Cats are amazing creatures; majestic, comical, ever changing, and diverse. Because of their agility, athleticism, and equipment-claws and teeth, they are considered to be perfect killing machines. Equally true, they are gentle companions who share our lives and household. They love to sit on our laps and be with us but don’t respond to training like a dog. I’ve shared my life with cats since childhood. Here are a few basic facts for anyone interested in this amazing species.
The first thing you’ll notice is that cats sleep a lot. They average 16 hours of sleep per day. When their up, they usually like to play, eat or groom. The amount of daily sleep can vary by cat, circumstance and breed. There are approximately 25-40 known breeds of cats. The largest is a Maine Coon which often weighs in excess of 20 LBs. Other cat breeds average 7-10 LB’s. The lifespan of a cat varies depending on its breed and environment. Outdoor un-neutered male cats have a lifespan of just 4 years regardless of their breed. This is because many of them are hit by cars or infected with terminal illnesses. Indoor cats live much longer than outdoor cats due to lower stress, and lower exposure to disease. The Maine Coon has a short lifespan of approximately 8-10 years, whereas a Siamese often lives up to 20 years. Mixed breed cats typically live 12-18 years, but I’ve had mixed breeds live up to 24 years.
According to pet trainers, cats can be trained, but always keep in mind, the cat will only do what serves the cat’s best interest. The best way to train a cat is by using food when the cat is hungry. Repeat the trick over and over and give a “treat" each time.
The body of a cat is amazing. The eyes are designed to detect the slightest movement. They see well in the dark. Their ears move so they can pick up the faintest sound—this explains why cats hate loud noises and unfamiliar sounds. The spine of a cat is incredibly dexterous, containing approximately 60 vertebrae compared to a humane spine which has approximately 24 vertebras. The tail can reflect a cat’s mood, and is also used for balance. Most cats enjoy when we run our hand down their back and give a slight gentle tug on the tail, near the base of the tail. It gives the cat a little back stretch. The claws are retractable for ease of walking on any surface and extend to climb trees or catch prey. Cats are carnivores and should always eat a high protein diet. They are amazingly resourceful and prolific. A single mother and her first year offspring can produce in excess of 150 cats by the third year. This is why all cats need to be spayed and neutered before *** maturity (approximately 6 months).
Centuries ago, humans and cats started sharing their environment. We don’t know when this occurred, but most likely our ancestors valued cats for their ability to reduce rodent populations. During the Egyptian era, cats were revered. During the dark ages they were persecuted and wrongfully blamed for the black plague. Today approximately 30 percent of all households share their lives with cats. It’s easy to understand why they are the most popular pet.
Kate Garvey provides professional writing services for individuals or business. She is the author of “The Low Risk Guide to Real Estate Investment" and “Aging, Death and Euthanasia-A Guide for People with Pets". Kate provides free pet care tips on her website http://www.kategarvey.net