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.
- Cat Behavior: Website that provides information on the behavioral traits of cats.
- Natural Cat Behaviors: Selection of comprehensive articles on natural cat behaviors.
- The Behavior Clinic: A website that offers tips on how to prevent cat behavioral problems.
- Destructive Cat Behavior: A comprehensive article on feline behavioral problems.
- The Biogeography of the Domestic Cat: Discussion on general cat biology, history, evolution, and behavior.
- GSC Felis Catus: A brief description of the domestic cat, including its biology and breeds.
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.
- Cat History: A brief account on the history of domestic cats.
- Curious about Cats: Comprehensive information on cats and their domestication.
- The Domestic Cat: A fact sheet that reveals interesting information about domestic cats.
- Domestication of Cats: Find out how cats are domesticated in this website.
- Genetic History of Cats: A magazine article that provides an overview of cats.
- Family Tree of Cats: Tracing the ancestry of modern cat breeds.
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.
- Ancient Egyptian Cats: Detailed description of cats in ancient Egypt.
- Role of Cats in Ancient Egypt: An article that discusses the position of cats in ancient Egypt.
- Cat Mummies: Learn about the mummification of cats in ancient Egypt.
- The Feline: From Goddess to Pet: The transformation of cats from a deity in ancient Egypt to a pet in the modern world.
- Egyptian Cat Statuettes: Discover the meanings of different ancient Egyptian cat statuettes.
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.
- Native American Cats: Basic information about Native American cats.
- Cats and Wildlife: Domestic cats in America and their impact on wildlife.
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.
- Cat Breeds: (PDF Document) Find out about the basics of cat breeds.
- Pet Source: Descriptions of both ancient and modern cat breeds available around the world.
- History of Domestic Cats and Cat Breeds: (PDF Document) Detailed information on the history of feline domestication as well as cat breeds.
- Genetic Diversity of Cat Breeds: A graphical representation of the genetic diversity among different cat breeds.
- The Domestic Cat: The history, ecology, and behavioral traits of the domestic cat.
- Cat Fanciers’Association Breeds: List of cat breeds that are recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
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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