Humans can be roughly divided into two types: people who love cats and people who don’t have the nature to love cats. The love of cats is deeply engraved in the human soul and has a long history. For many centuries, cats have been of great significance to human beings. As a symbol of good luck, cats have been revered and cherished by human beings. They have also been regarded as the incarnation of demons, and have been subjected to mass sexual abuse.
When did cats become pets?
About 3000 BC, in ancient Egypt, the first domesticated cats were used to control rodents, and gradually became a favorite family partner, even worshipped as gods. The Egyptians were very impressed by the nimble, robust, secretive hunter who could kill mice and began to treat them as sacred objects. Egyptians call these gods “meow.”. When “meow” died, the owner should mourn, coat the cat with preservative oil, put it in the coffin, and send it to the bast temple in bastis. Ancient Egyptians mummified a large number of dead cats. Scientists studied the mummies of these cats, thus proving that domestic cats originated from African wildcats. (see “the most direct relatives of domestic cats”, * 41-42). In ancient times, cats were domesticated in the far east later than in Egypt. Some authorities believe that China began raising cats in 2000 BC, while others believe that China started raising cats as late as 400 BC.
Domestic cats spread from Egypt to Italy, and then gradually spread throughout Europe, winning “admirers” in many countries. But in the middle ages, cats were doomed. The Christian Church, unwilling to be associated with pagan idols, launched a cat movement. Perhaps because of the incredible agility of cats, superstitious people believe that witches can transform into cats. This view has led to the unfortunate consequences of cats, which are often burned alive by Christians because they believe that cats are the incarnation of the devil. However, when the use of cats was recognized again, the phenomenon that cats were not welcomed gradually disappeared. By the 18th century, cats were once again a common family animal. In the 19th century, it was very popular to keep cats. By the end of the 19th century, early purebred cats were on display at the first cat exhibition (see “what is a cat show?” £¬*178)¡£
What is the value of cats as pets?
It doesn’t cost much to buy a cat. You can also get an impure cat at no cost from a friend or charity. Even if you buy a purebred kitten from a breeder, the cost of feeding a cat is negligible compared to other pets such as dogs or ponies.
Although it costs little to buy and keep a cat, a cat is priceless to the new owner of the cat. People can make fun of the cat, can also use the cat as a companion, can also add elegant sentiment to the home.
The house is very small and you can have a cat. The cat is still the best pet when the owner has to go to work, because the cat doesn’t need to be cared for all day. Old people benefit greatly from the company of cats; young people can increase their knowledge by taking care of their pets. It’s not difficult to keep a cat: it doesn’t need to lead outdoor activities like dogs, nor does it require a whole set of expensive technical equipment like fish tank farming.
Build a good relationship with the cat
Unlike dogs, cats do not want to be “possessed” at all, and their independence is not allowed to be deprived. To build a good relationship with a cat, you should not own it as property, but try to treat it as a guest at home. The cat wants to spend time with you. It doesn’t ask for anything except simple food (see “cat feeding”). You have to develop a relationship with a cat. Unlike dogs, cats do not stay with their poor owners out of blind loyalty. But on the other hand, if the host understands it and appreciates it, it can receive it, and will repay it with emotion and respect. In order to win the affection of your cat friend, you must understand the cat’s behavior and treat your cat friend accordingly.
The cat is a perfect animal, and nature arranges it perfectly: the cat is good-looking, conscientious, independent, independent of its owner, contributing more than it takes. The cat’s sense organ is extremely perfect, always can make the keen response to its surroundings. All cats are born noble. The family of domestic cats prides itself on having the most secretive, keenest, most dangerous, most beautiful and bravest mammals on earth. Compared with the puma, the cat is very gentle, but unlike other domesticated animals such as dogs, the cat also has a slightly wild, independent and uninhibited flavor of the past.
Indeed, cats were domesticated much later than other domestic animals. Cats are stubborn and never Fawn and fawn. If you want your pet to be a submissive slave, you should not choose to have a cat, but a dog.
