Domestic Cats And Wild Cats

Domestic Cats And Wild Cats

The domestic felis catus is a small, carnivorous mammal species. The Felidae family's only domesticated species, the cat (Felis catus) is commonly called the domestic cat. This is to distinguish it from wild Felidae members. You can have a cat as a house cat, farm cat, or feral cat. The former is more independent and does not require human contact. Humans value domestic cats for their companionship and ability to hunt rodents. There are about 60 recognized cat breeds. The anatomy of the cat is very similar to other felids: It has strong reflexes and sharp teeth, a flexible body, fast reflexes, and retractable claws that are able to kill small prey. The cat's sense of smell and night vision are very well developed. Communication with cats includes vocalizations such as meowing, purring and trilling as well as hissing, growling, grunting, hissing, hissing and growingling. The cat is a predator that is active most at dawn and dusk. However, it is also a solitary hunter. It can detect sounds that are too faint or high in frequency to be heard by human ears, like those made from mice and other small mammals. It can sense and secrete pheromones. Domestic cats can produce kittens from spring through autumn. The litter size of domestic kittens is often between two and five. Cat fancy is a hobby that allows domestic cats to be bred and displayed at events as registered, pedigreed kittens. Spaying and neutering of pets was not done properly, which led to large numbers of feral cats around the world. This has contributed to the extinctions of many bird, mammal and reptile species and forced population control. Around 7500 BC, cats were domesticated for the first time in the Near East. Long believed that cat domestication began in ancient Egypt. Cat veneration has been given in Egypt since 3100 BC. There are approximately 220 million cats owned worldwide and 480 millions stray cats. The domestic cat is the most popular pet in America, with 95 million cats. The United Kingdom has 26% of all adults owning a cat, with 10.9 million cats.

 

BEHAVIOR

Even though they are more active at night, outdoor cats can be active during the day as well as night. While domestic cats tend to spend most of their time within their homes, they can travel hundreds of kilometers away from their central point. In one study, they established territories that varied in size. One study measured from 7 to (-). Cats' activity timing is flexible and can vary, so house cats might be more active in the morning or evening due to increased human activity. As they age, cats sleep more than other animals to conserve energy. There is a wide range in the amount of sleep that cats get each night, typically between 12-16 hours. The average sleep time is 13-14 hours. Some cats may sleep up to 20 hours. Cat nap, which is short for "cat rest", refers to the cat's tendency (lightly) to fall asleep for a short time. Cats experience brief periods of rapid eye movement sleep, often accompanied with muscle twitches. This suggests that they are dreaming. Sociability Domestic cat social behavior can range from scattered individuals to colonies of feral cats that gather around food sources. This is based on groups co-operating with females. One cat usually has the upper hand in such groups. Each colony has its own territory. Males who are sexually active have larger territories than females, and some territories may overlap with other females. These territories can be marked with urine spraying, rubbing objects at the head height with secretions of facial glands and defecation. There are also neutral areas in between these territories where cats can greet each other and watch for territorial conflicts. Territorial owners will often chase away other cats from outside these areas. They do this by hissing, growling, staring and hissing at each other, or by violent, short, loud attacks. Cats do not have a collective survival strategy or pack mentality. They hunt alone, despite the existence of a colonial system. Cats may show great affection for humans and other animals, due to their proximity to people and other domestic animals. Ethically, the cat's human keeper acts as a surrogate mother. The life of an adult cat is one of behavior neoteny, which is a prolonged kittenhood. Humans may find it difficult to ignore their high-pitched sounds, which could sound like a hungry infant's cry. Some cats are not well socialized. Older cats are more aggressive towards kittens than their younger counterparts. This is called feline asocial aggression. The feline way of social bonding is believed to be domestic cats' smell-rubbing behavior towards other cats or humans.


Communication

Vocalizing domestic cats

Many vocalizations are used by domestic cats to communicate, including hissing, purring, hissing/snarling, and grunting.

Body language such as the position of the ears and tails, relaxation of the whole body and kneading the paws are all indicators of mood. Particularly important social signals for cats are the ears and tail. A raised tail is a sign of friendly greeting and flattened ears indicate hostility.

