How well do you really know your pets?

Put your pet knowledge to the test for National Pet Month

6 minute read

A dog and cat lying in the grass together

May marks National Pet Month, reminding us to lavishly shower our well loved pets with adoration until they've had their fill... or until they demand even more! Celebrate the occasion with treats, toys, and long walks. National Pet Month is the perfect time to show your dog or cat just how much you love them.

Love deepens when we can better understand our furry companions with all their charming quirks and adorable antics. While we invest numerous hours nurturing, walking, and observing our pets, do we truly understand them? How extensive is our knowledge of both cats and dogs? These captivating creatures hold endless mysteries waiting to be uncovered.

This year, Wondercide celebrates its 15th birthday, so we’re embracing all things 15. What better way to combine our excitement for National Pet Month and Wondercide’s 15th anniversary than with a list of 15 fur-tastic facts you might not know about cats and dogs? It’s time to test your knowledge about the furry creatures that roam your homes. Paws to see how many of these fascinating pieces of trivia you already knew, and what you learned along the way.

1. How long have dogs been domesticated?

It’s believed that dogs were the first domesticated animal. Evidence of the domestication of dogs dates back 15,000 years or more. Dogs have been man’s best friend for longer than you may have realized! Originally, dogs were often used as hunters, retrieving prey for humans. It was common for families to own 2 to 5 dogs due to how useful they were. Some experts suggest the first domesticated dog happened in the Paleolithic era and have dubbed a cave drawing from France as "Paleolithic dog."

Cave drawing of Paleolithic dog captured by Henri Breuil

2. How much do you know about the royal history of cats?

You may worship your kitten friend with pets and treats, but thousands of years ago, cats were worshiped on a much larger scale in ancient Egypt. They were seen as signs of good luck and almost “magical” to the Egyptian people. In fact, cat owners would honor their deceased pets by shaving their eyebrows and mummifying their kitties. In the French city, La Romieu, cats are viewed as superheroes, born from an old legend about cats eradicating their rat infestation and saving the city from famine. Statues and memorials are all around to honor their fallen feline soldiers. You can find sculpted cats on window sills and scattered about the town.

A striped cat sitting among wildflowers outside

3. Are pets undercover wellness gurus?

Pets have been proven to improve mental health and reduce stress levels. They say laughter is the best medicine, but we think a fun day with your furry pal is a close second. Animals have the proven effect of lowering blood pressure and calming anxiety and stress in humans. Having a pet could add some extra years to your life!

A black and white dog kisses a blonde woman with long hair as she laughs

4. Does size matter when it comes to longevity?

Smaller dogs tend to live longer than big dogs. Sadly, our larger friends might leave us sooner due to their bodies’ lack of cancer defenses. Scientists have found that bigger dogs invest most of their energy into growth which leaves less room for their bodies to produce defense mechanisms against cancer.

A big and small dog on a dock at a lake

5. What colors can dogs see?

There is a common misconception that dogs cannot see color. However, dogs can see yellow and blue. While color is a concept dogs probably cannot understand, they can make out variations of blue and yellow, so when looking for toys, those colors are good options to scope out!

A white chihuahua sits on a blue sofa surrounded by art showing the difference between humand dog vision

6. What’s the real reason your cat purrs?

Believe it or not, the purring sound your kitty makes is a mystery scientists have yet to solve. However, most experts speculate that purring is a sign of relaxation and comfort. So, if you hear that familiar soft sound, your kitty is probably trying to tell you you’re doing a great job as a pet parent! In other circumstances, cats may purr to get your attention, relieve stress, or express pain. Purring contributes to the reputation cats have of being hard to read because of how ambiguous purring can be.

A white cat purring while the hand of a person pets it

7. Why do dogs and cats attract fleas?

We’re all well aware of the annoying little pests that affect our pets. But do you know why fleas are constantly bothering our furry friends? Fleas seek out our pets for a number of reasons. First and foremost, fleas are attracted to warm-blooded animals. Fleas are drawn to their body heat and the carbon dioxide that's emitted when they breathe. Fleas are also attracted to animals with stronger odor, so pets with proper grooming and nutrition are less appealing. Still, any pet can get fleas.

