Cats are one of the most popular animals to be kept as pets, by humans. Soft, furry and cuddly creatures, they are known for their independence and their agility. For many centuries, these animals have been an integral part of human society and no matter what country you are from, you are likely to find these animals in and around your neighbourhood, hunting for food or just preening themselves. No matter how cute they might look, cats are designed for just one thing - to hunt - and they are brilliant at it!
There are many reasons why humans have associated themselves with an animal like the cat. For over three and a half thousand years, we've seen evidence of cats being a part of human families and living in the same household and eating the same kind of food. There is more evidence from a Neolithic grave from over 9,000 years ago, that shows a human body alongside a cat's body, lying side by side. This relationship between cats and humans has, however, been the outcome of something that we least expect from cats - work!
A Working Lunch
There is something very interesting that cats do, which humans cannot - they keep pests out of our homes. People would bring in cats to help disrupt the mouse- or rat-population in their homes and for these cats, sticking around humans was a way of getting food by hunting it down. Humans were always setting up homes and buildings that had dark spaces and, more importantly, food storages. We would store away meat, grains and more, giving rats and other critters an easy access to meals.
The introduction of cats, into this environment, not only helped protect the food from these pests, it also gave humans a companion of sorts. Cats have never been overly friendly creatures and the fact that they are a part of our life is solely because they begin to look at us as a member of their family, just as we look at them as one of ours.
Keeping Cats as Pets
These animals are one of the easiest pets to keep, irrespective of the breed or variety of the cat in question. They are animals who will hunt irrespective of how much you feed them, because it is a natural instinct for them to chase moving objects that look like food to them. Whether they eat it, or not, is based on how they are brought up; but the fact is, cats will always hunt for food! What's more, if you have cats in your home, you are likely to wake up in the morning and find a dead bird or rat on the floor, with your feline friend sitting around it and purring away to glory.
Cats always look as humans as equals, unlike dogs who look at humans as masters. As a result, cats consider it their responsibility to bring back food for their family and this kill, lying on your floor mats or carpets, is their way of providing or contributing for the family. Sure, you might feel bad about the animal that's been killed, but it is a part of how nature has intended things to be.
Cats hate baths but they are one of the cleanest animals you will ever find. Unlike other pets, cats clean themselves with their tongues. What might seem as gross to you, is actually a very useful way for them to maintain a healthy and clean coat around their body. Their coat keeps them safe from water and other external elements so if you see them sitting and busily licking themselves, its because they want to keep their coat in perfect shape.
All you need to do to keep cats is give them food at meal-times and that's it! There's no need to walk them around and most cats tend to spend most of their time outside the home, hunting or just sitting around and observing their territory. All cats love high places so if you are getting one, make sure you have or install some sitting perches high above the floor, that these cats can sit on. It just gives them that sense of safety from predators, another natural instinct that just doesn't go away despite being in a home. No matter what breed of the animal you pick, it is likely to have that same kind of character, of being a super-agile hunter that's also a love-bug when it wants your attention.
A litter-box is absolutely necessary if you are planning to keep your cats indoors most of the time. Cats always bury their waste and for that, sand in a box is enough. You get them to defecate in the box a few times and you will find that they will automatically go to it after that. They are extremely intelligent animals and pick up habits like this very easily.
Cats are likely to sleep through most of the day so you won't find them bugging you too much in that time. At night, all you need to do is let them out because that is when they are at their alert-best and working their magic at keeping your home safe from little pests. Barring the odd vaccination trip to the vet, you really don't need to do anything when it comes to keeping cats around your home and when they curl up on your lap or next to you on the bed, purring away, your sense of joy will be just that little bit more knowing that you are living the life with your little cat-friend.