The cat's social position is also indicated by the way the tail is raised. Subordinate cats raise their tails more often than dominant ones. Feral cats tend to be quiet. A common greeting is nose-to-nose touching. This may be followed up by social grooming. One of the cats will raise and tilt its head to solicit this behavior.

As a communication mechanism between mother cats, and nursing kittens, purring could have evolved as an evolutionary advantage. Many post-nursing cats purr to show contentment, such as when they are being held, relaxed, or eating. It is not clear how cats purr. There is no one anatomical characteristic that cat purrs from that is responsible.


Grooming. The hook papillae of a cat's tongue work like a hairbrush to clean and detangle fur.


Cats spend a lot of time cleaning their fur. The papillae are backward-facing spines that measure approximately 500mm in length on the cat's tongue. These spines are made of keratin, which makes them stiff and act as a hairbrush. Some cats, especially long-haired cats will occasionally ingest hairballs that they have collected from grooming. These fur clumps are typically sausage-shaped, and approximately 2 inches long. You can prevent hairballs by using remedies that make it easier to get rid of hair through the stomach. Also, you can regularly groom your coat with a stiff brush or comb.

Fighting An aggressive sign in domestic cats is a cat with a raised back, raised fur, and an open-mouthed hiss.

Male domestic cats are more likely than females to fight. The most common reason cats fight is to mate with a female. The heavier male wins most fights in such situations. Fighting among domestic cats can also be caused by the difficulty in establishing territory within a small house. Female cats can also fight for territory or defend their kittens. This behavior can be reduced or eliminated by neutering in most cases. Cats can become aggressive by raising their fur, turning their sides, hissing, or spitting, in an attempt to appear bigger and more dangerous. To avoid injury to the inner ear, cats tend to point their ears down and back. They also can listen to any changes in the direction they are looking while focusing forward. To intimidate their opponent, they may shout loudly or bare their teeth. Fights are usually fought by grappling and using the forepaws to deliver powerful slaps and bites to the face, body and head. In a defensive position, cats will also throw themselves to their opponents' feet to rub their stomachs with their powerful hind legs. The fights rarely cause serious injury and the losers usually leave with a few scratches on the ears and face. Fights for mating rights can cause more serious injuries, including deep puncture wounds or lacerations. Although most fighting injuries are minor, bites and scratches can sometimes inflict serious injury that can lead to death. Additionally, bites are the most common route for feline immunodeficiency viruses to be transmitted. Males who are sexually active often get involved in fights throughout their lives and have often suffered from battered faces and obvious cuts and scarring to their ears and noses.

 

Hunting and feeding

A domestic cat and its prey, a mouse

Cats' cheeks are too small to be able to absorb liquids by suction. They drink by rubbing their tongues together to draw liquids upwards. The cat taps its tongue four times per second to reach the water surface. It quickly retracts its tongue like a corkscrew and draws water upwards by lagging. Both feral cats and house cats are able to eat small meals several times a day. Individuals have different preferences regarding the size and frequency of their meals. They choose food according to its texture, temperature, and smell. They dislike cold foods, and prefer moist foods rich with amino acids. Neophobia is a reaction that cats have to novel tastes. They quickly learn to avoid food that has tasted unpleasant previously. Common misconception is that cats love milk/cream. They avoid sweet foods and milk. Adult cats are often lactose intolerant. The sugar in milk can cause diarrhea or soft stool, and it is difficult for them to digest. Others have strange eating habits, and may eat wires, strings, paper, string, aluminum foil, and even coal. Pica can cause them to become sick depending on how toxic the food is. Small prey such as birds and rodents is what cats hunt and can be used to control pests. There are two options for hunting cats: actively stalking prey or waiting in ambush until the animal is close enough to capture them. The prey species will determine the strategy. Cats may wait outside of burrows to ambush birds, while actively stalking them. The United States' domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife, killing between 1.3 and 4.0 billion birds annually and between 6.3 and 22.3 billion mammals each year. Some species are more vulnerable than others. For example, domestic cats are responsible for 30% of the house sparrow deaths. 31% of the deaths due to cat predation were reported in the recovery of ringed Robins (Erithacus Rubecula) as well as dunnocks, (Prunella modularis). The presence of large carnivores like coyotes, which prey on cats, reduces the impact of cats predation on birds. The most well-known aspect of cats' hunting behavior is the fact that they often release prey after being captured. This is often misunderstood by cat owners. This instinctive imperative is to make sure that prey is sufficiently weak to be killed without putting the cat at risk. The presentation of prey to human guardians is another aspect of cat hunting behavior that is often overlooked. One theory is that cats adopt humans and share the excess kill with other members of their group, according to the dominance hierarchy. Humans are treated as if they are the top. One explanation is that the cats try to teach their guardians how to hunt and help their human, as though they were feeding an elderly cat or an inept kitten. This theory is contradictory given the fact that male cats bring home prey despite having minimal involvement in raising kittens.

