Cats: From The Jungle To Our Homes

Cats are carnivorous mammals that belong to the felidae biological family. The domestic cat is the most popular felid, and it has been in co-existence with human beings since thousands of years ago. Domesticated cats are smaller than the other cats in the felidae family, and they can be easily tamed.

Cat Biology and Behavior

Depending on the breed, domestic cats typically weigh between 4 kilograms to 11 kilograms. They have an average length of 18 inches and a height of 10 inches, and their tails measure about 11 inches long. The male cat is relatively bigger than the female cat.

Domestic cats share some behavioral traits with their wild counterparts. Just like cats in the wild, domestic cats are also territorial animals. They like their own space, and they achieve this by establishing their own territories for eating, sleeping, and mating. Scratching, spraying of objects, and excretion deposits mark a territory. Communication among cats is performed through purring, meowing, hissing, and growling, among many other actions.

The Domestication of Cats

It is believed that cats were first domesticated in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used cats primarily to prevent rodent attacks and vermin intrusion. They domesticated the cats by providing them with food and shelter. It was not long before cats became household pets, as the Greeks, Romans and the British started to domesticate them.

Cats in Ancient Egypt

Cats in ancient Egypt were not only pest controllers, but they were also regarded as gods and goddesses. Animal worship in ancient Egypt was a common practice, and most animals were revered and treated with respect. In fact, killing a cat in Ancient Egypt was a crime punishable by death! Interestingly, the Egyptians used cats as hunting companions instead of dogs.

Cats in Native American Culture

Prior to the discovery of America, the only cats that could be found in the continent were wild cats. These cats included the cougar, lynx, and bobcat, and they were considered sacred animals to the Native Americans. They have been depicted in many Native American artworks both in the past and the present. It was only after the arrival of European settlers, specifically the British colonialists, that domestic cats found their way into America.

Ancient and Modern Cat Breeds

Ancient cat breeds originated from African and Asian countries. The most famous ancient cat breed is an Ethiopian breed called the Abyssinian cat. The Persian cat is another well-known ancient breed, and it has its roots in Iran. Modern cat breeds can be categorized into the cold weather European cats and warm weather African cats. These breeds include the Siamese cat, Somali cat, Scottish Fold, and Cornish Rex, among many other breeds.

Cats are now one of the most popular household pets around the world, because they offer good companionship. Research has shown that cats help reduce stress levels and high blood pressure among pet lovers. Cats are not difficult to care for because they are relatively clean animals, and they can be easily trained.

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