Domesticated Cats

A gray patterned cat looks up at the camera with beautiful green eyes

No one knows why humans decided to keep cats as pets. It is believed that it may have been because of the the hunting abilities of cats that humans decided to take cats into their homes 5,000 years ago. While cats are still used to hunt mice and bugs in our homes, cats are adopted for several reasons including friendship. 

A young cat is called a kitten. As a cat grows up, it goes from being a kitten to young cat to being an adult, and then a senior cat. Cats live up to an average of 10-15 years and some even live as long as 20 years. 

Cats have highly developed senses including fast reflexes, heightened smell, and fantastic vision. However, a cat's sense of smell is not as strong as a dog's. Whiskers on a cat are thick long hairs with sensitive nerve endings that help guide a cat when it’s dark and they can’t see that well. When they brush against their food bowl or a piece of furniture in the dark it lets them know how close they are to an object. Whiskers can be found all over a cat's body such as above their eyes and on their legs. Their tongues are rough which helps them when they are cleaning themselves. 

Cats are extremely clean animals. When they clean themselves, it is called grooming. They will groom themselves by licking their fur and wiping their faces with their paws. Like humans, cats need to visit doctors called veterinarians, eat well, and exercise and play.  

A giant mane coon cat
A kitten lounges in the sun
Did You Know?
  • Ancient Egyptians believed that cats were sacred because of their connection to the goddess Bast who would take on the image of a cat. 
  • The first evidence of cats was around 50 million years ago. The earliest cats are ancient ancestors of the small cats that we have in our homes. 
  • A group of cats is called a clowder. 
  • Cats have 250 bones in their body. 
  • Although cats have excellent vision, they cannot see in total darkness.