 

Play

Play fight between kittens 14 weeks old. Hargeisa, Somalila.

Young kittens are often adored by domestic cats for their love of playing. This mimics hunting and helps kittens to hunt, capture and kill prey. Cats can also play fight with one another and with humans. This may help cats practice real combat skills and reduce fear of attacking other animals. When cats are hungry, they play more with toys. Cats love toys that look like prey because they are similar to hunting. Cats become accustomed to toys they have used before. String can be used as a toy but if it gets eaten it can get caught at the base and move into the intestines. This can lead to serious illness or even death. Due to the dangers of cats eating string, laser pointers' dots are sometimes used. Cats may chase it.

Reproduction: When cats mate, the male tomcat bites the female's neck to make it comfortable for mating. This is known as lordosis behavior.

Radiography of a pregnant cat. On the left and right sides of the uterus, you can see the skeletons for two fetuses.

A kitten as a newborn

Queens are female cats that are polyestrous. They have several estrus cycles throughout the year. These usually last 21 days. They usually mate between February and August. In heat, several males (called tomcats) are attracted to a female. They fight for her and the winner gets the right to mate. The male is initially rejected by the female, but eventually the male is allowed to mate with the female. The male cat pulls away from the female by making a loud yowl. A male cat's penis is made up of 120-150 backward-pointing penile spinals. These spines are approximately 1mm in length. The female cleans her entire vulva after mating. The female will attack a male if he attempts to mate. The cycle will continue for about 20-30 minutes after the female has finished grooming. Ovulation does not always occur with a single mating. Therefore, females might not become pregnant by the first male they mate. Cats are also superfecund, meaning that a female cat may mate with more males when she is hot, which can lead to different litters of kittens with different fathers. After 124 hours, the morula is formed. Early blastocysts begin to form at 148 hours. Intensification occurs between 10-12 days. Queens' gestation time is between 64 and 67 days with an average of 65 days. The reproductive capacities of more than 2,300 queens that were free to roam were measured during a study conducted between May 1998 - October 2000. The average litter contained three kittens. They produced one to six kittens per litter. They averaged 1.4 litters per annum, with a maximum of three litters each year. One hundred and seventy-seven kittens died in their first six months due to trauma from dog attacks or road accidents. The size of the first litter is often smaller than that of subsequent litters. Six to seven weeks old, kittens are usually weaned. Queens usually reach sexual maturity between 6 and 7 weeks of age, while males typically reach sexual maturity between 5-10 months and 5-7 months. It varies according to breed. At 9-10 months old, kittens enter puberty. At 12 weeks old, cats are ready for new homes. To limit unwanted reproduction, they can be spayed or castrated as soon as seven weeks old. This surgery can also be used to prevent unwanted sex behavior such as aggression, territory marking (spraying urine), and yowling in females. This surgery used to be performed between six and nine months old. However, it is now being done before puberty at three to six months. About 80% of domestic cats in the United States are neutered.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

A size diagram of the anatomy of a male domestic cat

The skull of the domestic cat is smaller and has shorter bones than the European wildcat. The domestic cat is averages 46 cm head-to-body and 23 cm height. It has a 30 cm-long tail. Males are generally larger than females. The average adult domestic cat weighs between 4 and.

Skeleton Cats have seven cervical verbrae (as most mammals have 13); 13 thoracic and seven lumbar vertebrae; five lumbar vertebrae each (humans only have five); and three sacral vertebrae each (humans also have five); as well as a variable number caudal spinebrae in their tails (humans only have vestigial caudal verbrae that are fused into an inner coccyx). Skeleton Cats have greater flexibility and mobility due to the extra lumbar vertebrae and thoracic verbrae. The spine is connected to 13 ribs, the shoulder and the pelvis. Cat forelimbs, unlike human arms are attached to the shoulder using free-floatingclavicle bones. This allows them to move through any space in which they can fit their heads.

