Our house cats are usually just called cats. They come in all kinds of colors and with short or long hair. They are descended from the African wild cat and belong to the family of cats and thus to the mammals. So they are closely related to the lion, the tiger and many other species.
People keep already for 10.000 years domestic cat. The reason was probably in the beginning that cats catch mice. Mice eat not only grain, but almost any food they find in a house. People are therefore happy to have a cat, which ensures that there are fewer mice.
However, many people also like to keep a cat as an animal to pet. In ancient Egypt, cats were even worshipped as gods. Mummies of cats were found. So some cats were prepared for an afterlife just like pharaohs and other important people.
What can cats do especially well?
Cats are hunters and can move very fast. Some cats can go up to 50 kilometers per hour. That’s as fast as a car driving in the inner city. Cats do not see wide like the horses, but only what is just in front of them. In the dark a cat sees six times better than a human being. But even more amazing is their hearing. Hardly any other mammal has such a good. Their ears can turn the cat and so listen to a certain place.
Cats can smell a little worse than dogs. But they have an excellent sense of touch. The long hairs around the mouth are called "tactile hairs" or "whiskers". They have very sensitive nerves at the lower end. They perceive whether a passage is too narrow or just enough.
Cats have a particularly good sense of balance. With this they can balance well over branches. In addition, they are absolutely free from giddiness. If they do fall off somewhere, they can turn very quickly into a prone position and land on their paws. Cats do not have a collarbone. This makes their shoulders more flexible and they cannot hurt themselves even if they are hit from a great height.
How cats behave?
Cats are predators. They hunt mostly alone, because their prey are small: mammals like mice, birds and sometimes insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles. For climbing and hunting they use their claws, which are usually hidden in their paws.
In the past it was thought that cats mostly lived alone. This is seen differently today. Where there are several cats, they live peacefully together in groups. These consist of related females with their small and larger kittens. Only too many males it does not bear in a group.
How do domestic cats have their kittens?
Some breeds are ready to reproduce after only half a year, others take up to two years to do so. The males are called tomcats. You can smell if a female is ready for it. Mostly then several males fight for one female. In the end, however, the female determines which male cat may mate with her.
A female cat carries her kittens in her belly for nine weeks. In the last week it looks for a place for the birth. This is often the room of their favorite human. The first time a cat usually gives birth to two to three kittens, later up to ten. From so many then however usually some die.
The mother feeds her kittens for about a month with her milk and keeps them warm. After about a week they open their eyes. However, they can see really well only after about ten weeks. Then they explore the nearer surroundings, later the wider ones. The mother also teaches the young to hunt: She brings live prey to the nest so the kittens can hunt for them. Young kittens should be able to stay with their mother and siblings for about three months, so that they can develop healthily.
This house cat is probably afraid: it hisses and has its hair up. This makes them look bigger.
Longhaired cats are particularly bred.
These kittens were born a day ago.
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