The claws of wild and domestic cats (infographic)

Black Oriental Shorthair bred in Russia wants to get down as his breeder holds him for a video

Together with the cat’s athleticism, their claws and teeth define the cat because they are essential to their predatory nature. The cat is a top predator and they live with us when domesticated. It’s remarkable in many ways that humans should so successfully live with such a devastating predator. The relationship isn’t always successful …

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Did the Vikings bring the first domestic cats to North America?

Vikings brought the cat to North America?

There’s been quite a lot of discussion about the first domestic cats in America. We are sure that early Americans, around 10,000 years ago, did not domesticate a wild cat species and thereby create the first domestic cat. That happened in and around what is now Syria with the North African wildcat. So, the …

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All of today’s 600m domestic cats descend from 5 female matriarchal wildcats

In the image below I have tried to present a feel for what the Fertile Crescent was like around 10,000 years ago when ‘at least five different females from the wildcat population’ befriended farmers and founded one of the greatest populations of domestic animal companions the world has seen: the domestic cat. Of course, …

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First pet cats were tamed wildcats not true domestic cats

Ancient tabby cat

It’s a point worth making. You hear a lot about the first domestic cats coming into being about 10,000 years ago. These are the first N. African wildcats who befriended humans and vice versa; both benefiting in an act of ‘commensalism’ as it is called. These early pet cats were tamed wildcats. Their behaviour …

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Place where farmers first domesticated the cat is now desert and there are no farmers

It is sad and telling of modern life that the famous place where the first wildcats were domesticated by farmers, the Fertile Crescent, which encompasses Syria and the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, is now a place where there are no farmers tilling the fields because the river, which was once swollen with floodwaters, has …

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Do cats have better immune systems than dogs?

Cat and dog

Generally, domestic cats have better immune systems than domestic dogs. I emphasise ‘generally’ because you have to drill down to individual animals (are they purebred or random bred, for instance?). I am referring to purebred dogs and cats and their proportion of the overal population. The proportion of purebred dogs in relation to the …

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