Although both cats and dogs are typical carnivorous sports, cats are more suitable for hunting tasks. Generally speaking, wild dogs hunt in groups, while wild cats, with the exception of some lions, venture out to hunt alone. Like the wild “distant relatives”, domesticated cats also come and go alone. Because of this characteristic, cats are particularly suitable for being pets of individual owners.
Due to the close relationship between modern dogs and humans, their physique is very different from the wild ancestors of wolves. However, the situation of cats is different. No matter the long haired cats or Siamese cats on the exhibition stage, they are still similar to their ancestors in terms of physique and personality. Sleeping gracefully by your fireplace, the sleeping, ginger male cat is a leopard cat in its bones; the female spotted cat standing on the grass staring at the sparrow, you can see a pair of tiger eyes from its face. Indeed, keeping a cat at home can enjoy a lot of fun, one of which is to observe the rich and colorful fighting movements of this fighter who has been quite proficient in martial arts since ancient times. In fact, it is the basic carnivorous habit of cats that promotes the relationship between cats and humans. When the human life mode changed from hunting to farming and collecting food, the use of cat’s bravery to catch mice evolved into the domestication of cats.
Cats are highly skilled at hunting because they are extremely secretive and agile in their actions (see “hunting prey”, * 190-191). When a domestic cat catches mice, it is not necessarily from hunger, rather it is a sport or game. Many people think that cats are cruel and hard to understand. For example, when a cat catches its prey, it does not immediately kill it, but rather plays a trick on the unfortunate prey before it bites it. However, we cannot apply human moral standards to animals. The cat does it just to develop its skills. Such behavior should not be punished. In addition, many people use double standards for cats, which are great hunters. On the one hand, he applauded the cat’s ability to get rid of the mice in the house, but on the other hand, he criticized the cat’s way of catching birds.
As a hunter, your eyesight is very good (see Chapter 1, “eyes,” pp. 28-30). For most of the day, cats are keenly observing their surroundings. If it becomes “emotionally active,” it may be time for it to catch prey. It lurks in places that are hard to find: in bushes, behind big trees, behind half closed doors, or in tall grass. If it wants to rest and take a nap, it will choose a favorable terrain to defend against attack: in the outdoor, it may choose the wall head, roof or ancillary buildings; in the interior, it thinks that the safer place is the chair or bed. Even when cats doze off, their senses are still receiving messages. When there is a bit of dangerous movement, the cat can jump up immediately and deal with the situation. Therefore, the cat is still “on alert” when sleeping, ready to resist intruders.
Cats have a strong curiosity. Why? Why does the cat bother to probe an empty paper bag, get into a cupboard or a shed in the garden? Part of the reason: cats are always looking for food, looking for prey to catch, or finding a warm place to curl up and doze off. Another part of the reason is that cats are naturally adventurous and interested in the world around them. For example, a daring cat may wander into a neighborhood without a cat. If it is popular, it will regard its neighbors as “villas”. When you go out, the cat will visit. Unfortunately, cat’s curious nature doesn’t always benefit cats. As the saying goes, meddling can lead to death. A responsible owner should protect the cat, just as parents protect their children, from the potential dangers they are unaware of. However, they should not be over protected, because cats, as high-level “individuals”, do not like to be spoiled.
To raise a cat, you must first understand the basic characteristics of a cat. If you read the general knowledge provided in this book and follow the advice, you and your cat will surely enjoy a long and happy friendship.
Selective breeding of cats
Make the right choice
Once you have the desire to have a cat, you have to make decisions on many issues, the most important of which is to decide whether to have a purebred or an impure cat.
Why do you choose purebred cats?
