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Cats are believed to have first been domesticated by the ancient Egpytians around the year 4500 BC, although some evidence suggests that cats were part of Egyptian culture as early as 7500 BC. The Egyptians used cats to defend their grain storage from rats and mice and eventually began to revere the cats. The Egyptian goddess of love and fertility, Bastet, resembled a cat. Throughout time, cats have also been revered by the Vietnamese, Japanese and Islamic cultures.
During the 15th century in Europe cats were considered evil and cat owners were persecuted by declaration of the Pope. Cat lovers were accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Because of this belief, the European cat population decreased causing an increase in the number of rats – it is believed that this increase in the rat population contributed to the rapid spread of the bubonic plague – also known as Black Death.
Cats today are considered playful, loving companions and are well adapted to home life.
CAT Scientific Information
Species: F. Silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. catus
CAT Character Information
Cats can be described as loving, playful, highly intelligent and extremely observant. Cats learn quickly and can be very curious about new or exciting things around the home. When provided with lots of love and good care, cats can become loyal companions throughout their life.
While lovable and playful, cats can at times be described as moody, schizophrenic, and even downright strange. It is important to remember that cats like to spend a lot of time on their own. Although they can form strong social bonds with their pet owner and other cats, they can be completely happy on their own. Because cats come from a species that is largely solitary and highly territorial they prefer to have their own space and territory. Cats, from time to time, will scratch, spray urine or rub their fur on things to mark their territory. Pet owners will notice that cats will become more active in “marking their territory” when the cat feels insecure or threatened in its living space – this type of behavior will be especially noticeable when other cats come around.
Cats like to nap throughout the day causing pet owners to think that cats are inherently lazy. In reality, cats rest during the time when the pet owners are awake and are more active when the pet owners are resting. Cats are active during their hunting time – evenings and mornings – when their prey (probably rodents) are most active. Because of this late to bed and early to rise schedule, cat’s prefer to sleep during the day.