10 Fun and Surprising Pet Facts You Probably Don't Know

Dig into trivia about pets ranging from birds and cats to hamsters and horses!

Published May 21, 2023

Your pets are special, no doubt. But we bet you'll never guess just how special some pets are. From birds to bunnies, and cats to goldfish, you'll be surprised how amazing these animals can be. Let's test your knowledge. Did you know these fun pet facts?

1. Rabbits Are Super Athletic


Most people know bunnies have hops, but have you ever heard of show jumping? This is a sport for rabbits that is similar to canine agility. You train your bunny to run a course, jump over hurdles, go through tunnels, and make their way up ramps. Now that's impressive!

2. A Bird's Bones Help Them Fly


Most of your bird's bones are hollow. This makes them lighter than mammal bones, which helps them fly. Bird bones are also less vulnerable to compression damage than mammal or reptile bones, because they don't have marrow inside them. This is one reason birds feel surprisingly light when they perch on your arm. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful with your feathered friend.

3. How Cats Spend Their Day


Cats spend up to one-third of their day grooming themselves, and between half to two-thirds of their day getting their beauty sleep. These are some busy kitties. It's hard to imagine how your cat has time to eat or purr with you.

4. The Tortoise's Intelligence


Galapagos Tortoises have an incredible memory. They have been found to recall the difference between two different colored balls nearly a decade later. That's impressive!

5. Dog Noses Surprise Doctors


Dogs have incredible noses that are as much as 1,000 to 10,000 times better than ours (depending on the breed and individual dog's abilities). But did you know that some dogs have such a good sense of smell, they can detect medical issues in humans before doctors can? This research is still early, but it holds a lot of promise for finding diseases like cancer much earlier.

6. Ferrets Making Noise


Ferrets make a chirping noise when they want to play. This noise is sometimes referred to as ferret babble. So next time your ferret makes this noise, get out the toys!

Quick Tip

Ferrets love to play and finding the right toys can benefit their mental and physical well-being.

7. House Cats and Tigers


Did you know your cat at home and a tiger in the wild share 95% of their DNA? That's right! Your kitty is a little tiger! Domesticated cats have only been with humans for about the last 10,000 years (dogs were domesticated as long ago as 40,000 years!), so they're closer to their wild counterparts.

8. Getting to Know Your Goldfish


There's a common misconception that goldfish have short lifespans. In captivity, they can live up to 10 years. In a pond, they can live up to 30 years. And in the wild, goldfish can live up to 40 years! They also have surprisingly good memories; the 3-second fish memory myth has been busted!

9. Your Hamster's Cheeks


Everyone knows hamsters stuff their mouth full of their favorite treats. But it's not just their mouth they're stuffing. Your hamster's treat pouch extends all the way to their hips!

10. A Horse's Healing Powers


Horse therapy has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. This has led horses to become a resource for people experiencing PTSD and anxiety, among other conditions. There's something special about working with a horse, and their healing powers are proving to be beneficial to everyone from veterans to children with autism.

Getting the Facts


These facts are just the beginning. There's much more to learn in the world of pets. Once you get started on your path to learning about pets, you'll find they have even more mysteries and secrets you will love to know more about!

10 Fun and Surprising Pet Facts You Probably Don't Know