They are a big part of our lives, starring in the majority of photos on our camera rolls, so here are 10 of the most interesting facts about dogs and cats.
- Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, and the spots appear as they age.
- The poodle “haircut” was originally designed to help them swim! Poodles were first used as water retrieving dogs, and shaving their bottom half reduced their heavy coat and help them stay afloat. The hairstyle became very popular in the breed and is often still seen today.
- More than 60 per cent of Australians own pets. Of those pet owners, 40 per cent own dogs, compared to 25 per cent who own cats. That makes dogs by far the most popular pet owned by Australians.
- Ever wondered why cats have whiskers? Aside from looking cute, they are the ultimate sensory tool. Whiskers are connected to the muscular and nervous system and send messages directly to the brain. They also have exactly 12 whiskers on each side of their face in a completely symmetrical distribution, so they can accurately measure their environment.
- Dogs have 3 eyelids. Their eyes are protected not only by the same types of eyelids as humans, but also a third eyelid which protects the eyeball from scratches or in response to inflammation.
- Cats can jump up to six times their height in one jump. Their ability to jump comes down to powerful hind legs which propel them up into the air, and they use their tail for balance.
- Greyhounds are one of the fastest breeds of dog alive. They can run at a whopping 70km/h and can reach that speed within about six strides. To put that into some perspective, Usain Bolt (the fastest man alive) has reached a top speed of 44.72km/h.
- A dog’s sense of smell is far superior to a human. Dogs can have up to 300 million smelling cells, compared to humans 5-6 million smelling cells.
- The famous Beetles song “A Day in the Life” has a frequency only dogs can hear. Sir Paul McCartney has confirmed during interviews that the song has a high frequency tone at the end that only dogs could hear.
- A cat’s spine is so flexible, because it is made up of 53 loosely fitting vertebrae, compared to humans who only have 33. Cats also have an incredible 32 individual muscles controlling their ears, allowing them to move each ear 180 degrees, and each ear can move independently of the other.
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