If you are interested in participating in a cat show or breeding, you should buy a purebred cat. What kind of cat you choose depends on your hobby. Keep in mind, though, that long haired cats need to be groomed every day (* 170), while Siamese and Berman are demanding favors, barking noisily, and may mature faster than other cats. The selection of purebred cats requires not only physical examination of cats, but also the identification of the breed characteristics, quality and the possibility of winning prizes in the future only through the eyes of experts. Therefore, you should go shopping with a person who is very familiar with the issue of cat breeds and fully understand what you hope for cats. Unfortunately, purebred cats are very expensive. If you can’t afford the full cost, there are two ways to make a deal: one is to buy a cat with “pet quality”, whose characteristics may not meet the criteria for participating in the cat show, but in any case, the cat can be a good pet. If you sign a breeding agreement, you can buy a cat with “exhibition quality”; return the cat to the seller at the scheduled time for breeding. Agree with the seller and write all the text to you.
Why do you choose to keep non purebred cats?
Generally speaking, the main purpose of keeping a cat is to keep company with people. If that’s your purpose, it doesn’t make much sense to buy purebred cats. In particular, if you live in the city, cat thieves often aim to steal Persian and Siamese cats, and do not have to keep purebred cats. There are often many cheap cats that can be used by ordinary families.
Should we choose male or female?
In my opinion, either castrated male cats or ovariectomized females can be used. Because these two kinds of cats can also be good understanding pets. I suggest not to keep a male cat that has not been castrated, because it will urinate everywhere and give off a pungent smell; it often wanders around, often fights, and will be injured or infected. For the same reason, you should not keep a female cat without ovaries removed. This female cat often oestrus at some time of the year. If you don’t keep it at home, it may not be pregnant according to the wishes of its owner. Ovariectomized cats do not have these shortcomings and may make cats more intimate with people.
Should you choose a kitten or an adult?
When buying pets, although the kitten is very cute. But it needs a lot of care, and it has to be trained into hygiene habits. On the positive side, kittens usually adapt quickly to the new environment. For many people, it’s a wise choice to cultivate a new year’s cat. If you work outside all day, or feel the kitten is too noisy, or difficult to train, you should cultivate a new year’s cat. If you have purchased an adult cat, keep it indoors for the first few days, otherwise it may try to return to its original owner’s home.
Should I buy a cat or a pair of cats?
If you have a limited income or a small place to live, it’s impossible to buy a few cats. However, if every member of the family goes out during the day and only one cat is at home, it may be lonely, so you can buy two cats so that they can keep company with each other.
Buy healthy cats
There may be many sources for buying cats. It’s a good idea to be recommended by others, but what kind of cat you choose depends on which one you have decided to buy and how much money you want to pay. Never look into the cat’s source before buying it in a hurry.
Buy a cat from a breeder
If you have decided to buy a purebred cat, you’d better buy it from someone who specializes in breeding cats. Although this is likely to be expensive. Maybe the local cat owners’ club can also provide information on the name and address of your breeder. Otherwise, you’d rather go to a cat show and meet many people who breed cats. Although some cats may be on sale at the cat show, it’s better to go to the cat seller’s house and have a look at the whole litter. There, you can observe the environment in which the kittens grow, and how the kittens behave in the noisy and exciting circumstances away from the cat show.
Buy a cat from a pet store
If you have any other way, I would like to advise you not to go to the pet store to buy a cat. Because kittens are particularly vulnerable to disease and infection, and disease and infection can easily spread in pet stores. If you are sure you want to buy a cat there, be sure to have a thorough examination of the cat. The price of cats sold in pet shops is usually reasonable.
Buy cats from protected animals
Charitable lifesaving organizations are another convenient source of non purebred cats. Usually you can get a cat for a little or no money.
