A cat and a computer.

There seem to be a few common questions about cats that are burning in the minds of feline fanatics everywhere. Read on as the experts at the Elmhurst Animal Care Center take on the five most Googled cat questions on the Internet. 

Why Do Cats Purr?

Purring is a pretty cat-specific behavior and a unique behavior. For the most part, we assume that cats purr when happy and content, but this doesn’t always hold true. Purring seems to be a bit more complicated than that. 

Purring seems to hold a few functions, including:

  • To communicate location, a need, or interest
  • To soothe themselves and their feline friends
  • To aid in healing (the frequency of purring is known to promote bone growth and soft tissue healing)

It might be a little bit of a mystery why your cat is purring in an isolated moment, but in general, a cat’s purr helps them to integrate with their friends and family. 

Should Cats Drink Milk?

Just like human babies, kittens depend on their mother’s milk for nourishment during the beginning of their life. Also like humans, though, cats tend to lose their ability to digest milk as they get older. Since most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, milk does not make a good nutritional choice for them. Cow’s milk is not nutritionally balanced for a cat and is likely to cause bloating digestive upset, and diarrhea. Instead of milk, choose a cat-specific milk-based treat or special canned food to treat your kitty. 

Do Cats See in Color?

In short, no. Cats are known for being most active in the darker hours of the day and need a lot of rod cells in their retinas to see their prey. This leaves little room for the color-sensing cone cells in the back of the eye. It’s likely that cats see in shades of blue and gray. 

How Did Cats Become Pets?

We know that cats actually lived alongside humans long before they actually became domesticated. For thousands of years, evidence of cats coexisting with people can be found. 

When agricultural society began around 8,000 years ago, cats really began to really adopt us as they found more and more rodents near grain and other crops. Unlike dogs, who were purposely bred to fill specific roles, we just accepted cats as the amazing creatures that they are and appreciated pest control. In fact, the DNA of domestic cats is nearly identical to that of their wild counterparts.

How Long Do Cats Live?

Just like people, lifespan can be affected by a wide variety of factors. In general, though, a well-cared-for, indoor cat lives to be around 15 years of age. Female cats tend to live a little longer than males. Cats who venture outdoors live, on average, about half the time that indoor cats do. 

Beyond the Five Most Googled Cat Questions…

Of course, you might have other questions about your favorite pet that didn’t make the top five most Googled cat questions list. Never fear, though, our hospital is here to answer almost anything that you may be wondering. Don’t hesitate to call us and ask if you have other questions about your cat.