In spite of the roughly 95 million cats living in households today, millions arrive at pet shelters each year. If you're considering adopting a shelter cat, then a big "Thank You!" to you for giving a cat a new home. You'll learn a lot from your first cat, but here are some fun facts that will keep you fascinated with your furry feline friend!

1. The cat's purr is still a mystery.

Research has yet to discover how a cat purrs. Theories about vibrating blood vessels or special tissues in the throat don't completely explain the action. You'll hear people say that cats purr when they are contented, but the fact is that they purr when feeling different emotions. Fear, hunger and anxiety can all trigger purring. Purring also makes your cat unique. The only other cat known to purr is the North American cougar. Your other cat's cousins, the lion and tiger, can only roar.

2. Your cat won't fight you for your candy bar.

Cats don't have very active taste buds for sweet things. A gene that controls come of the other taste buds overrides the sweet sense of taste. If your cat seems interested in something sweet, it's likely the smell or the crinkly packaging. In spite of what we might call a deficiency in the sense of taste, cats do taste and smell things that humans can't. The focus of this is on the cat's favorite food - meat.

3. Cats need meat.

The cat evolved with a taste for meat. Like their carnivore cousins in the wild, your cat relies on meat for its health and very survival. Cats don't create some of the amino acids that their bodies need. Taurine is one example of an amino acid that your cat needs, and cat food manufacturers have begun to put it in their food. Talk with your veterinarian about the best foods for your cat. A food high in animal protein and low on grains and other fillers will keep your new cat healthy and purring.

4. Cats need alone time.

Cats have individual personalities, with some preferring to be an only cat and others enjoying the company of others. Regardless of where your cat is on that range, it will need alone time. Make a place in your house where your cat can go to be undisturbed by family members or other pets and to get away from the general noises in the house. Your cat will be healthier and happier when they can retreat to their own space. The only truly gregarious cat is the lion, which spends its entire life in a pride with other lions.

5. Your cat doesn't like change.

You may like variety, but your cat doesn't. Your cat will eat the same food out of the same bowl in the same spot on the kitchen floor for years, and be happy about it. Don't let your own personal preferences affect your cat's life. Changes are often behind behavioral issues in a cat. If your cat should stop using the litter box, preferring to do their business on the dining room floor, have an animal hospital like Metzger Animal Hospital first check them out for a health problem. If it's not that, then ask yourself what has changed in the cat's life to cause the behavior. Changing the food or the type of litter is enough to trigger behavior problems.