Health certificate and vaccination
Before buying a cat, it’s ideal to have a veterinarian examine it. If you want to buy expensive purebred cats, it is even more necessary to ask a veterinarian for examination. Ask the veterinarian you know to have an examination and issue a written health certificate. If you are getting a kitten or adult cat from the lifeguard Association, the veterinarian will usually check the cat before it is handed over to you. However, no matter where you get the cat, it is imperative to arrange for the vet to examine the cat as soon as possible after you get it. If you are buying a kitten, you should ensure that the kitten has been injected with anti cat enteritis and cat influenza vaccine (* 238, 229) at least one week before purchase. If you buy an adult cat, you need to find out whether it has been vaccinated when it is young, and whether it has been injected with adjuvants to enhance the efficacy regularly in the future. If you have been injected with prophylactic and adjuvant drugs, you must have a written certificate from a veterinarian. In addition, if you have other cats, in order to prevent them from being infected with leukemia (* 259), ask a veterinarian to test the blood of the newly purchased cat to prove that the result is negative.
Purebred cat registration
All purebred cats over five weeks old should be registered in the owner’s personal name together with the details of their fur color and their parents. If you do not register, you will not be allowed to participate in purebred cat exhibitions in the future.
Check if the cat’s habits are good
When choosing a cat, you must look for smart, friendly, naughty and willing to be disciplined. If you buy a kitten, you’d better choose the one with stronger physique, greater courage and birth first; don’t choose the smallest and most timid kitten in a litter, because the youngest cat is often prone to illness, and you may be sad because of the early death of the cat.
Check the cat you want to buy
No matter what kind of cat you want to keep, or where you buy it from, there is a golden rule to follow: be sure to study the health of cats. Never buy sick or substandard cats. When you ask to check the cat, if you are rejected, do not buy it, because any responsible seller will understand that it is reasonable to require a thorough inspection of the newly purchased pet.
Before checking the cat, wash your hands and play with the cat for a while to eliminate the cat’s tension. During the whole inspection process, it is necessary to hold the cat’s body steadily and gently to prevent the cat from escaping.
How to check kittens
Examine the coat
Feel the texture of the kitten’s fur, whether it is smooth and tangled, and look for fleas or other pests.
Check your ears
The kitten’s ears should be clean and dry. Make sure that the ears are not full of wax (* 250).
Check your eyes and nose
The third eyelid (*) should not protrude; the eyes should be clean and bright; the nose should be moist.
Check your mouth and teeth
Healthy kittens have pink mouth, white teeth, and no gingival inflammation.
Lift the cat’s tail for signs of diarrhea. ***It should be clean and free of faeces.
Check the abdomen
Touch the bottom of the cat’s belly with one hand. Abdomen should be slightly round, not hard. Find out if there is a lump (hernia) and then let the cat walk freely to see if it is lame.
*How to identify the gender of a kitten?
Although it is easy to identify the sex of adult cats, it may not be easy to distinguish the sexes of kittens. To check, lift up the cat’s tail and look at the hole below. If the distance between the two is close and the two openings seem to be close to each other, the kitten can be identified as a kitten. There is a dark, raised area under the male cat, which will develop into the male and the female under it in the future.
Care for kittens
It’s really interesting to observe the life of a kitten in the first few months after birth. Moreover, this is an extremely important stage. Because the physical and mental health of adult cats is formed in their early life. When the kitten is born, its eyes are still open. It’s very soft. It looks like a hairy sausage. But in a few weeks, it will become a sleek, mousetrap hunter. If a wise owner wants to do his duty of raising a cat, a mother or a babysitter, he must carefully observe the kitten’s every move, learn to predict its temperature, hunger and thirst, and be able to see its happiness, anger and sorrow. When you win the affection and friendship of the newborn cat, you will be fully rewarded for your hard work.
When a kitten is born, it is generally 11 to 15 cm long and weighs 70 to 135 G. The newborn kittens have not yet opened their eyes and their ears are folded, so they can neither see nor hear. She was unable to walk at birth and was totally dependent on the female cat. It took eight weeks to live on my own. The first development in kitten development is that the eyes begin to open in five to ten days and fully open in eight to twenty days. The color of the eye is usually grayish blue, and this early color begins to change around 12 weeks. From 16 to 20 days, the kittens began to crawl; at three to four weeks, they began to eat solid food; at about eight weeks, they were weaned completely.
