A man works from home with his cat.

One in three households in the U.S. includes a cat among its family members. Cats are so very appealing thanks to their range of quirky personalities. Many cat lovers are compelled to find ways to understand the mysteries of their pets and, naturally, look to the internet for answers. We’ve gathered some of the most commonly Googled questions about cats:

Why Do Cats Purr and Meow?

These sounds are forms of communication! Meowing is quite often used to communicate with their humans. It can take time to understand what your cat is trying to tell you. Depending on whether your cat is hungry, happy, stressed, or playful, you might notice differences in how often or loudly they meow. On the other hand, purring is a clear sign of contentment, self-comfort, and bonding. 

Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

Sleeping throughout the day is an evolutionary habit designed to conserve energy between hunts. Most house cats no longer need to hunt for food, but napping continues to be part of the daily routine. Contrary to popular belief, cats are not nocturnal. Rather, they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Adult cats snooze an average of 16-18 hours a day, while kittens and senior cats sleep even more.

Why Do Cats Have Hairballs?

Cat tongues have tiny spikes, called papillae, that catch loose hair during grooming. Most of the time the loose hair goes through the digestive tract and exits with no complications. When some remains in the stomach, a hairball forms because fur is indigestible. Eventually, cats will vomit to get rid of it. This is a gross, but normal process.

What Do Cats Eat?

Cats are carnivores by nature and require animal-based protein to get proper nutrients. A meat-heavy diet provides the foundation for feline health. In addition to fish, poultry, and beef, cats can have other types of human food in small amounts, including blueberries, melon, and cooked eggs. Occasionally, cats may eat grass, which provides natural laxative benefits and helps to clean their gut of hairballs. Finally, water is the only liquid cats need. Access to water throughout the day allows them to stay energized and hydrated.

How Long Do Cats Live?

The oldest cat on record lived thirty-eight years! On average, however, a domestic cat lives 15 delightful years. Being overweight, living outdoors, and not being neutered are all factors that can shorten the lifespan of your furry family member. On the other hand, good nutrition, and regular health care, including vaccinations and parasite prevention, can help your cats live long and healthy lives.  

While the internet is a terrific place for cat memes and heartwarming videos, it’s not the best place to get medical advice. Our staff at Wheaton Animal Hospital is here to support the health of your pets. We are a certified cat-friendly practice, which means we take every measure to ensure an excellent experience for both cats and owners. Contact us at (630) 665-1500 for answers to all your cat questions.