Did you know that Millennials are the most likely to have pets? Or that every dog’s nose print is different? Or that cats can run 30 miles per hour? Test your knowledge with our pet pop quiz. How many of these fun facts did you already know?

Ten Fun Facts About Cats and Dogs

1: Pets Live in Two-Thirds of Homes in the United States

As of 2023, nearly 87 million American homes have at least one pet. Millennials currently have the most pets—if you were born between 1981 and 1996, there’s a one in three chance that you have a four-legged (or feathered) housemate.

2: Cats Have Been Living with Humans for Almost 10,000 Years

The earliest record of a domesticated cat was found at an archaeological dig in Cyprus. They uncovered the skeleton of a cat that was buried with its owner around 9,500 years ago. But even though cats have been living in our homes for such a long time, litter boxes were only invented in the 1940s.

3: Every Dog Has a Unique Nose Print

For dogs, a nose print is like a fingerprint—each one is unique! So if you have more than one dog in your family, see if you can tell whose nose print is whose the next time you’re cleaning the windows.

4: Cats Can Run As Fast As 30 MPH

When cats get the zoomies, they can really get going. The average house cat can reach top speeds of 20 miles per hour. But the fastest cat breed is the Abyssinian—these athletic cats can run as fast as 30 mph, and Bengals aren’t too far behind. 

5: Dogs Can Hear Sounds a Mile Away

Dogs can hear sounds that are four or five times farther away than sounds that humans can hear. In fact, their sense of hearing is so acute that extremely loud sounds like fireworks can literally hurt their ears.

6: Cats Can Jump Up to Five Times Their Body Length

Climbing, perching, pouncing, jumping—cats are expert acrobats. It’s what makes them such good hunters. So make sure to give your cat some jumping exercise, whether it’s playing with a feather toy or chasing a bouncy ball. And don’t be surprised if they suddenly jump up onto your desk from the floor or you find them perched on top of the refrigerator one day.  

7: The Average Dog Knows 165 Different Words

Your dog might understand what you’re saying more than they let on. In fact, most dogs know  just about as many words as a two-year-old. Some dogs can even learn 200 words or more! So even though it seems like your dog only knows “walk” and “treat” they actually have a pretty good idea what you’re talking about most of the time.

8: Cats Are Related to Tigers, But They Descended from an African Wildcat

Even though cats share 96% of their genes with tigers, they are actually more closely related to Felis sylvestris lybica, a small wildcat that lives in Africa. It looks a lot like a sandy-colored tabby cat, and hunts rodents at night on the savanna.

9: Dogs May Be Related to Wolves, But They Shouldn’t Eat Like Them

All domestic dogs have descended from wolves, but when they started living with humans, their diets changed. While some people claim that feeding your dog a raw food diet is healthier and more natural, it’s actually quite dangerous. Raw food—especially raw meat—can easily get contaminated and expose your dog to intestinal parasites or dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.

10: Dogs Have 42 Teeth, But Cats Only Have 30

Due to their omnivorous diets, dogs have a lot more molars than cats—they need them for gnawing and chewing. Since cats are carnivores, they don’t need as many molars. However, both dogs and cats can get cavities, so brushing your pet’s teeth should be part of your daily routine.

All Pets Need Dental Care

One of the most important reasons to bring your pet in for a veterinary exam every year is to check up on their dental health. Cats and dogs can both suffer from painful tooth infections and gum disease, and can even lose their teeth if they don’t get treatment. 

If your pet is due for a checkup, bring them to Anasazi Animal Clinic. We love meeting all the pets that live in Gilbert, Chandler, and our neighboring communities here in Arizona. Give us a call at 480-497-0505 or request an appointment online today. 

Photo by Andrew S on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 9/27/2023.