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While dogs are also popular in Japan, many pet lovers here, perhaps due to the small size of homes, choose a cat for their animal companionship fix.

Although the gap between the number of pet cats and dogs isn’t particularly wide here, cats seem to hold a much stronger fascination for Internet users than their canine counterparts. The LOL Cats phenomenon may not have spread to Japan yet, but that doesn’t mean the country’s netizens aren’t constantly buzzing about their kitties, and today we share some of their feline talking points with you.

1. Cats can live into their 30s

Currently, The Guinness Book of World Record lists the oldest living cat as 28-year-old Pinky of Kansas. Cats are capable of reaching the three-decade mark, however, as the record-keeping organization recognized the Texas-owned Crème Puff, who passed away at 38, as the longest-living cat ever.

Anecdotal evidence points to Japan’s feline longevity award going to Tomoko, a cat in northern Aomori Prefecture’s Shimokita-gun, who celebrated 36 birthdays before passing away in 1971.

2. They sleep up to 20 hours a day

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Felines spend between 14 to 20 hours a day catching 40 winks (giving them an appallingly inefficient rate of 2 winks/hour). This is far beyond the 12 to 14 hours arch-rival dogs spend snoozing, and as much as ten times ahead of industrious horses.

But before we brand cats as simply lazy, it should be noted that sufficient sleep is a widely-regarded key to longevity, such as those 30-plus-year lifespans we mentioned above.

▼ “Longevity training” is also the excuse we give our bosses when we’re late for work.

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3. They can move quickly if they feel like it

Being well-rested apparently gives them the capability for sudden bursts of speed, as the average house cat can sprint at around 50 kilometers (30 miles) per hour.

4. Despite their image as clean animals, some of them are filthy rich

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Of course, some cats can justify sleeping the day away due to the fact that they’re independently wealthy. Just last week, Maria Assunta, the widow of an Itiallian property tycoon, passed away, bequeathing her $13-million estate to her cat, which she had picked up as a stray on the streets of Rome.

Going farther back, in 1988 Blackie, the beloved pet cat of British antique merchant Ben Rea, was awarded 15 million pounds in his master’s will. Touched as we are by Rea’s devotion to his pet, we can’t help but sense something sinister in the way Blackie was the last survivor of 15 felines owned by Rea.

▼ We’re not saying that Blackie poisoned the food of his 14 rivals in an Agatha Christie-like murder plot. We’re just saying that if he did, he was definitely wearing a monocle at the time.

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5. They can grow impressively long facial hair

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Heading back to record-holding cats, the longest confirmed whiskers are those of Missi, a Maine Coon living in Finland. Missi’s mustache-like whiskers measure 19 centimeters (9.5 inches), making them suitable long to twirl sinisterly as, inspired by Blackie, he plots ways to eliminate his enemies.

6. They have almost no ability to sense sweetness

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No, this isn’t a reference to the indifference your cat shows as you attempt to shower it with affection. In order to detect if the food they bite into is rotten, cats are hypersensitive to sourness, which in turn almost completely blocks their ability to taste sweetness. This lack of a sweet tooth could perhaps also account for their long lifespan!

7. They can’t see red

Another feline sensory weakness is trouble with the color red, which cats usually perceive as grey or black.

▼ So go ahead, eat that whole cake by yourself. Your cat wouldn’t appreciate its flavor or aesthetics, anyway.

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8. Most are born with blue eyes

While we’re on the subject of colors, most kittens have literal baby blues. Much like Caucasian infants, kittens’ melanin levels increase after birth, meaning that up until the age of three months, most have blue eyes.

9. They only sweat through one part of their bodies

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Much like a nervous teenager with sweaty palms on his first date, cats perspire exclusively through their paws. So the next time you’re experiencing a heatwave spare a thought for your little cat pal!

10. They have a different number of digits on their front and back paws

You may not have noticed if your only experience with cat paws is when one is taking a swipe at you, but cats have five digits on their front paws, and only four on those of their hind legs.

▼ This inability to count to 20 is one of the many reasons for the simplified equations of cat-related math.

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11. They can remember things for 16 hours

Once again besting dogs, cats have been shown to be able to retain memories for roughly 16 hours, compared to pooches’ paltry five minutes. This puts cats on the same level as monkeys and orangutans, and is yet another possible reasons for felines common “What have you done for me lately?” attitude of indifference.

12. They need the nutrition of five mice daily

Finally, an average house cat’s daily caloric and nutritional needs are equal to roughly five mice, just in case you were wondering how much to feed your new pet.

“I’m only leaving you alive so you can lead me back to you four friends.”

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Of course, if you check the pantry only to find you’re fresh out of dead rodents, there is a simpler alternative. And look: these larger bags come in “startled” and “grumpy” flavors to match your cat’s mood!

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Sources: Naver Matome, Guiness World Records, ABC News, Mother Nature Network
Top image: FC2
Insert images: Seesaa, Ascii, Ameba, Dokujo News, Cimarronah Animal Hospital, Life with Cats, Jugem, OCN, FC2, Top 1 Walls, Seesaa, Ameblo