Skull Cat skull

The cat skull is unique among mammals because it has large eye sockets, a strong jaw and a powerful jaw. Cats have teeth that are adapted to tearing and killing prey. A cat will deliver a deadly neck bite to its prey if it is unable to control its prey. It inserts its canine teeth between the vertebrae of its prey and severes its spinal cord. This causes irreversible paralysis and even death. Comparable to other felines' canine teeth, domestic cats have fewer teeth per jaw than their prey, which is a result of their preference for small rodents with small vertebrae. Each side of the mouth has a carnassial pair. This pairs cuts meat into small pieces like a pair or scissors. These are essential in feeding cats, as cats have small molars that cannot chew food well. Cats are also largely incapable of eating. Cats have more healthy teeth than humans. They are less likely to get cavities due to a thicker protective enamel layer, less damage from saliva, less food particles retention between teeth and a diet that is low in sugar. However, occasionally they can lose their teeth and become infected.

Claws up=0.5

Cats have retractable and protractable claws. The claws can be positioned in a relaxed, normal position. This protects the claws from wear and prevents them from coming into contact with the ground. It also allows silent stalking of prey. The claws of the forefoot are usually sharper than the ones on the hind feet. One or more of their claws can be extended by cats. Cats may use their claws to hunt, self-defense, climb, knead, or for added traction on soft surfaces. When scratching on rough surfaces, cats shed the outer layer of their claw sheaths. The majority of cats have five claws on the front paws and four on the rear. The dewclaw is located proximal of the other claws. Protruding from the side of the thumb is what appears to be a sixth finger. The special feature on the inside of the wrists is the front paws. It has no function in normal walking but it is believed to be an antiskidding device that is used when jumping. Certain cat breeds may have extra digits (polydactyly). The North American coast is home to polydactylous cat species, as well as Great Britain.

Ambulation The cat's digitigrade is called ambulation. It walks on its toes with the bones of its feet making up the lower portion of the leg. It uses a "pacing" gait, which means it moves the legs of one side before the legs of the opposite side. This is a departure from most mammals. The hind paws are placed close to the tracks of the forepaw, which allows it to register directly. This minimizes noise and makes it less visible. This provides hind paws with a firm footing when traversing rough terrain. It speeds up from walking to trotting and then its gait changes into a "diagonal" one: The hind and fore legs are moving simultaneously.

Balance Comparison of cat-righting reflexes in gravity versus zero gravity

Many cat breeds have a tendency to perch on high places. The cat may prefer to hunt from hidden places, so a higher spot could be used for hunting. Domestic cats will pout from perches such as tree branches. Another possibility is that the cat's height allows it to better survey its territory. Cats can land on their paws after falling from heights up to 3 meters. A cat can reflexively twist its body to right itself after falling from high places. This is done using its keen sense of balance, flexibility and acute senses of balance. This reflex is called the cat's righting reflex. If it has enough time, the cat will always correct itself after a fall. This is true for falls greater than 90 cm. The "falling cat problem" has been studied to see how cats can correct themselves after falling.

ECOLOGY

Habitats In snowy weather, a tabby cat is a good choice.

Domestic cats are a global species that can be found in many parts of the globe. It's adaptable, so it is now found on every continent except Antarctica and on 118 out of the 131 main islands groups, including the Kerguelen Islands. It is one of the most invasive species in the world because it can thrive in any terrestrial habitat. It is very similar to the wildcat in that it has little genetic variation. This allows it to interbreed easily with the wildcat. Hybridization can pose a threat to some wildcat populations, especially in Scotland, Hungary, and possibly even the Iberian Peninsula. It can live on small islands without any human inhabitants. Feral cats can be found in forests, grasslands and tundra, as well as coastal areas, agricultural land or scrublands, urban areas, and wetlands.

