The Domesticated Cat 🐱

A kitten

The first feline descendant lived more than 50 million ago called Miacis. Cats in the wild began living with humans sometime between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. Cats became part of the agriculture community helping farmers fight off vermins and other critters that destroyed or damaged crops. Cats are opportunistic by nature and will settle where food is readily available. We already know this because if you feed a stray they willingly take the food given. This does not mean they trust you or will become tame but is how cats co-existed with humans.

The cat is a late bloomer when it comes to domestication compared to the canine. Dogs have been domesticated from 20,000 to 125,000 years. Dogs are more dependent on humans as they are easy faithful companions. Cats, on the other hand, are more independent and will choose who they will honor their grace. Mind you they are not dependent and rather choose to allow us to serve them (yes I am being sarcastic – sort of).

A domestic tuxedo cat in the garden

Cats that live in the wild tend to form loose colonies which demonstrate they do have some need for companionship. Cats crave attention and affection on their own terms. Cats are independent survivors, unlike dogs that tend to hunt in packs. Cats are also nocturnal and sleep anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day. They are night hunters and most active after the sunset.

Although cats have been domesticated for some time they still have a lot of characteristics from their wild ancestors. A different breed of cats has different temperaments, personalities, characteristics, and behaviors. For example, my ragdoll is very chill and calm. My lynx siamese on the other hand suffers from ADHD and attitude problem. The difference between the two cats is obvious in a lot of ways. However, they also still share some of their traditional feline traits. My ragdoll tends to dig “bury” when it comes to eating and doing his business. My lynx is a hunter and always on the move.

A domestic cat in the grass

As the saying for some “boys will be boys” I always say “cats will be cats” no matter what breed and their temperament may be. Sometimes it is a challenge to try and understand cat behaviors. Understanding the history of cats and behavior can help us solve some of the common household issues with our feline companions. First, understand why the cat is behaving in a specific way. It is related to their wild side? Some cats simply do not like being indoors or a lap cat while others have medical issues.

If your kitty is displaying behavior problems always check the characteristic of cat behaviors in the wild first. Understanding their behavior from their point of view will give us humans some understanding of where our feline friends are coming from.

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