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The Ultimate Domestic Cats Quiz
by Staff
So you think you're an expert on cats because you've had Sylvester for 10 years. Well, you might be amazed at how much there really is to know. Do all cats purr? What dialect is "meow"? Do they really have nine lives? Take this quiz and learn more.

How many cats are kept as pets in the United States?

  • 20 million
  • 67 million
  • 150 million

What is the name of the wild ancestor of the domestic cat?

  • African tiger
  • Tasmanian Devil
  • African wild cat

In the process of domestication, many animals have changed anatomically or behaviorally from their wild ancestors. Is this also the case with cats?

  • yes
  • no
  • yes, depending on the region

What enables cats to silently stalk their prey?

  • padded feet and flexible muscles
  • retractable claws and fine coordination
  • strong hind legs and finely-attuned whiskers

While sleeping, how often do cats purr?

  • They purr two to three times a night.
  • They don't purr during sleep.
  • They purr during rapid eye movement (REM) and when they're having a nightmare.

Why are cats that fall from higher stories likely to suffer less injury than those that fall from lower ones?

  • because they are instinctively geared for higher falls
  • because they form a parachute with their bodies at the greatest rate of descent (above four stories)
  • because they have more time to prepare their emergency landing from a greater height

In 1987, it was discovered that giving cats taurine supplements _____ the disease of dilated cardiomyopathy.

  • had no effect whatsoever on
  • caused
  • reversed the effects of

How is feline AIDS transmitted?

  • by means of contact with an infected cat
  • by means of a bite from an infected cat
  • by means of a scratch from an infected cat

According to animal behaviorists, which animal's intelligence and learning ability is greater -- a cat's or a dog's?

  • they are the same
  • a cat's
  • a dog's

Researchers have discovered that cats can learn complex tasks, especially if the reward is:

  • warm shelter
  • petting
  • food

When a cat licks its fur to clean itself, an ingredient in its saliva conditions the fur. What is this ingredient?

  • an enzyme
  • a certain protein
  • a hormone

How do cats that live in the wild mark out their territory?

  • by scratching their claws on particular trees
  • by urinating on particular trees
  • by leaving droppings in particular areas

How can one stop a domestic cat from scratching a piece of furniture?

  • by giving it a smack whenever it tries to scratch there
  • by putting up signs that say "No scratching allowed"
  • by replacing it with a scratching post in the same place

Why does a cat sometimes spray urine when you introduce another pet cat into your home?

  • because it is welcoming the new cat in a cat-like manner
  • because it feels anxious or threatened
  • because it is warning the new cat to beware

One treatment for urine spraying is the drug diazepam. What is another name for this?

  • Ritalin
  • Valium
  • Viagra

One German animal behaviorist discovered that it took about _____ attempts before a cat caught one mouse.

  • three
  • five
  • eight

Why do cats often play with mice before killing them?

  • in order to torture them
  • the reason is not known
  • because they get feline pleasure out of it

In order to hunt prey successfully, what do cats need to have?

  • agility
  • strong claws
  • experience

In a study of 77 pet cats in Bedfordshire, the cats claimed 1,100 prey over the course of a year. What proportion of these were birds?

  • one quarter
  • one third
  • two thirds

Why do ecologists claim that the Bedfordshire study was only half the story?

  • because some of the victims were actually killed by dogs but were afterward claimed by the cats
  • because the cats were not studied from morning to night but only during human work hours
  • because house cats only bring home about half of their victims