Feral cats

Feral farm cat

Feral cats are domestic cats who were raised in wild conditions or have returned to them. They are wary of humans and can roam free in both urban and rural areas. Although the exact number of feral cats in America is unknown, estimates range from twenty-five million to sixty million. Although feral cats can live in solitude, most of them are part of large colonies that occupy a particular territory and are often associated with food. There are famous feral cat colonies in Rome, around the Colosseum or Forum Romanum. Volunteers provide medical care and food for some cats. There are many attitudes to feral cats. Some people regard them as pets or as vermin. The trap-neuter-return method is a common way to reduce the number of feral cats. This involves the cat being neutered and immunized against diseases like rabies, the feline panleukopenia, and leukemia viruses. The attending veterinarian will often cut the tip of one ear off to mark the cat as neutered and immunized before releasing them into their wild colonies. These cats are cared for by volunteers all their lives. Their lifespans will increase and their behavior and nuisance problems due to competition for food will decrease. Some feral cats can easily be socialized and're-tamed for adoption. Young cats, particularly kittens, are more open to this approach than cats who have never had contact with humans.

Wildlife impacts

Birds can make up as much as 60% in a cat's diet on islands. Nearly all cases cannot be attributed to the cat. In some cases, however, the cat's extinction has led to a "mesopredator-release" effect. This is where top carnivores are suppressed, which causes a large number of smaller predators, which in turn leads to a drastic decline in the share of their prey. However, domestic cats have been shown to play a role in the decline of many species. This has sometimes led to their extinction. There are many species that have been endangered, including the South Island piopio and Chatham rail. The New Zealand merganser is the most severe case, as it was driven to extinction just a few years after being discovered. In New Zealand, one feral cat killed 102 New Zealand shorter-tailed bats within seven days. The US estimates that feral and free-ranging domestic cats kill between 6.3 billion and 22.3 billion mammals each year. The impact of cats on mammal population is greater in Australia than habitat loss. Feral cats kill more than one million reptiles each day. This includes 258 species. The extinction of Chioninia coctei and the Navassa curly tailed lizard has been caused by cats.

NAMING AND ETYMOLOGY

Old English is believed to have derived the English word "cat" from the Late Latin word. This word was first used in the 6th century. The word 'cattus" may be derived from the Coptic precursor, Egyptian "tomcat", or its feminine suffixed form with. It is possible that the Late Latin word could be derived from an Afro-Asiatic language or Nilo-Saharan one. Possible cognates include Nobiin and the Nubian term "wildcat". It is possible that the Nubian word "wildcat" may have been borrowed from Arabic. It is possible that the forms could be derived from an ancient Germanic term, which was then translated into Latin and on to Greek, Syriac, and Arabic. This word could be derived from Germanic or Northern European languages and eventually borrowed from Uralic. Northern Sami translates to "female-stoat" and Hungarian translates into "stoat". Proto-Uralic *kadwa is "female (of furred animals)". The English puss, also known as pussy or pussycat, has been documented since the 16th century. It may have originated from Dutch or Low German, which is related to Swedish or Norwegian. Similar forms are also found in Lithuanian, Irish and. Although the etymology is not known, it could have been derived from an appeal to a cat. If neutered, a male cat is called either a tomcat or tomcat (or even a gib). A queen is a unspayed female cat, especially in a cat breeding context. A kitten is a juvenile cat. The term kitten was used interchangeably with the obsolete word catling in Early Modern English. A group of cats is called a "clowder" or "glaring".

EVOLUTION

Skulls of a wildcat and a housecat (top left), as well as a hybrid between them. (bottom center).

Felidae is the Felidae family. The Felidae are a group that shared a common ancestor around 10-15 million years ago. Around 6-7 million years ago, Felis became distinct from the Felidae. The results of phylogenetic analysis show that wild Felis species evolved via sympatric or parapatric speciation. Domestic cats evolved by artificial selection. Both the domesticated cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) and its closest wild ancestor, Felis, are diploid. They both have 38 chromosomes each and around 20,000 genes. Around 5500 BC, the leopard cat (Prionailurus Bengalensis), was domesticated in China. This lineage of partially domesticated cats is no longer a factor in domestic cat populations today.

Domestication

A mural from an Egyptian tomb that dates back to the 15th Century BC shows a cat eating fish under a chair.

