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A Collection of Interesting Pet Facts

I was an English major, so letís start with a couple of  literary references:

Lord Byron was so devastated by the death of his beloved Newfoundland, Boatswain, that he had inscribed upon the dog's gravestone the following: "Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices."

When Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, arrived home after an absence of twenty years, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master, then died.

Ferrets sleep for about 20 hours a day.

All pet hamsters are descended from a single female wild golden hamster found with a litter of twelve young in Syria in 1930.

Goldfish lose their color if they are kept in dim light or are placed in a body of running water, such as a stream.   

Dalmatians originate from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.

Felix the Cat is the first cartoon character to ever have been made into a balloon for a parade.

The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can't retract its claws.

A cat has four rows of whiskers.

The pet ferret (Mustela putorias furo) was domesticated more than 500 years before the house cat.

The Beatles song "Martha My Dear" was written by Paul McCartney about his sheepdog Martha.

The name of the dog on the Cracker Jack box is Bingo. 

The shortest French word with all five vowels is "oiseau" meaning bird. 

According to tests made at the Institute for the Study of Animal Problems in Washington, D.C., dogs and cats, like people, are either right-handed or left-handed --- that is, they favor either their right or left paws.

A cat uses his whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through.

In Egyptian times, the penalty for killing a greyhound was equivalent to that of killing a man.

More than 50 percent of dog and cat owners give their pets a human name, such as Molly, Sam or Max.
Source: American Animal Hospital Association

Cat scratch disease, a benign but sometimes painful disease of short duration, is caused by a bacillus. Despite its name, the disease can be transmitted by many kinds of scratches besides those of cats.

The common belief that dogs are color blind is false. Dogs can see color but it is not as vivid a color scheme as we see. It is much like our vision at twilight.

Cats: A group of youngsters [kittens] is called a kindle; those old-timers [adult cats] form a clowder.

Black cat superstitions are as American as apple pie. In Asia and England, black cats are considered lucky.

A cat's tongue consists of small "hooks," which come in handy when tearing up food.

When a domestic cat goes after mice, about one pounce in three results in a catch.

The cat lover is an ailurophile, while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.

The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker. In fact, Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens hair from darkening on the points.

In World War II, the ninety million dollars worth of National Biscuit Company products furnished to the US Armed Services included thousands of cases of MILK-BONE BRAND Dog Biscuits for the dogs of the Army and Marine Corps. 

Smartest dogs: 1) border collie; 2)poodle; 3)golden retriever

In cats, the calico and tortoiseshell coats are sex-linked traits. All cats displaying these coats are female... or occasionally sterile males.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.

The heaviest cat ever recorded was 46 lbs.

Greyhounds can run up to 45 miles an hour for very short periods.

If NASA sent birds into space they would soon die; they need gravity to swallow.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Dogs have 42 teeth, cats about 30.

Cats have a third eyelid called a haw and you will probably only see it when kitty isn't feeling well.

A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

Adult cats with no health problems are in deep sleep 15 percent of their lives. They are in light sleep 50 percent of the time.

Cats are the only animal that walk on their claws, not the pads of their feet.

In ancient Egypt, entire families would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.


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Emily the Petsitter
Keeping Pets Happy at Home!

Serving Tyler and surrounding areas

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Emily the Petsitter | Emily Horton.  All Rights Reserved.

 Graphics purchased at
Country Patch Collections.

"Animals are a gift to the human race -- a gift that humans rarely take full advantage of. 
Only now are we even beginning to understand what a marvelous blessing animals truly are.Ē
-- Allen M. Schoen D.V.M., M.S.