Honoring And Celebrating Our Feline Friends
The two most common types of pets in the average American household are dogs and cats. While dogs are typically associated with loyalty and protection, cats bring something different to the table. They offer a particular sense of affection, companionship, cuteness, and love that few other pets can. We celebrate national cat day here in the U.S. on October 29th to remember why we just love our feline friends! National Cat Day is such a special holiday, that there is even an entire organization named after it that helps give shelter cats a home! Continue reading to learn more about these adorable, independent, and furry creatures we know as cats.
Domestication Of Cats
Scientists and archaeologists have spent years piecing together the origins of human and cat relationships. The oldest potentially domesticated cat fossils date back as far as 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. These fossils are from a species known as Middle Eastern Wildcats, more specifically Felis sylvestris. Through genetic analysis, scientists have recently confirmed that all domestic cats can trace their origin back to the Felis sylvestris (which translates to Cat of the woods). These Felis sylvestris fossils were found among one of the earliest known human civilizations in a place called the “Fertile Crescent” (what is now modern day west Asia). It is here that humans began to abandon their nomadic lifestyle and adopt a more permanent lifestyle of agriculture. While farming the land had its benefits, it also meant storing the various grains, fruits, and vegetables they harvested which ultimately attracted rodents. This is where cats come in. These Middle Eastern Wildcats took advantage of this abundant resource of rodents and inevitably stuck around these small newly developed human civilizations. Over thousands of years, this species of wildcat would eventually evolve into what is now known as Felis catus or modern day house cats. Unlike dogs who were domesticated for the purpose of hunting, cats found their niche in human society and essentially domesticated themselves.
Different Types Of Cats
Cat breeds come in a wide variety of different sizes, colors, patterns, and overall appearance. It’s difficult to say exactly how many different breeds of cats exist in the world as it varies depending on who you ask. The Encyclopedia Britannicca, a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia, lists 15 different breeds of cats. Whereas other organizations such as the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), a prestigious pedigreed cat registering association in North America, states there are 44 distinct cat breeds as of 2019. Although we won’t be covering all 44 different breeds, we will list the 10 most popular breeds in no particular order. They include the Sphynx, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Scottish Fold, Abyssinian, Devon Rex, Persian, Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Exotic Shorthair. Although they all look different in their own unique way, they all possess the same tendencies of affection and love that make up the personality of a cat. Even some of the grumpiest of cats will still show a deep love and connection with their owner (A.K.A. whoever feeds them regularly). Regardless of breed, cats make an excellent addition to nearly any home.
Benefits Of Owning A Cat
Cats make great overall pets for many different reasons. If you haven’t already, check out one of our other blogs on “Why Cats Make Great Pets” for an abundance of reasons. Here, we will talk about the most noticeable reason- the “low-maintenance” aspect. Cats don’t require formal training the way dogs do or need to be taken out to go potty multiple times a day. Additionally, most cats are basically self-cleaning with the exception of some long haired breeds needing occasional grooming. Another benefit of owning a cat is that they make great apartment pets. Many apartments don’t have enough space for larger pets such as a full size dog. Most cats love small spaces and crevices to hide and sleep in making the smaller size of an apartment ideal. Just as their ancestors did, the modern house cat loves to prey upon and kill rodents and household pests such as bugs or spiders. Having a cat in your house acts as a natural form of mouse traps and bug traps while also deterring further pests and rodents from entering your home at all. A cat’s scent alone is often enough to keep many mice and rats at bay. Lastly, cats are overall good for your health. Several studies have shown that cats tend to have a calming effect on their owners most likely due to their soothing behaviors of purring, being pet, and aiding their owners in falling asleep. This calming effect has been known to help play a part in lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of a heart attack.
Celebrating National Cat Day
National Cat Day is an important holiday as it reminds us about our furry feline friends and how important they are in many people’s lives. There are many ways you can help and participate in this terrific holiday. One way would be to adopt a cat yourself! However, this isn’t always an option for some people. Another way to celebrate would be to donate food, toys, blankets, or even money to your local animal shelter or animal welfare organization. If you don’t have the funds to donate these things, you can always donate your time instead as this is even more valuable to most animal shelters and/or welfare organizations. If you already own a cat, show them extra love by buying them a new toy or some tasty all natural food/treats. Maybe give them a nice brushing or take some pictures of them for social media (odds are you already do lol). These are just a few examples of how you can make a real difference in both your cat’s life and all the cats around the world. Cats aren’t just our pets, they are our family and that’s something worth celebrating.