Undeniable Friday: Instant Cat

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's Undeniable Friday! Every Friday, in addition to an odd little factoid, UndeniableFacts.com gives you a fun puzzle, illusion, or activity to enjoy and share.

Today: The Instant Cat

This experiment demonstrates a little known behavior in cats called "anhydrous hibernation". This hibernation state is used in the wild to survive the cold winter months when food is scarce. If you have an outdoor cat, you may have noticed it eating grass occasionally. In fact, your cat is searching for the fallen leaves of the pussy willow. These leaves contain a chemical which triggers the anhydrous hibernation response. In the spring, when the first rain comes, wild cats are rehydrated automatically.

In order to persuade your cat to exhibit this amazing behavior, you'll need to obtain approximately twelve pussy willow leaves and place them near your cat. There's really no way to force this. Your cat will either be willing to hibernate or not.
Important: Do not try to trick your cat into eating the leaves (for example by putting them in the cat's food). This will greatly anger your cat, and your cat may go into a violent rage.

You will need to make a secluded area available to your cat. Cats will not enter or leave the hibernation state if they are being watched (and they know if you are watching).

You will know if your cat has completed the transition if it shrinks to about one fifth its size and becomes more or less featureless. To revive your cat, place it in a box (so it can't see you), and pour some water on it. The rehydration process is nearly instant.

I know some readers may be tempted to get their cats to hibernate before they go on a long trip or for storage at night. This is not a good idea. In some cases cats can awaken from their hibernation without a water source. In addition, it is possible that some water may accidentally awaken your cat, leaving it scared and alone. Be considerate of your furry pal!

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Blogger CH!LL said...

hahahaha omg that was hilarious and scientific

10:24 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...


5:45 PM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

I'm so glad someone finally posted a serious look at the effects of anhydrous hibernation on the common house cat. One of the major causes of death among members of Felis catus is simply getting accidentally tossed into the laundry and subsequently re-hydrating in the washing machine.

6:37 PM  

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