The relationship between female cat and kitten
The newly born female cats will accept the non biological kittens. Once a close relationship is formed between the mother cat and her own children, the relationship will no longer be easy to accept foreign cats. When the kittens began to eat solid food, the intimacy gradually weakened, and the females began to treat their own cats and non biological cats no longer differently.
Milestone of kitten’s growth and development
Even in the same litter, the growth and development of each kitten may be different. Some of them are soon independent; others are very dependent on their mothers. Similarly, the degree of physical development may vary. Usually the last born kitten is always the smallest and weakest; the following figures refer to the general kittens.
Eye opening: 8-20 days
Fixed eye color: 12 weeks
Climbing: 16-20 days
Walking: 21-25 days
Running: 4-5 weeks
Start eating solid food: 3-4 weeks
Complete weaning: 8 weeks
Start training: 3-4 weeks
Full length of primary teeth: 8 weeks
Permanent teeth: 12-18 weeks
Wash face and hair: 4-5 weeks
Play: 4-5 weeks
Start hunting: 6-8 weeks
Purebred cat registration: week 5
Vaccination and sex organ removal
First vaccination: Week 9
Second vaccination: week 12
Ovariectomy in female cats: Week 16
Castration of male cats: week 36
Independent life without female cat
The earliest time to leave the female: 6-8 weeks
Time to live completely independent without female: 6 months
Placement, capture and transportation of cats
Even if your cat nestles next to you most of the night, it needs its own place to sleep. Your cat may prefer to doze off in your bed or on a cushion or chair rather than in its nest. However, in the future, when it is sick or unsafe, the cat’s nest will be an important place to retire to meet its deep needs.
Buy a cat’s nest
At present, most pet shops sell cat nests. You can buy one for your cat mate. There are many styles of cat’s nests, ranging from bean bag type (large round cushion filled with polystyrene particles) to Eskimo house type (this is a dome type cat nest). But made of plastic instead of ice! The traditional willow basket looks very attractive. It is said that the creaking sound of the basket comforts the kitten, but this kind of basket is not easy to clean: use cheaper wooden or cardboard boxes with lots of newspapers inside, which is also suitable for cat’s nest. In addition, the cardboard can be disposed of at will and can be replaced after being dirty.
A soft, warm pad should be placed in the cat’s nest to make it comfortable and attractive to the cat. You can put some newspaper in the nest first, and then some soft cloth. An old sweater can easily be converted into a luxurious cat blanket. If you buy a new kitten, it may miss its mother and brothers and sisters. You can also put a soft toy in the nest for the kitten’s company.
Cleaning the cat’s nest
Cats are naturally clean animals. If the cat’s nest is dirty, they will despise it. So you should clean the cat’s nest and remove the dirty liner regularly. Plastic cat’s nest is currently the easiest to clean and has the advantage of infrequent fleas. Warm water with a non-toxic disinfectant to dilute and thoroughly scrub the cat’s nest. When the cat’s nest is dry, spread a new layer of newspaper, and then iron the cloth or change it.
Where should the cat’s nest be placed?
Cats have a quirk, like to find the most gentle place in the home, curl up and doze off. If you have an air conditioner heater in your home, your cat is likely to choose to sleep near the boiler. As long as there is no draught, it is the best place to put the cat’s nest.
When the weather is cold, you can add a warm pad (such as an electric blanket) in the cat’s nest to keep the cat warm. However, the warm pad must be placed on one side of the nest, not in the middle, so that there are both warm and cold places in the nest, so that the cat can choose the temperature it likes.
Sleeping time of cats
You can take a cat to a cat’s nest, but you can’t make it sleep in it. Many cats find it difficult to obey the position you arrange for it at home. Even if you give it a bed to sleep in, you may find it curled up in your bed when it’s time to go to bed. If you don’t object to a fluffy “hot soup pot” sleeping in your bed, that’s no problem. But if you like to sleep quietly at night, you must firmly set the rules at home when it is still a kitten.