F. lybica, the first known evidence of the taming an African wildcat (F.) was found near a human Neolithic grave, Shillourokambos in southern Cyprus. It dates back to approximately 7500-7200 BC. There is no evidence that Cyprus has any native mammalian fauna so the Neolithic village's inhabitants brought the cat and other wild animals to the island from the Middle East mainland. Scientists believe that African wildcats were attracted by early human settlements in Fertile Crescent by rodents (in particular the house mouse Mus musculus) and were then tamed by Neolithic farmers. The close relationship between farmers and cats was sustained for thousands of years. The spread of agricultural practices led to the development of domesticated and tamed cats. The maternal gene pool for the domestic cat was enriched later by wildcats from Egypt. Around 1200 BC is the earliest evidence of domestic cats in Greece. Domestic cats were introduced to southern Europe by Etruscan, Phoenician and Carthaginian traders. They were introduced to Corsica, Sardinia and other areas during the Roman Empire. They were already familiar with Etruria and Magna Graecia settlements by the 5th Century BC. The Egyptian domestic cat lineage arrived in northern Germany at a Baltic Sea port by the end of the Roman Empire's 5th century. Domestication has only caused minor changes to the anatomy and behavior of cats, but they can still survive in the wild. Many natural characteristics and behaviors of wildcats could have helped them adapt to being domesticated as pets. They are small in size, have a high intelligence, love to play, and show a strong social nature. Although captive Leopardus cats can show affection for humans, they were not domesticated. Many house cats mate with wild cats to produce hybrids like the Kellas cat from Scotland. It is possible to cross domestic Felinae species. The development of cat breeds began in the middle of the 19th century. Analyzing the domestic cat genome revealed significant changes in the ancestral wildcat gene. Specific mutations were then selected to create cat breeds. The majority of breeds are based on domestic cats that were randomly bred. These breeds have a wide genetic diversity. It is lower in purebred populations that show more than 20 genetic disorders.

INTERACTION WITH HUMANS

A cat asleep on a man's lap

The world's largest cat population is 500 million. Since millennia, cats have been used to control rodents. They are often found in grain stores or on ships. Both of these uses continue to this day. Cats are used as pets and in the leather and fur trade to make coats, blankets and hats. They also make shoes, gloves and musical instruments. A cat-fur coat requires approximately 24 cats. Since 2000, the United States has banned this practice. The European Union (as also the United Kingdom) has prohibited it since 2007. The practice of witchcraft has included cat pelts as part of superstitious beliefs. They are still used in Switzerland to make blankets as traditional medicine for rheumatism. The idea of cats being everyday objects has been used in Western intellectual tradition to demonstrate the problems of quantum mechanics in Schrodinger's cat thought experiment. Although there have been a few attempts over the years to create a cat census, these were made through associations, national and international organizations, such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies's, and online, it is not easy to do so. The global cat population is estimated to be between 200 million and 600 million. After his 1949 photographs of Loco (a charming and charming stray) that he took in, Walter Chandoha began his photography career. According to reports, he photographed 90,000. He also maintained an archive with 225,000 images which he used for publications.

Show your cat

Cat shows are judged events in which cat owners compete for titles in cat-registration organizations. They enter their cats to be judged according to a breed standard. A cat must be healthy and up to date in order to take part in a cat show. Pedigreed and nonpurebred companion ("moggy") cat are both allowed, but the rules vary depending on the organization. The temperament of competing cats is assessed and compared with the breed standard.

Transmission of infections from cats to people

Infected cats can become infected with bacteria, viruses, protozoans or arthropods that can transmit disease to humans. Sometimes, the symptoms are not apparent in the cat, but the disease may be visible in the human. The risk of a person becoming ill depends on their age and immune system. People who keep cats in their homes or have close relationships with them are more likely to get infected. However, people who don't keep cats as pets may also be infected by parasites and feces from the cats. Toxoplasmosis, cat-scratch diseases and salmonella are some of the most serious infections.

