses. The toxins tulipalin A and tulipalin B are found within tulip bulbs, but if you think your pet has eaten any part of the plant, seek veterinary assistance immediately. 

Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo

Also known as sacred bamboo or the Nandina plant, this produces red berries that are very pretty, but dangerous. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, which release hydrogen cyanide when chewed.



Foxtails are spikelets that carry the seeds of the foxtail grass. They are barbed and meant to burrow into the ground to germinate – but this also means they could penetrate an animal’s body and damage internal organs. The ears are especially vulnerable.

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid this common weed, but you can check your pet’s body (especially entry points like the ears, mouth and eyes) after a walk, and uproot – not mow – any foxtails you see in the garden.

Sago Palm

Sago Palm

These ornamental houseplants are very poisonous to cats and dogs. The whole of the plant is dangerous, but the nuts are the worst. If you think your pet may have ingested some, take it to a vet immediately.

Castor Beans

Castor Beans

Ricin is a well-known poison, and it’s present in the bean of the castor oil plant – although all parts of the plant are toxic. Even tiny amounts can poison a cat or a dog and cause twitching, tremors, seizures, comas or death.-



A type of rhododendron, azaleas contain a poisonous substance called grayanotoxin, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even blindness and comas in cats and dogs.

Thank you for reading 🙂