Domesticated housecats share an amazing amount of DNA with tigers – 95.6% actually. In evolutionary history, our furry feline pets became domesticated not that long ago, around 5,000 to 12,000 years. There are many similarities between domesticated cats and wild cats, but why can big cats roar and domesticated cats can’t? It all comes down to a small bone. Cats that roar can’t purr, and cats that purr can never roar.
The cat family (Felidae) is split with the big four cats who roar – lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards – in the sub-family Panthera, and cats who can only purr in the sub-family Felinae, which includes the domesticated cat as well as the bobcat, cheetah, mountain lion and other small wild cats. The mountain lion is the largest of the small cat species, and the tiger is the largest of the big four cats that roar.
What’s interesting about the cat family is their shared instinctive behavior. A head-butt is an appropriate greeting; a wiggle of their behind signals a readiness to pounce; they knead, paw at their food and have an exceptional sense of smell. Around half of all domesticated cats love catnip, which is the same in big cats. All cats, regardless of size, hiss, yowl, snarl, spit and growl. They all love to play, and even wild cats are obsessed with boxes. But when it comes to the ability to roar, not all cats can because of a small bone called the hyoid, which is a U-shaped bone in the throat that sits above the larynx. Read More »
Oh sure. The phrase “working cat” might seem to be the best example of an oxymoron, bar none. It’s true that cats are not generally known for their dedication to hard work. They probably think dogs already do enough work to benefit mankind and there’s really no need for them to have a job. Or maybe they just enjoy long catnaps in the sun. Who really knows? Suffice it to say, if you Google “cats with jobs” you won’t find a very long list.
That does not mean, however, that cats are not working at various times throughout their day. You may not realize it, but cats are on the job much more than it would appear to the casual observer. That’s because most of their “work” come naturally to cats. Here are 7 jobs that cats do admirably well.
How many times have you felt unwell and found yourself being nursed back to health by your feline friend? My cats always seem to know when I need the “healing power of the purr” and they stick to me like glue until I am feeling better. I am certain their purrs and loving presence hasten the healing process.
Look, we all need someone to tell our secrets to, and not just the deep dark ones either. The best thing about having a cat for a confidant is that you just know they won’t go running to every cat in the neighborhood saying “Guess what Julia just told me!” You don’t even have to preface telling them your secret with “Now, please don’t tell anyone, but…” Their lips are sealed, no matter how juicy your secret is.
Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.
The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.
In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.
My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.
The sound of a cat purring on your lap makes you feel like everything is right with the world. One of my cats, Figaro, loves to sit on my shoulder. Actually, he loves to drape himself over my shoulder and hang on with his claws so he won’t fall off! Of course he starts purring as soon as he’s settled, and how can you evict a contented kitty from your shoulder?
Scientists have been looking into how and why wild and domestic cats purr, and what they’ve discovered is rather interesting. If you’re a cat owner, you most likely have figured out that your cat purrs when she’s happy, scared, sick or injured. Cats purr even at the end of life which could be anxiety or a state of euphoria. A mother cat purrs while giving birth and when she’s nursing her kittens; it’s one way she bonds with her kittens and assures them she’s not far away. Kittens begin to purr at 2 days old and hum to their mom so she knows they’re alright.
When cats are stressed, purring is a way they comfort and reassure themselves that everything is OK – sort of like when we whistle or talk to ourselves as we walk down a dark street alone at night. Purrs are one way to let other cats know they are submissive and not wanting to cause trouble. Older cats use a purr to communicate that they’re friendly and want to come closer when meeting other cats.
Members of the cat family Felidae, like the Puma, Cheetah, Mountain Lion, Bobcat and Eurasian Lynx will purr, as well. However, big cats like the Lion, Tiger, Snow Leopard and Jaguar belong to a subfamily of cats called Patherinae and can’t purr. Lions can produce a sound similar to purring, but it’s not true purring.
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.