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.
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗲𝘁𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱
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).” ~ 𝘓𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴
“The evidence from Ottoni’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.” ~ 𝘓𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴
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.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝘁 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲?
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.
𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝘂𝗰𝗸𝘆 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗸𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗮 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗲𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗴 – 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 neighbour’s washing drying on the line.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗱𝗼 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝘀 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 – most domestic cats are not too keen on water (𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘺 𝘢 𝘤𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮) but some love swimming and a few are even happily seen surfing on their owner’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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 – 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.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 – cats often purr when they are relaxed and happy and even purr to comfort their young, but they also purr when they’re unwell, frightened and in pain. Be aware of which is which.
𝗖𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗗𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵
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.
𝗥𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗖𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲
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.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗶𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗱𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗰𝗮𝘁𝘀 𝗸𝗶𝗹𝗹?
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.
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.