Fun Facts About Pets

Tidbits of Trivia You Might Not Have Known

Dog plays with large ball

Domesticated pets are complex creatures. Have you ever wondered why they do some of the things they do? Your cat seems smart, but how sharp is his memory? Why is it your dog can always outrun you? Is it your imagination, or does it seem like your bird is always eating? Here are some interesting facts bound to keep you guessing.

Fun Facts About Dogs

  • Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.
  • Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.
  • Dogs have about 10 vocal sounds.
  • Dogs do not have an appendix.
  • There are more than 350 different breeds of dogs worldwide.
  • Dalmatians are born spotless: at first pure white, their spots develop as they age.
  • Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t color blind; they can see shades of blue, yellow, green and gray. The color red registers on a grayscale in a dog’s vision.
  • Most domestic dogs are capable of reaching speeds up to about nineteen miles per hour when running at full speed.
  • Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.
  • Domesticated for more than 10,000 years, the dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans.

Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw!

Fun Feline Facts

  • Cats do not have sweat glands.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • A pack of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
  • An adult cat can run about 12 miles per hour, and can sprint at nearly thirty miles per hour.
  • A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae—tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.
  • The nose pad of each cat has ridges in a unique pattern not unlike a person's fingerprints.
  • Cats' bodies are extremely flexible; the cat skeleton contains more than 230 bones (a human has about 206), and the pelvis and shoulders loosely attach to the spine. This adds to their flexibility and allows them to fit through very small spaces.
  • Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dog's memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours—exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.

Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes!

Fun Facts About Avians and Exotic Pets

Parrot
  • To survive, every bird must eat at least half its own weight in food each day.
  • A bird's heart beats 400 times per minute while they are resting.
  • Americans own more than 60 million pet birds.
  • Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 75 years.
  • Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.
  • Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex. They are also the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.
  • Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.
  • A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies.
  • Ferrets are currently the third most popular pet in the US. There are an estimated eight to ten million ferrets in the United States being kept as pets.
  • A goldfish can live up to 40 years.

Return to the VPI Pet HealthZone

Email this article to a friend or share it via your favorite social network.

Share This page

Related Articles

Pepper and Ginger

An hour after going out for their potty breaks, Pepper and Ginger both started throwing up violently. Their parents soon realized they had ingested poison meant for a pesky gopher.
 Full Story