Fleas can be kept off pets by using Wondercide's Flea & Tick sprays with a collar or spot on. All of these plant-powered products repel fleas and ticks, plus the spray will kill the bugs. One of the best things about Wondercide's Flea & Tick lineup is the scents. The spray, collar, and spot in are offered in peppermint and the spray also comes in rosemary, lemongrass, and cedarwood – all without any artificial colors, fragrances, or dyes.

A golden retreiver in a yard with a woman in a blue shirt holding Wondercide Flea & Tick spray for pets and home

8. How do cats communicate to humans vs other cats?

We all know that a cat goes “meow”. But did you know that cats only meow to humans? They have a very particular language when communicating with their human friends, which is among 100 different vocalizations cats can make! Cats are second in line for the pets who can make the most different kinds of noise, right behind birds. Kittens may meow to their mothers but as they grow up, cats learn to communicate to other feline friends through scent and touch.

A cat licking the head of another cat and grooming outdoors

9. How do pets sweat?

Dogs and cats sweat through their paws! You may not notice it very often, but our pets don't just produce sweat when they're hot, they also sweat when they feel stressed or nervous. Their sweat glands are located on a few different parts of their body, including their paws. Dogs predominantly cool themselves through panting and cats through grooming. When the saliva evaporates, it has a cooling effect on a cat's skin!

Dog paws in the grass

10. Who is the richest cat in the world?

There once lived a cat who accumulated more wealth than most people see in a lifetime. The richest cat in the world according to Guinness World Records was named Blackie and he inherited a fortune of about $12.5 million back in 1988, which would be worth around $32 million today.

After British millionaire, Ben Rea, passed away, Blackie was left to make do with his fortune. Although Ben had a family to leave his money to, he chose to leave his whole fortune only to his last remaining cat, with a small amount distributed to his gardener and mechanic. The money was spread to three different cat charities which were instructed to take care of Blackie for the rest of his life. To this day, Blackie holds the record for being the richest cat in the world. Today, Tardar Sauce, also known as Grumpy Cat, has an estimated net worth near $100 million!

Blackie the cat recognized by Guinness World Records as the wealthiest cat in the world

11. What part of the dog is completely unique from other dogs?

Much like the unique design of each snowflake, or a human’s fingerprint, a dog’s nose is said to be specific to each dog.

A tan dog nose and face in nature

12. Can dogs have dreams?

Dreams are crazy enough for humans to understand, but our pups get to experience the wild ride dreams take us on each night as well. Science has proven that dogs do dream, which is often why you may see them twitch or bark in their sleep. Researchers initially experimented on rats, testing their brain activity after a long day of making the rats run through mazes. They found that the rats’ brain activity mirrored their previous results from when they were running in the maze. The researchers concluded that they must be dreaming about the maze running.

A black and white dog naps on a sofa with a blanket underneath

13. What dog was up for “Best Actor” and almost won at the first Oscars?

And the Oscar goes to…a dog! Rin Tin Tin, a talented German shepherd, came to Los Angeles following World War I with a wagging tail and a dream. He was discovered after participating in an L.A. dog show. He was later featured in several films and was known for being a very easy dog to work with, which was rare, especially during this time. Rin Tin Tin was rumored to have received more votes than any actor during the “Best Actor” Oscar nominations the first year that voting took place. However, to avoid negative feedback and embarrassment for the other nominees, the Academy chose a human actor, Emil Jannings, as the winner instead.

Rin Tin Tin dog who almost won an Oscar

14. Why do dogs often sleep in a ball?

Have you ever noticed your dog lying in a curled up position when they're relaxing or sleeping? It’s not just to look extra cute. Dogs curl up in a circle when they sleep to protect their organs, a tactic they picked up in the wild when they were susceptible to predators.

Three puppies sleeping in a ball and huddled together

15. Why do cats have 9 lives?

We’ve all heard the expression, “cats have 9 lives.” The reason behind this commonly used adage is the incredible balance and powerful muscles a cat possesses. A cat can heroically jump from a high surface and land flawlessly on a hardwood floor because of their incredible ability to catch their balance and limber body.

A black and white cat leaping off a cat post

How did you do? Hopefully, you learned something new and interesting that deepens your love for your furry friend! National Pet Month is a time to spread the love to the animals that fill our lives with joy every day. Wondercide wishes you and your fluffy pal a happy month full of pet pampering and furry fun! Happy National Pet Month!