Understanding, Caring for and Training Your Cat by Paul Brough - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

Part-I: Introduction

Cats – An Overview

Cats have been human companions since time immemorial.

Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and other archeological surveys

indicate the presence of feline creatures. Cats have a natural

instinct to predate rodents and similar vermin that harm

human life. Therefore, cats have become an intrinsic part of

human life since the early ages.

Domestic cats are descendants of a group of self-

domesticating desert wildcats, Felis silvestris lybica circa.

Normally cats weigh between five-and-half and sixteen pounds

with a few species weighing up to fifty pounds. Some species

of cats weigh as little as four pounds.

Cats are carnivorous animals. They do not like fruits, grains,

or vegetables. They have a digestive tract that suits meat

digestion the best. Molar and premolar teeth on each side of

the mouth can tear meat. Their tongue has sharp spines that

help in ripping flesh from the skin of a carcass.

Although cats prefer a meat diet, they do need little quantities of vegetable matter for easy digestion. Adult cats are lactose-Copyright © 2007paul Brough ~ All Rights Reserved

Page 10 of 102

“Understanding, Caring for and Training Your Cat” by Paul Brough Page 11 of


intolerant and therefore it is best to feed them lactose-free


Cats can be fussy eaters. They sometimes will refrain from

eating their favorite food.

Domestic cats cannot change their inborn instinct to hunt

animals. They could kill small birds, insects and animals like

rats, mice, cockroaches, scorpions, grasshoppers, and others.

Cats can eat prepared foods. They will like foods that you eat,

rich in fats and proteins but these may not improve their well-

being. Domesticated cats at times grow obese by eating rich

foods. It is therefore essential for cats to have regular


Cats have a special gait, similar to camels and giraffes. They

move in an unusual way with both legs moving in one

direction and thereafter both legs moving in another direction.

The breed of a cat decides its temperament. Oriental body

types of cats are normally thin and more active while the body

type of heavier and less active cats is much different.

Cats have sharp sight at night, although daytime vision is not

so sharp. They have a keen sense of hearing and can hear

high-pitched sounds clearer than us. Their sense of smell is

fourteen times more sensitive than humans. They are more

sensitive to touch.

Cats sleep more than most animals with an average of

thirteen to fourteen hours of sleep each day. Some cats can

Copyright © 2007paul Brough ~ All Rights Reserved

Page 11 of 102

“Understanding, Caring for and Training Your Cat” by Paul Brough Page 12 of


also sleep for twenty hours in a day. Normal body temperature

of a cat is between 101 and 102.2°F. The range of normal

heartbeat is between 140 to 220 beats per minute. This could

increase due to excitement.

Cats are not pack animals. They prefer being on their own.

They like to fend for their food themselves. Nevertheless, cats

have grown a social relationship with humans. They can adapt

to humans easily. They make different sounds while

communicating with humans. These are different from sounds

they use to communicate with other animals.

Cats have an inherent liking for high places, probably for a

better survey of its territory. They can land on their prey

stealthily. Cats are playful creatures, especially kittens. They love playing with dangling pieces of string or yarn. However,

ingestion of string could cause serious problems.

Cats have a low rate of detoxification. Therefore, they develop

frequent problems due to exposure to normally safe

substances. Cats do not have the necessary enzymes to tackle

and deal with such toxic substances. Simple human foods like

chocolate, garlic, and onions can cause upsets in cats.

Female cats can have various fertility periods within a single

period of heat. This heat period could last between four to

seven days, sometimes extending longer. A female could mate

with different males during a heat period.

Copyright © 2007paul Brough ~ All Rights Reserved

Page 12 of 102

“Understanding, Caring for and Training Your Cat” by Paul Brough Page 13 of


Normal gestation period for cats is 63 to 65 days. Litters could have three to five kittens. Female cats reach sexual maturity

within four to ten months while males reach maturity within

five to seven months. It is possible to spay cats as early as six to eight weeks. This restricts unwanted reproduction and other

sex-related behavior.

Cats have a long life. Domesticated cats can live for fourteen

to twenty years. Cats can survive high falls, which could prove

fatal to other animals. People perceive cats to have nine lives.

This is due to their ability to survive accidents and live long


Cats are clean animals. They regularly lick their fur with their saliva that contains a powerful cleaning agent, which could

cause allergic reactions in some humans.

There are more than thirty to forty breeds of cats with many

new breeds developing regularly. There are many different

varieties of cats with different color combinations. Cat coat

genetics produce different coat patterns.

Copyright © 2007paul Brough ~ All Rights Reserved

Page 13 of 102




“Understanding, Caring for and Training Your Cat” by Paul Brough Page 14 of