Dogs have been by our side for at least 30,000 years and are completely domesticated. Cats, on the other hand, didn’t join the human family until 9,000 years ago. You may not think of your adorable kitty as a wild animal, but according to new research that tracked the genome of cats, our feline friends are only semi-domesticated.
Dogs, cats, and other carnivores share a lineage with a 55 million year old ancestor called Dormaalocyon latouri, a tiny two pound tree dweller believed to have dined on smaller mammals and insects. Scientists think it looked like a cross between a squirrel and a very small panther, with a cat-like snout and prominent tail. One of the earliest ancestors of mammals found, it lived in humid forests. Evolution is a complicated and surprising process.
Our house cats have only been living with humans for a relatively short period of time, and little is known about their domestication. Unlike dogs that live in a social structure, cats are solitary creatures. The most likely reason cats began to interact with humans was because the felines hunted rodents in food supplies which were in close proximity to people, and humans rewarded docile cats that stayed close by with food. However, cats have never fully given up their solitary nature.
Ask any cat lover to show you a photo of their feline friend in a box, and they can probably produce dozens (hundreds even!) of cute shots they have taken over the years. Big boxes, little boxes, long skinny boxes, empty boxes and boxes with stuff in them; it doesn’t matter – they’re all going to be irresistible to your cat. I’ve never known a cat who didn’t love sitting, sleeping and playing in boxes. Same goes for other things that have box-like qualities, such as baskets, buckets, bags, laundry baskets and suitcases.
I am reminded of a hilarious cartoon that had about a half dozen boxes lying in the middle of a deserted country lane. Each one had a cat in it, and the caption was “The cat traps are working.” Hilarious…but so on point.
So we all know that cats love boxes. But what you might not know is that there is supposedly some “science” behind the reason why felines have such an infatuation with the almighty box. Now, I’m a bit skeptical of any scientist that attempts to get into the mind of a cat. After all, felines do tend to defy being typecast. They’re not called independent creatures for no good reason. Nevertheless, I decided I should at least see what the science experts say about why cats love boxes.
Aging is an inevitable fact of life that can sometimes cause us to long for the days of our youth. But with age comes – hopefully – wisdom and an appreciation for what’s good in our lives. Our pets don’t have our level of knowledge about what lies ahead, and they can’t tell us what they are going through as they grow older. Some changes can indicate a medical issue, and some are just normal changes that can alter your pet’s behavior.
The average lifespan of dogs is around 7 to 14 years, but many canines live well past the average. Cats have a lifespan around 14 to 16 years, with many felines living into their 20s. Proper vet care, a premium quality diet like CANIDAE natural pet food, daily exercise, and mental stimulation can add years to a dog and cat’s life.
As responsible pet owners, we need to recognize when our four legged friends have reached their twilight years and understand that there will be changes which can affect their behavior.
People have a variety of reasons why they dress their pet up in clothes. Some put a coat or sweater on their dog in the winter because he gets too cold without one. Others just think their pet looks cute in a costume. Some pets seem to enjoy all the attention they get when wearing clothes; there’s even a National Dress Up Your Pet Day. But from your pet’s point of view, is he really that excited about wearing clothes? There are things to consider when choosing clothing for dogs and cats, and signals your pet sends that will tell you if he’s comfortable or stressed out in his new getup. Dressing your pet in clothes can change his behavior.
I have a windproof/waterproof coat for each of my dogs to wear during heavy, wet snowfalls and when the temperature is below zero. Winter winds can be wicked where I live, and my dogs appreciate their coats. All except Keikei, my Border Collie mix. She is more of a hat and sunglasses kind of gal, and doesn’t like wearing a coat no matter how cold or snowy it is outside. Keikei is a high energy canine and can’t wait to get outside, but with her coat on she has trouble moving around and prefers to act like a statue. Her personality changes, and I know she feels uncomfortable and confined wearing a coat, so I don’t put it on her.
I was watching a program on TV awhile back about birds. At one point I noticed several of my cats sitting in front of the TV watching intently. Other than a rare quick glance at the cats, my dogs didn’t pay any attention to the program we were watching. Cats have a tendency to watch TV more than dogs, because it’s easier for them to view what’s on the screen.
We can thank a handful of inventors for coming up with the idea for television, but the person credited with sending the first successful transmission on September 7, 1927 goes to Philo Farnsworth. He was a 14 year old high school student when he began to dream about the concept of TV while living on a farm that had no electricity. Ironically, after his invention became commonplace, Farnsworth wouldn’t let his children watch TV because he believed the programming was too dumbed down.
Radio waves fly through the air at the speed of light as patterns of unseen electricity and magnetism. When you turn on your television, a series of tiny dots of light called pixels flash on the screen in a specific pattern according to the video signal received. The patterns are seen by our eyes and transmitted to the brain where the tiny dots are organized into an image we recognize. We see movement because the image on the TV screen is refreshed hundreds of times a second, giving the illusion of movement. We don’t notice it because it’s faster than our eyes can see.
Recently, a Facebook friend posted a link to an article about cats that really got my goat. It claimed a scientific study had determined that cats hate it when you touch them and only pretend to love humans for the fringe benefits we provide. “While cats may look all fuzzy and adorable on the outside, research shows that they really are the cold, unfeeling monsters the world thinks they are,” the article stated.
It’s not the first time an obviously anti-cat person went on a diatribe about what awful, unloving creatures cats are, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. What I found particularly egregious about this one was the use of “science” to back up the author’s negative feelings about cats.
I told my friend that this was the most ridiculous article I have ever read. It was ridiculous because anyone who loves cats knows that every statement the cat hater made was untrue. We don’t need science to tell us that if we take the time to understand our cats as individuals and find ways to bond with them, that they will – and most certainly do – love us back. My cats Mickey, Rocky and Annabelle are positive proof of that.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.