Mythology and history

Cat worship was common in ancient Egypt. The goddess Bastet was often depicted as a cat, sometimes with the warlike appearance of a lioness. Herodotus, a Greek historian, reported that killing cats was against the law. The entire family would mourn and shave their eyebrows after a pet died. Families brought their deceased cats to Bubastis where they were embalmed, and then buried in sacred repositories. Herodotus was shocked at Egypt's domestic cats, as he had never seen wildcats before. Weasels were considered rodent-killers by the Romans and Ancient Greeks. Two Magna Graecia coins dating from the mid-fifth Century BC that show Iokastos (the legendary founders of Rhegion) and Phalanthos (the legend founders of Taras), playing with their cats are the first clear evidence that the Greeks had domestic cats. The ancient Greek term for "cat" was, which meant "thing with a waving tail". Ancient Greek literature rarely mentions cats. Aristotle wrote in his History of Animals, "Female cats can be naturally lecherous." Later, the Greeks merged their goddess Artemis with Bastet, an Egyptian goddess. They adopted Bastet’s associations with cats and attributed them to Artemis. Ovid's Metamorphoses describes how Diana transforms into a cat when the deities run to Egypt and assume animal forms. Because cats were easier to keep around and more adept at hunting mice, they eventually replaced weasels. Many of Artemis's relationships with cats were grafted onto Mary during the Middle Ages. The icons of Annunciation, of the Holy Family, and cats are frequently shown. According to Italian folklore, the night Mary gave birth, a cat from Bethlehem gave rise to a kitten. Domestic cats spread to much of the rest of world during the Age of Discovery. Ships' cats were used on sailing ships as good-luck charms and control for shipboard rodents. Many ancient religions believed that cats were companions and guides for humans. They are also exalted souls. The Japanese consider the cat a symbol for good fortune. Freyja, the Norse goddess of love and beauty, is depicted riding a cat-drawn chariot. Jewish legend says that the first cat lived in Adam's house as a pet to get rid of mice. One time, the cat was a partner with the first dog. This led to animosity between their descendants. It is written that neither cats nor the foxes can be represented in the water. However, every animal has an incarnation species. Muslims revere cats, even though there are no sacred species in Islam. According to Western writers, Muhammad loved Muezza the cat. According to Western writers, he loved cats so much that he would rather not disturb a cat sleeping on his cloak. This story is not rooted in early Muslim writers and may confuse a story about a Sufi saint, Ahmed ar­Rifa'i, which was written centuries after Muhammad. Abu Hurayrah, a companion of Muhammad, was called "father of the kitten" in reference to his documented love for cats.

Rituals and superstitions Some cultures have rituals or beliefs about black cats. They are believed to bring good luck or bad luck.

Many cultures hold negative beliefs about cats. One example is the belief that a black cat (or "crossing one's way") can bring bad luck. Another example is that cats are witches’ familiars that enhance witches' powers and skills. Innocuous and modern-day Kattenstoet, a cat parade, commemorates the killing of cats in Medieval Ypres (Belgium). Mid-16th-century France saw cats being burned alive to provide entertainment. Norman Davies claims that the people in attendance "shrieked with laughter when the animals howled with pain, were singed and roasted, then carbonized." James Frazer stated that it was customary to burn a barrel, basket or sack of live cats. Sometimes, a fox was also burned. People collected the ashes and embers from the fire and brought them home believing they would bring good luck. These spectacles were often seen by French kings, who lit the bonfire themselves. Louis XIV was crowned with a wreath made of roses, carried a bouquet of roses in his hands, and lit the bonfire. He also enjoyed the festivities in the town hall. This was the last time a monarch presided over the Paris midsummer bonfire. Metz's midsummer fires were lit with great pomp on the esplanade. A dozen cats were kept in wicker cages and burned alive to the delight of the crowd. Similar to Gap in the Hautes-Alpes department, cats were used to be roasted over the midsummer bonfire. Many cultures believe cats can have multiple lives. They are thought to have nine lives in many countries. However, in Italy, Germany Greece, Brazil, Brazil, and other Spanish-speaking areas, they are said have seven lives. In Arabic traditions, six lives are the norm. This myth is due to the natural suppleness of cats and their ability to flee from life-threatening situations. This myth is also supported by the fact that cats who fall often land on their toes, using their instinctive righting reflex to turn their bodies around. However, high falls can still cause injury or death to cats. (Press release.

