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17 Cool Trivia Facts About American Cats

Jul 2, 2017 · Updated Jul 2, 2017 · ·
  1. Anne
    17 Cool Trivia Facts About American Cats
    There are more cats in American households these days than any other pet (even dogs!) You could in fact say that the cat is "America's Pet". Let's take a look at a few interesting facts relating to our beloved felines and the United States of America.
    1. The first members of the cat family in North America were Sabertooth tigers. Paleontologists believe these majestic felids inhabited the continent as early as 42 million years ago!
    2. The largest cat in the USA today is the cougar, also known as the mountain lion, puma, catamount or panther. Adult males can weigh up to 220 lbs!
    3. Cats probably first arrived in what is now the US with the first Europeans. There is no written indication of that, but we do know that cats were routinely kept on ships to keep rodents at bay.
    4. Some say one of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower had her pet cat's name written down inside her Bible, citing this as proof that cats came on board the Mayflower.
    5. Cats are mentioned in the folklore of some Native American tribes, but it's hard to tell if these were domesticated cats, brought to the continent by the Pilgrims, or wild bobcats which were taken in as kittens and raised as pets.
    6. At least eleven American presidents kept cats as pets while in office. Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Kennedy, Carter and Clinton all had pet cats in the White House. Read more about Cats in the White House.
    7. At least one American town has a cat as mayor. As of 2017, 20-year-old Stubbs is still the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska. He's held that office ever since he was a four-month-old kitten!
    8. Quite a few cats have "served" in the US military, especially on board US warships during the First and Second World Wars. Here are some great stories about some of these cats.
    9. During the Cold War, the CIA intended to use cats as spies by implementing microphones in them. Millions of dollars went into the project - dubbed Acoustic Kitty - but it was eventually cancelled because the CIA discovered that cats were not easy to train.
    10. The number of pet cats in the United States in 2017 is estimated to be 95.6 million.
    11. The number of homeless cats (stray and feral) in the United States is estimated at 60 million.
    12. Every year, 3.2 million cats are surrendered to shelters in the United States. More than 800,000 of them are euthanized.
    13. Four cat breeds have the word "American" in their name: American Curl, American Bobtail, American Shorthair and American Wirehair.
    14. Two recognized cat breeds include the names of US states: the California Spangled Cat and the Maine Coon.
    15. Other breeds that are known to have originated in the USA include the Ragdoll, the Pixie-Bob, the Munchkin and the Exotic Shorthair.
    16. There are hundreds - possibly thousands - of stores in the US that specialize in selling cat-themed items.
    17. In autumn 2016, there were 39 library cats in the country, down from just over 200 twenty years ago. The numbers are declining due to complaints about cat allergies.
    Got a cat fact to add? Post it in a comment below, or just let us know what you think of the special connection Americans have with cats.

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  1. Candybee
    I wrote a letter to Socks care of the White House so I could get a "signed" cat-o-graph. This was of course during the Clinton Administration. Here is what I got in the mail:


    I guess that made him a FCOTUS! LOL
  2. Candybee
    Don't forget cats for hire. Another way to save a cat by giving it a living and new life. I think mostly they are hired out as barn and stable cats to help keep the rodent populations down.
  3. Candybee
    There is no mention of Bed & Breakfasts that have cats for the guests. They are very popular at B&B's throughout the country and in other countries.

    Also, cat cafes have popped up all over the US. I believe they started in Japan where they are very popular and the US copied the practice. Now cat cafes have really taken off in popularity and frequency here.
  4. shadowkitty10
    Cool! An extra fact is on the subject of number 9. The Dutch Embassy in Moscow, Russia had (or has, I don't know how long ago this happened) a few cats that kept on scratching at the walls. Their initial thought was that they had a rodent problem, but found out that there were microphones in the walls! Only the cats could hear the high-pitched noise of them turning on.

    I know this was posted quite a while ago, but I thought this would still be acceptable to comment.
  5. kittielover123
    Just found out the mayor cat (stubbs) has passed away. R.I.P Stubs
      shadowkitty10, Shane Kent and tarasgirl06 purraised this.
    1. tarasgirl06
      The best possible kind of leader for any community or society -- soft, handsome, purry, sweet, and works for food, water, shelter, safety, and some affection. Indeed, Stubbs was a GREAT cat and a GREAT mayor.
      shadowkitty10 and Shane Kent purraised this.
  6. Shane Kent
    I have a cat fact. The best cats in the world live at my house in Canada ;) That's the fact Jack :p
      tarasgirl06 purraised this.
    1. tarasgirl06
      After MY CATS, that is. ;) Everyone should feel that way about their cats. Which is why I purraised you.
      Shane Kent purraised this.
  7. tarasgirl06
    Thanks for sharing these seasonally appropriate anecdotes about our favorite furry beings!
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