When you start the bedtime system, just before you are ready to go to bed, put the cat in the cat’s nest, turn off the lights, and close the door to the cat’s nest room. Don’t forget to put the cat bedpan and cat water bowl where the cat can reach. At first, the kitten may not like the forced separation, but after a week or two, the kitten will go to sleep quietly every night.
What cats need
There are no vegetarian cats in the world: cats are all carnivores. They have to have meat to live on. But that doesn’t mean you don’t like or need some fruits or vegetables. There are several wild cats that like to eat fruit or delicious vegetarian food occasionally as a supplement to meat. For example, after killing their victims, lions and tigers often gobble up their appetizers and gobble down the digesting vegetarian soup as yeast to help digestion, and then taste the main dishes such as meat slices and ribs.
Nutrition for cats
The main principle for feeding cats is food diversity. From the first day of weaning, kittens should be used to eating a variety of food. Although the diet of pet cats should contain at least 25% protein, they should follow the example of their wild relatives. Their meals should be varied, not only with fish as their staple food, but also with some vegetarian food.
It’s smart to provide fat and carbohydrates for cat food as a cat’s physical energy. Because to a certain extent, it is a waste to eat only fish and meat on a whole protein diet. This is because these expensive foods are only digested in cats to generate heat, not to repair cells. Another reason not to feed whole protein food is that it’s bad for your health. Excessive amount of raw meat in cat food can produce harmful effects: cats who only eat fish and don’t eat other foods will suffer from vitamin B deficiency; cats who only eat animals will have abnormal stool; cats who only eat lean meat will lack calcium and vitamins.
If you can provide the cat with a variety of selected foods with sufficient major nutrients as shown in the table below, the cat’s diet should be naturally balanced. If you accept an old cat whose diet is hard to change, you can pull it back from the road to death if you work hard on cat food instead of giving it crayfish and caviar monotonously. When a new cat comes to your home to eat “fashion”, as the owner, you’d better change it to a healthy new diet; gradually add new food in a few weeks.
If your cat is in good health and you feed a wide range of cat food, there is no need to add vitamins and minerals to the cat. If added, these vitamins and minerals will only be excreted. For sick cats, however, it can sometimes be beneficial to supplement these supplements: iron tablets, for example, help the recovery of anemic cats. Such treatment should only be carried out under the guidance of a veterinarian. Vitamin and mineral supplements are also beneficial for pregnant or lactating female cats.
How long can a cat not be fed?
Cats can survive much longer without eating because they lose 40% of their body weight and do not die. (however, cats lose 10% to 14% of their body weight, which is generally fatal). It is known that under special circumstances, cats can survive without food or water for several weeks. For example, a male cat named chepps from Liverpool, England, was accidentally packed in a machine parts box and shipped to Mombasa, Kenya. Four weeks later, when the box was opened in Africa, chipos was thinner but still alive. It is believed to have survived by eating some of the oil on the outside of the machine and licking the little water that condenses.
There are three main types of food for sale in the market: pre packaged meat, canned meat. Although these three kinds of food are convenient to feed, they should only be part of cat food, not all cat food. Ideally, feed fresh food at least twice a week (see page 162). This is because, if you are going to keep your cat healthy for a long time, this kind of food can’t provide all the nutrition the cat needs. It is said that many of these foods meet the protein content of cat food (25% – 30%). However, like humans, cats should eat some fresh food to get enough vitamins and minerals. Moreover, it is too monotonous to feed cats only with this kind of food, even if some cats can tolerate such excessive monotony, and in terms of nutritional value, prepackaged food is quite expensive. However, at some point, you may feel that you have to use prepackaged food as your only cat food. Just feed for a few weeks, not years, and when dry food is fed with pl