LIFESPAN AND HEALTH

In recent years, the average lifespan for pet cats has increased. It was seven years in the 1980s. In 1995, it was 9.4 years. In 2018, it was 15.1 years. Some cats can live into their 30s. Creme Puff was the oldest cat known to have died at 38. One study showed that spaying female cats can increase life expectancy by 62%, and castrated male cats live twice the time as intact males. Castrated males are not at risk for developing testicular cancer. Spayed females have lower chances of developing uterine cancer.

Maladies

There are approximately 250 heritable disorders in cats. Many of these conditions are similar to inborn metabolic errors in humans. Due to the high degree of similarity in feline metabolism, many of these diseases can be diagnosed using genetic tests originally designed for humans. Acute infections, parasitic infestations and injuries are all common in domestic cats. Chronic diseases like arthritis, thyroid disease, kidney disease, and thyroid disease also affect them. There are vaccines available for many diseases as well as treatments to eradicate parasites like worms, ticks and fleas.

SENSES

Vision Reflection of the camera flash from tapetum Lucidum

Cats can see well at night and only require one-sixth of the light levels required for human vision. Tapetum lucidum in cat eyes, which reflect light back into the eyes, is partially responsible for this ability to see dim light more clearly. Large pupils can adapt to dim light. Slit pupils allow domestic cats to focus bright light without chromatic aberration. A cat's pupils will expand to cover the majority of its eyes when it is low in light. The domestic cat is limited in its ability to differentiate between green and red due to poor color vision. It has only two types cone cells that are optimized for sensitivity to yellowish green and blue. The third type of cone might also be responsible for the ability to respond to middle wavelengths in a system other then rod cells. This appears to be an adaptation of low light levels and not true trichromatic vision.

Hearing Domestic cats have a very sensitive hearing range, which is between 500 Hz and 32 kHz. It can detect frequencies from 55 Hz up to 79,000Hz. It can hear frequencies up to 10.5 octaves. Humans and dogs can only hear 9 octaves. The pinnae, its large, movable, outer ears that can amplify sounds and detect where they are coming from, enhance its hearing sensitivity. It can detect ultrasonic sounds made by rodent prey, and it can also detect ultrasound.

The smell of cats is acute. This is due to the fact that they have a well-developed sense of smell and a large area of olfactory mucosa. It measures 5.8 cm2. This is twice as big as humans. Jacobson's organ is a part of the behavioral process of flehmening. Cats have it, as do many other animals. They can sense certain smells in a way humans cannot. Cats are sensitive pheromones like 3-mercapto-3,methylbutan-1-ol. They use this to communicate with each other through urine spraying and marking their scent glands. Catnip and plants containing nepetalactone are also highly regarded by cats. They can detect it at less than 1 part per billion. Nepetalactone is believed to affect between 70 and 80% of cats. Other plants such as Actinidia polygama silver vine and valerian also produce this response. This may be due to the fact that the scent of these plants mimics a pheromone, stimulating the cats' sexual and social behaviors.

Taste Cat whiskers are extremely sensitive to touch

The number of taste buds in cats is much lower than that of humans, with 470 versus more like 9,000 on the human tongue. Wild and domestic cats share a taste receptor mutation that prevents their sweet taste buds bind to sugary molecules. This leaves them unable to taste sweetness. Instead, their taste buds respond to bitter tastes, amino acids such as protein and acids. Cats have a unique temperature preference. They prefer food at around 38 C. This is the same temperature as fresh kill. Cats will also reject food that is cold or refrigerated. This would indicate to them that the "prey", or food item, is old and potentially toxic.

Whiskers Cats have many movable whiskers (vibrissae), that are placed all over their bodies, including their faces, to aid in navigation and sensation. These help to determine the distance between objects and the size of the gaps. They also sense air currents and trigger protective blink reflexes that protect the eyes from injury.

TAXONOMY

A tabby cat

Carl Linnaeus proposed the scientific name Felis catus in 1758 to describe a domestic cat. Johann Christian Polycarp Erxleben proposed Felis catus domesticus in 1777. Konstantin Alekseevich Satunin proposed Felis daemon in 1904. It was a Transcaucasus black cat, which was later recognized as a domestic cat. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature declared that Felis catus, the domestic cat, is a distinct species in 2003. After phylogenetic research, it was classified as F. silvestris felis catus in 2007. The 2017 IUCN Cat Classification Taskforce referred to Felis catus as a distinct species

Published by MaineCoon Companion

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