We have provided the sources for the information at the end of the article and we encourage you to reference them as they are excellent reads.

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ

There are slightly differing views on the timeline of the introduction of cat domestication which varies from 4,400 years BC up to 10,000 years BC. What is agreed is that the common ancestor is the Asian wildcat.

According to a recent study by Claudio Ottoni, cat domestication took place in two strains, but all domestic cats have a common ancestor: the North African / Southwest Asian wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica (Ottoni et al., 2017). By studying ancient cat DNA from all over the world, the researchers found that cat domestication began in the Fertile Crescent (in the Neolithic period) and accelerated later in ancient Egypt (in the Classical period) (Ottoni et al., 2017).โ€ ~ ๐˜“๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด

โ€œThe evidence from Ottoniโ€™s study also explains the way cats spread around the world. By analyzing the ancient DNA of cat remains found in port cities, the scientists concluded that cats were brought along on ships, most likely to help protect food storages on board by killing rodents (Ottoni et al., 2017). This allowed cats to spread across the world.โ€ ~ ๐˜“๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜€

How did all those different, beautiful colours come about? In the 18th century certain common colours became associated with felines and the 19th century saw cat fanciers selecting cats with particular traits to develop unique breeds.

The changes in cat colouring are caused by gene mutations which occur naturally.

๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ?

This would depend on which cat Association or Federation is referenced in their recognition of breeds varying from 45 up to 73 breeds and as to what methods they use to categorise a breed.

The rarest domestic cat breed in the world is believed to be the Sokoke cat. The most popular cat breed in the world is believed to be the Ragdoll.

Nonetheless, all the moggies with their different characters (and colours) are always a delight, and if you are patient and gentle and understand your cat, you will have a superb companion.

๐—ก๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐˜†๐˜๐—ต๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒโ€™๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ?

๐—•๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ธ๐˜† – There are several myths which abound and in some parts of the world they are considered to be unlucky and other parts of the world lucky, as well as being associated with witches. As we know the truth is that if a Black cat crosses your path it is going somewhere.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ – strictly speaking cats are not nocturnal but most active at dawn and dusk, known as crepuscular.

Cats cannot see any better than humans at night but do see better in low levels of light better than humans due to their irises opening wider letting in more light and extra rods in the back of their eyes magnifying light impulses.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ – domesticated cats can be solitary animals but do form bonds with their owners and many other species of animals. Feral cats form colonies and do seem to get on together.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ด – there seems to be some debate between cat and dog owners on this one. While some cats can appear to be aloof the majority are affectionate companions to their owners and will gift them with anything from rodents and birds to a neighbourโ€™s washing drying on the line.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ – cats are smart animals and like dogs, for instance, can be trained. This requires time, and patience and making it rewarding and fun for the cat. There seems to be a growing number of cat owners who leash train their cats and take them for walks, or as companions with long-distance truck drivers and people living in their camper vans.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ – for those who have multiple cats this will be an obvious fallacy. Cats can get along and play and sleep with each other. However, when introducing a new cat to others at home it can take some time for them to be comfortable with one another and sort out the hierarchy.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ – most domestic cats are not too keen on water (๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ) but some love swimming and a few are even happily seen surfing on their ownerโ€™s surfboards with not a care in the world and playing in the water, as can be seen on some Youtube videos.

Breeds of cats who love swimming include the Maine Coon, Turkish Angora, Japanese Bobtail, American Bobtail, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, American Shorthair, Turkish Van, and Bengal.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ – while they do have a chance of falling on their feet this is not always the case and can leave them with serious injuries. Keep them safe in high-risk situations.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐˜† – cats often purr when they are relaxed and happy and even purr to comfort their young, but they also purr when theyโ€™re unwell, frightened and in pain. Be aware of which is which.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—•๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐——๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต

It is believed that the Papal Bull by Pope Gregory IX in the mid-13th century linking cats to witchcraft and satanism saw their numbers decline to such a degree that the Black Plague was able to gain a strong foothold with the consequently increased numbers of rats. However, this link might be tenuous as there were subsequent plagues which might make it unlikely.

๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ง๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ

Cats went through some terrible periods of ritualistic torture and death in different periods of history and were not for sensitive readers and consequently not included in the body of this article. Those who would like to find out more will find a reference below.

๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น?

Some calculations with regards to cat kill appear to be based on estimates extrapolated from a very small sampling and do not take into account that the majority of cats are in urban areas and not near forests and that the majority are wannabe unsuccessful hunters, that it is usually the queens who hunt, that many people are already keeping their cats inside and many cats live in flats and not all properties attract birds. Rodents are a large part of cat kills in urban areas rather than birds and are a natural way of limiting their populations.

๐——๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—–๐—Ÿ๐—”๐—œ๐— ๐—˜๐—ฅ

This article is produced by SAVetshops, in the interest of informing people and sharing information. It is not considered a reference article or a definitive medical reference. Source references are listed below and any person wishing to know more should consult these references, their local vet, state health service or doctor.

๐—ช๐—œ๐—ง๐—› ๐—ง๐—›๐—”๐—ก๐—ž๐—ฆ ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—™๐—ข๐—Ÿ๐—Ÿ๐—ข๐—ช๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ฆ๐—ข๐—จ๐—ฅ๐—–๐—˜๐—ฆ:

  1. Africa Geographic, Rob Simmons, Colleen Seymour, Justin Oโ€™Riain – https://africageographic.com/stories/domestic-cat-predation-on-wild-animals-in-cape-town/
  2. Atlas Obscura, Tao Tao Holmes – https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/ritualistic-cat-torture-was-once-a-form-of-town-fun
  3. Blue Cross – https://www.bluecross.org.uk/advice/cat/12-common-cat-myths-debunked
  4. Cats Protection – https://www.cats.org.uk/cats-blog/why-are-cats-different-colours
  5. Good Housekeeping, Amina Lake Abdelrahman and Selena Barrientos – https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/pets/g21525625/why-cats-are-best-pets/
  6. Hepper, Nicole Cosgrove – https://www.hepper.com/how-many-cat-breeds-are-there/
  7. Hillspet, Christine Oโ€™Brien – https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/resources/cat-myths
  8. Hindustan Times, HT School Web Desk – https://htschool.hindustantimes.com/editorsdesk/knowledge-vine/black-death-are-cats-connected-to-this-fatal-plague-pandemic
  9. Hindustan Times, HT School Web Desk – https://htschool.hindustantimes.com/editorsdesk/knowledge-vine/black-death-are-cats-connected-to-this-fatal-plague-pandemic
  10. Insider, Jessica Booth – https://www.insider.com/studies-about-why-cats-make-good-pets-2019-12
  11. Library of Congress – https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/zoology/item/how-did-cats-become-domesticated/
  12. National Geographic, Casey Smith – https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science
  13. Pets Radar, Kathryn Rosenberg – https://www.petsradar.com/advice/how-many-cat-breeds-are-there